If you are looking for love, validation, anything really - you HAVE to find it in yourself first. You become a mirror for what you attract. Looking for love? You have to love yourself first so frickin much that you emit that feeling wherever you go. It will become a contagious energy and others won't help but notice!
The same goes for confidence, trust, or any other redeeming quality you are looking for. The rule applies to negative feelings too. If you have a lot of conflict, miscommunication, or distrust happening in your life right now you better be sure to look within yourself first to ask why this may be happening. Yes, the people around you do play a role, but you also must take accountability for your actions and take responsibility for the life you want to live.
When I was looking for love, and realized I wasn't finding what I wanted by repeating the same patterns, I decided to do something different. I decided to take radical responsibility for what was happening (or wasn't happening in my life). I realized that in all the places that I was looking for love and not having it work out, the one common denominator was ME.
What, now?! Yes you heard me. I wasn't getting the result I wanted so I decided to get out of my own way, because after all, the relationship you have with yourself is the longest one you'll have in this life time. So I hired a coach, did some deep personal growth work and decided to let go of conditioning that I had adopted that wasn't getting me what I wanted. It was NOT easy, but it was so worth it! I had to face my shortcomings and work through them so I could find the romantic love I was looking for. And guess what...I did! And I've never been happier in my relationship with my man and the relationship I have with myself. I became my own best friend and this tool along with these are a great starting point to giving yourself the big love that you deserve.
Tools for loving yourself
1. 50 things: Get out your journal and write 50 things that you love about yourself and be don't forget to be specific about WHY you love your long eyelashes, or that you're great at leading meetings or can cook or have an amazing laugh. My bet is that once you get rolling, you'll find 50 MORE things than you thought. Pump yourself up because YOU are incredible.
2. Write yourself a love letter: Everyone loves a hand written note so now is your chance to write yourself one! Get cozy and write from the heart. You can also do this exercise and write from the perspective of someone who loves you.. sister, mother, father, best friend... and write what you think they would write in a love letter to you. Chances are you already know what they would say and how awesome is it that it will come from within you first. Once the letter is written, keep it on hand to read on those down days when you need a little pick me up.
3. Say 'I Love You': Each day, and for most of us, several times a day when you are brushing your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror when you're doing this say I Love You to yourself. Bonus points if you can do it through the tooth paste ;) Silently in your head has the same affect too.
4: Become your own best friend: Best friend don't put each other down, they lift each other up. Become your own best friend by talking to yourself how you would your bestie, treating yourself to that mani/pedi or delicious baked good or new pair of shoes when called, and don't forget to spend quality time with yourself just like a would a friend.
When you look at your life and the world, what do you see? Do you see beauty in unexpected places? Or do you see chaos and dark clouds in broad daylight?
A few weeks ago we talked all about choice and having the power to hone your thoughts for the better. Today, we are practicing what we preach and taking the same idea of choice and seeing it through the lens of perception. If you missed the choice chat you can catch up here.
You consume a myriad of information all day long. It's up to you to choose how to perceive it. The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is in how you look at the situation. If you're on a road trip and you get lost along the way you can perceive it as a blessing because it led you down a beautiful road or to a cute town you wouldn't have discovered. It can also be seen as a waste of time and trigger frustration and negativity.
Or at work one day a client reaches out to reschedule a meeting you spent days preparing for. One perspective could be to indulge in frustration and be irritated that it rocked your carefully curated timeline OR choose to see it through a difference lens and understands it just wasn't meant to be that day and use that time to work on something else.
When we shift the lens of what we see things through, everything around us shifts as well.
Want to give it a try? Here's how.
*Disclaimer: If you are dealing with any sort of mental health issue, we understand that the above may not apply to you and completely respect your condition.
1. Wait: When a situation arises, instead of jumping to a reaction, analyze what is happening and wait to respond. When we respond from a calm mind and a relaxed body, it's often easier to see a different perspective than if we are riled up and stressed out.
2. Details or Big Picture: Have you ever been asked if you were watching a train pass in front of you, would you focus on the car in your sight line or would you see the whole train as it moves by? This can help determine if you're a detail oriented or big picture person. Once you figure out which one you are most of the time, challenge yourself to flip your natural way of being to explore another perspective. This will give you an opportunity to either widen or narrow your view.
3. Reframing: Thinking about how you want to feel after a presentation at work, during a stressful part of your day, or while weathering an unforeseen communication storm between friends or family... take a minute to think about how you want to feel and ask yourself what you need to think in order to feel that way. Right there you've reframed the situation and you can continue along the path of feeling the way you want to.
4. Make a change: Physically change what you're looking at! Maybe you need to see it from a different angle, maybe through a different pair of metaphorical glasses or in a different space all together. Taking a (short or long) trip is a great way of doing that. Changing things up will help you see a solution you wouldn't have otherwise seen - think of a Rubik's cube!
We are each gifted with an incredible superpower. Its something that is always with us no matter where we go and if honed, has the power to transform our life is we are willing to listen.
