Monthly Archives: April 2014

Looking for love

Quietly she sat on the park bench and took out her notebook. It was a beautiful summer day; the slight cool breeze brought the scent of the tulips that were camped out under a nearby tree. She reached into her dress pocket to pull out her phone and realized that she’d left it back at work. She chuckled to herself figuring it didn’t really matter that she didn’t have it since only her mom and best friend would call or text her anyway. 

As great as life is for her right now, she secretly longed for something more; someone more. Her heart would often sing out songs of love and desire for someone to answer to; but no one ever did. She would have loved to have to keep her phone on her so she could read sweet messages from a man that was so into her he needed to express it often. She was looking for love but what she didn’t realize was that she was looking for the love of herself; self-love. 

Women have strong hearts and our heart allows us to give strong love that goes deep, but the one person that gets neglected from this love is our self. There are so many single women looking for a man and yes, even many married women or women in committed relationships that long for more. Our hearts were made to desire but we can get frustrated searching for a love we feel we can never find.

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Looking for love…self love.

It may sound cliché but we can truly only love that someone when we love our self first. I was speaking to a young woman recently and she expressed how nice it would be to have someone in her life; someone to spend time with and love. She then shared that she felt like that man would never come around.

I could see the confusion and sadness in her eyes. I asked her if she felt that she was actually ready for a relationship. If she felt that when she looked within, if there was anything she wanted to change or any way she could develop herself. Her eyebrows furrowed and she sighed and simply replied, “Well, yes.”

As women we do best to be our best but for many of us, when we look within we see what others don’t. Perhaps it’s the fact that we’re not as happy as our smile portrays or maybe it’s that we want to be healthier in how active we are or what we eat because we’re not as comfortable in our skin as we wish to be. We may see these points as what we don’t like about ourselves but really these are the perfect points to start your self-development.

When you can target what it is that’s holding you back from being happier, or from being healthier or whatever your inner goal is, than you can work at developing it and by doing this you are feeding your self love and allowing it to grow.

I’ve created a simple exercise (a few questions) you can complete to help you narrow down where your self-development will start. After you’ve gone through the exercise, I would love to know how this has assisted you in feeding your self love! Please leave me a comment or message.

  1. Make a list of the things in your life that are hindering you from being happy and living each day at your best. (This can simply be point form).
  2. From everything you came up with, choose the one that is most conflicting to your happiness.
  3. Jot down how this burden impacts you.
  4. Decide what you can do to work through this issue so it either impacts you less or how you can eliminate it all together.

Write down how your life can change in every aspect when you can work through this issue and allow yourself the credit of self love. (Now you can work through each thing you wrote down in number one. Take your time and gradually work through them one by one. You can do this in one sitting or over a week so you don’t overwhelm yourself).

Making time for me

She sat there quietly at her desk. Her eyes zoned into the computer and as she reached her fork to her mouth, her quinoa and salmon salad hit her cheek and went scrambling everywhere. She took a deep breath and then cleaned up her little lunchtime mess. Realizing that she couldn’t do both, eat her messy lunch and continue with her important task at hand that only she could accomplish (and had to be done by 1pm), she hastily shoved her lunch into her mouth; a large forkful at a time. Three minutes later, she had her lunch down and she was right back to work.

She reminded herself that she could only stay 45 minutes late at work since she had an evening of picking up the kids, cooking dinner, getting the little ones in bed, spending time with her husband and then sneaking in another hour of work before hitting the pillow. It always seemed that once her day ended, it just started right back again. The phrase, “not enough hours in the day” was the funniest thing to her because she knew it was incredibly true.

She thought for a moment about how nice it would be to just pick up that book she had waiting on her night stand that she started…what was it? Six weeks ago now? It was actually a captivating book but she just didn’t have the time. And she wasn’t sure when she ever would.

As women, we have strong hearts that allow us to give strong love to our loved ones but most often we forget to give a little love to ourselves. With the society we live in today, this can seem normal. There are so many single women working hard to move up in the company they work for and many married women or women in committed relationships doing everything they need to keep their families, friends, husbands/boyfriends and boss happy. But as women we were made for more than this, weren’t we? Yet what we continuously do is put everyone else above ourselves. We allow ourselves to believe that our priorities can be placed aside because the people in our lives are our first priority.

The kids absolutely need to be taken to school and your husband or boyfriend does need that quality time with you every day on their schedule but when do you ever get to really express your needs for yourself and make yourself a priority? Having self-love is incredibly important. It means being comfortable with spending time alone with yourself; enjoying what you love to do when you can make the time to do it. And making the time to do it means making yourself a priority.

How many women can you think of that actually make the time or feel they can’t find the time what with work, the kids, social events, the needs of husbands/boyfriends and trying to fit food and sleep into that schedule as well. Sometimes making time for yourself can leave you feeling guilty because you know that time could be used elsewhere. You could have been more productive because that to-do list with one thousands things ready to be checked off is anxiously waiting for you and lingering in the back of your mind.

