Loving the Self

On Self Love

I am not a Grinch, I promise you! I'm kind of a hopeless romantic to tell you the truth. However something about certain holidays being 'high jacked' in the name of capitalism just rubs me the wrong way. So now that we are done with the commercial 'love holiday' that is Valentine's Day, let's get real about self love.

For the past years I have established a January ritual of making my vision board and booking a yoga retreat for pleasure and not work. This year I was particularly affected by the infamous winter 'blues', that emotional funk that many of us get stuck in after the celebrations and time off that comes with the Holiday season. Oh man, it hit me hard this year! So I was actually counting down the days for the retreat and because the Universe has a way of teaching us about patience, this year when I felt like I really needed it, I would have to wait until February. 

At last the retreat was here and it was exactly what I needed. Just a day with myself to get real and honest and raw. To pause from the every day hustle to breathe, nurture and fill my cup. Reconnecting with the good things that live within me, but also calling myself out on my shit. One of the ladies joining at the retreat saw my face of bliss the morning after the first day and we both smiled that conspicuous smile that says 'I am so happy!'. I knew she was mom to a 10 month old baby and that she probably had a lot of the same feelings I was experiencing, then she said "I feel like I love myself again, like where have you been this whole time?". And it hit me, this little act of self love, of stepping away from our families for one overnight retreat wasn't just an act of love to ourselves, but our loved ones.

Since coming back I've felt connected to myself again. I realized that I am so much more patient, kind, happy, focused, full.  That everyone that comes in contact with me will hopefully feel and feed off of that good energy that I took time to cultivate. That when you love yourself, that love spreads and touches everyone around you. Love starts with you.

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance"
- Oscar Wilde

Cease to Resist

On Surrender

The word surrender has come up several times this past week. Not once or twice, but consistently through emails, posts and messages. It is interesting since the hashtag #Resist has become quite popular as of late with groups who seek justice and liberation through protest and activism, myself included. But I’m not interested in discussing politics today. I invite you to stop resisting, to give in, to relent and yield, not to whatever political causes move you, but to the lessons that the Universe continues to place on your path.

You see, when situations keep presenting themselves in your life but you don’t have the tools to process them, we tend to fight them. Over and over. Finding reasons why this is happening to us or being done to us. While we lament our misfortune we are missing what is being presented; a chance to pause, look within, and figure out how I can observe, learn and process that situation. When we surrender to the lessons that are being offered to us, we stop seeing such lessons as tragedies in your life, but rather as valuable opportunities for growth.

Persistence is a quality that parents and society as a whole value and encourage. It is defined as a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something. This is not to be confused with stubbornness, or dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something. Simply put, it’s not the same to persevere in your pursuits, than to resist change altogether.  

Finding the balance between these two can be challenging, but when you sit with yourself quietly, you can tune in to that voice that never fails. Learning to listen and pay attention to your gut takes time and practice, as everything else in life. As I navigate this balance in my personal life, trying to relinquish control and listening to all the signs presented on my journey through life, I want you to join me and explore yours. In what areas of your life do you need to let go and flow? What lessons or experiences keep presenting itself continuously? Take the time to do this simple exercise, you owe it to yourself and your intentions.