Professional mom seeking clarity, balance and a well deserved glass of wine.
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I have a friend who was told once that he needed to get a new dog and name him “I Love Myself”. The suggestion was, he’d be at the dog beach and call out, “I Love Myself!” “I Love Myself!” It would be constant daily reminder and automatic way to engage in self love. I don’t know about you, but I think I need to get that dog.
I am encountering a real struggle with self love. I think when I was a kid I loved myself a great deal. It seems like, since I had kids, I don’t know, call it hormones or body changes or what have you, but since I had kids, I really struggle with self love. (that was the longest run-on sentence ever) My inner critic (or as Amy Ahler calls it, Inner Mean Girl) has been given too much power. She starts talking to me as soon as I get out of bed and walk into the bathroom and see my naked loveliness staring back at me. She chides me for everything. Drinking too much wine the night before…staying up too late…not working out…not taking out the trash…being too tired to have sex. She makes me feel small and powerless.
I had a session the other day with my business coach and mentor. He did an amazing exercise with me and I want to share it with you. I had to put on a red hat. Like a fedora. (Is that how you spell fedora?) You know, the kind your grandpa used to wear. Anyway, I had to be her. My inner self critic. He asked her questions. You’d think she would have felt a little foolish doing this exercise and found it hard to say anything. Well, that was not the case. She started talking and found no problem expressing how much she enjoyed having power over me and chiding me and making me feel small. (It was a bizarre experience, but so profound, I can’t even tell you) I realized that I’ve given her way too much power. I’ve done this. Why? Not sure. But I can tell you this….she’s been sent on vacation and will be returning in a consultant role only. I am regaining the power to love myself. I have too.
How am I going to teach my girls self love if I’m not even practicing it. I use the word practice here to illustrate a point. I believe self love is like yoga…it’s a practice. It’s not about perfection or how you perform. It’s simply about working at it. That’s what practice is, right?! You practice so you can continue to get better. (My daughter is in travel softball, this is a recurring conversation) Now, back to my girls. I already see my oldest has an inner critic that’s been given too much power from time to time. Not good. She’s got a whole lot of life ahead of her, so I want to encourage self love NOW.
I have found some interesting ways to practice self love. Like, this morning, while doing sit-ups…every time I came up I uttered an “I love my face.” “I love my butt.” “I love my boobs.” It actually made me laugh and it felt good. I actually liked those things about myself for, like seconds. Ok, just kidding. But, seriously, it was good. It felt good. I’m also trying to smile alot more. Just smile. When I’m throwing a load of laundry in the dryer or when I’m working out or when I’m putting my kids to sleep and I’d rather be sitting on the couch having wine. Seriously though, smiling while you’re doing regular things makes a huge difference. You know that saying, “Whatever you do, do it with a cheerful heart”…(I may have confused that with a different saying) well, I’m finding that it’s true. Laundry becomes a whole lot “happier” when you smile while you do it. It also makes people wonder what you’re up to and let’s be honest, that’s just fun.
I am dedicated to the practice of self love. I’m calling off the inner self critic. Telling her to fuck off. I only need her advice when I ask for it. She’s not fired. Just laid off. Some other ways I’m practicing self love are by journaling, meditating (think Julia Roberts in “Eat Pray Love”), reading, relaxing. I’ve gotta take care of me if I’m going to wear this super-mom super-wife super-creative boss cape for the next 30 years. Sometimes I just have to take it off and get it dry-cleaned. Be quiet. Listen to what’s around me. (this may require leaving town, mind you, but try it)
I’d love to know what you’re doing to practice self love. Or, are you?
Stay sane, my friends!
[…] thankful for about ME. Yes, I begrudgingly included my boobs and stretchmarks. (I’m giving self love a fighting chance this […]