You, yes YOU, need your own love. I started wearing this ring 3 years ago as of yesterday. 🙂 I gifted it to myself! To remind me to live life with an open heart and mind. It’s an infinite chain of hearts, which to me, means love is infinite. Love is unbreakable and all of the world is made of it. Darkness and hate do not exist; they’re merely (sometimes severe) absences of light and love. How do we fix anything, do anything, become anything? With love.
Want to lose weight? Maybe you’ve tried crash diets, extreme work outs, juice cleanses, or any one of the myriad of options out there claiming to get you quick results. You likely gave it your best effort, but the results didn’t stick. Why? Examine what’s really motivating your actions. If you’re trying to fit in, to be more accepted by others, to look better on social media, then you’re pursuing a goal for external reasons and from a place of lack and scarcity. You’re trying to brute force your way into a change. Change itself can be very challenging, for me anyway. Why make it harder than it needs to be? Consider pursuing a goal for internal reasons, driven by your own inner voice, and from a place of abundance and self love.
Instead of punishing your body with terrible workouts, you could try a different approach. You could love yourself. Love your body enough to give it an opportunity to PLAY! Little kids are constantly playing and being active. Going to the gym doesn’t have to be torture. You could view exercise as allowing your body to do what it was built to do: help you live your life. Strengthen yourself so that if you want to go on a hike, play a game of catch, or run along the waves at the beach, you CAN. Instead of guilting yourself into eating bland, tasteless, “healthy” food, you could try a different approach. You could love yourself. Love your body enough to give it an opportunity to enjoy this lifeblood of food and nutrition! You could teach yourself how to cook (I’m right there with you!). You could gift yourself the chance to learn about where your food comes from. You could visit the local farmer’s market and savor all of the smells, colors, and flavors available to us, lovingly grown by local farmers. I recently watched and read some very interesting and thought-provoking documentaries and books about the food industry that are now making me think about what I’m eating.
Want to express more creativity? Maybe you’ve started some projects and abandoned others. You likely bought some art supplies, dabbled in it here and there, promised yourself to do it more often, but the supplies are now collecting dust. Instead of berating yourself for “wasting money,” you could try a different approach. You could love yourself. Love your mind and soul enough to give them an outlet and an opportunity to shine in this world. Only YOU have your mind and heart! No one has ever, currently has, or will ever again have YOUR unique spirit. Our world needs YOU to shine your own gorgeous light! You could make time once a week to do something creative, no matter how big or small. Doodle on your dinner napkin like you did as a child. Buy a pretty journal and write a paragraph every few days. Snap a picture of something that catches your eye throughout the day. Slowly increase the frequency and depth with which you let out your spirit. Having recently started this blog, I’m still playing with how short/long I want my posts to be; here’s another chance to show myself what I can do.
I could come up with more examples, but these are the two that are most present in my life at the moment, and I think many people may be able to relate to these endeavors. I strongly believe that becoming our best selves takes effort, dedication, strength, and persistence. However, I also believe that our words are powerful. Slightly shifting a thought from “I have to go to the gym” to “I get to move my body and grow stronger” makes things more tolerable, more enjoyable, and more likely that we’ll stick with this new action. There’s a difference between brute forcing yourself and lovingly encouraging yourself along the way on your journey. Don’t spend so much energy fighting the old; focus your energy on building the new and pursuing what you WANT. I’m not saying to slap a positivity mask on life and pretend everything is okay. Instead, I encourage you and remind myself to live with realistic optimism.
Do you ever catch yourself spinning in negative spirals? Telling yourself you can’t do something, won’t ever be able to do it, and might as well never give it a shot? The next time this happens to you, take a step back. If a friend were saying this to you, you wouldn’t tolerate it! Or if someone were saying those things to your best friend, you would stand up for him/her! Why do we allow our own minds to berate us? Let’s put an end to this. Just catch yourself when it happens. Take a deep breath. And do your best to turn the script around. Sometime earlier this year I realized that I talk more lovingly to my boyfriend than I do to myself! I support him, encourage him, and do my best to love him unconditionally. Shouldn’t I love myself at least as much as (and probably MORE than!) I love him?! I’m growing in this area. What would you tell your best friend or lover when they’re trying something new and seemingly scary? How would you coach a little kid trying a new sport for the first time? We don’t yell at babies for falling down when learning how to walk. Yet it is somehow acceptable to get down on ourselves when we fall down as adults. You could love yourself by becoming your OWN best friend and biggest cheerleader.
This ring is my constant visual reminder to love myself and to love the universe. I’ll point the hearts inwards towards myself when I feel that I need that little extra boost of self-encouragement. I’ll point the hearts outwards towards the universe when I feel that I can be of service and give more of myself in this moment. Lately, I’ve been switching it from my right to my left hand and vice versa whenever I catch myself having unloving or self-judgmental thoughts. Hopefully I’ll
have get to move it less and less as I grow my mental muscles in this area!
My infinite hearts ring has been filled with sunscreen, dunked in the salty ocean waves, scraped against the barbell, dunked in bags/buckets of climbing/lifting chalk, and crusted over with paint. Even through all that dirt, growth, and effort, here my ring still stands. Our own hearts have been through their own traumas and triumphs, and here we still stand. We are tougher, stronger, and more capable than we know. Let’s not settle for our old ways. How can you be your own best friend today and lovingly encourage yourself to grow? We can go farther and unleash our true selves a little more and more each day from a place of self love.