Final Post

Farewell!

A year later give or take; I think my math is off..

I am now on the other side of the 365-Days-of-Self-Love challenge.

When I started this blog, I had just begun to commit to live my life in a way that showed that I love, respect, and accept myself as I am. Now, I feel closer to a state of self-love and acceptance. I accept myself more often than I disapprove of aspects of myself. I am learning to just be. I am learning to look at my failures not as a source of shame, but as an indication of change and progress. I am learning to embrace imperfection, and not to take myself and life so seriously. I am learning to release judgment and accept things as they are, and not as I would like them to be.

I am happy more often than I am sad. I am more at peace than I am in turmoil. I am hopeful of my future more often than I am fearful of it.

This was a wonderful experience. I will continue to bring everything I have learned with me, and I will continue to grow and change.

Although I am finished with this blog, I will still be out there.

Very soon, you can find my words on Amazon and other places where you can find e-books. I’ll also be hosting websites, and posting on social media.

This process has taught me that what I have to contribute is of equal value to everything else that is out there and that has yet to be shared.

I will continue to walk my path, taking every twist and turn, rise and fall with grace and humility.

I hope to meet you again in another forum, on another website, in another time and place.

Until then, I wish you all the very best.

Day 105

Creating a Home

For some time now, I haven’t had a place to call home. I’ve had a place to live, but for years, it has not felt like home. In two weeks, I am leaving for a long vacation, and I have decided that before I leave, I’m going to transform my apartment into a home. It is a task I’ve been putting off since we moved to this apartment a year ago and I am determined to finish it.

Before I started Teal Swan’s 365-Days-of-Self-Love process, I didn’t believe that I deserved to live in a place that I could call home. Every time we got close to a long break or vacation, we would make plans to go through our boxes and get organized, but we never did. It just wasn’t important to me, but now it is of paramount importance. I can no longer live in a place that is full of clutter and devoid of any charm or personality. Our walls are bare. There is not a single family portrait on the wall or on the shelves. If you had never met me or my family and you walked into my house, you would not be able to identify me based on what was in my place. Our place looks lived in, but it does not look like a place that is loved. I want a place that I am proud to call my own. I want a place to which I can invite people and be certain that they will feel comfortable.

When I am finished with this project, when you walk into my home the first thing you will see is a spotless entrance way. To the left you will see an alcove with fresh flowers and a tapestry with a brightly colored print with a seasonal motif. On the floor in front of a row of bookshelves you will see a Persian rug. Next to the bookshelf, you will see a coat rack with a space to hang your coat. To the left of the coat rack will be the Japanese sliding door leading to my daughter’s bedroom.

Opening the door, you will find a tatami floor with a pink and blue throw rug with Elsa and Anna from Frozen smiling up at you. Your eyes will then be drawn my daughter’s colorful and vibrant art that line the walls. Next to the door will be another pair of sliding doors leading to the compartment where my daughter’s futon will be neatly stored. Next to the futon closet will be my daughter’s toys which will be organized and stored in large plastic containers. Draped over the containers will be colorful cloth on which my daughter’s collection of dolls will be lovingly displayed. In the corner, will be her art center with her papers and art supplies neatly arranged on her desk. Next to the desk will be her dresser which will have a small display case with her tiny figures. Next to her dresser will be a stand alone clothing rack where her dresses and jackets will be neatly hanging.

When you walk into the house proper, you will find a clean kitchen with a neatly organized dining room and living room. The laundry room will be clean and organized with fresh towels hanging near the shower room. The wall leading down the stairs to the bedrooms will be lined with framed photographs my husband took over the years of our favorite places in Japan. At the bottom of the stairs you will see a bathroom and to the right of the bathroom will be the master bedroom. The walls will be lined with bookshelves and the top of these bookshelves will have framed pictures of our children at various stages in their lives. The bed will be made and the curtains drawn.

Across from the bedroom will be our office. There will be a computer desk and small table on either side of the room and a small display case of a few selected pieces from my husband’s figure collection. On the computer desk will be a small gold frame with a picture of me when I was eighteen–one of the first pictures my husband took of me. On the small table will be a medium sized pewter frame with a picture of my husband when he was in his early thirties–the first picture I ever took of my husband.

This is the vision I have my home. It was one that I have deprived myself of because I believed I deserved to have this home when I was perfect. Well, I no longer see a reason to deny myself the home I have dreamed of for so long. I am making it a reality today, and when I leave for my travels, I will have that home, and when my travels are over, I will have something to return to, something I will be proud to call home.

Day 46

Back on Track

My last few posts have been interesting, but they have not been in alignment with my original purpose for writing this blog. This is partly because I have hit a wall in my shadow work. When I try to do it, I have a hard time concentrating, and when I finally concentrate, nothing comes. In Day 40, I wrote about being lost in the shadows and my determination to rescue a lonely inner child. I promised that I would not give up until I found the source of my loneliness. Well, now I’m at the end of Day 46, and I have yet to find and rescue this inner child. However, I feel more open to love and the possibility of love, so the fact that I have acknowledged this loneliness has changed its affect on me.

Despite this, I feel that I’ve been resting on my laurels a little too much lately. I haven’t been meditating on a regular basis, and as far as getting up early to make more time for things like shadow work, meditation, and research, I haven’t been doing that either. It’s time to get back on track and reassess my goals, my vision, and my commitment to this process. Even if I haven’t been able to make much progress in shadow work, I will continue to do it and most importantly write about it.

