One of my beautiful tribe asked how could she light herself up or practice more self-love and self-care when she felt so down and in a world of darkness?
I initially felt really fraudulent and had no idea how to answer, or even how to help her. I’ve been staying out late most nights this week, drinking wine every day, eating heaps of crap, not meditating, not exercising and generally not doing all the usual ‘life admin’ hoopla that I like to bang on about.
I’ve struggled in private with bouts of anxiety and depression for years. I tried to mask it by keeping myself really distracted and being ‘busy’ all the time – I overworked, dated for sport and got really loose on the weekends. Through a combination of spiritual practice, therapy, yoga and meditation I was able to heal the ‘broken’ and ‘lonely’ parts of myself and realise the power, depth and happiness that existed within me.
One of my earliest exercises when I first met my Spiritual Teachers was to watch my thoughts – that was it – I had to tune in a listen to the stuff I kept telling myself. All I heard was:
“You’re not smart enough”
“You’re not capable enough”
“You’re just not good enough”
“You don’t have enough”
Blah, blah, blah. If any of my friends spoke to me like that they simply wouldn’t be in my life. I would delete their number and defriend them. So it’s little wonder that I had the sads, my thoughts were a mess and I was just being so hard on myself.
We all have this voice of comparison that keeps us on the pendulum swing of not being good enough or feeling better than others. We compare our life and achievements with our peers and feel inadequate if we don’t measure up or secretly chuffed if we do.
Self-love really starts with turning down the volume of the mean girl who lives in your head – the one who’s constantly berating, judging and putting you down. It isn’t just about what you eat or what you do and don’t do… although it can be expressed in your choices and actions.
I wish I had a solid answer, a 12 step program or a long checklist of light yourself up, feel good and get happy tricks and tips to offer her. The truth is that I don’t and I’m just doing the best I can with what I know.
At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
I’m always going to make mistakes, I’ll never be perfect and I’ll have weeks where I ignore all my good advice and break all my wonderful and supportive habits. Whatever, that’s life and sometimes you just need to roll with it. The truth is that I had a great time, I just feel a little bit dusty and lacklustre right now and I’m ok with that.
So lets throw it out there – How do you practise self-love, care and get lit up? Share with me in the comments below.