Monthly Archives: October 2016
Monthly Archives: October 2016
It happens like clock work. I become inspired to get healthy. Things go pretty well. Maybe I have more energy, or lose a bit of weight. I might even get a few compliments. And then, it's weird. I reach a certain point and a trigger goes off. Maybe the trigger is a stressful day. Or lack of planning. Or being tired. And then I find myself with a packet of crisps in my hand eating them like I'm a kid who's found the lolly jar and about to get caught. I don't take a dainty nibble. I eat them all. Then I feel derailed and angry at the seemingly senseless nature of my behaviour.
It's not just limited to junk food either. It can be a study schedule in my naturopathy degree. Or progressing in my career. Or an exercise plan. Anything at all. Things go well for so long and then I make choices that are off point and sometimes detrimental.
Why would someone who is all about self love and resilience even admit to this? And why would this happen?
I admit to it because it's a part of self love. When we truly love someone we love all of them unconditionally... and that includes ourselves. Gay Hendricks writes about our "upper limits" in his brilliant book, The Big Leap . You see, we all have an upper limit. We all reach a point of progress in our lives that triggers the need for self sabotage. Obviously as we become healthier in terms of self love, our upper limit expands and we allow ourselves more happiness and success.
So this brings me to the questions - what is there to love about self sabotage?! How on earth, when I find myself standing in the pantry foraging for MSG-flavoured crisps, can I love myself in that moment? And whatever your sabotage story looks like - how can you love your sabotage and your self in the midst of what feels like failure?
Sabotage shows us our limits. It is our teacher and our friend.
That's right folks. You know that teacher who finally helped you get your head around algebra? And that friend who very kindly told you that yes, your bum does look big in that.... the same way you love them, love sabotage. It is pointing something out to you. It is teaching you. You may not want to hear the lesson, but it loves you so much it will teach you anyway. Now when I find myself with a face full of potato, I ask myself,
The answers always point me to growth and the next step in my development. Try for yourself next time you find yourself in sabotage, and let me know what lessons are given to you.
Everything that isn't love, is a call for love
One of my favourite teachers, Marianne Williamson, in her book A Return To Love, shows us that our spiritual growth requires us to see all behaviour (others' and our own) as either love or a call for love. I'm no guru, but I would say inhaling deep fried carbs falls into the latter category.
From this perspective it is easy to reframe my self sabotage as a call for love from myself not a reason to hate on myself. In fact, heaping criticism on myself in these moments only pulls me further from where I want to be.
Now, once I have seen the lesson in the moment, I make a shift from sabotage to self love. I invite you to try the same. I ask myself,
If you're finding yourself in self sabotage, just take a breath and be kind to yourself my friend. Chances are, you've just discovered your call for love. Answer it.
I'd love to hear from you - how do you nurture yourself and grow from self sabotage? Which of the suggestions above speak to you?
If you'd like to develop a bit more kindness to yourself, I invite you to receive my free guide, 7 Steps to Self Love.
NB. All books linked on this website are affiliate links. I only link to books that absolutely rock my world.
In popular media, self care has become synonymous with extensive rituals - long baths, elaborate meals with exotic (read: hard-to-find) ingredients, meditating while staring exotically out to sea.
It's become another impossible ideal we can't hope to live up to. Somehow we feel like failures in self care and self love. Like so many other areas of our life, somewhere along the line we became all-or-nothing about it. So since we believe we don't have time, we give it up and just try to keep all those other balls we're juggling up in the air.
My whole adult life, I have been curious about the world of self development and spirituality. I devoured books written by wise teachers. The problems was, there were so many teachers, and they each had a practice I was meant to find time for. In the end, I felt like I was failing at spirituality if i didn't find time (and not just a few minutes, half an hour or more) for meditation, stream of consciousness journalling, gratitude journals, affirmations, yoga, mindfulness, exercise, creativity, prayer, visualisation, forgiveness work, chakra clearing, crystals, energy healing, positive thinking..... I think you can understand why I ended up feeling more overwhelmed and hopeless than inspired.
I think the answer lies not in giving up our jobs and responsibilities and relationships to sit in meditation, but rather to find the balance in self love, and the time for the self care activities that will make all the difference. In this, as in everything, being gentle with ourselves is key. I offer you 3 steps to consider:
1. Clear some space in your schedule and your life. It's not just our closets that can use a declutter from time to time. Our schedules can clog up faster than a share house toilet and the idea of adding in another thing - even something that promises to bring a sense of peace, like meditation - feels way too overwhelming. For help in clearing your schedule, look here.
2. Notice any all-or-nothing thinking you have towards adding self caring activities. Don't overwhelm yourself with the largest ideal you feel you can't obtain, such as meditating for an hour per day. Instead, try the opposite. What is the smallest you can make this new task? Try meditating for one minute. If you're trying to exercise, try just moving to one song. If you'd like to be healthier, just choose one thing to add to your routine. You might start your day with lemon in hot water, as I do. Habits become workable when they develop in increments.
3. Optimise your existing opportunities. At first glance you may feel like your schedule is too full to add new activities. But I bet there are at least some tasks that fill your week that you don't need your full attention for. For example, your commute to work, showering, housework, exercise, and my favourite - insomnia! How can you use these hidden opportunities to be more self caring? Try any of the following: use your commute to listen to inspirational teaching, when showering practice your body acceptance, housework is a great time for a mindfulness practice, while exercising repeat your affirmations and if you're lying awake at night, meditate!
The most important thing is not to give up on self care as something you don't have time for, and allow yourself the grace to fit it in so that it works in your life. Sometimes allowing ourselves to be "imperfect" is the most self loving thing of all.
I'd love to hear from you. Do you find yourself being too hard on yourself when it comes to self care? Which of these tips will you be implementing in your life?