We can easily become so involved with providing to our loved ones that we forget that we need to show ourselves some love as well. Yet, when we can’t give ourselves the few minutes we need each day to rejuvenate and reflect we actually end up cheating our loved ones. When we run non-stop from the time we roll out of bed to when we tiredly crawl back in late at night, once we’ve tried to finish everything we need to, we then will absolutely be exhausted the next day meaning that we can’t give our loved ones 100% of ourselves. To be the best we can be for our family and friends, we have to be the best we can be for ourselves first.

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Be your best for you so you can be your best for your loved ones.

There are six small acts of kindness you can do for yourself each day to show yourself some love:

  • Decide the best way to spend what little “me” time you may have.

Whether you reach for that book or simply take a hot, well-deserved 15 minute shower, decide how you want to use your “me” time every day. This will help you look forward to it and ensure you take that time instead of just letting it run away from you as the day often can.

  • Figure out what you can eliminate from your day that may actually be a waste of time.

We sometimes get busy doing busy work. Think about how best you can eliminate this work from your daily life. Perhaps you can commit half hour one day to reorganizing the front shoe cabinet instead of spending five minutes each day tidying it up.

  • It’s okay to say no.

We love to help. In fact, it can often seem like our middle name. Sometimes however, saying yes to everyone can become time consuming and use a lot of energy. It’s okay to say no when someone asks too much of you or when you know you really don’t have the time. Try using a phrase like, “I would honestly love to help but this weekend is a very busy one for me. I hope all goes well with it though.”

  • Ask for help.

Now as much as we love to help we can find it hard to accept help. All great managers know how to delegate. Well you are the manager of your life. So it’s okay to delegate and ask someone to help take care of a task for you. In most cases, they would be more than happy you asked.

  • Commit to the time you set aside for yourself.

Setting a time for yourself is the first step to making “me” time but committing to this time is the second step. Do your very best to stick to the time slot you’ve granted to yourself. Remember, being the best you for others, means being the best you to yourself first.

  • Create a routine you can incorporate in the early morning or late evening.

Try to create a routine such as waking up and doing a five minute stretching/yoga session or even adding some soothing essential oils drops to your shower (Lavender would be great to calm yourself before your busy day and Bergamot is wonderful to putting a spring in your step). You can also incorporate your routine at bedtime like having a hot cup of tea and curling up for a 15 minute reading session before turning off the lights. Let your husband/boyfriend or family know that this is your 15 minute “me” time and that you’d appreciate it be respected.

I’d love to know how this exercise worked out for you! Leave a comment below 🙂

A walk in the dark

The air around me began to get thick. I could no longer breathe or find joy. I knew I had to change things; I had to change my environment and my life. Severance package in hand, I walked out of the building smiling knowing that this moment would change my entire being forever. No more doubt. No more negativity. From now on, I call the shots and make everyday a positive one.

That day was a year and a half ago and since then, I was able to set my mind to my heart and chase after my dreams. I’ve achieved a lot in this short year and there’s still a lot more growth to come but I’m ready for it now.

I can admit though, that there was a time when I was scared; a time when I wouldn’t have taken a risk unless I had something else set up. But then life does that to you; it sent me away with a severance package and no plan as to what I’d do next. I had to figure it out quickly and do my best to stay positive.

Change your environment and take that step.

Change your environment and take that step.

There are hurdles we come across on our journey. Like the moon hidden behind clouds, sometimes our path is dark and we have no direction. We wander for some time; we play with ideas in our minds. Our mind tells us to go one way while our hearts tug at something more; that something being what our passion falls to. Perhaps we’ve always been afraid to trust our heart; simply trust our passion and walk in the dark to where we’re hoping the light will one day shine.

But our mind questions: how long will you walk in the dark? How many times will you stumble and fall? How many times do you really think you will get back up; bloody scratches tempting you to stop and whispers in the wind making you doubt yourself?

The answer is purely…how bad do you want it? How much are you willing to put in? How much effort and how much time? Will you make the time or will you make excuses? If you don’t walk in the dark now, then when? And if not ever, then how badly will you regret it later in life and wish you had just taken that one step; that one chance?

I can tell you from experience that the road to your dreams and passion is a rough one. There is doubt and you may not receive support from those closest to you. In the end though, you’ll discover a strength about yourself you never knew existed in you. You’ll be able to dream big and achieve big. But no, it won’t be easy. In fact, sometimes it will be so rough that you’ll want to quit. You may even wish you had never started on this path…but push through. When it concerns your passion in life, always push through. Success is at the end of this dark, gravel road but you’ll never see if you don’t take that one step into the dark.

Your heart’s passion, your dream, is definitely worth it even if others don’t see it. You’re not pursuing this for them, you’re doing it for you…for your happiness; your joy. You’re the one that will have to work for it and you will…because it’s time; time to make that dream a reality.