Self-Love

Fear of Change

I’ve been thinking non-stop about “Change” for months now,

Looking at parts of myself & my life that I feel deep in my being are ready for change.

These parts of myself & my life that I’ve out grown & that are just not working anymore. I look and I see so clearly that change is the only answer that remotely makes since at this time, but therein lies the problem. Change requires…well, actual change.

Some of the things I’m looking to change involve life-long patterns, deeply ingrained habits, and life-long understandings about myself & my place in this world .

My life has gotten to the place where these habits & patterns simply will not hold up with the rest of my life & where I’m headed.

Even though these parts of myself & my life are no longer working or serving my highest good, I’m terrified of letting them go.

So I’m faced with the biggest roadblock to change I know of….”FEAR!”

fear of changeThere she is, the big mama jama, the queen of quitting , the queen of no follow through. The one, the only “FEAR”.

What am I afraid of? 

I see all these paths before me unfolding , beckoning me to them & my soul longs to sprint ahead and dance wildly down these paths. Before I even place one foot down to move forward that queen of quitting  wraps her icy fingers around my throat & hisses in my ear, ” who do you think you are missy?”, ” you really think You have what it takes to make it?”, ” Are you really strong enough?”, ” people will think you’re a fucking joke, so why bother?”

All my Fears, Doubts, and Insecurities coming rushing to the surface the second I start even thinking about becoming more, the moment I’m ready to dive into those dark mysterious waters of Change I’m engulfed in Fear. 

Then I dig into another area of change & growth,

I look at things like taking actions

on health, and general lifestyle changes… Some change that requires smaller steps in a less utterly terrifying direction.

I realize I’m still holding back even with these smaller steps .

The question becomes :

What is holding me back from following through with things I know will make me feel better in multiple areas of my life?

What is stopping me from letting myself feel really good about myself?

                What is the Fear?

It boils down to core beliefs about myself & what I’m worth. Resistance to truly being genuinely Nice & Loving to myself. Spending time on furthering myself in ways that will lead to deeper connections & success.

Who am I to be mind blowingly Amazing?

The question then becomes :

Do I deserve to be Happy?

The obvious answer ( for me anyway) is ” YES!! of Course!”

But …. If that’s really the answer I feel is true, why am I not allowing myself the things that do generate feelings of Love, Worthiness, Connection, & Positivity?

Why do I not allow myself to be truly happy?

What is the Fear?

What am I really risking if I followed through with my dreams?

Failure & Disappointment …

I’ve failed a million times before in my life so what’s the Real Fear?

The real issues here is I’ve got a king sized fear of “Happiness.”

Happiness is the great unknown. 

Who am I if I let myself be really happy?

I know sadness, I know failure, I know pain, I know suffering…

What I don’t really know is

Success , true deep happiness , deep pleasure, satisfaction , pride in my own accomplishments , victory , fulfillment. 

What remains now is a journey, a journey of discovering who I am as someone who allows herself to be Truly Happy.

What does that mean to me?

Happy?

My happiness starts with recognizing , owning , and honoring my Value as a human being.

I am Valuable!!

I am Valued!

Being me is important.

How I FEEL is the most important place to start in any decision or action taken.

I Vow to practice allowing happiness to be a place of safety .

Following my dreams & fully living up to my full potential means I’m in some serious risk for experiencing some serious happiness . I finally feel ready to allow that kind of joy and fulfillment into my everyday life experience.

I realize that my fear of happiness stems from the belief that happiness is something external to myself , the fear that if I truly let myself be  madly happy it then could be taken away from me some how. That the pain of having finally let happiness in ,to then lose it ,would be too unbearable.

Feeling like I would rather stay in a state of not really happy, but not totally miserable as that felt really familiar & safe.  Now however life keeps showing up & giving me all these glimpses of true happiness , and my taste for it has made me insatiable .

The more I practice loving myself & recognzing my true Value, the more staying stuck in those fears becomes impossible .

I cannot love myself while simultaneously staying in a state of fear & self repression.

Truly valuing myself means full on knowing happiness is my true state of being.

I cannot Value my own life & stay paralyzed by fear.

Fear is a construct of the mind , an elaborate prison we create for ourselves. When we finally come to really understand this we can begin to turn toward the fear & begin dismantling it bit by bit.

For me recognizing that happiness cannot be taken away from me, that I am the giver , creator , Queen of the happiness kingdom within myself  – I then have the power to move in the direction of my own happiness & leave the fear behind.

Also recognizing that having a cerebral understanding of loving oneself verses the practice of Being Love in Yourself are two totally different universes.

The mind is so powerful , realizing most of my fears stem from some past childhood trauma , some misunderstood experience that I then took in and created fear and doubt with. Practicing loving the little scared girl inside me, giving her clarity , patience , and compassion opens my world to new levels of healing.

