For many, a new year means a clean slate – a fresh start. How many of us really wipe the slate clean? I don’t know about you, but I used to drag around ten-year-old issues. This would prevent me from not only truly loving myself completely, but also not attracting the love of someone else. That is, until I shook things up, and tried something different.
1. Love Yourself!
I found that for others to love me, I needed to love myself first. About eleven years ago, I weighed 300 pounds, was more awkward than a bull in a china shop, and really disliked myself. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that this projected to others around me. I didn’t attract many lovers with this emanating from me. My friends kept telling me I was a great, supportive friend, and they knew the right one would come along. I couldn’t see it and didn’t believe it.
One night I realized it was time to move on or stay stuck in my body. Growing up, I had done a bit of yoga (thanks to my mom), so I thought yoga would help me build strength and be less clumsy. Of course, I was intimidated to walk into a class as a 300 pound woman. Thankfully, I was met with wonderful smiles from the teacher. A few students were over seventy. Heck, if the older students could do this, then surely this 300 pound, klutzy woman would give it a shot.
I still practice and now teach. Through the practice of yoga, I became stronger and flexible – both physically and mentally. I consciously congratulate myself after each class, and that positive feedback and validation started to shine on my face. Soon I radiated my inner beauty to all around me, and that’s when I met him – we’ve been together for seven years.
Find that thing that makes your spirit soar. For me it’s yoga, bluegrass music, crocheting, and singing at the top of my lungs.
2. Talk to Yourself
As I alluded to previously, I talk to myself. I’m a Gemini, so it’s easy to do. I have found that there are many voices telling me what I should do, putting me down, and replaying hurtful memories. These voices drowned out the more confident, happier voices that are screaming their support and giving me creative ideas.
Very similar to Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, I had it out with the negative voices. I showed them what harm they were causing and that it was time to change their tune. Otherwise, I was going to fire them. Strange as it sounds – it worked. When the negative thoughts do arise, I can calmly see them and ask them to redirect their energies to things more positive.
Try writing a conversation between you and your own voices. You might be surprised what you true self is waiting to tell you.
3. Declare “Me Time”
Once a week, set aside two hours just for you. Put yourself first. When I first started this practice, it was challenging. I allowed obstacles to get in the way, like thinking I didn’t have time, that I needed to be doing other things with my time, and that this was a silly idea. How many more ways could I tell myself that I didn’t want to take care of me? This realization was rather shocking.
Now I take myself on dates. I walk in gorgeous gardens, read a good book, or take myself to the movies and a dinner. I am refreshed and renewed after my time out alone. This shines through, increases my confidence, and I’ve found I attract more people like me.
4. Open Yourself to Possibilities and Enjoy the Process
Have you ever just sat in the moment and asked no expectations of it? Try this in your relationships. Too many times we try to pin expectations on our relationships, and live in the world of “will he or won’t he?” or “will we get married?” Be present in the moment, ask nothing more of yourself than to be there. Have confidence in yourself. Know you’re worth loving, and love will find its way.
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Great article…it’s amazing what the practice of yoga can do. Yoga has been a part of regaining my power and sense of self…it is my church. I’ve learned to be in the moment and not judge myself (I’ve never really been one to judge others…but I’ve been very good at judging myself) and it gives me the tools to turn off my mind chatter (I’m a Virgo). It has also nurtured me to not create expectations and break down barriers to being open. And, lastly, it is my “me time”. All of these things carry over into the rest of life and how I interact in relationships whether it be work, love, or with my daughter.
Beautiful Article. Thank you.