I think I’ve let my ego take over in the past few weeks wanting to put my best foot forward and focus on the positive things in my life thus far, but that is really not the purpose of this blog. The purpose is to share the experience of going through the 365 Days of Self Love challenge no matter what that might look like. When I stopped meditating and doing shadow work on a regular basis, I lost sight of this fact, so now whether I am making progress or not, I’m going to bring the 365 Days of Self Love challenge back to the foreground.

Today, I did one thing in accordance with my commitment to do what feels right and what someone who loved themselves would do, and that is joining a Zumba class at my gym. I had mentioned before that I had danced Zumba before I had my son. It’s been almost a year since I danced, and it was wonderful to get back into it. The teacher was energetic and kind, and relatively easy to follow. At the end of the class, I met four people, one of whom is from New Zealand. I have a feeling she and I might become friends. It was an uplifting ending to a not so good day. I had debated whether or not I should go, but when I asked the question it was clear that I should and I am very glad that I did. Zumba is part of my weekly routine now.

Committing to self love and doing the things that someone who loved themselves would do is proving interesting. My priorities are shifting. I am taking more time to myself, resting more, and listening to my body and my emotions more than I did before. It still feels selfish, and I admit that I feel panicked when I get to the end of a day like today with nothing really to show for it, but I have a feeling I’ll adjust to this new perspective and I will be the better for it.

What I can say about this process is that it has made it a little bit easier to accept myself no matter how I feel or what I do or don’t do. I am in better spirits, and I feel lighter on my feet. I smile more often and I have a lot less stress. So despite the discomfort of changing my perspective and shifting my priorities, I am still quite pleased with this process.

Until next time, I wish you all the best.

Day 17 11:50PM

Now that I have Teal’s book “Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of Self-Love Through Your Darkest Times.” My posts will be about the exercises in which I engage while reading. So here’s the first one from Part 2: 365 Days of Self Love: Tool #2 Discover That You Are Deserving” Developing Deservability ( pages 85-87).

Ways in which I treat myself as if I don’t deserve love

  1. I put my needs last. I’d bend over backward to help meet the needs of a stranger at the expense of my own needs at times even inconveniencing myself in the process.
  2. I remain silent when people say things that hurt or anger me, and I turn the blame in on myself, finding fault with myself, and feeling apologetic for making that person say something hurtful or upsetting to me.
  3. I remain silent when I perceive that others may be offended or disapproving of my opinions.
  4. I constantly compare myself to others and find myself lacking.
  5. I neglect my health by eating badly, not exercising, and not sleeping.
  6. I soothe myself by procrastinating and over eating, which only hurts me in the long run.
  7. I often see the flaws in my physical appearance, such as having big thighs and wide hips.
  8. I apologize to people for no other reason than that I exist.
  9. I defer to others believing they are more intelligent, better read, more knowledgeable, and therefore more valuable than I.
  10. I rarely allow myself to be passionate because I believe that others will be scared off or put off by that side of me although it is when I am most happy and fulfilled.

How I would rather treat myself:

  1. I am ready and willing to put my needs first regardless of how it might appear to inconvenience or disappoint others. By putting my needs first, I can be a better daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, colleague, and human being.
  2. I am ready and willing to speak up when the people I care about say or do things that upset or hurt me. By communicating honestly and openly with the people that matter to me, I can become closer to them and they can see all sides of who I am, and our relationship can grow and strengthen.
  3. I am ready and willing to express my opinion in every situation in which it is appropriate to do so regardless of how people may perceive it. My opinion is just as valid and as important as those with whom I am conversing, and by remaining silent I do both the people around me and myself a disservice.
  4. I am ready and willing to accept myself worts and all. I will embrace every thing that makes me who I am, and use my negative emotions to explore my inner core beliefs so that I can reach my full potential.
  5. I am ready and willing to take care of my body. I will exercise at least three times a week, eat healthy nourishing food, and only take sugar in moderation. By doing this, I can better enjoy my life and do the things I want to do like dancing, sky diving, scuba diving, going to the beach, wearing fashionable and flattering clothing, and living a long and healthy life.
  6. I am ready and willing to find healthful and empowering ways to soothe myself, such as visualizations, purchasing beautiful clothing items, and dancing every second I get a chance even if it is in the streets.
  7. I am ready and willing to see myself as a dynamic and vibrant being with many facets. I am ready and willing to accept every part of myself, and love the round softness of my thighs, and the cushioning feel of my hips, and how having a little more heft to my body gives me curves in all the right places, and makes dancing all the more enjoyable.
  8. I am ready and willing to stop apologizing for who I am, and rejoice and appreciate the woman I have become and the woman I am now.
  9. I am ready and willing to see myself as equal in worth to all my fellow beings who inhabit the Earth. I am no better or no worse than any one, and everyone has something to contribute to this life. I am ready and willing to contribute fully to this life from now and forever more.
  10. I am ready and willing to be passionate every chance I get for it is through the expression of my passion that my soul shines through and others see the brilliance that is me and perhaps the brilliance that is them. I am ready and willing to be myself; authentically, completely and without apology because I am worth it.

Final thoughts

That was so empowering. I encourage all of you who find yourself treating yourself as if you are not deserving of love to try this simple exercise. The very act of writing down all the ways in which I tell myself that I am not deserving of love and then turning it around by making a commitment to myself to do the opposite has me feeling like I can be and do anything I want. Now I just have to live up to these promises every day from now on. I cannot wait to start living. I highly recommend this.

May you find your brilliance and let it shine so that the world will be a shimmering place.