Week 3: Three ways to practice self-love

Hello my darlings

I hope that you are enjoying the process of Finding You're Slow with me, in my 8-week challenge. So this far, Week 1 was about including Daily Meditation in your routine. I also added my own 10 minute Morning Light Meditation for a good day. 

Week 2 was about nurturing healthy friendships and establishing the difference between your pig friends and circle of light, which perfectly aligned with the Chinese New Year, the year of the Pig. In Chinese astrology, the year of the pig is the year for optimism, generosity, harmonious interpersonal relationships and affluence. 

Week 3: Happy Self Love Day

Week 3 happens to fall in the week of Valentines Day. As a commercial holiday, all the focus is on showing love to your lover, by treating them to flowers and chocolates, dinner and love letters. Expressing love is one of the most beautiful and selfless things you can do, but how often to you practice self-love?

Self Love - women's wellness and health

Priority number one is YOU

I once attended a seminar by Dr. John Demartini, where he stated an interesting thing I'd never considered. The word Priority is meant to be singular. In fact, the use of the plural word priorities only gained popularity in the 1940s (read the article here). Some companies even list tasks as Pri 1, Pri 2, Pri 3. This gives you a false sense of listing things in order of importance when there really can only ever be one top task. Strike that, then another task takes top position. Your top task should always be YOU.

In my past, I was always much more giving with others, and put my own needs last. This led to my eventual burnout, both personally and professionally, as I suffered anxiety and depression as a result. I'd always thought of 'self-love' as arrogance or selfish, but that's only because I was viewing it all wrong. Mothers, who feel they have a duty to put their children's and family's needs before their own, often suffer the same burnout or feeling of running on empty.

You can't pour from an empty cup. Break the habit before it breaks you.

Putting your wellness, health, and happiness first in return will make you a better mother, better wife, better friend, and coworker. It may feel counter-intuitive, but trust me on this one. Taking care of your headspace and heartspace will make you more aligned with your divine femininity as you tap into your limitless inspiration and creativity. As women, we have to play many roles in our lives, and you truly can have it all, without sacrificing yourself and your sanity.

Create a routine that aligns with your desired lifestyle. If you want to look and feel better about your appearance, commit to a fitness regime and diet that reflects that desire, dress and present yourself the way you want to be seen. You won't look or feel better if you don't invest in yourself first. If you want to learn a skill, commit to classes or a tutor to teach you that skill. It will make you richer for it and add to your quality of life. 

I have a male friend who I haven't seen in a long while because we are both too busy to meet up. I am much more accommodating and flexible when it came to arranging a date (as most women by nature are), but he always seemed to have something on. On Mondays and Wednesdays, he has boxing, on Tuesdays he has this and weekends he has that. I remember thinking, 'Geez dude, skip one class and let's just set a date finally'. Of course, this thought was a reflection of my own bad habits. I often would skip things I enjoyed and needed, in order to accommodate others: to work late, help a friend, or whatever else. This over-eagerness to put another person's needs before my own led to me losing my routine, and a structure that helped keep me sane, to one of inconsistency and left me always running around feeling frazzled and late for everything.

Create a routine that you truly love, and then fit everyone else around that, only if you want to. Make your priority YOU. 

Learn to say NO

I used to be a 'yes' girl. I mean I could literally never say no without feeling guilty. Many of us feel compelled to agree to every request, and then feel overwhelmed and underappreciated when we are juggling a thousand different tasks. When you spread yourself too thin, not only are you not doing something to the best of your ability, you are also left with little or no time for yourself.

Conscientious people always get rated quite high amongst coworkers and friends because they are reliable and industrious. It's a personality trait that fits very well in the lower ranks of a colony. Unfortunately, conscientiousness is also a significant risk factor for burnout.

By learning to say no, you are setting clear boundaries and resetting realistic expectations from those around you.

For some reason, the women who I coach (see here) often value their money more than they value their time. Money is something that comes and goes, you can make more of it. Time however only goes one way. Once it's gone, it's lost forever. Consider your time as money, literally every minute is a dollar. If a request has been made to you, and your sixty minutes = sixty dollars, do you consider this request worth your time? Is it something that will add to your experience or gratification? Or is the request something that you view as a waste of money. Would you rather spend that money doing something else? That should give you a clear answer.

The first time you say no may make you feel uncomfortable like you need to justify saying no to something by explaining why you 'can't' do it. But you don't have to justify anything, simply express that it's not something that interests you. With more practice, you'll gain more confidence and gain respect from others as well as from yourself. You'll begin to value your precious time more, and so will others. 

Separate refusal from rejection. People will be surprisingly understanding and respectful when you say no, as it's as much your right to refuse something as it is their right to ask the favor. The same goes for your children. It's essential to teach them boundaries by not caving in to their every request. It is important for them to hear no from time to time so that they develop a sense of self-control. It is hard to negotiate adult life without this important skill. 

Know your personality type and act accordingly

Extraverts are social butterflies and draw their energy from people around them. They thrive in social events and at parties. Introverts get drained by social interactions and need time on their own to recharge. 

Knowing your personality type, or even just which phase of your feminine cycle (read the previous post on this here) you are in will help you make clear choices that best suit your needs at that time. If you need an afternoon off every week, just to paint your nails or go for a massage, give yourself permission to do that. Turn off your phone, tell everyone you will be unavailable and enjoy it without guilt. 

I invite you to pay clear attention to situations and people that drain or add energy to you. What are you doing that you find exhausting, or unnecessary? What adjustments can you make to manage people's expectations, and what boundaries can you set to protect your energy? 

Be clear and honest with yourself about what you truly want. Get to know yourself better and examine what you really want from life, and start acting in alignment with those desires.

If you found this useful, please share with me your feed back. What changes have you made in your life that helped you get realigned, or what will changes will you be implementing.

Love & Light
Anastasia

 

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