We are the creators of our reality

My journey continues as a woman not seeking Happiness, but as a woman knowing herself  and embodying herself in the middle of allowing herself true & lasting happiness. A woman discovering that the only blocks she has ever faced are the ones she herself set before her. A woman falling in love with herself to such an extent that no matter how afraid she is she cannot stop herself from living the most magnificent life she can possibly stand to experience.

Amber .

Allowing Creativity

One of the biggest gifts I’ve given myself in the past year is the gift of allowing my own creativity space to exist without judgement of imperfection .
For the longest time I told myself I wasn’t creative , that I had no artistic inclination so I wouldn’t even try.
Several years ago I started a collage journal and yet still didn’t acknowledge my own creativity.
I thought if it wasn’t something you could sell , or if other people didn’t acknowledge my creativity as valid ,
then it wasn’t.
It’s only been within the past year that I’ve really come to recognize being creative is just that, being creative .
Coloring , writing , journaling , dancing , singing , living boldly , sharing a story , playing with children , imagining things in our mind these are all acts of creation & creativity.
My art is not made to be hung in buildings and admired by other people , my art is made because it feels great for me to make it.
When I stopped thinking it had to be perfect , or approved of by others is when I started actually really enjoying creating .
The more I let go of what my previous idea of a creative person was , the more I became creative .
I found freedom in my art.
I am an artist, not because I sell art, make it for a living , or get my things hung on walls where others will see it,
I’m an artist because I create art with love, joy , and powerful intention .
It inspires me, it uplifts me , it opens me up to possibilities that have been hiding out inside me.
Creative expression is just that, an expression of ourselves .
I love color & sparkles , and playing with pictures & glue, finding words , and art that open my mind and heart to new places.
I used to be So jealous of people I thought of as creative because I had a pretty powerful story that I Wasn’t .
Now other peoples creativity inspires my own because I have stopped blocking my own creativity by telling it it didn’t exist . I drew this Mandala today and the spiral art I drew in New Orleans while I was visiting 🌀

allowing-creativity-2 allowing-creativity-3 allowing-creativity

True Campaigns for Change

true-campaigns-body

This article has a wonderful perspective on the war that women have waged against their own bodies. I think that the validity of taking a look at what we make “FAT” mean about us and our lives is a huge step in the right direction. That all the wonderful campaigns for women to love their bodies as they are, are a great step in a new and positive direction but that it is not most likely the end all be all answer to our self loathing.

I promote Self Love and Acceptance on all levels of our being , but I also know by spouting “self love” that does not necessarily mean the recipe for change. True self acceptance, true deep self love and self worth come from a place of change and questioning constantly what you are bombarded with on the external level. Looking into our own minds and the programs we have received about beauty and being a Woman and then questioning them, dismantling them until they no longer look and feel the way they did before. Learning to see our bodies through a different lens, coming to ourselves and embracing the power and magnificence of being a woman, of being human and being in a body at all. Coming to the very powerful life altering reality that how we look is not what truly defines us.

I know it’s been said before but truly sitting with that , meditating on this truth, letting it sink in seep down through the layers of bull-shit we have programed into our minds. We all have bodies, we all change and grow, and morph into different versions of ourselves, the young WILL GROW OLD. No one is immune to life and the changes that come with it, and hating our bodies along that journey is an ultimate waste of our precious time on earth.

I have suffered with my own criticisms and battled my own demons of self hate and loathing. As I grow older and things get softer, rounder, and more saggy I feel those programs of “not enough” and “should be better” creeping in. I feel the pain of those beliefs…they burn and twist my insides and it’s torture.

My greatest tool is LOVE when those voices and beliefs start moving in. Question them, pick apart where that belief came from, remove it’s power to influence you. Question everything you think, and watch as new truths emerge!

The False Premise: Operating From Our False Beliefs

Believing in yourself is paramount!

What I mean by this is that Everything we believe about ourselves is what we will experience of ourselves. If we sit around thinking (and more importantly feeling) unworthy, unlikeable, ugly, fat, stupid (fill in the blank), then that is what we will come to know of ourselves. We have merely convinced ourselves that we are those things based on patterns of thought and looking to outside influences to tell us how to feel about ourselves. I am not going to sit here and tell you media, movies, magazines, are all evil and the cause of all our own self-loathing. I am going to tell you that they influence our thinking an if we already feel bad about ourselves we can use those outlets as confirmation that we are in fact, lacking.

NewEyes

The key here is to re-examine all those beliefs you have formed about yourself over the years and really honestly ask yourself “are they true?” If you answer “yes”, I want you to then ask “how can I really know they are true?” My point here is learning to look with new eyes at old thoughts that most likely come from a wounded, sad part of yourself. I used to think I was very incapable of many things. I was terrified to even try new things as I was sure I would fail and be humiliated. New jobs, reaching past my comfort zone would send me into a panic attack. I would freak myself out so bad about the new adventure so much that I would usually end up quitting the job sometimes even before I started.

