Monday, September 26, 2011

Live the Journey... Appreciate the Moments

 When I read Daylle's blog post. I thought, this is so very very true.  So many of us get caught up in the wait until I do this or that... or reach this milestone, or lose that pound, or make this much money... then I'll allow myself to be happy that we miss out on the juice and joy of life. Live now... appreciate the moments.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Below you will fine Daylle's writing and a link to her blog as well... enjoy...

 Make the Journey Your Goal

I do believe in setting goals. They help guide you to achieving what you’d like. Having them can keep you focused. But too often we make the end results the only thing that matters. That limits your pleasure and discounts what happens on the path to reaching them. Every little thing you do on the way to making your goals a reality is valuable and could be enjoyed if you pay attention.

The journey is actually the most important part of your accomplishments!

Enjoy the process of what you go through to get what you want. I had a long journey out of DoorMatville. Some of it was tough; most of it rewarding. All of it was necessary to get where I am today. With each new little milestone—each time I said “no” to what I didn’t want or each toxic person I permanently walked away from or each little loving thing I did for me—my joy increased.
Quite frankly, I was in awe of myself at times. After thinking so poorly of who I was, it was amazing to actually almost watch myself taking empowering steps. I refer to my growth as my journey into self. As I looked inside and decided I was worth making happy, change began. I had to give myself pep talks and sometimes use all my energy to maintain the patience needed to wait for the bigger changes. I’m grateful that I realized from the beginning the importance of enjoying the journey.
Have fun as you go!
Don’t wait till the end of journey to appreciate what you did. All the steps you put into making a goal happen should be relished. I often hear people say versions of “I won’t be happy until I finish____.” They see getting to goals as a struggle and are so focused on getting the brass ring that they don’t enjoy riding the carousel. Life goes on and on. Reaching a goal doesn’t stop that.
If you see life as a journey and each milestone and goal achieved as highlights of the journey—instead of the whole enchilada—you can enjoy your whole life more.
I have wonderful things going on. I’m writing a book I believe in. But I’m not waiting until it’s finished to revel in it. I love every second of the writing and actually feel let down when a book is done. That can happen when a goal is accomplished. Knowing you can continue on the lovely journey of your life helps make every day special. I’ll keep writing books! The thrill of going after what you want can be even better than getting it. You don’t need to go after an end to feel satisfied. Every day is part of your process and should be enjoyed!
When you focus on enjoying every minute of every day, life feels better every day. Enjoy your whole journey and life will take on a much better tone.

Make the Journey Your Goal - Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I strongly recommend reading more of Dayelle's writing...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who is Forgiveness Really For?

I used to think forgiving someone meant that you had to embrace that person. It doesn’t mean that at all. I don’t think it’s an emotional thing at all… I think it’s a decision. I used to think that it was saying… Oh it’s ok… to whatever nasty thing someone said of did… I don’t believe that any more either. It’s not saying the words or behavior are ok at all. I used to think that it was for the other person… I no longer believe that either. It’s for you. It’s to release you from the toxic situation. It releases you from anger. Forgiveness releases you from whatever hateful cyclical situation that is going on, or has gone on.

This is a bit different than when someone asks you to forgive them. The forgiveness I am speaking about is when you forgive someone without them asking. It’s not anything the other person needs to know about at all. This is something within yourself, releasing you from the situation. It also removes whatever power they have over you. Because when you refuse to forgive, you empower the person/persons/situation. You give them power over you.

Forgiving them Frees You!

Life is a Journey... Enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Friday, September 16, 2011

September is Still one of my Favorite Months

 Even with all the drama of this month. Actually the month started out pretty good. In spite of the dramatic shenanigans occurring near the end of August. Managed to make it to September 8th before the next emergency call to the hospital came in.

Major drama on August 30th. At least I think that was the night. I received the proverbial emergency end of life phone call. Both from mom's friend Iona and Golden Living. Mom was in dire straits with chest pain on her way to the emergency room. As usual trying to keep calm... not knowing whether this was my mother's last breaths or yet another panic attack or manipulation... or gas for that matter. I jumped into my truck and headed to the hospital.

