Category Archives: Body Love

Listening to Your Body’s Wisdom

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

As I shared with you last week, I was recently diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. This has been a journey my body and I have been taking for several years together. It seems that around this time of year every year (the beginning of the Fall season for those of us in the Northern hemisphere), I end up back in this place. Why? There are a number of reasons why I think I am vulnerable to adrenal fatigue in the Fall. The frenetic energy of going back to school, my birthday (another turning of the Wheel of the Year for me), fire season for those of us in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, seasonal changes that mark a 40-50 degree fluctuation in temperatures each day (freezing temps at night, 70 degrees by 3pm), and the anniversary of my father’s death all can contribute to a sense of disenchantment or dis-ease at this time of year.

Yet, I had an aha moment last week when I realized that while these events/anniversaries may make me more vulnerable to illness, it has been my own choices to ignore my body’s wisdom that has led to this repeated pattern of adrenal fatigue. Just when my body tells me it is time to begin turning inward and preparing for the Fall harvest and the coming Winter, my job responsibilities are ramping up, demanding longer hours, more do-ing and less be-ing. Rather than heeding my body’s wisdom, I keep pushing until I can’t push anymore. Pushing leads to stress leads to burnout leads to adrenal fatigue. As painful as it was to realize that I was 100% responsible for my adrenal fatigue, this level of ownership is also freeing. I can make different choices. I can take more time off for me to rest and recover. I can make the choice to do things differently next year so I don’t wind up back in the land of adrenal fatigue again next Fall.

I’m not saying this will be easy. Awareness of the problem is only the first step of the healing journey, after all. But now I have the opportunity to explore what my body has been trying to tell me all along: you have too much on your plate; it’s time to re-assess your roles, responsibilities and obligations and shovel some of them off. Fall is the perfect season for doing this type of work (although, if you are finding yourself exhausted, depleted, fed up, resentful, etc., anytime is a good time to do this work!). In today’s podcast, I am going to talk about listening to your body’s wisdom. If you’ve been dissociated or ignoring your body’s signs and symptoms for too long, this is your chance to learn how to tune in. I hope it serves you.

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What Does It Mean to Love Yourself?

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

I was tagged in a Facebook post the other day. One of the women who participated in The Well-Nourished Goddess telesummit wanted me to answer a question posed in one of her other groups about what self-love is and how you go about actually doing it.

I love this question for a number of reasons:

  1. Self-love is something that many of us struggle with (enter feelings of not enoughness and our inner critic in whatever form she's decided to show up in at this moment).
  2. I love that more and more women are talking about this topic and being vulnerable about their own struggles – I think when we are vulnerable in places and with people that we feel safe, we give others permission to do the same. 
  3. My definition of self-love keeps changing, evolving, deepening – and that Facebook post challenged me to examine my own definition of self-love and my self-loving actions lately. 

When I first started my own journey back to self-love, I had just gotten divorced, turned 40, broken my heel for the second time in a year, and admitted I'd had an eating disorder for two decades. Can anyone say “uphill battle?” 🙂

A friend of mine had given me Christine Arylo's book Madly in Love with Me a few years prior and I used the definition of self-love Christine gave in her book as my anchor as I slowly started to climb my way back to self-love. While I still think it was a great place for me to start my journey and helped me immensely, at some point along the way, I realized that I needed my own definition of self-love. Rather than using someone’s “prescription” for getting back to self-love, I needed to create my own path. So I started to play with that definition of self-love and what it truly meant for me.

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti”

I realized over the years that, rather than trying to come up with a textbook-sounding definition, for me, self-love needed to be more about my actions (how I spoke to and about myself, how I treated myself and allowed others to treat me) than about the way I tried to describe self-love and what it meant. So instead of a definition, I offer you this: a manifesto on what it means for me to be a self-loving woman (and yes, if you ask me again in a year, things may have changed slightly and that's okay).

