Over the past weekend I took a two hour workshop at IndyYoga in Duxbury, Vermont about Self Care, lead by Indy Ewald (Yoga & Mindfulness instructor) and Angie Anderson (life coach.) The workshop began in a circle where I had the honor to sit with 20 other women all interested in taking better care of ourselves.
workshop journal doodles
To name a few… there was the woman in her Mid-40’s who had just finished her breast cancer treatment the week before and was now in remission. There was the mother of three in her 30’s who had traveled all the way from Massachusetts. There was the 65-year-old woman from England who had moved with her husband to Vermont to start a new life in the states, and then there was me, 19-year-old CrossFitter, recovering from eating disorders, still learning how to navigate in my own life.
I realized as soon as I sat down and faced these women that every woman is still learning how to love herself no matter what age she is. We put ourselves on the back burner to please others when really we’re flailing in our minds. I’m not good enough. She’s prettier than me. She’s skinnier than me. She’s stronger than me. He’ll never notice me. I’ll never make enough money. I’ll never hit that PR.
As women, we’re always judging. We look in the mirror and judge our eye brows, acne, hair, butt, stomach… need I go on? I’m sure you’re thinking of exactly what you judge every time, I don’t need to give you more examples.
So I ask you, why is that?
Ladies, where are these confidence issue coming from? Men? Other women? Our parents? Our friends?
Our confidence issues come from ourselves and how we look at ourselves is solely our own.
What I want to share with you is this:
A reminder to speak to yourself with the same compassion you would someone you love unconditionally.
You are enough.
You deserve to be taken care of.
Be fierce with your self-love, ladies, because you have these crazy mind games working against you. You have pre conceived notions and self-hate to work through. Trust me, I know.
DISCLAIMER: I am not perfect. (In fact, I am probably the weirdest human you’ve ever met, and slowly, I am learning to be okay with that, even though recently, it’s been pretty lonely, I’m learning a lot about independence.)
With independence comes confidence.
This could be uncomfortable, but remember, there is no way we can learn anything without stepping way out of our comfort zones. It’s like the butterflies you feel stepping up to a loaded barbell, how will you ever PR that lift if you don’t make your body a little bit uncomfortable and pick up the damn bar?
Body love becomes a little easier for me when I spend hours in the gym everyday, but not because of what I look like. But because of how I feel. A five-pound PR will make me feel beautiful and a failed 10# PR makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world because in two weeks, I’ll hit that number, too.
Be patient with yourself because it’s okay to have a bad day.
Something I learned this weekend: being in the box is great for my body and being outside is even better for my head.
I’ve been beating myself up about a lot of things this week, feeling frustrated about feelings that I have, a negative headspace I can’t seem to shake, and the fact that I’ve been stuck on one movement for the past week and can’t seem to hit it like I usually do.
But then I climbed a mountain today.
Not figuratively, like, I literally went for a snowy hike with my best friend and made it to the summit of a mountain and saw the light.
There were steeper parts of the hike that were hard to climb and made my heart beat fast and there were icy parts of the path that were almost impassable– but then in about an hour we were sitting on top of this mountain, sipping on Kill Cliffs, and surrounded by something out of a movie. We had one of those, “Is this real life?” moments and I was so thankful.
This could be the most cliché analogy to life or self-love, but today, I got it. There is something incredible about reaching the summit of something after fighting to get there. So fight for it.
Be fierce, but be flexible, because it’s okay to have a bad day, too.
What I will leave you with is this:
A reminder to be fortuitous when fostering an attitude for gratitude towards yourself and all things. When you foster gratitude for the things that are important to you, (YOU BEING ONE OF THEM)– you will find that your daily intentions will become more pure and the challenges you face in loving yourself will be easier to navigate.
You are light. You are love.
Fill yourself up.