Once I got there I found out that it actually was a good thing she ended up in the emergency room because she had put herself in danger with her contrary shenanigans. She is on some heavy duty diuretics and had been telling the nurses at Golden Living that she had been taking her potassium, but had in actuality been stashing most of it in some kind of a cup in her room. As a result of her nonsensical behavior she was dangerously low on potassium. The ER put her on a potassium/magnesium iv drip and got her levels back up to a safe level.

As for the complaint of chest pain which is what took her to the ER in the first place. The blood test showed no damage to her heart. This is a good thing.

Once I found that out I said good-by and headed to Wal-Mart to get supplies. I thought I had handled the stress of her threatening to die once again fairly well. Unfortunately it manifested itself in a full on gastric attack while I was in Wal-Mart. In between abdominal cramping and dashing to the restroom to keep from defecating in my clothing, I managed to get my supplies picked up climbed back into my 4 wheel drive pickup truck and headed back out to the ranch. I was massively relieved to be home when I drove down that last hillside to park my truck. Relieved and exhausted. Mom seemed to be ok, and I had managed to get home without messing in my clothing. So charming the way stress overload shows it’s self.

Mom was released back to Golden Living and life went on from there. We visited on the phone and all was supposedly well. I started to relax once again. Well sort of. Along the same time frame my cousin and I started finding our way to a speaking relationship... working towards friendship. Both of us have been caught up in the drama surrounding my mother for so long for a time it was better for both of us to have limited to no contact for a time. Sometimes it takes space and time for folks to regain balance after being caught up in continual stress overloads and adrenaline dumps. We have been sorting through some of the wreckage in our lives from over the past years trying to make some semblance of sense of it. This is a good thing but it is also a very emotional and highly stressful thing.

Meanwhile I was experimenting with limiting carbs in my food intake and starting the second month of workout goals. I had workout goals for August as well and had fallen short of where I wanted to be. There was some progress however. Not dramatic progress, but progress just the same.

September I started on another month long goal set. Walking on the incline trainer and doing turbo jam. I did pretty good the first week. Then pandemonium broke out once again. 2:39 in the morning of the 8th of September another emergency call from Golden Living came in. Once again it was chest pain, heart attack and threatened death. I love my mother so I got up trying to stay calm enough to drive to the hospital, 30 or so miles from my ranch. Deep breathing, and reciting the Serenity Prayer got me to the emergency room without a full on panic attack or truck wreck.

Mom looked pretty wretched when I got there. She was obviously afraid she was dying. The emergency room doctor turned out to be the same one that had treated her 10 days before. He drew blood to test for the enzymes indicating heart damage. There were none. He got in contact with her other doctors and they admmited her to the cardiac unit. I stayed with her for hours visiting, and she seem to improve dramatically. She was exhausted, but then she had been awake all night as well. Once she was ensconced in the cardiac unit they did a series of 3 tests to check for heart damage. All three came back negative. This is a good thing. It is also a very frustrating thing.

I'd managed to stay calm all the while I was in the ER waiting to see what was actually going on. When I found out she was in the clear I lost it. On the way out of the hospital the tears started and so did yet another gastric attack. There has got to be a better way to handle stress than what I am doing.... hence writing it out.

This cycle of behavior with my mother is not new. As I was trying to get home from the hospital with my guts churning, I was thinking about all the "medical emergencies" over the years. Wondering how many were actual medical emergencies, how many were panic attacks, and how many were outright manipulation. By the time I got home I was a combination of, relieved, tired, sad, and angry.

How many times has mom's own behavior put her health in jeopardy? Years back, 1978 actually, mom ended up partially paralyzed from a potassium deficiency. She was in the hospital and they were giving her heparin to dissolve a large blood clot in her thigh. All this time I thought it was the doctor's fault for not giving her potassium. Now I wonder, I remember her talking about sticking pills in a plant that was sitting on her night stand rather than taking them. I didn't think anything of it at the time, as she said they were pain pills. But, what if they were the potassium her body needed to continue functioning.

There have been so very many trips to the Emergency room, over the years, many with stays in the hospital afterwards. Mom called it a "silent" heart attack. I wonder now, how many of those emergencies were heart related, how many were panic attacks, and how many were abject manipulation. I wonder was she caught up in it unaware of what she was doing, or were her actions and words a cruel manipulation? Could my mother actually be capable of such cruelty? Are her cruel actions and words just happenstance, or are they deliberate.

