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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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self-love

Come Home To You

There has always been a longing to find someone or something out there to make me whole. Complete me. Validate me.

But I am beginning to shift. There is this deep longing to come home to myself. To accept myself. To live in peace with myself. To approve myself. To simply connect to my breath. To my own existence without needing anything more to fulfill me.

From a very young age I had long term relationships. I was married at 18. It lasted 5 years.

I transitioned straight into another long term relationship.

And then another.

For a large portion of my life I had built my identity on the basis of being with someone. And for the short time where I wasn’t with someone I kept searching for someone.

I haven’t yet learned to just be with myself. To be without searching for someone outside of me to comfort me. To be by me. To make me feel okay. Validated. More whole.

I want this. I want to come home to me.

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Is It Me? Or Is It You?

I can’t quite tell if it’s me or if it’s you.

Who’s making me feel not quite right. Not quite at ease.

It feels as if I have one foot forward one foot back. Like I can’t let go of the railing for fear that I may end up falling but with only the ground to catch me.

There’s this unspoken sense that I’m not quite enough. Where am I getting this from? Is it me or is it you?

Am I feeling this way because something within me needs to change or because you’re triggering me to feel this way?

I don’t always like the way I feel around you. The shy, uneasy, insecure parts of me shine most when you’re near.

But it gives me opportunity to practice. To practice not giving a fuck. Because how else will I learn?

I’m at this weird tipping point where it feels like I need to make a more clear decision about us. My hunch is that I need to step away.  But then I go back and forth on the matter.

Maybe I need to chill the fuck out and stop being so emotional, needy, and insecure.
Wouldn’t that be nice?

I think having emotions and needs is normal, though.
I also think we all feel insecure from time to time. It’s called being “human.”

I think what I’m really trying to say is that I need to better manage my shit.

I’m also super hard on myself.

Radical self-acceptance. That’s what my life coach said I need.

That’ll be my daily practice.

Be Kind To You

It’s easier to be kind to others than it is to be kind to ourselves.

We say to ourselves, “You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re stupid.” Things we wouldn’t dare say to someone else. As if others are somehow more worthy.

The way we talk to ourselves is so important to our wellbeing. It ultimately determines how we feel. It becomes so heavy to walk around with an evil critic between our ears constantly tearing us down; reminding us that we’re not good enough and that’s why people walk away; that’s why we never get the promotion.

We learn to pick at ourselves from a very young age. Sometimes we learn it from our parents who scolds us saying “Why can’t you be more like your brother, he always gets A’s?” Or from teachers who call us out in front of the class shouting, “You gotta keep up with the class, Junior!”. Sometimes we learn it from bullies. From grandma who pokes fun of us at thanksgiving dinner with her unfiltered comments, “Mija, you should really hold off on that cake cuz you already got plenty of layers on you, don’t you think?”

We learn it from the media who tells us that beauty is a certain weight, height, shape, color, and lips that are about mango size. We learn it from our boss who overlooks our efforts but promotes lazy Betty who you know you do far more work than she does on any given day.

But where or when we learn to self-hate & self criticize matters much less than what we do about it. What REALLY matters is how we decide we’re going to treat ourselves once we awaken to the fact that we’ve adopted the habit of being our own worst enemy.

See, the world can say whatever bullshit they want – but as long as we don’t take it on board, as long as we don’t adopt the BS for ourselves then we’re Gucci.

What we say to ourselves and what we think about ourselves is the defining factor in how we’re going to feel.

We have to learn to be kind to ourselves. To forgive ourselves. To nurture ourselves. To support ourselves.

We can’t be bullying ourselves and expect to feel good.

We are in our bodies 24/7 for the rest of this life – wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t have to walk around with a critical enemy narrating attacks in our heads all day? Yes! It would be liberating.

Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if it felt like the voice in our head felt like a supportive friend, a loving parent, an encouraging coach, a forgiving partner? Ahhh yes! It would be amazing.

And this is possible.

We can learn to be kind to ourselves.

We can learn to be on our own side. To believe in ourselves. To feel enough. To feel good in our skin. To feel proud of ourselves.

The same way we learned to be an enemy to ourselves through past experiences we can learn to be our own friend.

Practice today. Practice loving kindness to yourself. Practice saying:

“I forgive you. I embrace you. I accept you. You’re not stupid. You’re valuable. You’re so worthy in every way.  There is nothing bad, ugly, or wrong with you. You’re so lovely. You’re so supported. I am here to cheer you. I am here to walk with you and be kind to you.”

Say good things to yourself.

Uninstal the old program that is clouded with bullshit from the past. Install the new version of you. The version that is kind, loving and accepting.