As I really began my journey of deeper self-discovery, I started really looking at the beliefs I had formed about myself and questioning there legitimacy. Where did that belief come from, and was it really true about who I really was? Could I change that belief and in turn no longer be held back by it? This is a process of listening, opening, and practicing hearing all the things you tell yourself about yourself and deciding what you want to keep believing and what you’re willing to let go of and change. A belief is only a thought you keep thinking and have thought upon long enough that it appears to be true. What I am asking you to do is to look inside and search for the True you. How do you know you have found the True you? The True you feels beautiful, feels light and open. The True you feels powerful and empowered. Thoughts that tell you you are weak, pathetic, less than everybody else are not the True you.

Suffering happens when we are taught to believe that what is happening to us is wrong and a mistake and we should have prevented it. We learn to think of life as a reward and punishment: If I am “good”, good things happen to me and I get what I want. If I am “bad”, bad things happen to me and I don’t get what I want.

In a nutshell, we have learned to believe that self-hate, that relentless onslaught of judgement, criticism, and blame, is what prevents us from being cruel, selfish, and indulgent and that without being constantly watched and controlled we will be hateful and harmful. It is a lie!

The only way we are ever going to stop abuse in all its forms is by ceasing to believe that punishing people makes them “good”. Your love will always be conditional as long as you are excluding any part of yourself from it.

Self-Love: The New Paradigm

Self-love has become the new buzz word, the new spiritual, emotionally intelligent thing to do. I am a teacher, a believer, a spouter of this great amazing thing called self-love, but I am also here to say “it’s deeper, it’s richer, it’s fuller, it’s more powerful than we have even begun to comprehend“.

confused-unicornThe truth is I think most of us are confused. Confused about loving ourselves, confused about being told to love ourselves, confused about how to love ourselves and wondering if we already did love ourselves before we were told it was what we were supposed to be doing. Using loving ourselves as a way of beating ourselves up, feeling like we should do it “better”, love ourselves “more”. But how?!

It seems like it should be the most natural thing we have ever done, but after a lifetime of being gently, and sometimes not so gently, dragged away from our own inner-guidance, things can get cloudy. I have devoted years to actively learning how to love myself. It has been an amazing challenge, the hardest part being the moment I realized I barely even liked myself and most definitely did NOT love myself, nor did I know how.

The most shocking thing about that discovery was the fact that all this time I thought I did love myself. I was deeply spiritual, I had done personal growth work, I had been in therapy, and I took yoga classes. The truth was I only loved parts of myself. The parts that went to yoga classes, were spiritual, and did personal growth work. What about my anger, my jealousy, my negative self-talk, my critical and judgmental side? Those parts of me were most certainly unlovable. So I set out on a mission to integrate those parts into the “Love Zone” (hard work). Total acceptance, forgiveness, embracing the dark (shadow) self was and is mind-blowingly challenging. I wish all it took was awareness and then *poof*…you love all of yourself no matter what, but it is a far greater adventure than just that. Becoming aware is a huge and essential step in the process, but I am here to say it is just one step of infinite steps towards deeply embracing, loving, and adoring ALL of one’s self.

Even to say the word “self” is complicated as we are composed of so many facets, so many characters. “Self” is a very slippery slope. So when doing self-love work my deepest suggestion is to be as utterly, painfully, balls to the wall, open and honest with all of those “selves” you are doing your best to know and love. Trying to lie, hide, or evade yourself is utterly counter productive. I’ve had to admit some unbelievably heinous things about parts of myself. I had to own them and stop trying to push them away and push them onto other people. Owning up to myself, even though very embarrassing and hard at times, ultimately freed something up inside me. It created space for something other than hurt and fear. I had to look at how I hated myself, how I used self-hate as a weapon to keep self-love, acceptance, and appreciation far out of reach.

MasqueradeSelf-hate can even masquerade as self-love acting like it is trying to love you by telling you to exercise, be healthy, and feel good, but the underlying feeling you get is that you are fat and unhealthy. Beating ourselves up about how we should be better, how we will change, because how we are now is gross and worthless. How many times have I tried to motivate myself through fear and judgement all through the guise of self-love? I know when I am actually being motivated by love because it feels good. I feel inspired, uplifted, supported. When self-hate is masquerading as love I feel guilty, shameful, less than, tired and defeated.

Learning how to truly fall in love with ourselves means taking a long look at some false premises we have set up for ourselves. Looking at patterns and beliefs, opening our minds, our hearts, our bodies to new dimensions of thought. Decoding some of our fear patterns and blocks we have built against love. Defining what love is to us and practicing everyday to open ourselves to new depths of knowing ourselves. Fearlessly exploring who we really are!