There seems to be a crisis pattern related to behaviors or conflicts with others. But then again that could be circumstance, or it could be an actual linked pattern. I wonder just how much actual damage she has done to her body over the years with her various machinations. I wonder how many of her physical health issues are directly or indirectly related to her mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. Mind body and spirit are all interconnected what effects one tends to have a ripple effect across all three.

I started seeing these patterns years ago but refused to believe it. Onus on me for that one. It is true, I am very good at denial. There has been a pattern in my life as well, coinciding with the patterns running through mom's life. One of denial, frustration, capitulation, resentment, sadness, and rage. Intermixed with self destructive behaviors and long stretches of no emotions at all. Then Wham here come a tsunami of emotions, overrunning and overwhelming everything in their path.

This is not a good way to live. It is erratic, emotionally painful, extremely frustrating, and physically detrimental to my body's health. Not to mention mentally, and spiritually devastating. I choose to no longer live this way. However, I do choose to live. I seek balance, peace, and health in my life. I choose to get off the roller coaster of false responsibility and unrelenting guilt.

I am putting up the closed sign. I am no longer an emotional dumping ground for those that refuse take the responsibility for their own choices. By the way, refusing to make a choice is still a choice and you are still responsible for it; as well as being responsible for the consequences of said choices.

It's amazing to me how many people go through their lives blaming others for their own choices and the circumstances they have created themselves. Squirming, this way and that way trying to avoid the responsibility that is theirs.

Am I blaming my mother for the choices I've made in my life. I did for a while, but that is pointless. She may have been pulling shenanigans but I am still responsible for the choices I made. What is done is done, there is nothing I can do about that. What I can do is go on from here. I choose life. I choose to actually live the rest of my life rather than endure it.

Just as September is the end of a season where I live, from summer into cool crisp autumn, this is the end of a season in my life. I am moving on to the next, excited at the prospect. Is this the autumn of my life, perhaps, I am 51 years of age closing fast on 52. But then Autumn has always been my favorite season.

Life is a journey, how you travel is your choice.
Mary E. Robbins

May you have peace and joy in your soul.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

What are you saying to yourself?

Are you saying things to yourself that you would never say to another? There is a scripture verse that says to love others as you love yourself. I used to really stumble over that one. What if you don't love yourself? Does this mean you are supposed to love yourself?

Self love does not mean being selfish. These are two totally different things.

It is ok to actually love yourself.

I came across an article in that has some good things to say along these lines. I wanted to share it with you.  It follows below.

31 days of Self-Love

Learn to Love Yourself
While self-help books all advise building self-love in order tobe happy, a surprisingly low number of people truly love themselves. The good news is it's never too late to begin to love you. No matter how old you are or how low you feel about you, it's never too late! No matter how many people have made you feel like you don't deserve to love yourself, it's never too late!

An excellent way to begin to love yourself is to do something loving for you. When you treat yourself with kindness, it makes you feel good. The more you feel good, the more you want to treat yourself with kindness. Each loving act, however big or small, is a brick in the foundation of self-love.

Day 1: Raise Your Consciousness

Pay attention to how you treat yourself compared to how you treat your friends. Most self-love busters are habits that you can break when you become conscious of them. Habits are those automatic responses you use to respond to situations. You have the power to hurt yourself or make yourself feel better. Which do you prefer?

· To beat yourself up for a mistake or be forgiving.
· To take nasty things that people say personally or refuse to give their words credence.
· To stay in an unhappy relationship because you’re scared of being alone or to walk away because you deserve better.
· To be a DoorMat and ignore your own needs or to set boundaries so that your needs are met.

Etc! Self-love helps you go for the latter choices—the ones that are in your own best interests. Often your choice is the automatic one that you’ve always taken. Pay attention and start to think before you react in a negative situation. Try to take the more loving path, at least sometimes. If you keep your consciousness high you’ll eventually create healthier habits.

Day 2: Look for Love in the Right Places

We look for love from a romantic partner, friends, and family and then complain when we don’t feel loved. We chase love in many directions yet rarely feel fulfilled. Accept that being loved begins and ends with you! It’s hard to receive love if you don’t love yourself! People can say, “I love you,” and do nice things for you. But, if you don’t love yourself, it still won’t make you feel content inside on a long-term basis.

