Speak kindly to yourself.

Have you ever stopped to pay attention to the way you talk about yourself? Do you notice most of your inner conversations from you to you are putting yourself down more than lifting yourself up? Have you ever considered being more kind in the ways you speak to yourself?

If you have found that you are often speaking rather negatively about yourself or to yourself, now is not only the time to become more aware but to also start speaking to yourself more kindly. I hope as you come to this post you have also been adding something that brings you joy to your day to each of your days, it can be as small as giving your partner a longer kiss in the morning, really savoring that first cup of coffee in the morning, or taking in the sunset as you walk your neighborhood but adding moments of joy to your day, especially moments you are really paying attention is so beneficial to your overall well-being and sense of contentment.

The weirdest thing happened when I started to pay attention to how I was talking to myself and starting to change it – I felt awkward. I felt like I was being weird for BEING NICE TO MYSELF. I felt so ridiculously uncomfortable and like I was being overly vain and I didn’t think I spoke to myself all that negatively before but man oh man, when I started to really listen, it started to come out.

Here are some examples that I noticed I kept saying to myself:
• My belly is too big and looks so squishy.
• And soon after poking said belly, I would follow with OMG IT EVEN FEELS SQUISHY.
• My thighs are too big.
• Why are the circles under my eyes so dark?
• Do I have weird looking feet….yup, they’re weird.
• I don’t have anything interesting to say.
• I am not sure so and so person actually enjoys my company.

Seriously, WTF was I doing? Because now in hindsight I can tell you:

• My belly looks and feels beautiful, every curve on my body is beautiful.
• My thighs fit my body perfectly and I really love the tattoo I have on my right side.
• The circles under my eyes aren’t even dark, it is my freaking skin and I happen to have a darker complexion.
• Ok, there is nothing wrong with my feet.
• I have a lot of interesting things to say and while I am not for everyone, the people who love me love me a lot.
• Every person that I actually care if they enjoy my company clearly enjoys my company. A lot of people in my life are genuinely interested in what I have to say and enjoy spending time with me.
• And when it comes to it, I love myself. As cheesy as it may sound to read and certainly as cheesy as it feels to write and say to myself, I actually do truly love myself. I have a lot of really beautiful qualities and one of my favorites is my desire to remain curious about myself, the world, the people I care deeply for, and to share what has helped me feel better about myself and life.

The first step to any change is becoming aware. I was not aware of how often I was talking down to myself and once I decided to make an effort to pay closer attention to what narrative I was spewing, I found that I was actually putting myself down more than lifting myself up. I also sought external confirmation of any opposition to this narrative I could get my hands on and that is for another post. As frustrating as it can be to hear, all the change starts within yourself. You first must make a choice you want to improve the way you live and then you must start changing your daily habits in alignment with the changes you want.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If your brain is anything like my brain, oh man, is it gonna fight you on this one. I have learned that our brains can literally be rewired, as we learn a new skill, the brain starts to make new connections between our neurons – this is called neuroplasticity. And guess what, the more you work on a new skill, the stronger those connections become.

Now, instead of getting upset at myself when I struggled or said something not overly kind to myself, I got a bit curious. There has to be a part of me that feels it is protecting a piece of me by keeping me humble…yes, I have learned I protect myself by trying to humble myself. Which, in itself sounds completely not humble but I digress. I read an amazing book by Sara Waters, More YourSELF, which really goes in-depth about mindful introspection and how to honor these parts of you. Sara is a phenomenal person, I can’t begin to say enough great things about her as a human being, so please check out her book if you want to learn how to become much more curious about everything – but most importantly, yourself!

Back to neuroplasticity, it means you can literally train your brain – but, don’t think for a minute this means you can only train for it the positive, you can also just as quickly and as easily train your brain to be a big ole downer, to look for all things negative, and get stuck in a habit loop of being mean to yourself. Our brains are remarkable and you can still change this cycle you are stuck in with simple habit changes. We can actually rewire our brains in the literal sense of freaking rewiring your damn brain. This means by making small daily changes and by creating new connections in your noggin you are literally rewiring the way you think.

In a nutshell, neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural pathways throughout life and in response to experiences. While the brain usually does this itself in response to injury or disease, when humans focus their attention enough, they can slowly rewire these pathways themselves. Source. I didn’t even make it up.

Next week I plan to get more into habit changes and habit loops, but for now, I want to leave you with a challenge – spend the next few days becoming more aware of how you speak to yourself. If and when you catch yourself being not quite so nice, ask yourself why. Why do you feel the need to say that? If your best friend said those words to you, would you be upset? Would you say that to someone else you deeply care about? You don’t have to change what you say, just become curious about why you would say it.

Now for the corny part, but you should be alone so who cares, stand in front of the damn mirror every morning and say nice things about yourself. As we venture into the oh so personal parts, I usually do this naked, I have always struggled with wanting my body to look perfect and not being nice about when its not so I say nice things about myself in da nude. And guess what, it feels amazing. Here are some phrases to get you started but I encourage you to work on your own:

• I am smart.
• I am deeply loved.
• I love myself.
• I am beautiful.
• I am a really amazing person/mother/father/son/daughter/spouse/friend.
• I enjoy my own company.
• I am a really great friend.