A self-loving woman (in no particular order):

  • Listens to her body and gives it what it needs
  • Speaks kindly to herself and about herself
  • Puts her own health/sanity/self-care at the top of her priority list because she realizes that she can’t be of service if she’s depleted
  • Finds her own best harmony/balance in time spent in work, her various roles and obligations, play, relaxation, fun, and self-care
  • Is grateful for what she has
  • Is joyful because she makes being joy-full a priority
  • Walks her own unique path of purpose – she lives on purpose, speaks on purpose, and makes decisions on purpose that feel in alignment with her Soul
  • Is mindful of how she treats herself and others
  • Asks for help and support when she needs it and allows herself to receive it
  • Goes for her dreams because she knows that: 1) they matter and 2) we need her unique gifts in the world and we need her to show up and be herself
  • Takes exquisite care of herself and makes sure her needs are getting met consistently
  • Is truly grateful for all of the unique experiences her life brings her, even the ones that are challenging because she knows that with challenge comes growth
  • Stands in her power and speaks her truth with gracious, but firm conviction
  • Makes sure she feels grounded and rooted in her life and knows how to get back to that place when she gets knocked off course by life’s little mishaps
  • Is able to find stillness and calmness at her center no matter what is going on outside because she has learned to be her own pillar of strength
  • Is happy with who she is
  • Shows up for herself because she knows she is absolutely worth it!
  • Respects herself, her judgement and her values, and expects that same respect from those she is in relationship with or she removes herself from those disrespectful or toxic relationships/ situations
  • Accepts that she will make mistakes, but doesn’t beat herself up over them
  • Loves and accepts herself, even when she feels like she’s made a “mis-take” because she’s learned the art of self-forgiveness and knows that with each of life’s little lessons, she learns
  • Shows herself the same love and compassion that she would show her best friend/child/loved one because she’s realized that, like everyone else, she is only human – perfectly imperfect just the way she is

Am I “perfect” at the things on this list? Of course not (see “Accepts that she will make mistakes, but doesn’t beat herself up over them” – sometimes the reality is that is more of a “try really hard not to beat myself up over them” – I’m only human!). But this gives me something to strive for and reminds me that I am worth taking exquisite care of because I am worthy of my own love as much as anyone else is. It also reminds me that it’s ultimately up to me to make sure I am getting my needs met.

What does being a self-loving woman mean to you? I’d love to find out! Let me know in the comments below.

If you are not sure where to begin and need a little help returning to a place of self-love as you figure out what self-love means to you, feel free to check out my ecourse Learn to Love Yourself Again. You can do this. You are so worth it!

 

 

Making Time for Self-Care

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

One of the themes that has been coming in up in my tribe lately is the idea of feeling guilty for taking time for you. Many women want to take better care of themselves, and at some level know they need to, but they keep bumping up again two things: 1) lack of time, and 2) feeling guilty for taking time for them/taking time away from other priorities to take care of themselves.

I’ve been there. And, truth be told, sometimes I still struggle with this. But, I’ve learned two things along the way: 1) if I don’t take care of me, I can’t truly show up for others (even if I can, I will at some point end up feeling bitter and resentful and that is called sacrifice/martyrdom, not being of service), and 2) if serving/showing up for others doesn’t make me happy, then all I am really doing is depleting myself – the fast path to burnout and, again, not being able to be of service.

In today’s podcast, I talk about the “markers”/reflection questions I use to decide how to balance self-care with service. I hope it serves you.

 

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Dealing with Your Inner People Pleaser

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Last Fall, I found myself facing one of my most difficult semesters. Yes, I had a few challenging students at the time, but they weren't the culprit: I was. You see, I had said “yes” to too many things and was finding myself feeling bitter, resentful, overworked, depleted, and, quite frankly, exhausted. 

This year, I promised myself I wouldn't over-commit again. And yet, I did. Not as bad as last Fall, but I certainly am feeling a little depleted right now.

As we approach the seasonal shift (Summer to Fall in the Northern hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern), I feel that now is the perfect time to re-evaluate what we've got on our plates. But that means, you're probably going to run up against your inner people pleaser/ inner critic. In today's podcast episode, I talk about how I deal with my inner people pleaser and how I learned to say “no.” I hope it serves you. 