If you want love in your life, go to the mirror RIGHT NOW and say, “I will make the effort to be more loving to you, starting today!” Even if you don’t love yourself, say it with feeling. Do it whenever you can. It will start your consciousness raising about doing loving things for you. Find the love inside you. It’s there, even if it been beaten down by self-criticism and ignoring your needs to please others.

Day 3: Change to Loving Responses

Slowly make an effort to find new ways to respond to situations that bring you down. If someone comments negatively about your body, tell them you’d appreciate their keeping those kind of comments to themselves and affirm to yourself, “I love and accept myself as I am.” Responding from a place of self-love instead of feeling deeply wounded takes some of the sting out of their words. The more you do this, the more it will be your primary reaction to negatives, and the less people will take target practice on you.
Don’t rush to break lifetime habits. For now, raise your self-awareness. Just become more vigilant of the things you say or do out of habit that keep you feeling low about yourself. Don’t get angry or disgusted with yourself. We all do things that aren’t in our own best interest because we’re insecure and want people to like us. Pay attention gently, lovingly, without any criticism.

Day 4: Accept Compliments Graciously

Were you taught that modesty makes you liked more? When you don’t love yourself if can be hard to receive a compliment and enjoy it. Modesty can make you deflect kind words or even deny your assets. “No I didn’t lose weight. It must be the light.” When you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to accept kind words.

Even if you have to consciously force yourself at first, practice receiving graciously. When you get praise, practice saying thank you,” close your mouth, and allow yourself to feel pride. You deserve it!

Day 5: Buy a Brand Name Product

Do you tend to buy the store brand of products to save money? There’s nothing wrong with that but buying the one you really like can shout a big “I love me” for a few dollars more. Think about a product that you buy the cheap version of but you’d enjoy the better one more. The good coffee, lotion, jam or better wine. Buy the better one if it’s something that brings you pleasure!

Every time you use the product you’ll feel good. Each cup of good coffee or special jam on your bread is a reminder that you’re making an effort to love yourself and feel more worthy of self-love. Find your splurge—a product that says, “I love me!’ and enjoy it! Each time you eat, drink or use it, affirm, “I bought this because I love me!”

Day 6: Be Your Real Best Friend

Discover Joy_celebrate positive changes

Think about what you’d say to your friend who broke something or said the wrong thing or made a big mistake? You’d probably do your best to give reassurance. Next time you do something that you regret, think about what you’d say to a friend who did the same thing.

Would you scold or console? Call her names or be kind? Carry a grudge for a long time or forgive him? You know you’d do the latter choice in most cases. Get into the habit of stopping yourself from reacting negatively and treat yourself the way you’d treat your friend.

Day 7: Redefine Your Self-Image

Don’t focus on what you’re not. Pay attention to the beautiful person you are. Instead of looking for what’s wrong with you, find your good qualities and appreciate them. Let them define you, instead of what you don’t have.

Not being thin doesn’t mean you’re fat!
Not being the smartest in your class doesn’t make you dumb.
Not being the fastest doesn’t make you slow.

Accepting this will increase your self-love and confidence. Comparing yourself to others will block self-love since you can always find someone who makes you fall short and feel like you’re lacking. What you’re not doesn’t make you what you are. Love yourself for who you really are!

Day 8: Say "I Love Me" As Often As Possible

We’re not brought up to say “I love me.” It can feel funny at first. And continue to feel funny for a while. Even so, go to a mirror, look into it, and say, “I love you” to your reflection. If you have to close your eyes when you get to the mirror, that’s okay. You can force yourself to do it at first. The more you say it, the more you remind yourself that you want to feel self-love. The more you say it the more it will sink in.

Falling in love with yourself takes time and patience. Your closed eyes may open a little as you get more comfortable. Then a little more. As you continue to do it, it will begin to feel more natural. You’ll get more comfortable with it. Think of it as practice for real love one day and keep it up, every time you pass a mirror. It’s a lovely day when you say “I love me” and realize that it’s true! Practice does turn into real loving!

Day 9: Buy Yourself Flowers

Girl Smelling Flower

Do you wait for a romantic partner to buy you flowers? Having them in your living space brightens it and makes you feel good. That’s why buying yourself flowers says “I love me!”