You’re worth it.

 

 

Emotions and Self Love Reflections

For a while I’ve been recording videos to myself about the random shit I think about throughout time — ya know, stuff like my feelings and what the heck am I gonna do with my life.

Sigh. Woe is me.

These videos were never meant to be shared. They were for my purposes. To see myself progress through time and to process my internal dialogue OUT LOUD.

BUT now… here is a compilation for your eyes and ears in blurry, perfectly imperfect quality!

 

Okay

This is a note to myself.

Making or feeling like you’ve made a mistake is okay. You can adjust from there. You shouldn’t feel afraid to be you and say what you feel and express yourself freely. If It’s not reciprocated be ok with it and let it be and let it go. Adjust from moment to moment. Forgive yourself moment to moment. Don’t beat yourself up.

You’ll be okay.
You are okay.
Don’t be ashamed for your feelings.
It’s so okay. You are soooo okay!
I promise you’re okay!
I promise you’ll be okay!
It’s all okay!

Balance

Have your cake and eat it too.

There’s a time for everything.
It’s okay to splurge sometimes.
Compensate.
Let each moment speak for itself.
You are renewed in each moment.
Every second offers you a chance to start on what you missed out on previously.
Appreciate what you’ve done so far.
Forgive your shortcomings.
Make the proper adjustments where necessary.

If all else fails just breath.
Go back to the basics and recreate from there.

Stop being so hard on yourself because of all the minor details. Profited is s/he who acknowledges what needs improving from a place of love rather than scorn.

Namaste.

Mama’s Words

Don’t be afraid to be you, my child.
Don’t be scared of failing. You just try again, that’s all. It’s just practice.

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, my little angel. Your opinions matter too. Don’t worry if some others don’t like your style in music, or your hair, or your moods – find those who do – be with them.

Don’t be consumed if some don’t like you – you’re not here to please them. There’s a war in them – it’s not about you. Keep on smiling that beautiful smile irrespective of those who hold hate in their hearts. Smile for you.

It’s okay to be confused, my darling. Life doesn’t come with a map – and even if it did who’s to say you’d want to follow it. Take your time. Be easy on yourself. Forgive yourself. It’s okay not to have all the answers.

If you feel lonely, my sweetheart, know that it comes and goes. Sometimes we get lonely in this big ol’ world. It’s only temporary. Have faith it’ll pass. Give yourself a big hug and know that you still have yourself with you.

Go on now. Go on and be you. No apologies. No reservations.

People Pleasing

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, yet there will still be people who hate peaches.” Vita Von Teese

I have been guilty of being a people pleaser. Often saying “yes” when I really mean “no.” Often putting the happiness of others over mine. I am guilty of wanting to make the whole world happy, because if I make everyone happy then everyone will love and accept me – and then maybe I’ll be happy. Even as I am writing this now, I am trying to please you, reader, by not making grammatical errors so that you will like and respect me. I am trying not to make mistakes, because if I make mistakes then I probably won’t be accepted and respected by you. Right?

From childhood, many of us are rewarded and praised for being “good” but punished and scolded for being “bad.” My mother, for instance, would punish me if I fidgeted in church because that was “bad” and rewarded me if I sat quietly and still because that was “good.” I was told to “act like a lady” and to “eat with your mouth closed” because that’s the “right” and “acceptable” way. I was praised when I behaved in accordance to my family’s values and lectured when I strayed from their world view. As we grow up, we become wired to believe that if we are good, whatever that means, then we will be rewarded and people will, praise, love and accept us. But if we are bad, whatever that means, then we will be punished and people will scold, hate and reject us. So how do we get love? By being “good,” whatever that means, to others.

Now this puts us in a bind for many reasons. We don’t all agree on what’s good or bad. Some of us find it good to be reserved and introverted, others find it good to be outgoing and extraverted. Some like chocolate others like vanilla. Some like Bush others like Clinton. And in the end, we find ourselves pleasing some while disappointing others no matter which choice we make. Additionally, when we live only to make others happy, we fail to be true to ourselves and consequently suffer.

We all want to be accepted in some way or another – by someone or another. It hurts to be told that “you are not welcome here.” And if you’re anything like me, you find yourself putting others first because you don’t want to upset them, because to upset them means they’re unhappy and if they’re unhappy they will leave us. This search for approval and strong desire to be liked by everyone only becomes more complicated when you are torn by people whose pleasures are derived from different “good” standards. Your mom wants you to be a doctor, your dad wants you to work in the family business, and you want to be DJ, which they both loath. You want to move to California, your partner wants to stay in New York. What to do!?

