By Alexa Ashworth, MFTC
True renewal and significant growth come from setting intentional time aside to focus on you worth fully loving. I believe when we put ourselves first, we are putting our mind, body and spirit first. We are turning off all the noise and distractions and paying attention to our own needs in unique ways.
I know when I allow time to focus on my mental health and body’s needs, my body ends up being the teacher and I just listen to what brings it the most renewed energy. We have millions of cells doing different jobs in our bodies every minute of every day. I once had a friend share with me as I started choosing to put my wellness first, “imagine all your cells as people at work for you daily. Much like you choose to support and love your friends or family, you can also love your body in this same way.”
I found this to be powerful imagery as I slowly started integrating new foods and vitamins into my diet. Aside from stepping into new eating habits, what I found to be even more important was loving the person I woke up and saw in the mirror daily. Self-compassion is the main source for our healing and prosperity. Self-compassion teaches us to embrace imperfections and can reduce chronic suffering.
Self-compassion plays a huge role in our personal beliefs and behaviors. When compassion is removed it is replaced with self-criticism. When we become critical of who we are and never pleased with our actions or choices, we will never believe we are capable of good things.
As humans we always choose the path that is easier or one, we can put little effort into. This often reflects the little value placed on our self-worth. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we devalue what we could be in the world? We have every opportunity to build ourselves up at any given moment and there is no written rule saying, “everyone and everything else comes before you”.
The one thing no one can ever take away from you is your ability to shift your thoughts into believing you are loved and worthy of living a more abundant, joyous lifestyle. It’s your choice. You can choose to alter your current storyline into one that feels good and fits who you know you are versus what you think you are every day.
You may try and start replacing negative words or phrases in your personal thoughts from “cannot” and “if only” with “I can” and “I will”. I would encourage anyone reading this going into this week to catch yourself in the act of being self-critical or doubting your ability. When you are conscious of what phrases you use most, pause in the moment, and then turn it into a word of affirmation or positive phrase.
Let’s lean into what it truly means to be as we are versus who we think we have to be or become. The easiest way to start living out your true authentic self, is by asking “Am I mirroring the things I want on the inside?” A teacher in a kundalini yoga class once said this and it was a simple reminder to go within and acknowledge whether or not I was living out my own truths.
When I sat with this phrase for several days, I realized there were simple daily practices I was ignoring or not staying conscious of that was keeping me out of a place of inner alignment. It was that inner alignment that I discovered I was missing and so I made that my focus moving forward.
Often what sounds simple or easy is the most difficult to follow through on and one thing I learned throughout these past couple of years is the impact “following through” has had on me, whether I am in an amazing or a restless mood. I have incorporated a couple of daily mindful practices into my routine.
The one that I use most is a six-minute breathing exercise and then lay on the ground with a weighted crystal on my chest until I can re-gather my thoughts, shift into a new mindset for what I may be doing next and find inner peace with my breaths. When I intentionally follow through on simply taking ten minutes to myself daily, I am ridding my body of any negative energy and allowing the love I have for myself to take its place.
When we can get to a spot in life where we are able to observe our own actions and thoughts, we are gaining new wisdom. As we grow in newfound wisdom and self-love, we naturally will manifest a more abundant life.