Self Love Journey

This week I was pondering what to share when I found this new podcast to listen to, it’s called Bold New Mom. Jody Moore started a blog then moved to podcasts, which I love. I typically love to listen to something as I fold laundry, dishes, etc. I don’t sit down a lot and if I do I crochet, I always have a project. The first podcast is entitled Being Bold is Being Confident. Something I took from it is, do I know myself? If I am self-aware then how much do I love myself? Or at least accept who I am? She gives a few tools to help you discover yourself so I highly suggest listening to the podcast to discover what those are and start the  journey to learn about you.

**SIDENOTE: I listen to podcasts on my android through an app called Stitcher. I know if you have apple you can get it through iTunes or just listen to it on your computer.

As I was listening to her words I thought to myself, ” Well, how would I describe who I am?” The first thing that came to my mind was that I crochet, which then made me laugh because that’s something I can do well but not part of my personality. What qualities do I have? I then made a short list in my mind that I’m resourceful, patient, responsible and I realized I should take the time to really know myself better. I can say I love my life and that I like who I am but I’m not sure if I’m ‘best friends’ with myself, that I know myself well. Which lead me to thinking, ” how can I know myself better?”

Can anyone guess where I ended up looking for resources? I feel like Pinterest is my google. I found this awesome list of “26 questions to help you know yourself better“, follow the link and I’d suggest taking a few moments in the morning or before bedtime (whenever your quiet time is) to write out the answers.

I also came about this blog post, “Must Haves for a Year of Self-Love”.  This article made me ponder what a great goal this would be for this year! It’s still January for those who haven’t yet made a goal this would be perfect, just spending the year learning to love yourself. In this blog post Sarah, also gives a printable which will be handy to use when you’re not sure of where to begin your self-love journey.

Something that I read on several blogs about self-care is that it should be intentional, making it happen daily. I don’t do this. As I was reading all of them I realized I only seem to do self-care when I’m exceptionally upset or stressed. I then questioned myself, “Would I get stressed less or upset less if I took the time to take care of myself more daily?” I do the basics, I eat well, make sure I get enough sleep, but what about journaling more often? Being intentional with a walk to myself? I think it could make a difference. I’ll be honest to you though and say that I probably won’t put a plan in action right away.

I am going to commit to answering those 26 questions when I journal this week. For me this is a good first step, I may even split up the questions and over the course of a month answer them all. I share this because I feel as if most people reading would say to themselves, “That seems like so much work, I don’t have time for that!” The point is to take baby steps and do something, if we’re not stepping forward then we are only going backwards.

If you want to follow my board on Pinterest called ‘Taking Care of Me’, I do pin a lot of things there to try and do for myself that I’d love to share. I’m a huge fan of using others’ genius ideas because why should I reinvent the wheel? I’ll share a few more links at the bottom here of resources that may help with your self love journey.

What are some things you do to show yourself that you love yourself daily? Share in the comments below, I would love some new ideas!

 

 

60 deep questions to ask yourself (for the ambitious people out there)

100 things to do for Improved Self Care (idea list here!)

50 songs about Self Love (For those who work better with music, this blog has a ton of info on self love, don’t forget to sign up for her freebies)

A self love reading list (maybe someone should start a book club for this, I would totally join!)

Presence

This concept is difficult for me; especially with my children. Perfect example from the other day. My oldest had left for preschool and my youngest wanted me to play. I figured 10 minutes of playtime with him wouldn’t be an issue, he isn’t used to being alone to play. During that 10 minutes he wanted to play with cars and trains (I’m still learning to play how boys play there is a lot of crashing involved) and the whole time I couldn’t help but think of what else I wanted to do immediately after, how I could be folding their clothes and putting them away while I was in that room playing, basically everything else but the game we were playing. I realized that what I was doing took away the connection I was trying to build with my son because I wasn’t present. I decided to play longer than the 10 minutes and after I finally gave him my full attention when I did go to mop, he was happy to let me go didn’t beg for me to stay and keep playing. I was happy to have taken the time to make that happen.

This made me ponder my cell phone goal for this year. I have decided to keep my cell phone in the kitchen with a simple charging station instead of by my bedside. I did this for several reasons, first being my husband and I had discussed when our children get older we wanted a family charging station there would be no phones in their bedroom and I realized why wait 10 years for that habit, why not start now? I don’t use my phone as an alarm, although if I went to the bathroom at 4a and if I had the slightest issue with falling asleep again I instantly would get on my phone. Second, at night the last thing my husband and I did before going to bed was checking our phones and for nothing that was especially important. It kept us from being present with one another.

Since sharing this I had several people ask about if I recieved an emergency call how wouldn’t I hear my phone? My answer? I keep the volume up on my phone at night and my kitchen is maybe 15 feet away from my room, if I can hear my kids crying on the other side of the house without a monitor I’m confident that I can  hear my phone at night. The point is for me that to keep my phone next to my bed for the simple possibility of the rare call then I felt I was holding myself back from being in the moment where it counted.

Last year I wanted to instill in myself to put my phone down I didn’t need it in my hand constantly, it was difficult! I kept checking my phone where it was just for the possibility of some notification, now it’s easier. My kids would bring me my phone a lot when I didn’t  have it then and it made me realize how much I did have it on me! It’s made me laugh and just try to stay committed. Could I have drowned myself in mom guilt (aka mommy shame really) about that? YES. I didn’t let myself go there because even though I made some mistakes, I was trying to change and that is what was important.

