SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 55: Stillness

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In the stillness, there is the sound and flow of my breath, and the movement of my chest, rising and falling.

In the stillness, there is the staccato beating of my heart, pumping the blood in a rhythm that I can see through my skin.

In the stillness, there is the chaos of my mind, shifting from one thing to the next, then remembering where it is, letting go, and coming back home.

In the stillness, my soul can lift up above me and watch the lyrical dance of life as it stirs around and through me.

In the stillness, I am here, and I am still.

For more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.

Changing habits, repetition and breaking rules.

Changing habits in progress: noticed today as I was feeling lonely, and after putting my phone down, I had a strong hankering for a pen and sketchbook. Really strong. This is after 4 consecutive days of drawing. I want to keep this going!

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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 54: Understanding

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The longer I live inside this body, the better understanding I have of how it works and what makes it tick.

I understand that it craves validation and attention.

I understand how it shuts down and freezes when it perceives to be under attack, rejected, and not receiving what it needs.

I understand how it puts up barriers to keep from fully connecting, under the illusion of staying safe and protected from loss.

I understand that movement and voice and creativity are crucial ways of moving through this paralyzing fear.

I understand, too, that this body, this self, is perfectly imperfect.

I understand that most of the shame I feel about my body is not even mine. Even though the shame is mostly not mine, it still needs to be felt to be healed.

I understand how I work, and that I don’t always do what’s best for myself even if I have the intention to do so, and that’s OK.

To learn about the SelfLove365 project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 53: Acceptance

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Today I accept:

  • our holiday is over, and the last day in Miami is one of the only good weather days.
  • I am not perfect.
  • I have addictive patterns and behaviours, I’m aware of them most of the time, and I keep choosing to do them, even with the awareness of wanting to change.
  • It could take me a really long time to learn new behaviours, specifically around changing addictive patterns and habits (I’m learning a new one as I write, so that’s a start).
  • My skin has been breaking out with blemishes – possibly from sunscreen use and extra food and sugar consumption while on holiday, but it’s equally possible that the blemishes are a representation of all the ways in which I haven’t been accepting myself, my imperfections, particularily my physical body: my blemished skin, and belly bloated from too much food and sugar – it’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?This last point seems like the ultimate in acceptance for me: accepting my skin, my belly and my eyes. I am not there yet, even though I want to be. What will it take for me to accept that my eyes are big, with bags and wrinkles, that my belly is wrinkled and not flat, that my skin breaks out and isn’t as tight as it used to be? What’s the point of not accepting these things? By not accepting them, I am rejecting myself, rejecting this body I have been given, which is really a gift. Why judge it so harshly? What will all this rejection be worth once my body is decaying in the earth, anyways? So, it looks like acceptance of aging is on the To Do list, too. Maybe I don’t need to accept my body all the time, but if I have the awareness that I am rejecting myself, then I can make a conscious choice to accept myself in that moment, instead.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 52: dem Mom Skillz

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I may not do these things all the time (OK, I know I don’t, and I know I preface this way because I’m a perfectionist and wish I could do these things all the time, but feel bad that I don’t), but these are my mom skills that are working, most of the time:

  1. Patience. Yeah, I’m having particular trouble ignoring the times that I am not patient, but if I’m really honest, I’d say that these moments are few and far between these days – it’s easier now that they aren’t toddlers.
  2. Mean what I say, and follow through. I’m pretty good at this one, perhaps because I’m stubborn. Haha!
  3. Listening. My goal is to always listen and thoroughly, with eye contact, with presence, to my children – in a way that they feel heard. It doesn’t always happen, and I’m particularly hard on myself when it doesn’t. Sometimes I’m distracted, or busy, or both. But still, it’s my goal. Constantly.
  4. Quality time. This is directly related to #3.
  5. Hugs. Lots of them. Again, I’m not perfect at this. I want to give them more hugs than I do. Although sometimes, I give more kisses than my son appears to want (he wipes them off). Like Charlotte Diamond sings, “four hugs a day, that’s the minimum”.
  6. Open, candid, honest. I have spoken to my children about sex and puberty and related topics, with candor and openness, since they could speak. I feel strongly that knowledge is power and particularly in this area, I want them to have a sense of strength, power and wisdom when it comes to their bodies and their sex lives.
  7. Teaching responsiblity. My children have been doing chores for many years now – age appropriate things that I resented doing when I was asked as a teenager to start doing for the first time. They are learning what it takes to keep a house in order, learning how to work together, and sometimes they even enjoy themselves. I’ve even heard these words spoken:  “cleaning toilets is fun!” and “cleaning mirrors is my favourite chore”.
  8. Setting examples. The best way I know how to do this is by taking care of my own needs. I go dancing once a week, and have been for the past ten years. I go away on holiday without the children, and take naps or quiet time as needed. I express my anger in healthy ways.

Perfectionism doesn’t die easily.

If at all. Lots of thinking during my last day at the beach. Not all of it on paper yet, though.

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