This is Part 2 of the ABC of what helps me to love and nurture myself – or remember to love and nurture myself – every day.
Join a group
Joining a group or a club can help you with your image of yourself. You meet new people and you can have a lot of fun. Being happy makes you happier with how you look. So check out groups and clubs in your area and experiment!
Know that you are always good enough
Yes you are! Good enough, beautiful enough, intelligent enough, brave enough, strong enough, young enough, sexy enough, mature enough to do everything you want to do, regardless of the naysayers and those who try to put you down!
Let go of your past.
Why do you keep dragging your past along with you? Let it stay where it deserve to stay: in the past! You may have been something else in the past – thinner, funnier, more athletic, braver – but now you are a different person. Keep the lessons your past has taught you and let go of the anger, pain, fear, envy, grief, shame you experienced in the past: you don’t need them now! And remember, you are beautiful as you are, RIGHT NOW!
When I suggest meditation to my coaching clients I see it puts many of them off and it does not need to. Meditation is often associated to religion. True, it is often practiced by various spiritual traditions. However, meditation is non-sectarian and non-religious. It’s basically a mental exercise that has been tested by clinical science time and time again and whose benefits have been demonstrated by scientific research. It doesn’t have to be religious, it can just be a way of reconnecting yourself to the present moment.
So make time for it in your life and make it a priority.
Never say never.
“I will never …” I hear these words again and again – I must confess that I hear the same words from myself during my “down” moments. Let’s take these words out of our vocabulary! Do you realize that the only obstacle we have is our rational mind? Who said that you cannot start afresh, a new career, a new business, a new relationship, a new routine, a new hobby at your age? There are so many examples of men and women who had successful new beginnings in their 50s and 60s and even older! The obstacles are only in our mind, and – with some practice – you can learn to control our mind. If you believe you can change or do something, you can. Never say never.
Open up to change and to the unknown
Scary, isn’t it? We are so attached to habits, routines and plans we get terrified at the suggestion of embracing mystery and going with the flow. Try it every now and then: it is invigorating and adds delight, excitement and joy to your life!
Put on your best outfit
I used to get up on Monday mornings and think. “Oh God, it’s Monday again”. Sometimes just a change of clothes may change your perspective so I stopped staying in my pyjamas or sweatpants all day when I am at home. I make an effort and I dress up – even jeans and a nice t-shirt can be an elegant outfit – and I feel a lot better about myself.
One warning: don’t dress to “attract a mate” or to impress other people. Wear things that you like. Make yourself happy!
Question your beliefs
Especially the beliefs about yourself. If you see yourself ugly, fat, tired, exhausted, not capable enough, too old..Is that really what you are? Remember: it’s all in your mind and your mind is really good at distorting your thoughts. Sometimes what you believe is not what is really there. Cultivate positive thoughts and replace the negative ones. Avoid focusing on the bad and try to keep a positive outlook.
Remember to make lists of reasons why you love yourself
You hate your hair, but your love your eyes. You hate your legs, but you love your hands. You hate your impatience, but you love the way you connect with people. Focus on the good parts and qualities of yourself and WRITE THEM DOWN. We are so quick to believe people when they say unkind and sometimes cruel things to or about us and we forget – or don’t pay attention – when we are told how amazing, beautiful, strong, capable, intelligent we are. This is because our self-doubt tends to exceed – and prevail over – self-love.
Make a list of the good parts and qualities about yourself, keep it where you can see it and read it often!
Stop judging yourself and others
If you judge others you also judge yourself. As Wayne Dyer said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” And when it comes to judging yourself, you are harsher than anyone around you. So stop it. There is absolutely no good reason to criticize yourself and other people in a harsh manner. You are all doing your best based on your life experiences. So love yourself and accept others as they are – it’s not always easy, I know, but keep trying! You will have a lot more energy and the world will love you too.
Throw away your scales and take a nice, relaxing bubble bath
Hide your scales, put them in a closet, don’t look at them. Since I stopped weighing, I feel much better and free. I don’t care how much I weigh, I just go by how I feel and how my clothing fits.
Pamper yourself regularly. A nice bubble bath is a way to give yourself some quality alone time. Place some fluffy towels in your bathroom, prepare something to wear when you get out of the bath, and arrange some candles in the bathroom for a soft relaxing light and a nice glow. Make sure the bath is not too hot or too cold. Turn on some relaxing music. And…enjoy.
Understand what could make your life easier…and do it
This could be anything from hiring an assistant – even part time – to buying a new computer or software to learning to say “no” more often. Whatever it is, search the options, get more information, practice it and, especially, do it.
Visualize your success
Success can have different meanings to different people, it can be personal or professional. However, without realizing it, we often sabotage our successes because we let our fears and our negative beliefs about ourselves to get in the way.
Studies have shown that visualizing yourself attaining your goal – presenting successfully at a conference, living in your dream home, being with your dream partner, etc. – actually helps you create the circumstances to reach that result in your real life.
It is worth trying, believe me.
Watch the words you say
Words are powerful and if you keep repeating them often, you start believing what you are saying. So make sure that what you say about yourself is really good. Get up in the morning and say to yourself: “Wow, I look great, no matter what!”
X….. I have a problem with finding a word starting with x
I tried my best to find a word for this section, but could not find it. So, let’s say that X stands for CROSS OUT. So cancel, get rid of junk thoughts as well as of things you don’t really need in your life. Get them out of the way and make space for new and better things.
Can you believe that yawing is great for your brain?
Neuroscientists have found that yawning has 12 benefits for the brain the sum of which increase our intellectual functioning and eliminate toxicity. It activates a specific area in the brain that is involved in consciousness, self-reflection and memory and regulates brain temperature and metabolism. In other words, it helps keeping our brain healthy. So let’s practice it, even if other people may think yawning in public is a sign of bad manners!
Zigzagging has its advantages
A straight path is not necessarily the best one, especially when you are climbing a steep slope. So don’t beat yourself whenever a new challenge appears in your life and you don’t immediately get the results you want. Challenges are lessons that we need to learn in order to grow and better understand what is good for us. This is why we proceed zigzagging along our life path, even when we are older. Enjoy the journey with all its ups and downs, left and right turns and bumps and be gentle with yourself, knowing that you are always experiencing what is best for you in that moment.
I hope this list was helpful for you. I printed it out and put it up where I can always see it in my house and office, to remind myself that I am the most important person in my life and I deserve to love myself unconditionally, because I am a queen, as India Arie sings in her song, no matter what! Happiness is a state of mind. Thinking positively about your appearance – no matter what you look like – and about your life – no matter what you do – regardless of what others think, is possible, but it’s entirely up to you…at any age!
To your prosperity and success