If appropriate, get some to keep on your desk at work too. You can even send them to yourself. When people ask who they’re from, say from someone who loves you. It’s true isn’t it? Or it will be true as you consistently do loving things for you.

Day 10: Accept Your Body

woman relaxing on a couch

You don’t have to be happy with every inch of your body to love and accept it. Stressing out over how your body looks sends a message that you disapprove of you. That isn’t loving to you! Few people say they’re happy with how they look. Yet they all have wonderful qualities they overlook because of their disdain for something about their bodies. All the plastic surgery and body tweaking going on for celebrities sets standards that the average person can’t attain.

Instead of accepting it, we lament over the flaws we see or the weight we can’t seem to lose. This is negative energy! Unconditional self-love means loving all of you, despite your flaws. It’s fine to want to do what you can to look your best. But, try to be as fit and healthy as possible, not to look perfect. It’s loving to want to feel as good as possible. It’s not loving to postpone self-acceptance until your body is as perfect as you imagine it could be. You may never love yourself if you do.

Day 11: Schedule a "ME Day"

People who with little self-love rarely have time for themselves and the activities they enjoy because they’re so fixed on doing what others want. This is very unloving! “ME time” is important for your happiness! Every time you make a little time to do something just for you is a lovely act of self-love. Try taking ME time to the next level!

Schedule a “ME day”—a whole day that’s ALL about YOU—to say a big loud “I love me!” Go to your calendar and choose a day that will work for you. A whole day! Weekends can be easier but it’s also fun to take a day off from work to play. No chores or errands. Just for things you’d enjoy. Plan your day ahead of time. Think about what you’d like to do. Write it down and look forward to it. Don’t tell anyone your plans, unless it’s someone you trust to be happy for you.
Make plans with YOU as important as those with other people to say “I love me!”

Day 12: Send Yourself a Love Message

Love letters are nice to get. Words of love feel good, so why wait for someone to give them to you when you can give them to yourself. With all the electronics, it’s easy to do. Send yourself words of love and encouragement. Leave a message on your home answering machine.

· Darn you’re good!
· You can do anything you choose!
· I love you!
· Keep up the good work!
· I will take care of you!
Send similar messages in an email. Have a fun, loving line in the subject. It can make you smile to see it. And smile! Leave a loving post-it-note on your mirror before leaving for work. “I’m so happy that I love me!” “YOU’RE the BEST!” Be loving to you in writing or verbally. Send yourself a loving email. Leave yourself a loving phone message. Write yourself a love letter. It’s fun and might just bring a smile to your face and warm your heart.

Day 13: Say "Yes" to Spontaneity

Look for ways to be more spontaneous. If you’re doing chores and look out the window longingly at the sunshine, go for a long walk or call a friend to do something outdoors. If you have extra time off from work, see if there are last minute deals for a quick vacation. Everything you do will enrich your life in some way, whether you have fun or learn a lesson and get to know someone better or try something you want to do again.

Spontaneity loosens you up, so to speak, by making you more flexible about how you live. Being flexible allows you to go with the flow of life more and that flow can take you to great places. It allows you to try new things and take more risks, since spontaneous actions can be a risk sometimes. Do something last minute, spur of the moment, that you’d normally say no to or make excuses for why you can’t. Leave the laundry for another time. Tape the TV show you planned to watch. Get out and have fun. Open up your life to new dimensions. It says, “I love me!”

Day 14: Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Girl comforting a sad friend

Do you blame others for being unhappy? Do you complain that you hate being a victim? Playing a victim is your choice. Nobody can force you to give up your power to choose what you want. People Pleasers complain about who did them wrong. It’s YOUR choice to accept behavior you don’t like, or to love yourself enough to change your response to it.
Relinquish self-pity and change your situation! Why stay a victim? Taking a stand makes people less likely to take advantage. YOU control how folks treat you. Complaining is a cop-out. Nobody uses someone who won't allow it. And nobody is a victim unless they choose to be. Victims feel helpless, which brings self-esteem down and down and down. But you’re not helpless.
You always have spiritual support in uplifting yourself from living as a victim to setting boundaries and being happier. It’s all in your court. Think about what makes you feel like a victim and how you can change the dynamic. The more you nurture self-love, the less you’ll allow people to treat you poorly, and the less you’ll feel like a victim. Taking responsibility for how people treat you and loving yourself much better!