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If you want more, I invite you to join me for The Well-Nourished Goddess telesummit – 21 experts getting real about how they deal with their own inner critics and make time for themselves when they have so much on their plates. 

Learning to Love Yourself Like It’s Your Job

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I've been reading Danielle LaPorte's new book White Hot Truth. In it, she has a chapter entitled, Love Yourself Like It's Your Job. I thought to myself, “what a great way to put it.” 

On my journey back to self-love and body love, I have learned that loving myself needs to be up there on the priority list – preferably in the first spot. Why? Because: 1) it's my job to make sure I get my needs met and 2) I cannot serve from my reserves or I get really [sick/ depleted/ exhausted/ angry/ bitter/ resentful/ insert word or emotion that describes you when you've been over-doing and over-giving]. 

That is why I am so excited about today's podcast episode, where I talk a little bit more about my journey back to self-love. It is a journey, a path that I am continually refining. I hope it serves you.

If you want more self-love and body love, I invite you to join The Well-Nourished Goddess on-line event. You can sign up here: http://TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

 

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I’m Asking You to Show Up for Yourself

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Dear beautiful, fabulous, wonderfully–talented goddess,

I have a question for you:

I know that you're busy. I know that life sometimes feels a bit overwhelming. I know that you have so many roles, responsibilities, and obligations. I know that sometimes you just wish you could run away from your life. I know that sometimes you doubt whether you're good enough to handle it all or good (insert appropriate inner mean girl rant) enough period.

I know the days/weeks/sometimes months go by before you even start to consider your own needs. I know that sometimes you skip meals and forget to eat because you're just that busy, or maybe sometimes at the end of a really long day, you dive headfirst into the Ben & Jerry's ice cream just because it seems like a good idea and it seems like a comfort. I know that sometimes you wish you could just have more control over your life, or just fewer things on your to do list. 

I know that sometimes you just wish you didn’t have to be the one who has to take care of everything and everyone. I know that you dream of vacationing to exotic destinations and, maybe sometimes, dream of what it might be like to just run away and stay there and have someone take care of your every need for a change.

Here's what I want you to know: you are beautiful and wonderful and absolutely perfectly imperfect just the way you are. I wish that you could see yourself as I see you, rather than judging the woman in the mirror yet again. But I know that you don't always see things that way. Sometimes you see yourself as flawed, broken, or needing fixing. Sometimes you just wish it was your turn to catch a break, a good night’s sleep, or whatever it is that your heart desires. And I know that sometimes you feel like that's never going to happen.

I'm here today because I have a favor to ask of you. It's a favor for me and, really, for you. Here's what I know: you are absolutely worthy of your own time, your own care, your own nurturing, and that your dreams do matter. So for today, and preferably all of your days, 

I'm asking you to take care of yourself and fill your own cup before you fill everybody else's. I'm asking for you to just once put yourself first. Because here's the deal: if you don't take care of yourself and put you first, you won't be able to show up for all those that you serve. Your kids need you, your parents need you, your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, family, friends, clients, and colleagues need you. We all need you. But we need you to be you – not the drained, depleted, overspent version of you. We need you to be the best version of you. No  – I'm not judging you for not showing up for yourself. I'm writing this to myself as much as anyone else.

But I want to you consider this question: What would life be like if you started living that way – serving from your overflow and not from your reserves? How would you be better able to show up for yourself and for others?

Here's the deal: you have permission to be who you are. And here’s my wish for you: one of these days, maybe not today, I hope that you're in a place where you are finally ready. You're ready to claim you – all parts of you – no matter what you actually think about those parts – good, bad, indifferent. Because when you can do this, when you can learn to claim, accept, love you for who you are just as you are right now in this moment, then you have conquered the last frontier. Nothing can hold you back. Because you see, once you realize you're the one that's been holding you back all this time, you're free.

