It’s just over a week into the new year and it’s still a great time to reflect on all of the blessings you’ve had in the past year and to think about the plans and intentions you want to manifest for the upcoming year. January is an exciting month, not only because it’s my birthday, but because it sets the stage for how I will live out the year. So in keeping with the spirit of wanting to inspire the readers who stop by this blog, I looked back on the past year and picked out one of the major changes I made that carried me through one of my best years yet!
In 2016 I focused a lot on acceptance and self-love. To me they go hand in hand. Accepting and honoring where you are in life is a practice of self-love. I know we all have a lot of expectations about where we want our life to go and where we want to be personally and professionally. Yet, timing doesn’t always work out how we’d like it to. I read somewhere about the idea of an expectation hangover. In other words, when your expectations and reality don’t line up, you get really down on yourself and can’t embrace the present circumstances. When in the grand scheme of things, it may be that you have more to learn before you can move on.
A real, authentic life starts with acceptance of where you are. You may not be where you thought you’d be at this age or stage of your life. Accept it and embrace the here and now. Too often we judge ourselves against our own expectations or compare ourselves to others instead of accepting and appreciating our own journey. There will always be someone who is smarter, more successful, blah blah blah. Stop comparing! Instead, honor the accomplishments you’ve made in your lifetime. Don’t get down on yourself just because you’re not where someone else is, or where you expected to be right now. Get rid of the expectation and simply accept where you are. Accept your body the way it looks today. Look in the mirror and tell yourself out loud, “I love you!” You can show kindness and generosity to everyone around you, but don’t forget the person in the mirror looking back at you. Practice kindness toward yourself with small gestures. Treat yourself to a yoga class. Forgive yourself for something you shouldn’t have said or for that second piece of cake you ate. Share some of your own accomplishments with others around you and take credit for how bad ass you are! People will start to notice, and it will be contagious, making you and those around you a lot happier.
Treating oneself with love and kindness can be a challenging task, especially in this competitive world we live in today. Self-love wasn’t always my strong suit, and it took me a long time to get here. Thankfully, a wise woman once told me “You gotta be number one with yourself.” This was some of the best advice that I’ve received and it serves as a constant mantra when I doubt myself, take on too much or put someone else’s feelings before my own. This year taught me that if you don’t love yourself, you simply won’t have the capacity to love others.
How do you practice self-love? How are you accepting your current situation and making the best of your present life? I encourage you to write this down somewhere and read it often. And if you’re really brave, I’d love for you to share it in the comments below!