Day 15: Give Yourself Hugs

Self-love, Self-esteem, Self Worth, Simple Abundance

Hugs are therapeutic, even when you give them to yourself. Studies have shown that the more hugs you get, the stronger your well-being. Touch is therapeutic for your emotional health. Hugs, caressing, massages, etc. all do more than just feel good at the moment. They have lingering results. While it’s nice to get hugs and caresses from others, you can provide it to you at any time! Hugging yourself says, “I love me,” and helps you to feel good.

Wrap your arms around yourself for a minute when no one is around. It may feel funny the first few times but eventually you’ll get used to it and then enjoy the benefits. Hold yourself yourself. Rub your arms and any other parts your hands touch. Close your eyes and appreciate how good touch feels, even if it's from you. While they’re not a substitute for being hugged by someone else, they’re a separate feel-good action. Have you hugged yourself yet? Give yourself one as you read this if you can.

Day 16: Try Meditating

Meditation helps you get into a state of relaxation. With the world going so fast, most people feel the stress of trying to keep up. Closing your eyes and breathing to a rhythm as you meditate can create space for you and build inner peace. Pushing yourself to keep up with life at the expense of your stress levels is very unloving. Meditation can bring you back to peace.

Try mediation on your own or with a group. You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it. You might not be able to sit still at first but keep going. The more you do it the easier it is to do. Try it for a few minutes. Work your way to fifteen minutes a day. As you get more in touch with your inner self, self-love will grow.

Day 17: Set Boundaries

white picket fence

Happiness is the best barometer of whether you should do things differently. It's tough to be happy when giving is a one-way street and you're going the wrong way. You might feel happy momentarily because of someone's gratitude. But that's not inner happiness. It’s superficial and won’t keep you smiling. Bill Cosby said, “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

Set clear boundaries—lines drawn that people recognize. Dancing around requests you want to turn down invites other requests. If you consider agreeing to something you don’t want to do, look in the mirror and say “Hello!” Then ask why you should do it? If you become conscious of what you do or don’t’ want to do, it’s easier to set boundaries to do less of what you don’t want. Each boundary says “I love me!”

Day 18: Make Being NICE an Asset, Not a Hindrance

Too often I hear people say they don’t want to be nice anymore. They see being nice as a hindrance, and complain they get less, feel used and taken advantage of and passed over for what they want when they’re nice. Leo Durocher coined the well-known expression—“Nice guys finish last.” The truth is: Nice people don’t finish last. DoorMats do!

Recognize that nice doesn’t mean pleasing everyone. It means being friendly, caring, respectful, courteous and helpful when it works for you. Redefine NICE and make it work for you. People like true nice people. As long as you learn to handle yourself in ways that show you take yourself seriously, you can be as nice as you’d like and enjoy the fruits it bring! It’s easier to love yourself when you feel like a true nice person, not taken for granted or used.

Day 19: Clear Out Old Stuff

Cleaning makes room for new and better things. The Law of Attraction responds to your clearing out what you don’t need to help you attract what’s more likely to make you happy. Cleaning also can help you feel more in control of you. When you control your environment, it improves self esteem.
Affirm, “I’m giving this away to make room for new and better things in my life.” Stuff is stuff. Keeping things you don’t need can reinforce a mindset of lack—that you’re keeping it just in case you need it some day. I had to face that and accept that if I need something down the road, I’ll purchase a new one, since chances are I won’t need it. That helped me to clear out even more stuff. Say “I love me” to clear what you don’t need in order to attract new and better goodies!

Day 20: Value YOU

How much are you worth? If you don’t value yourself, it’s hard to attract self-love, or confidence, or success. One of the best ways to show that you value yourself is to be kind to you. Every time you treat yourself with love, you reinforce being worthy. Self-love translates into having greater value since the more love you have, the more you believe you DESERVE.

Make sure you get paid for your skills. Break any habits of giving them away to anyone who asks for a favor. The more you value you, the more other people will value you and the more confidence you’ll build. Throughout the day say, "Darn I'm good!" Do it in the mirror when possible. Convince yourself that you have a high value! You’ll love yourself for doing it!