So I'm asking you to show up for yourself. Five, 10, 15 minutes a day. (Check out today’s video for some ideas on how to do this.) Try it and you’ll realize the feeling of showing up for you is addicting. And may I repeat: you’re worth it.

If you are ready to show up for you, I invite you to join us for The Well-Nourished Goddess: The Art of Sacred Self-Care. 21 experts all talking about how they show up for themselves on a daily basis despite their responsibilities. We would love to see you there. You can join us here:  TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

What Has Been the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned on Your Healing Journey?

By | Body Love, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

I recently had a client ask me about the most important lesson I've learned on my journey to reclaiming body love and healing my eating disorder. This was a tough one that I had to give some thought. 

But what it came down to was this: my journey to developing an eating disorder started when I found out I had endometriosis and couldn't have children. Thus, my eating disorder was a form of self-punishment. I developed an eating disorder, in part, because I blamed myself for my infertility. Because I blamed myself, I didn't see myself as a loveable person so I wasn't taking care of myself or my body. In today's podcast, I walk you through the biggest lesson I've learned and the steps I took to start loving and taking care of me again. I hope it serves you.

 

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Sticky Note Challenge!

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Yellow  leaf of a reminder on a white background

In honor of September, my birthday month, I always like to do something for you to give back. This year, I'm doing 2 things:

  1. I am bringing back the sticky note challenge
  2. I am hosting The Well-Nourished Goddess Online Event

Why? Because the most frequent questions I get asked are: 1) how do you learn to love and accept yourself, and 2) how do you make time for yourself in your busy day so that you don't feel stressed/overwhelmed/exhausted/depleted and can actually show up for your loved ones from a place of love and gratitude rather than bitterness and resentment? The sticky note challenge should help with the former and the telesummit, the latter of those two.

One of the first things I started doing on my journey back to self-love and body love was the sticky note challenge. Will it solve all of your problems? No. But these simple little sticky notes will make a huge difference.

Have you ever heard of Operation Beautiful? The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find – notes that would brighten their day. Something like, “You are Beautiful.”

I want to use this idea to create sticky notes for ourselves. Why? Because brain science research indicates that negative messages are perceived as 5 times more powerful than positive ones by our brains. So we need to surround ourselves with positivity to survive day-to-day life!

For the next month, I challenge you to make a different sticky note each day. Ideally you would make several sticky notes that contain that phrase each day and put them places where you (and others) will see them. Places like your wallet, purse, office cubicle, stairwell, bathroom, a random aisle at Walmart, etc. As a psychologist, I know that the more we see certain messages, the more we start to believe them. So these notes will have a dual purpose: they’ll help you feel better about yourself and they will help others feel better about themselves as well.

Here are the rules:

  1. head over to my Facebook page or my Well-Nourished Goddess free Facebook group to find the sticky note of the day or just look on the blog under the Category Goddess Inspirations or the September 2016 archive (feel free to create your own inspirational messages if what I posted doesn't resonate with you)
  2. write out your own sticky note and put it where you can see it during the day 
  3. write out sticky notes for others and let them be surprised when they find them, and
  4. take a picture of your sticky notes and share them on social media with the hashtag #stickynotechallenge

I love sticky note month!

Explore Your Passion and Purpose and Reclaim Body Love

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments


Reclaiming Body Love can sometimes feel overwhelming. I get that. A listener recently asked me to share my top 3 tips/things I needed to do to reclaim body love. This was challenging, but I managed to narrow it down to three!

  1. I had to stop the comparison game – for me, this meant enacting a media ban and shying away from people and situations that I knew would trigger me for a while. I also had to replace my negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
  2. I had to focus on why I am here – big picture Life Purpose stuff – rather than on the things I didn't like about myself or my body.
  3. I had to learn to love and accept all of me for who I was.

 

In today's podcast, I walk you through all three of these steps. If you want help on #2, I invite you to join my 5-Day Explore Your Passion and Purpose challenge. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWellNourishedGoddess/ 

Stay tuned for more on #3 next week!

 

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