I went to the second meeting of the year last night. I found the Self Love Club on Meet Up. This is what prompted my last post. Particularly one of the guys there recovering from a lifetime of self depreciation and low self worth who told us about how he tells himself every morning that he loves himself. And out loud too!
I am so pleased that I decided to get out and meet people in groups like these. Last night’s was particularly fabulous. 6 people sharing on the most vulnerable level possible, in the sense of honest self disclosure and communication. 3 men there too, and talking about how macho culture has made it difficult for them to be honest about their feelings.
Right from the start there was a high level of trust and love in the room as we each opened right up and were given exercises by our brilliant facilitator. The theme last night was self connection and what that means to us. We each had to write a out what self connection means to us on some post-it notes and then put them on the wall and go and read them all and choose one that touches us in some way.
I chose one that said ‘being honest about how we are feeling’. This touched me as I struggle with this at times. There is an old habit of pulling back and resisting acknowledging when I feel say, sad, scared or angry….as I don’t want to feel those things, somehow theres a belief that denying them and holding back admitting Im feeling them will make them go away. But as we know that doesn’t work.
And yet when I turn towards those feelings of being sad, low, scared etc a with compassion for myself and embrace myself and the feeling, everything changes. Stress lowers, acceptance moves in. The feeling is acknowledged and it dissipates much quicker usually.
I have been living in quite an isolated state this last year and it has made a huge difference getting out and meeting people in groups and also asking for the help I needed from coaches and therapists. My mood is much improved and I don’t feel as low now. I also feel more resilient and able to cope with the challenges happening right now, like deep snow out there delaying our projects and our cash flow and this as yet unresolved legal wrangle with the client. Also I am i the process of looking for a new place to live, and I don’t know what I will be buying yet, it may be a really cheap place. So I acknowledge that I am feeling a little unsettled. And I send myself self compassion.
The amazing strong confident woman who runs the Self Love Club has told us about her journey in some detail. She has done what I am in the process of doing which is gathering tools to heal and to develop confidence and self love and she used them till they became second nature.
So my tool kit at the moment for fully loving myself includes all sorts of small and large actions. I think that the small ones are just as important. This is what I have integrated into my daily life so far. And the life I led of self hate and self destructions seems very far away now as a result. And I intend to add to the list as I learn new ways of being good to myself.
- Asking for and finding support when I need it. So I have a business coach and a therapist at the moment helping me to and encouraging me to make changes. Well actually they just tend to ask questions and let me find my own answers.
- I have my candles lit daily infant of me with a nice bunch of fresh flowers which I buy myself regularly
- I make time to listen to others, and on social media and by phone ask how people are and send supportive or encouraging messages to them. Giving is its own gift and I love the feeling of being g generous with my time and stuff too
- I have a new daylight Lumie light that I use every few days to raise my mood during this winter, for 20 mins or 30 mins I have it on beside me beaming light out at me
- I listen to calming or stimulating music depending on my mood, piano at the moment
- I go to bed early and get really good long sleeps and make sure I am ultra comfy with 6 pillows all around me and also wash my bedclothes more often than I used to as an act of self care.
- I have joined several social groups and so at least 2 nights a week Im out meeting new people and communicating and sharing with others in an authentic and fun way
- I have been buying more colourful decorative clothing from eBay and enjoy having new outfits. I enjoy looking my best.
- I have made some changes in my business practices to protect myself more from predatory clients
- I give myself permission to do whatever I feel like doing every day
- I write out gratitude lists to help remind me of the abundance in my life
- I wrote out a self congratulation list to remind myself that I am doing lots of things well
- I compliment myself when looking in the mirror naked
- I go swimming and walk in nature regularly
- I have stopped drinking alcohol for a month to let my body recover and to lose a bit of weight (lost 6 pounds already!).
- I have a lot of lights on in the house to give a cheerful and bright atmosphere
- I get my nails done every 2 weeks as a treat
- I turn towards myself with compassion when I am suffering
- I listen to a Tara Brach talk every night before going to sleep
- I eat really really healthy food, and next to no processed or junk food or sweets.
- I have let go of all toxic relationships, and with love for those people not bitterness
- I accept responsibility for having those relationships, and I am grateful them. They really helped me to realised that I was lacking in self love, when I realised that some people I know would never allow people to treat them like that
- I keep my living space clean and tidy.
- I sometimes dance alone to music and love that
- I practise mindfulness and let go of critical or judgemental thoughts, and I realise my thoughts are not me, they are passing by and can be acknowledged and let go of without further inner discussion
- I treat myself to the occasional small luxury, like a new pair of earrings
- I stopped smoking a few years ago
- Im not afraid to be vulnerable and open with others, it feels really good for my heart and also gives others permission to do the same
- I bought a torch so I can walk down the dark steps safely, instead of struggling as I have been for weeks!
- I forgive myself when I make mistakes and vow to learn from them and not repeat them
- Trying new things like joining interest groups
- Writing this journal here!