Day 21: Let Faith Support You


Self-Love is a process that builds over time. Small loving acts are like little steps that stimulate self-love. I consider faith to be the glue—the power tool for building self-love and becoming an empowered person. Become more conscious of where you thoughts go when you have a problem. Try using faith for small issues and as you see it works, try more. The more you see faith work, the more you’ll trust it. The more you try and have a positive outcome, the more you’ll be motivated to use faith as a tool for getting through life in a happier and relaxed way.

You get as much as your mind allows. If you believe you can, you can. The contrary is true too. Be careful not to attract negatives. Faith is a solid gift of love to you. I implore you to use it if you want a happier life!

Day 22: Take a Break from Stress

Meditating against an orange sky.

It doesn’t matter what the world throws at you. Things at work may be frenetic. Your romantic partner is driving you crazy. Your kids are getting into trouble. The weather is miserable. Your mother is demanding your attention and calling you all day long. Do you LET all these things affect your mood and perspective of how good life is? Unless you consciously choose a different direction, stress will beat you up!

Allowing stress to go unchecked is VERY unloving to you! Doing something to relieve it, even temporarily, says, “I love me!” When you feel stressed, stop and do some deep breathing, even for just a minute. It can calm you down Find things that make you happy and focus on them instead of on problems. Enjoy just looking at the sunshine or watching the rain fall. Visualize a place that makes you happy. Find something that reduces your stress and do it regularly. Give yourself the gift of a more relaxed you. It’s YOUR choice—let stress control you or YOU take control of the stress so it doesn’t take over your life. Less stress leaves more room to be happy, and feel self-love.

Day 23: List Your Blessings

You’ve probably heard it many times but that’s because it’s true. If you want to love yourself, focus on your blessings. Write down the things that make you smile or that you feel good about having. Then read each out loud, starting with, “I’m grateful for______.” The more you appreciate your blessings, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more you’ll fall in love with you.

Count your blessings every day. Add to your list whenever you can. Look for things to be grateful for. It will help you appreciate your life more!

Day 24: Tune in to What You Want
Asian woman reading under a tree.

We all have desires, cravings, and things we think we should do. Choosing what to do, or not do, should take some thought so you can determine what's truly in your best interest. Often we want to do something for the wrong reasons. DoorMats make choices that will please others but might not please themselves!! That is not loving! Nor is it healthy. Nor does it bring happiness.

Whenever you’re about to make a decision, or take an action or agree to something someone else wants, ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for?” Is it something YOU want, or are you doing it to avoid taking risks, to soothe a negative emotion, or to make someone else happy? If it’s not about what YOU want, do you best to reconsider your choice. Doing what's in YOUR own best interest says, “I love me” because in the long run these choices will increase your happiness!

Day 25: Stamp Out Jealousy
Two women not speaking to each other

Most of us have felt jealousy at least once. It’s a normal response to seeing something you want that you don’t have and someone else does. Jealousy can be blatant, like envying someone who has what you want badly or more subtle, like having a little niggling feeling when you want to be happy for a friend who lost weight when you wish you could be thinner or when someone gets a fantastic job when you hate  yours. It can be hard to watch others who are thrilled with having things you want too!

Feeling Jealous is not loving, since it reflects dissatisfaction about what you don’t have, instead of joy for what you do have. Be happy for others! What someone else has takes nothing away from you. When you can replace jealousy with blessings for the person who has what you want, your chances of attracting it increase as your mood and outlook get more positive. The more you’re happy for what others attract, the more you can attract too! And since it feels good, it increased self-love.

Day 26: Get Exercise

Moving is healthy. Aerobics helps your heart and burns calories. Weight training makes your body stronger. Instead of dieting to look good for someone else, exercise for YOU. Staying fit helps you live longer, increases energy, reduces stress, slows the effects of aging, maintains the immune system, and improves self-esteem. Looking better is just a bonus!

Take control! Find an exercise buddy or class. Be creative on busy days. Walk! It burns calories and strengthens the heart. Get a jump rope. Use stairs instead of elevators when possible. I go up and down stairs when time is tight. Do calisthenics at home. Use dumbbells. Find ways to get movin’ and groovin’. Dance! Take pride in any effort to improve your body. It’s hard for some of us. When you actually do something, enjoy having control over old habits. Don’t berate yourself if you don’t do “enough.” Even a little helps! That’s love!