First, and foremost, no matter what you do, someone out there will be unhappy. Some will adore you, some will despise you, while others won’t give a damn either way. Living a life that is designed around making others happy in order to receive love is a recipe for failure and pain. It is not your job to make anyone happy, nor is it anyone’s job to make you happy. When we place our happiness on anything that is external, we always lose because nothing external is guaranteed or permanent.

When you were born, you were there, and when you die, you will be there. You are the only one who will always be with you – no matter what, no matter where. For this reason, cultivating a life of love for yourself is crucial to freeing yourself from seeking validation outside of yourself. Everything else will follow from there. Once you are grounded in yourself, having the approval of others will not be required to validate your life because you will already have validated yourself.

Here are some tips on how to stop pleasing everyone while forgetting yourself.

  1. Practice saying “no” when you mean “no.”
    If you tend to say “yes” when you mean “no” only so that others can be happy with you, next time, when your gut feeling and real intent is no, say “no.” You don’t have to stretch yourself thin only because you are too afraid to say no. Saying no does not make you a bad person. You are putting yourself first and that is always important. It is like they tell you in the air plane, “secure the mask on yourself first, before putting it on your child.” You must take care of you first and be true to yourself first before you can tend to the agenda of others.

    2. Speak your mind.
    You are here to be expressed! The world needs your perspective. Your thoughts and feelings are valid. Do not hide your voice because you think others will be displeased with you if you speak up. Let the world hear your truth! You may be surprised to see that it isn’t as scary as it seems to speak your mind.

    3. Remember, you can’t please everyone and that’s perfectly ok
    .
    It is not your job to be the basis of happiness for others. You are not here to be the court jester of anyone. No matter what you do or don’t do, someone somewhere will have some negative thing to say about it. There is no way to please the whole world because we are all different and experience the world from a unique paradigm. Remind yourself that you are valued just the way you are and that it is not required of you to always be there for everyone all the time.
    4. Practice self-validating rituals.
    When you feel like you are “bad” because you aren’t pleasing everyone, practice self- validating rituals that refocus your attention back to who you really are and that help you let go of expectations. Tell yourself (as many times as necessary to sink in):
    I am enough as I am.
    I am valid and my feelings are valid.
    I am not bad for speaking my truth.
    I am not bad for saying “no.”
    I am not wrong for standing up for myself.
    There is nothing wrong with me.
    I am whole, complete, just the way I am.

    5. Give yourself a pep-talk.
    Sometimes you gotta be your own coach. When you feel like you’ve let others down by putting yourself first, give yourself a talk. Proudly proclaim to yourself:
    This is YOU time!
    You’ve already done what you can, now it’s time for YOU.
    You got this! You rock!
    You can’t be there for others when you’re not even there for yourself. So just BREATHE. Don’t you dare feel bad. You’re amazing!
    This is ALL ABOUT YOU NOW! Walk out there strong, and ROCK IT!
    #TEAMYOU

    I hope this is helpful to you.
    Always remember that you can’t please the whole world, but you can please yourself by being true to yourself simply because you’re worth it. You are important – live like it!

Be Selfish

You must first care for yourself before you can care about anyone else. We have been taught to always share and play nice with others – which is a beautiful thing. But when we always put everyone else before ourselves we compromise our own well being. We shave ourselves thin to the point where we begin to crack. We want others to be happy so we sacrifice our happiness for their sake. We say “yes” when we mean “no,” we give what we barely have, or sometimes we even go out of our way to extend offers that weren’t even asked of us. We may, for instance, offer to drive someone home even if we are tired when they didn’t ask for a ride. Or we may end up saying “yes” to going to that party we really rather have said “no” to. We put ourselves in uncomfortable situations because we want to do “right” by others. But how much thinner will we spread ourselves before we break?

PUT YOURSELF FIRST.
Once you are okay, then you can extend your hand to others. It is like the emergency instructions on the airplane say, “Put the mask on yourself first, then put the mask on your child.” How will you help another when you can barely breath yourself? It is so important that you focus on you. What do you need today? Have you taken care of yourself? Are you rested? Have you pampered yourself lately? Have you taken some “me” time? Whatever it is that lights you up and fills your life with vibrant energy – go for it! Once you are okay – then you can go save whoever you want.
It is okay to be selfish! You deserve some TLC too and who better to give that you but your own self? No one else can live your life. You must live your life! You must take care of yourself.

So take this week to DO YOU!
Put yourself first! Make sure you are fine, healthy, and all taken care of – then you will be strong enough to give to others without spreading yourself thin.

Always remember, there is NOTHING wrong with taking care of yourself, sticking up for yourself, loving yourself and above others making YOU your priority.  GO YOU!

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