An unexpected outcome from the practice.
Growing up, I always wanted strong self confidence… but I wasn’t really sure how. So. While figuring it out, I thought that physical change was how you loved yourself. I thought that if I molded myself to fit an image, then in turn, I would love myself. Because I fit this idea. This could be smaller. That could be different. For some reason, I thought that a number would/could define me. That my worth was directly related to physical beauty.
So. I worked at it. I hid the beauty in my heart because I needed to change what I felt was a flaw. I would be upset with myself for making choices that didn’t follow this path. Do things I didn’t really enjoy just for the sake of turning into who I thought I needed to be. Or who I thought I should be. Such an awful word. Should. The minute you say you should do something or should be a certain way, you immediately denounce whatever it is… and you put yourself down right away. For me, personally, it makes me feel like whatever I’m currently doing is wrong.
One day, I simply woke up and decided that this wasn’t the way to be happy anymore. I read countless articles on how to love yourself. In the end, they all had the same message. Throw away the scale. Eat the chocolate. Wear that tight dress. Discard the word should. Love yourself as you are right now. 100% honesty. These “steps” would always make me grumble. Easier said than done. So I resisted it for some time. I resisted the idea that this body…. this vessel… could somehow be beautiful as it is. And then I was upset with myself because I could ever think of such a thing.
So. Few months later. I just gave up on all of it. I went on a quest for happiness. I embarked on a journey towards self love. How? I didn’t know. Not even a little. All I did know was I wanted to feel good all the way to the core.
My technique was simple. Be free. In all aspects of life. There is a wildness to the word itself. Free. On November 16, 2015, there’s a page in my journal and it starts with “When I think of what I want for me… It always comes down to being free.” And at this point in time, I made the realization that I was in the cocoon stage of metamorphosis. While looking back, this stage started many moons earlier, but this was when I first acknowledged it.
The very next day I set an intention that changed me.
“To be open to everything
available to me.
To be free from the shackles
of what used to be.
To be wild in the true essense
of my nature.
To be me…
It’s bittersweet to reflect on this time. I had no idea what I was about to do. I didn’t realize that this simple intention would rocket launch everything forward. I wasn’t aware that this change in perception… this simple change in thinking…. would transform everything.
Every single day I would practice with the intention of being open and receptive… and to love myself unconditionally. Some days the negative voice would be louder than the intention. There was a lot of fear. And so… finally. Instead of running away from all that frightened me. I lingered with it. I simmered in it. I would hold the poses that made me uncomfortable. I would cry just to cry. I would deconstruct every pattern to find the root. I resisted some choices I knew I needed to make. Until one day when my heart gave me the nod that everything will be okay. And I leaned on my friends every step of the way. Friends that are now family. My tribe.
So. I leaped. And along the way of learning how to fly…. I stumbled into loving myself. My physical appearance changed, but that was not the mission. Instead of telling myself “this and this” needs to change, I expressed my love for the simple things. And some of it makes me giggle and you may hear it in my classes. My way of practice is this… to have a conversation with my body. Like the most kick ass conversation. I tell my hips how awesome they are. I tell my right hip that it’s the most awesome right hip I’ve ever had. But I can’t leave out the left hip. So I tell it that it’s the perfect compliment to my right hip and that it’s the best left hip in existence. When my muscles tremble in core work… or when anything trembles during anything… I celebrate how awesome and strong I am. There have been times when I literally say “OHHHH!! You so strong!!!” Because laughter makes everything better.
When I look back…. I realize I implemented all those “steps” into my life. But in my own way. I didn’t follow another person’s path. I created my own. I wanted an adventure. So I said yes when I wanted to say no and I didn’t hide. This is merely a window view of a life long journey. But it is my journey. And I’m excited for the growth to come.
And so. If you are on a mission for self love…. all I have to say is do it your own way. You can read all the self help books you want. You can filter through articles until you can’t look at a computer screen any longer. But the only way any of it will be beneficial is if it resonates with your heart. And what resonates with your heart is the way to go. So everything that helped me, may not help you. But I continue to share because the sharing in itself has helped me.
Where I was a year ago is completely different than where I am right now. In location alone. And in life altogether. I can’t help but to protect and cherish the scared girl that brought me to this point. The girl whose power came from love over fear. The girl who carried immense strength… she only needed to learn how to use it. And it all came down to being free.
And now. I am more free than I’ve ever been.
So. Do what you love. And then keep doing it. Keep adding to the love pile until all that there is… is love. You can handle whatever life throws at you. You are loved.
Thank you. You have been a part of this journey. You changed the trajectory of my life. You are appreciated for simply existing. For listening. Your support keeps the fire burning.
Every single one of you.
I love you.
And I’m honored to cheer you on wherever life takes you.