Day 27: Let Go of Striving for Perfection
Businessman smiling

We’re often our own worst enemies when we judge ourselves more harshly than others would. We see ourselves through the distorted vision of blowing up our perceived flaws. Consistent perfection is impossible. A perfect rose is perfect until its petals wilt. A perfect romantic partner loses his or her pedestal when he or she gets moody, demanding, or critical. Perfection can change quickly.

Striving for perfection reinforces low self-esteem. There will always be a flaw that needs work, a pound to be lost, or a skill to be improved. But you can goof up or have a down day and still love yourself. Affirm, “I accept myself exactly the way I am” often during the day. Eventually you’ll believe it!

Day 28: Redefine Love Life

It’s common to make a romantic partner more important than yourself, but that doesn’t make it right. YOU should be the most important love of your life. That doesn’t take away from loving others too but does assure your place of honor in how you prioritize your needs and make sure you get enough happiness boosters. And, it assures that’s you’ll always be loved. Many people sacrifice their happiness to please someone else to feel loved. But, does that give you a real love life?

The more love you give yourself, the more you have to give and the more you attract, since self-love is attractive. Redefine the concept of love life to include self-love. Let self-love motivate you to only need approval from yourself. A love life based on self-love feels great! Build yours and watch it grow!

Day 29: Consciously Make An Effort To Eat Healthier

Holiday Weight Loss Tips

Eating a balanced diet with consciousness about getting good nutrition is a wonderful act of self-love. In the long run, eating healthy will make you feel better physically, which improves your life even more. Even if you don’t eat healthy consistently, every nutritious effort you make builds self-love. When you make a conscious choice to eat more veggies or not finish dessert or get the grilled instead of the fried chicken, say, “I’m making this choice to say ‘I love me!’”

Small efforts add up. As you eat a little healthier, you might find it easier to do and keep going. By doing so, you may drop a pound without trying or notice your digestion is better or have more energy. Those are some of the benefits of eating healthier. This act of self-love has many rewards that will improve your quality of life. As you feel better and your happiness increases from changes in diet, self-love blossoms.

Day 30: Give Yourself Permission to Do What Makes You Happy

Stepping out of your comfort zone to do something different or behave in a way you’re not used to can seem scary. If someone you want to please tells you to do something, it might feel more secure, since they’re letting you know it’s okay. You may believe you need permission to do what you want or to step into happiness. Give yourself permission to do what would make you happy, even if some people might not approve. If necessary,write down:

“I give me permission to spend the afternoon in the park because I love me.”

Make a few copies, sign each, and hang them up in different places where you see them. Let the message permeate your consciousness until you can’t resist the need to buy it. When you enjoy what you do, take another step to giving yourself more permission to do something else, like take some time off for relaxing.
Loving yourself should include giving yourself pleasure, over and over and over. Make a more permanent note to self and read it often:

“I give me permission to be happy because I love me.”

Day 31: Follow the 10 Commandments of Self-Love
Woman Relaxes on Grass

I created my 10 Commandments of Self-Love to create even more awareness of how you might be hurting your ability to love yourself as much as you could, and to help you increase awareness of stopping self-love busters. Print them out, hang them up, and read them aloud whenever you can. Eventually you’ll find yourself applying them more and more.

1. I shall lovingly accept myself as I am right now.
2. I shall appreciate all the beauty that makes me who I am.
3. I shall regularly give thanks for all of my blessings.
4. I shall trust in my ability to take care of myself.
5. I shall not criticize myself.
6. I shall not criticize others.
7. I shall forgive myself when I make a mistake.
8. I shall be kind to others, without sacrificing my own needs.
9. I shall take responsibility for my life.
10. I shall love myself to the best of my ability.

You can commit to building self-love by signing the pledge to take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge.

Daylle Deanna Schwartz is a speaker, self-empowerment counselor, and best-selling author of 13 books, including Nice Girls Can Finish First. Daylle has been on over 400 TV and radio shows, including Oprah, Good Morning America and Howard Stern and quoted in dozens of publications, including The New York Times. She launched in January, where she has a 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and is giving her book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways, away for free. Daylle writes the blog, Lessons from a Recovering DoorMat.

'Daily Affirmation' Video