Our intuition is that gut response, that tug tug on our heart and the feeling when you just know. Our intuition comes before the fears, doubts and limiting thoughts... it is our soul trying to make contact and guide the way.
A few things I've learned about intuition along my journey is that once you see, you can't unsee, meaning when your intuition sends you an answer to a question it will go from a whisper to a scream if you if you don't take action on the message.
When I was younger, I always dreamed about living in LA. I loved the vibe, the warmth, the nature and the people. Flash forward to my adult life living in Toronto where everything in my life was going well but I still had a nagging feeling - "don't forget about your LA dream." It didn't make much sense to move. I had a ton of friends and family, a thriving business and owned my condo and was not American, but still I heard that voice. So I listened.
It took a lot of work to move past the fear and doubts I had about moving to another country, far from friends and family to run my business in a place where I had to rebuild my community from scratch. After taking the leap, it was like the little voice inside my head let out a great big ahhhhh and I am armed with the knowledge that when you listen to your intuition, anything is possible.
Our intuitive gifts are not just available to some, we all have the ability to access this power, however you must learn how to get quiet enough to listen. It can take time to develop the discernment between our fear and our intuition, and to know which internal voice to listen to because it isn't always the rational one.
What to lead with your intuition but aren't sure how to start? I've got you covered.
Harness your Superpower
1. Tune in: Our intuition is often the loudest when we get quiet. Build time into your schedule where you are truly in silence. Turn off your music, put your phone on airplane mode, remove yourself from the distractions of Netflix or even a book and just sit with yourself. The longer you sit the more your mind might drive you crazy, but once it settles, what's left behind is the soft quiet voice of your soul.
2. Write it out: Often our intuition comes out through automatic writing. I practice this by journaling out my thoughts first thing in the morning as a free flow of whatever comes through. If you're searching for an answer to a question or guidance on a decision, try this tip. Write out the specific question or situation you want guidance on as the last thing you do before you close your eyes and hit the pillow. When you wake up in the morning, before turning on your phone, brushing your teeth or even getting out of bed, grab your journal and write down whatever comes up. This is the voice of your intuition, before you have had the chance to fill your mind with the noise of the day. Chances are what you're seeking will come through on the page of your automatic writing.
3. Feel: We have 85 billion neurons in our minds, 100 million in the gut and 40, 000 in our hearts. We fall into the pattern of only listening to our minds when there are other centers in the body to inform us of answers. Feel into what the body has to say. An example is a feeling in your gut as a warning when something is off or an openness in your heart when something feels in alignment. When you go about your life, notice how things feel in your body as opposed to how you mightthinkabout then in your mind.
Last week we talked all about control and what we actuallyhave control over in our lives (instead of perceived control). If you missed it or want a refreshed read , you can check out the full post.
Today let's explore the flip side of control, the concept of surrender.
The most popular book on the subject is Michael Singer's The Surrender Experiment, which is his own personal story experimenting with practicing surrender. He decides to no longer let his personal fears and desires dictate his life and decides to surrender to what life had in store for him. This radical decision lead him to both challenges and successes, all the while on a journey of living life on his terms.
Surrendering into the flow of life is something I've worked hard on over my years of being an entrepreneur and despite what it seems, still continue to work on. Surrender is not something that came naturally to me, being a perfectionist with an A-type personality. I've had to learn where to soften into what is, to let go of the control that I thought that I had and to adapt to situations as they change.
It is NOT easy and will always be a practice but it is SO WORTH IT.
Here are some tips I've collected on the way and found super helpful.
Tips for Surrendering
1. Life is happening FOR us not TO us: This simple change in perspective has allowed me to surrender into nearly any situation that comes my way, knowing there is always a lesson and purpose even in the challenges. This has allowed me to be okay with the natural ebbs and flows of life.
2. Releasing timelines + expectations: SO much of our disappointment and desire for control come from preconceived notions, expectations and timelines we've set out for ourselves in an attempt to control outcomes. There is usually a bigger power at work on our behalf, so each day it's important to notice where you're projecting your expectations, holding onto a timeline and taking yourself out of the present moment. Experiment with letting that go focus on what is going well. See if anything changes.
3. Determine what you can and can't control: In any given situation there are things you CAN control and a lot that you can't. You can always control how you respond to situations, the thoughts that swirl in your mind and ultimately how you move through your day. That's it! You can't control what others are thinking, how they will behave or what external situations come your way, so by focusing on you and what you can control for yourself, you ultimately surrender the rest.
4. Make no plans: Full surrender might not work for you all the time especially because as humans we thrive on structure and boundaries. One way to bring surrender into your life slowly is to block off 1 afternoon, or evening a week where you make no plans and have no agenda. Dedicate this time solely to yourself and ask 'what do I want to do, and what does my body need', and see what comes up. Surrender to what you need or desire in that moment and play around with what happens. Maybe you find yourself somewhere you never expected or in a different situation than you're used to. The possibilities are endless!
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.