My conclusion lately from constantly thinking of what to do next and realizing I’m not as ‘in the moment’ as I would like has strengthened my resolve to get rid of my need for my phone and to practice just being where I am. I do think that I can get caught up in the need for instant everything (that’s the generation I’ve grown up in with technology) which is probably why I’m terrible at gardening. Something I’d like to learn sometime this year (not a current goal I have enough now) is to meditate for 10 minutes. I have thoughts moving through my mind constantly! It would amaze me to learn to have the control to empty my mind for just 10 minutes; this small task seems like a mountain right now and I have enough on my plate but I will get there.

My challenge to you is to be self aware of when you plug into something, what are you thinking about? How often do you have face time in person? How close do you have your phone next to you throughout the day? Do you have any boundaries for your phone?

I’d love to hear your answers!

Post a comment or email me at happywithimperfect@gmail.com

 

Goals and Growth

Good morning and Happy New Year! Something about the beginning of the new year is refreshing to me. It’s another chapter that I can’t wait to write and each year seems to get much better. I want to first apologize for not writing more! I let my current pregnancy and life keep me busy but this was one habit I wanted to get back to doing frequently. I’ve set some other goals for the beginning of this new year but I’m also trying to keep going with the habits I started a couple months ago. My purpose with making new goals at the beginning of the year is to instill within me some purpose and direction for myself and my family for this next year. I do think that not everyone feels that way about goal setting; it can often be seen as things that never get accomplished or changed, people give up frequently. My husband always makes the comment about how gyms earn most of their money at the first of the year and then people stop going.

I bring this up because I believe we tend to torture ourselves often over failure; making goals right now and not meeting them in a few months can bring about some negative feelings. The cycle is usually we fail, we feel sucky about it we then stop and decide to just forget about it, at least until the next year. I wanted to shed a little insight into those negative feelings and how it can stop you from potential growth.

Let’s be honest that those ‘negative feelings’ that bring you down about failing is shame talking. Shame is that awful little voice within you that makes you question yourself and what you want. I’ve been thinking about this topic for a couple weeks (because of my own goals) and this week as I was reading I thought it was just me(but it isn’t) by Brene Brown and I read a small section on goals that I wanted to share and after I do this you should really go out and get the book. I’m probably going to make my husband read it next, I think everyone could benefit from learning about shame and how to learn to have shame resilience. She spoke about how people who have more shame resilience worry less about the perfection of a habit (getting it done every day in just the right way) and focus more on the growth (what they are learning or trying to do) of their goal. She mentions that they seem to share a common language and I want to quote this so that you can understand what she means by language and how they speak about themselves,

“I want to work on getting better at…

I’d like to improve the way I…

I’d like to do a little less of this and a little more of…

These are my goals…

I want to be perceived as doing my best at…

I want to be perceived at trying…”

 

Then she says this which I highlighted, “Improvement is far more realistic goal than perfection. Merely letting go of unattainable goals makes us less susceptible to shame. When we believe “we must be this” we ignore who or what we actually are, our capacity and our limitations.”

I loved hearing this! Most of my life I was told the definitions of the roles I should have, a daughter, friend, wife, mother, etc. was expected to be a certain way and when I didn’t meet those expectations set for me I felt terrible about myself. I felt I couldn’t do anything right and questioning why I was even trying. This thinking kept me from learning from mistakes and trying again. Growing up I loved the idea of New Year’s resolutions because of the new things I wanted to do or try but I was afraid of the commitment and ultimate failure because I knew at some point I would stop doing it. At one point I just stopped making goals altogether, in my mind why start something I felt I couldn’t finish or knew I would just beat myself up about getting it wrong?

After going through this process of learning about shame and about myself more I started making goals again a couple years ago and I can happily say that last year as I reviewed my goals I was okay at not getting perfect at the goals. When I reflected back I realized part of not completing them was because half way through the year my focus and goals changed and that was okay with me.

I want to make a challenge to you that as you go about making goals for now or any other time of the year be careful of how you treat yourself and speak to yourself about your goal, self-hate doesn’t motivate anyone to make changes.

Now I want to share some last resources and ideas with you. When I make a goal I like to focus on starting with just one goal in a physical, mental and spiritual area for my personal growth, any other goals are bonus. If you are aware of usually going overboard with goals that they can overwhelm and cause anxiety then focus on something small. Achieving one small goal is better than none. One day I was having such a hard time I had a goal to just survive the day; when we were still alive at the end of the day it felt awesome.

To find a good outline for goals ( a pretty graphic) to hang up I just go to Pinterest and search for goal sheets for 2017.  There a several bloggers who make some for FREE. It’s that easy. Then hang it up somewhere that you can look at daily.

I’ve also recently decided to make a habit tracker just to visually see my own progress. My husband has an app he tracks himself on but I prefer something physical. Once again my go to resource is Pinterest, just look up habit trackers, there are FREE printables or examples of how to make your own. This keeps me focus on progress not perfection.

Lastly, share your goals with someone. It may seem scary and vulnerable but sharing your goals and having someone to just check in with will make doing the goal and continuing more likely. I’ve shared with my husband and other goals with a few friends. We also started small family goals to work on together.

 

I’d love to hear about your own experiences failures or successes!