The Motivational Rockstarr

Posts Tagged ‘self love

Domestic Violence Prevention avatarThis is my theme for the month. October is National Domestic Violence Prevention/Awareness month. For years this month has always been special to me. Not only have I experienced domestic violence – twice – but I’ve been a witness to it far too many times. Domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse. There are varying types: emotional, financial, sexual, mental, religious…the list goes on and on. There are women – and men, believe it or not – who are stuck in relationships today thinking they’re not being abused because their not-so-significant other hasn’t laid a hand on them. That’s the biggest stigma when it comes to domestic violence – that it’s only physical. It’s not! Any form of abuse that’s hurtful, belittling, and limits your quality of life can be considered abuse. There is no love is pain.

But there can be a purpose for it.

What I mean by purposing your pain is to take what you’ve been through and use it to better your life. A lot of times DV survivors feel guilt and shame for their failed relationships. Having society shame us in their own way doesn’t help, neither. How many times have you said or heard these words:

  • That could never be me!
  • How stupid  is she/he for staying?
  • She/he obviously likes the way they treat them or they would have left by now.
  • It can’t be that bad.
  • What’s to complain about? They’re living it up!

I could name countless other comments, but I think as survivors we’ve been shamed enough. Listen, there’s more to leaving a domestically violent relationship than packing your stuff and walking out. It’s not that easy! And, no, you don’t always see it coming. The complicated details can only be understood by those who have been through it. If you have, don’t waste another second giving the shameful thoughts and comments you overhear – or that are told directly to you – another kilowatt of your power! And if you’re the one doing the “talking” just know it’s more helpful to say something positive and beneficial. Keep your shameful feelings to yourself. You’re not helping the situation…AT ALL!

So how can you purpose this pain? Put a positive spin on it. I know there’s nothing positive about the incident in and of itself, but instead of reacting with guilt, shame, or counterproductively with your own attacks, try using the situation to help better your life.

Have you always been told you’re not attractive and no one else would want you? Use this opportunity to practice REAL self love! Every morning, go to the mirror and say these three affirmations:

I love you just as you are!

I appreciate you just as you are!

You’re beautiful just as you are!

Speak life into your self-confidence and self-esteem! Within a weeks time I bet you’ll feel a whole lot better!

Have you battled with finances because your not-so-significant other always controlled money? Take finance classes. Join online financial groups. Envision a better life where money is a tool that’s abundantly at your disposal.

Were you always told you would be nothing without them? Kept in solitude from your family and friends? Now is the best time to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. This is sometimes tricky because, sadly, not all family members and friends are supportive of DV survivors during this critical time. I highly recommend seeking support groups. They can be found at your local community centers, though DV organizations, meetup.com, and many other places. Having difficulty finding a group? Create one! You are not alone in this journey. Find another lone walker and take this task on together. The more support you can find, the easier it will be.

There are many other ways to purpose your pain. One way that’s helped me is to give back and help others who are now dealing with what I’ve been through. This month I plan on purposing my pain in several ways:

  1. Purpose your Pain AnnouncementPurpose your Pain Open Coaching Sessions – Every Thursday evening from 6 pm – 7 pm EST this month I will host a weekly webinar online to discuss four aspects of domestic violence recovery: acceptance, forgiveness, healing, and forward movement. I invite you to join me and the other participants. As a bonus, all participants are eligible to win a free digital gift basket! Registration is free and participation is confidential. You can register here at Eventbrite. Or you can pop by the Zoom chat room where the webinar will be held. It’s open to all participants and, as stated before, you can participate confidentially.
  2. Stronger Than Life: On Saturday, 10/14, I will be in Bridgeport, CT sharing my story with four other amazing survivors. If you’re in the Bridgeport area I invite you to attend this event. Information can be found on the flyer below:Stronger Than Life 2017
  3. Hurricane eBook sale: The book that saved my life…literally…is on sale this month for $1.99 using coupon code RH32T. It’s available for download on all eReaders at Smashwords .

Hurricane Book Cover Image

There’s no telling what else I will do to bring awareness to this life altering issue. One thing’s for certain; whatever it is I will not let my pain exist in vain. If God spared me then it’s only right that I help others escape the turmoil I went through. Through pain, shame, and victim blame…I will purpose my pain!

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Self-Love

To Love Self is to Love God! ~ Coach Cartel

Amazing! Wonderful! Beautiful! Delicious, even!

Those are just a few words that can describe my week of self-Love! Never have I ever devoted so much time and attention to myself without an ounce of guilt being felt. To understand the depth and magnitude of how important of a milestone this is for me we need to go back to what started it all.

For three weeks I partook in an online Love summit entitled From Heartbreak to Wholeness. Hosted by Elisabeth Scheffer, it featured some of the nation’s top Love experts, coaches, healers – alla dat! Some of the presenters I’ve known and followed off and on from time to time. A few were new to me. In fact, it was a coach of one of the new presenters that sparked the idea of my self-Love week.

