Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror and quivered with indignation? Self-loathing thoughts tumble through your mind, spiraling you down the tunnel of self-hatred? I know that feeling. I’m sure most people have experienced varied degrees some time throughout their lives. But how do we pick ourselves up and love ourselves once again?
This past month I went on a self-love journey. I didn’t hate or loath myself beforehand, but I was stuck in a ditch, with two shattered legs, clawing my way through the muck and mud. It was a period of time where I felt like I was drowning in this sludge and I was in desperate need of some comfort. I also really wanted to feel joy again, on a more consistent basis.
We’ve all heard that joy comes from within. Or at least I know I’ve heard it thousands of times from life coaches, self-empowerment speakers and mentors, and people I consider on a higher enlightenment tier, like Dr. Wayne Dyer or Mahatma Ghandi or Oprah Winfrey or Nelson Mandela. You catch my drift. It’s spoken about on regular basis and the ones who have listened are well aware that you cannot find joy outside ourselves. At least, not true joy.
Despite my low, the beginning of April began well for me. I went on a family vacation to a California beach and I was able to enjoy some moments of calm serenity. It was the therapy I deserved to mend my broken soul and I bathed in the tranquility. But as usual, all good things must come to an end. I missed home, work, and my regular routine, but the thought of diving back into the madness of reality really struck me hard. I didn’t know where it was coming from or why I felt so down, but I knew I needed to face the darkness before it sucked me into oblivion.
I rose, not like a lion, but as a wounded deer skittish and fearful, desperately determined to escape the beast. And I might have felt weak and defeated, but I was committed to this new journey. I was going to heal my soul.
April showers, brings May flowers.
That was my mindset. No matter how broken I felt over the past year, I was going to rise anyway and breathe in a new mindset, lifestyle, and connection with my source. It was time for me to evolve and move onto the next level of my life journey.
The first week was easy. I meditated, worked out, ate well, counted to ten, instead of erupting in anger, and spoke to myself with kindness, determined to not commit any self-destructive crimes. I also met with a Reiki Practitioner, who spent ninety minutes straightening out my chakras and guiding me to self-healing. It was a good week.
Week two wasn’t awful. In fact, I stepped up my game. I spent more time meditating, took on more of the HIIT workouts, kept calm at work and at home, and I continued to shower myself with love. I was rising and on that Friday I woke up feeling the best I had felt in months. I had finally broken back through and was on my way up.
But then Saturday arrived. Everything went well for most of the day, when suddenly there was contention swirling around me, striking me from the most obscure areas. And unfortunately this unease and contention trailed into my Sunday, making my Mother’s day the hardest one I’ve ever had. By the time my head hit the pillow, I was heartbroken, confused and hurt. And I didn’t know how I was going to rise again. Monday arrived with a punch in the gut, and even though no one really did anything to me, I felt lost, upset and frustrated by most everyone in my life.
I had fallen again, and this time I felt like a complete and absolute failure. Why did it feel like I was forever destined to swim in the muck of life?
I survived that Monday. Barely. That night I meditated and aligned my thoughts with clear intentions. I wasn’t giving up that easily. I slept well and woke up to a new and better day. I felt stronger already, and I was determined to make my Tuesday successful. And it worked. Tuesday was amazing and the rest of the week I continued on with my goals and plans, arriving to the end of week three feeling satisfied and proud of myself. I kept going, even when it felt easier to give up. Who wants easy anyway?
Week four, I was busy. My step-daughter graduated high school and my daughter was graduating the next week. Plus, work, house, writing, working out, and just life in general was piling up at my doorstep. I dove in and worked hard, determined to arrive at the end of May feeling accomplished, inspired, and on a self-love high.
The moral of my experience is this... Life has its ups and downs. Sometimes those downs are so low and so long, you wonder why you’re even here. And sometimes those ups are so amazing and such a rush, that when you hit the low again, you wonder what awful sin you committed to deserve this hellish punishment.
I think back to my early years and recall how easy, breezy school was for me. I rarely had to work hard for those A’s and B’s and I honestly believed I was just plain gifted. Until I arrived to college. All of a sudden, school was difficult and I fell flat on my face. I had no idea how to work hard for those grades. In fact, I got a crash course on hard work and I was failing miserably.
The ones who have it easy and glide through life will most likely fall deep the moment “difficult” enters into their lives. Like I did, they will feel victimized, unjustly served, and depression will yank them down to a pit of despair. Or a vicious pity party. One way or the other, the universe is going to give us the lessons we need to learn in life. And that’s okay. It might not feel okay, but it is (within reason, that is—abuse of any kind, bullying, rape, narcissism is never okay). It’s in these moments when we can decide, are we going to remain in the dark and allow life to have its way with us or are we going to rise up and take back our rightful power.
Self-love is the answer to our woes.
When you find love within yourself and stop looking for it outside of you, the lows will still come, but you’ll know to honor those moments as they are and rise higher the next time you claw your way out. Each life battle is won by focusing, taking a deep breath and acting when the time is right. Reaction only makes it worse, but strategic action will bring you satisfaction, growth and evolved thinking. And as nice as it would be, life is not easy. Yes, some have it WAY better than others, but we all have our problems, trials and varied degrees of anguish. In those moments, remembering your value, your strength, and your love for yourself, will be your saving grace. You are your number one advocate and you’re always whole, even when you feel broken.
I meditated nearly every day in the month of May. I worked out and I hurdled back into Yoga. I chose to honor my body and listen to what it had to say. The deep breaths kept my blood pressure low and my anxiety attacks at bay. I decluttered my mind, along with my surroundings (still working on a few areas, but I’m almost done) and because of all this, I smile more. I recognize the light within. I feel the love surrounding me, from my source, my partner, my family and my friends. My life has shifted and I knew it would. I just had to do the work to remember who I am.
This is my Rise and Conquer Project. Each month I will pick something in my life to work on. Something that needs love, care, and attention. You can join in, watch my steps and then join in, or do your own thing. Or ignore me all together. But I’ll still be here, doing my thing, regardless of the naysayers 😘 Watch my journey and then create one of your own. I’ve gone down similar paths in the past, but each time I learn more, evolve to a higher state of being, and eventually rise to a whole new level in life. This time I’m stepping it up. I’m pushing myself to be my best and I hope I can inspire others to do the same.
These are the goals I laid out for myself for May:
1. Declutter my house.
-creates peace within
-a feeling of accomplishment
-a house is a sanctuary
2. Do some form of exercise every day.
3. Cut back on sugar and carbohydrates.
4. Connect w/ my source EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
5. Continue to write books and blogs – set time away every day.
6. Honor my body, mind, and spirit.
-go to counseling, talk through my troubles
-stay connected spiritually
My month of June will be a whole new experience, with a different goal. However, I plan on continuing to shower myself in self-love and strive to be better in all areas of my personal life. Exercise, eating well, writing, and connecting with my higher self, along with my source, will continue to be my focus.
A strategic plan out shines reaction. It can be difficult to arm myself against the negativity of the world, but as long as I have a design and stay focused, I believe I can rise to the next level. Stay tuned for month two and I hope to see you all setting your own goals and shifting into a higher state of consciousness. And if you have any questions, thoughts, and/or concerns, comment below and let’s chat.