A Lesson in Self-Love



Woman_Enjoying_CoffeeThe other day my 12 year old daughter asked me who I love more: Her and her sister, or myself.

I had to pause for a minute, with the millions of appropriate responses running through my brain.

Is this a trick question?

If I say I love myself more, will she be offended? But if I say them, what lesson am I instilling? That we should always put ourselves second to others?  I took a deep breath and answered truthfully, “Of course, you two.” My daughter gave me a look of slight disappointment. “You know mommy,” she scolded, “You should really love yourself the most.” 

Deep sigh.

Indeed, she had been listening to the lesson I had been trying to impart, but I apparently I had not. It was true, I always put them first, followed by me, as a close second. 

As a woman, this is definitely a challenge, and as a parent, even more so. We know we would give the moon to our children if we could, or take a bullet, etc. [insert your favorite cliché here]. Many marriages and relationships suffer because children are placed first, sacrificing important intimacy with our spouses or significant others.

lovely_flowersThe truth is self-love is the ultimate first. If you can’t learn to love yourself the most, how can you expect your children to love themselves first? I’ve told myself this truth over and over again, but never truly let the fullness of in sink in, until now.

Raising daughters is challenging on so many levels, especially in the sense that I don’t want my girls to make the same mistakes I did, or suffer any self-esteem issues that so many young girls face.

I finally had to face the reality that no matter how hard I may try, I cannot protect them from the world. In fact, I would be doing them a disservice, and at the same time shielding them from developing their own strengths.

So many adults, myself included, deal with self-judgment, negative self-talk and doubt on a daily bases. If we want our children to learn to love themselves, then we must model it for them first and foremost. I truly love the beautiful lessons my children teach me. We no longer live in a world where the parents always are right even when they are wrong. It’s ok to be called on our shit by our kids from time to time, even if they don’t realize how profound their words can be.

Pastel HeartThe lesson in all of this is simply: learn to love yourself. I know it sounds like a broken record (or as my youngest calls it, an old-timey CD player), but learning to love and honor yourself is the only thing you can do before you can truly love others, even your children.

My 12 year old wrote this poem for a school project, but her ulterior motive was to give encouragement to her little sister, who was feeling down about herself at the time. I wanted to honor my lovely and wise tween and share her poem here:

 

You Are Wonderful

by Isabelle Atha

Life is full of ups and downs.
It’s like a rollercoaster.
But, no matter how much life shoots you down, just stay positive.
People will say “you can’t” or “you won’t”
Well, you are full of potential and you can.
In your lifetime, people will deny your ideas, call you names, and make fun of you.
Those people are just jealous of you.
If you let these mean and hurtful comments get to you, you’ll start to think “I can’t or “I’m dumb.”
You are extremely capable and smart.
However, here are some things you aren’t:
You aren’t worthless, you aren’t the worst person in the world, and you aren’t hated.
You are an amazingly talented and kind human being.

                         

There is no time like the present to start this work. With the full moon approaching tomorrow (July 1st), check out this great blog from the gifted astrologist, Cindy Morris, on how to use this energy to tap into loving yourself.

And finally, my last words on the matter (as I often need to hear them myself): Be ever so kind, gentle and compassionate with yourself.

 

Feng Shui for Love and Romance



Rain with hearts illustration Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday, in that it inspires a range of emotions and opinions.

For some, it’s a romantic and exciting day filled with love and affection.  For others, it’s a bitter reminder of being alone or unable to live up to unrealistic expectations created by Hallmark.  And sometimes the day is just about making cut-out boxes with glitter and heart-shaped confetti.

Whether you’re a believer or not, it’s difficult to avoid all the hearts, flowers, pink and chocolate popping up in the stores.  Whatever your plans may be for celebrating (or not), I thought I’d share some suggestions for applying feng shui to support your current relationship—or help attract a new one into your life.

Whether you are single, dating or married,
all of these techniques can be used to feng shui your space
for love and romance.

The love and romance area of your home is in the back-right corner (as you face it when entering the front door).  While this area of your home is relevant to relationships, it’s also important to look at your bedroom, regardless of its location in your home.  Your bedroom is your sanctuary for sleep and connecting with your partner intimately; and that is all it should be.  A desk, treadmill and even a TV can detract from the true purpose of your bedroom, causing restless sleep or straining intimacy.  Below are some ideas for sprucing up your bedroom for love and romance.  Be sure to focus on that particular area of the bedroom as well, which is the back-right corner (again, as you face it when entering the bedroom door).

  • Couple on bench in snow imageUse decor with the colors pink, red, peach or white.
  • Bring in fresh flowers (or silk ones) using these same colors.
  • Decorate with paired items.  Even if you sleep alone, think of “couples,” as with two lamps, two night stands, two pillows, two candles, etc.
  • Hang artwork that’s sensual, represents love or couples or depicts flowers, especially in pinks, reds and white.  The bedroom is not the place for heavy, intense or depressing artwork.
  • If attached to the bedroom, keep the bathroom door closed.  (If the bathroom opens up to the bedroom with no door, consider hanging a curtain for a divider.)
  • In the case of a TV that you absolutely can’t part with it, cover it when not in use (such as with a piece of hemmed fabric).
  • Remove exercise equipment and desks or anything else used for office-type work or business.
  • Create soft lighting and/or use candles.

Of course, however you feel or whatever you think about Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to be in a relationship to enjoy the day.  Perhaps you’re not desiring a romantic relationship at all.  Regardless of where you are, who you are with or where you want to be, make this week about loving and taking good care of yourself.  Do something special and nurturing just for you.

If you would like more ideas on how to feng shui your bedroom—or any other areas of your home or office—please contact me.

 

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