Her name is Nicole and she’s my new Love Mentor. She works closely with Dr. Diana Kirschner who’s a relationship coach. No, I’m not looking to get hitched again – yet! However, I have come to realize that while I’m so busy giving, giving, giving I’m doing very little receiving. And that, my dear rockstar, had to change.

So upon speaking with Nicole for the first time we got to know each other better. I told her of my past Love “lessons” and how they contributed to my personal views on Love as of late. During this 60 minute call she gave me several homework assignments (still makes me lol…I’m not even officially her student yet!). One of these assignments was to get a massage. I needed to show myself some TLC…with the same intent that I’ve shown to others.

And thus began the week of self-Love!

It’s funny because I was hesitant to even book the massage! Seriously, it took me almost an hour to click submit for payment. But I finally did it. It was paid for and all I had to do was secure a date. (That was on Sunday.) Since that day, I have done at least one act of self-Love for myself for the past seven days. I’m proud to say that, beyond that initial hesitation, I didn’t bulk once at spoiling myself with a little TLC!

Why? Because after speaking with Nicole I had an epiphany that night. I can’t keep giving 50 if I’m only at 5! Never mind the numbers (I’m not talking percentages or anything), focus on the message. We’ve all heard the saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Well that saying is beyond the truth and what I found myself doing – especially lately – is trying to pour into others (work, kids, business, clients, writing, etc.) from a space that was about as dry as the Sahara desert! I was so focused on forcing myself to give to others that I didn’t stop to see that I had nothing left to give. It was like squeezing water from a rock. It just wasn’t there. Add to that my internal issues dealing with rejection, exclusion, judgment – something had to give.

So I gave! More like I gave up! What did I give up?

  • The need for others’ approval of my work.
  • The need to feel included in events.
  • The need for outer validation.
  • The need for social media.

I let it all go for seven whole days! And it…felt…GREAT!!! I realized during this week the reason why I felt the way I did was because others were giving amongst themselves, but no one was giving to me. No one was giving to me because I wasn’t giving to MYSELF!!! While I can’t safely say that habit has been completely broken, I can say that it has been curved dramatically. No longer will I neglect myself nor hide my true being for the sake of others. Anytime I feel slighted by someone or something on the outside, I’ll know it’s time to go within and nurture my inner artistic Rockstarr back to health.

So what does that mean for me now? It means I’m at a point where I’m in the overflow! Yes, I can freely write, create, and coach effectively! I can goal set and plant good seeds for my next harvest. I can look at myself in the mirror and look 10 years younger because I eliminated the stress! I can be open and vulnerable to myself, to my clients, and – God willing – to my true Love! :o) I’m at a beautiful place, in a beautiful space, and I thank God for this week of heavenly bliss! If you have never done so, please take a week – or even a few days – and carve out time just for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful, light, healthy, and younger you’ll look and feel! It feels so good to give from this space! It feels even better to receive from it!

We’ve rounded the bases and are at the home stretch. By now, you should have a firm grasp of how understanding, accepting, and reclaiming self-love is important to your overall well-being. Once you’ve positioned yourself to developing self-love, you have to learn how to protect it. It’s important to prevent anyone from depleting you of the self-love you’ve worked so hard and diligently to accumulate up to this point.

How do you protect your self-love? By guarding your mind, heart, and spirit from negative outer sources. Your newfound level of self-love is much like a newborn baby: very much alive and very much vulnerable to any and all outside forces. You must nourish and protect it at the same time. Continue to fuel your self-love by spending quality time alone, doing things you love to do, and being in your true essence. Don’t share your QT ideas with anyone during the initial stages! Doing so will expose your new baby and, if met with criticism, can cause more harm than good.

People may come to you with ideas on how to spend your quality time. While well meaning, these ideas don’t have to be acted upon. Simply say, “Thank you for the idea!” and keep moving along. You don’t owe anyone anything beyond that, and depending on who it is and how the idea is presented you may not even owe them that much! There are those who feel they always know what’s best for others. Then there are those who insist they know how to operate your life better than you. Take their suggestions with a grain of salt, gently toss them to the back of your mind, and proceed to loving yourself how you see fit.

On the flip side, you will have those that will criticize  you for spending so much time, money, and effort on yourself. They’ll say things like, “You’re always wearing make up! Who are you trying to impress?” “Why do you keep going back to school? It’s a waste of time!” “You’re such a loner these days. What, are you too good to hang out with us anymore?” These comments are merely reflections of the giver, not the receiver. Never let anyone tell you the proper way to show love to yourself. You know how best to refuel your mind, body, and spirit. If they can’t or don’t understand it, then it’s their loss. You don’t owe anyone any sort of explanation. Just keep doin what makes you happy and protect yourself from the nay-sayers at all costs.