The list can go on and on, now is not the time to be concerned with humble.
I am signing off today with a quote I read in ‘The 5am Club’,
“You will never rise higher than your personal story.”
So, make it a damn good one.

How to get started: add simple joys to your day.

Getting started is often the hardest part. If you are anything like me I can get stuck in trying to decide how to start, what to do, will others make fun of me, will it actually do anything…the list of excuses can go on and on. But, when it comes down to it, if you are honest with yourself then you know the excuses have gotten you nowhere and real fast. Plus, these excuses that keep you stuck are nothing but habits you have created and changing habits is an important part of improving your life.

Once you have decided you want change, you’ve already gotten started. You have completed the first step: deciding you want something more.

Step 1:

The next step is to get out a journal and write how your ideal life would look. How would your days be spent? Who would you surround yourself with? How would you feel? How would you view yourself? Make this ‘the shoot for the moon’ list. No one else is going to see it, this is just for you, go for the gold.

Now it is your choice if you revisit this in the days and weeks to come or if you fold it up and put it somewhere for safe keeping. I like to revisit mine but that desire often fades.

Step 2:

Write out a list of things you enjoy. Big or small, but things you do and you really feel some joy, happiness, or excitement.

Here is how my list looks:

  • Feeling pretty
  • Having my nails done
  • Hugging my kids
  • Seeing if my son is taller than me yet
  • Walking the dog
  • Sitting quietly in the sunshine
  • Feeling grass on my bare feet
  • Getting a pedicure
  • Lunch with a good friend
  • Getting a massage
  • Kissing
  • Reading a book
  • Relaxing in a salt cave
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Drinking a cocktail
  • Baking
  • Having a clean house
  • Making the bed
  • Watching the snow fall
  • Going to the kids sporting events
  • Watching fireworks
  • Meditating
  • Taking naps
  • Drinking fresh coffee
  • Hammocking
  • Hiking in the woods
  • Watching the sunrise
  • Watching the sunset
  • Seeing the moon outside my window
  • Having a glass of wine on an outside patio
  • Sitting at the beach
  • Swimming in a warm pool
  • Going to the hot springs
  • Listening to birds
  • Making pasta

Now, every day make the intention that you will add at least ONE thing that brings you joy and really bask in the joy that brings. While doing that activity see if you can pay closer attention to each of your senses. If you are outside on a walk, what do you smell? What do you see, feel, hear? Even if only for a moment at a time tune your attention so intensely to that moment and the gratitude you feel being able to do it. And that’s it! This is how you start. Let me know how it went for you.

If you are struggling to start a list of joys, please read my blog post ‘Joys when you are struggling’

I have done a YouTube video on the topic.

Welcome. Let’s get started.

I woke up one day and had the realization that even though I enjoy my life I want more from life. I have a great family, good job, fantastic boss, lovely friends but still felt something was missing. And that something, as cheesy as it sounds, was me. The actual me. The me that isn’t running to throw in a load of laundry or trying to remember if I took the ground beef out to thaw, the me that is enjoying life and has joy in small things every day. I wasn’t miserable by any means but I still wanted more.

You don’t have to be miserable to decide you want to change, you don’t have to hate your life to decide you want and deserve so much more than what you are currently doing. You also can be in a position that you hate what you are doing, don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and need a change desperately…or you can be somewhere in the middle. None of this is right or wrong nor is it selfish to want more for yourself.

An important piece to note is that if you are truly struggling to see a light at the end of the tunnel, feel as if you may want to hurt yourself or others, or feel you need to speak to a professional please do so. I am certainly not equipped to assist you in the way you may need and there is nothing wrong with that on either side of this coin. Seek help if you feel you need help, that part of you that is struggling can be heard and hopefully soothed with the help of a quality professional in your area.

So, here we are. Me; sharing this journey that I decided to kick-off, and you being interested enough to pick this up to read.

I have had an interest in the spiritual side of life for many years and within the last 5 years was introduced to law of attraction, law of belief, and the law of assumption, positive thinking, whatever you want to call it – which, to me, is all the same thing said in different ways. I have studied, read, joined groups, left groups, had success and had frustrations and now have decided that all that I have learned could help others improve their lives if I found a way to share my experiences. I have narrowed down what I have found worked for me and have broken it into easy-to-follow steps that transform the way you see life and yourself. Science has proven that our brains can be rewired and you can change how you see yourself and speaking from experience, this can and will change your life.

I wanted to start by adding more things I enjoy to my day, setting up a morning and night routine, increase my meditation, and focus on where I think I could provide value with my life knowledge – and that landed me deciding I wanted to share with others how to connect back with themselves, how to be sensual, how to be true to themselves, and how to find themselves if they feel they got a bit lost along the way.

And, I am excited you decided to come along for the ride.

Check out my podcast!