Wonder Woman + The Why I'm Not Her
Self-love is a term that's used a lot today and it got me thinking, what to self-love mean to me? I think my definition for self-love is having compassion while holding yourself accountable to the choices you make. It's about taking action and putting yourself first. Yes, that's right, I said, “put yourself first”. That means putting yourself before family, friends, boyfriend or spouse, even your wait for it.... kids. Don't forget to breathe here. It's about taking care of yourself and getting your needs met before others. What?! I get it. Putting myself first is something it's taken me a long time to do. I'm a recovering people pleaser myself about one year sober...
It's been a real challenge to put myself and my needs first, however I can say I’m happier and so are the people around me! Ever put others before you and then end up unhappy or even resentful? Yeah, me too. When we put others first we don't get our own needs met. When we take time for ourselves, we show up better for all of those people that we love and get our own needs met.
Another big part of self-love is about taking action! What does taking action look like for me? Taking action happens in a number of ways. I make sure to do the things that bring me joy or light me up as well as making time to take care of myself through pampering activities like what my friend Jenna calls “goddess hour.” I make it a regular date with myself to get massages, bubble baths and have medi/pedis. Beyond pampering, it's also been about learning to have deep compassion for myself when I do slip up and yet holding myself accountable for my actions. Recognizing that I can make a different choice at any moment. Instead of beating myself up like I've done in the past, I take a moment to be more compassionate and see how I can do it better going forward.
Through my year in the Fearless Living training program, I not only learned how to become a coach but I also learned how to master my own fear. This went along way in helping me understand how to love and care for myself on a deeper level. I learned how fear was keeping me stuck in the area of self-love. I discovered that what I’ve struggled with for most of my life came down to what Rhonda Britten calls our Wheel of Fear + Wheel of Freedom. It's been one of the biggest reasons why things like scheduling, diet and exercise have been such a challenge for me. My own fear was playing it safe and keeping me small. Once I was able to figure it out, a lot started to make a whole lotta sense, like my whole life made sense.
Rhonda Britten creator of Fearless Living developed what is called the Wheel of Fear + Wheel of Freedom. On the Wheel of Fear you’ve got a trigger, it's the one thing you don't want people to think and you don’t want to feel about yourself. My trigger is ordinary. On the Wheel of Freedom you’ve got this thing called your essential nature, it’s the one thing you’ve denied yourself the most. I'm simplifying the wheels a bit here so bare with me.
So on my Wheel of Freedom my essential nature is accountability. What does this mean? It means that I can hold myself accountable to everybody else all day long but when it came down to me I’d never hold myself accountable to myself. I'll give you an example. So with my trigger being ordinary I tend to think of myself as a bit of a superhero like I can do it all, be it all and do it all on my own. I try to take on everything myself. And thinking of myself as a Wonder Woman type it became clear to me that I’ve had this idea that Wonder Woman definitely doesn't need to work out and obviously neither do I. Hence why exercise has been such a challenge for me. Here’s where accountability comes in.
Since Wonder Woman doesn't need to work out, she definitely doesn't log her food either. Accountability is the one thing I deny myself the most, therefore, tasks like; getting to the gym, exercising or logging my food in My Fitness Pal didn't happen because hey! Wonder Woman doesn't need to do it so why should I and no one else is gonna know if I didn't go or didn't log my food. I’d lie and do a disservice to myself by not holding myself accountable.
Wonder Woman's great and all but in so many ways I’m not a superhero and I do need to move my body to be happy and honestly, Wonder Woman probably does too. In all honesty, we all need to move our bodies and eat healthy whole foods to live happier and allow energy to flow through us. This is something that's been a great challenge for me and I will continue to practice for the rest of my life. I know in order for me to live from a place of freedom I need to hold myself accountable and show up for myself. So for me, self-love is really about taking action, making it a practice, and trying my best every day. It's put myself first in a loving and compassionate way while holding myself accountable. Not gonna lie, I still enjoy pampering myself with a massage, mani/pedis or a bubble bath now and then it feels pretty damn good but it's not the only thing needed to love yourself.
How do you spend time loving yourself? Write in the comments below, I'd love to hear how you practice lov'n on yourself!
xo- Laurie Marie