I do hope you’ve taken this self-love journey seriously. I also hope that it was, indeed, beneficial to you. Even if one sentence make you open your eyes to treating yourself better I’m satisfied. My goal is to help you find small, simple, everyday ways to improve your life. Little by little, bit by bit. Change doesn’t happen in big, grandiose steps. They are a series of small, intentional steps that you decide to make and then act on. I hope these small, intentional steps lead you to the bigger picture.

Thank you for taking this journey with me! Feel free to revisit this series if ever you feel your level of self-love slipping. Also, share this series – and blog – with your family and friends. You never know what nuggets of wisdom they may find. Love, hugs, and cupcakes to you all!

~Rockstarr~

We’re rounding third base in our self-love series. By now, you should have a better understanding of self-love. Once that understanding is solid, the next step was to make the declaration of accepting self-love. So what’s left? Here is where we go back to the basics. In the quest of reclaiming our self-love, we must remind ourselves of the different ways we can express self-love.

Below are ten ways you can reclaim your self love:

  1. Mirror Talk. In this exercise, you’ll have a loving conversation with yourself. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed. It’s a private moment for you to express your true feelings of love and appreciation. No one knows about this moment but you.
  2. Write yourself love notes. Leave them in inconspicuous places. As you come across them, you’ll be reminded just how fantastic you really are.
  3. Take a brisk 20-minute walk. Here is an opportunity for you to spend some quality time with yourself. You can think about anything, everything, or nothing at all. This time block is strictly for you and cannot – and should not – be interrupted.
  4. Take yourself out on a date. Dinner, a movie, bowling – find something that you love to do and haven’t done in a while and make a memory of it. Snap a few selfies while you’re at it. Create memories…that’s what it’s all about.
  5. Buy yourself something nice. It can be as extravagant as a $10,000 ring, or as simple as a $0.25 sucker. Whatever tickles your fancy. The premise is to give to yourself, from yourself.
  6. Go on a vacation. Whether it’s across town or across the country, shell out a few bucks and give yourself an opportunity of a lifetime. Visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, or a place that reminds you of who you are. Whatever you do, make the most of this trip.
  7. Get a massage. After all you’ve been through to get to this point, it’s time for some R&R…rest and relaxation. My personal favorite is a deep tissue massage with lavender and chamomile aromatherapy. Talk about heaven! There are plenty of massages to choose from. Find one that suits you…or better yet, experiment! Who says you only need one massage?!
  8. Give yourself a hug. Yes, it’s that simple. Wrap your arms around yourself and enjoy that warm embrace. You’ll know it’s authentic because it’s coming straight from you.
  9. Volunteer. If you’re a giver by nature, what better way to reclaim your self-love than to express your love for others? Spend time with the elderly, volunteer to be a big sister, donate blood. There’s a great need for givers. Fill that need and yourself at the same time.
  10. Give to a cause you care about. When you have a healthy level of self-love it’s easy to give to others. Pick a charity or cause – or even a person – close to your heart and do what you can to be a healthy reflection of self-love. Do this especially if it’s with a person. Don’t try to push your values onto them. Rather, show them what it means to love oneself. Be an example of healthy self-love. You’ll do them and yourself a world of good.

I’m sure you can think of many other ways to reclaim your self-love. What are they? Share below and inspire someone else. You never know who’s in need of reclaiming their own self-love. If you need help finding creative ways to reclaim your self-love reach out to me and we’ll get you back on track!

 

Now that you have a workable understanding of self-love, it’s time to move on to phase 2: accepting self-love. How do you do this? The process is easier than you think. In order to accept self-love you need to believe you’re worthy of self-love. Believing this truth is where many women get caught up. They start to think of the mistakes they’ve made in the past, the lies other people have told them, the goals they let fall to the wayside and produce numerous amounts of evidence to debunk the fact – FACT I tell you – that they are worthy of self-love. Instead of letting the evidence work against us, let’s use the evidence to work in our favor.

Case Study #1: When you were a child you were always told you were too ugly/fat/skinny/tall/short/girly/tomboyish. You never learned to love your true self because you altered your image to be the opposite of what you were being called.

Truth: The fact remains that you were NOT any of those things. Honey, listen…kids can be cruel, but none of what they said was true. It wasn’t any truer then than it is now. There was a point in time where you loved yourself for who you were. Along came adolescence, hormone changes, and peer pressure – all of a sudden you don’t know who you want to be. The answer has been with you all along: you want to be YOU! Let’s take that a step further though; don’t just BE you, EMBACE you! This means your curves, your tone, your hair, your style, your voice, your laugh – love and accept everything that makes you unique. We’re not in middle school anymore. Let those monster comments go. And if the comments came from an adult, know the issue is within them and was simply – yet unfairly – projected on you.

Case Study #2: You promised yourself when you were 21 that you would be married with 2 children living the American dream by the time you were 30. You’re now 35!

Truth: You can’t control decisions that involve more than you! Meaning, it’s unfair to your significant other (past or present) to buy into your dream if it doesn’t fit their own. Maybe they had different dreams in regards to marriage and family. That doesn’t make you any less valuable or worthy of self-love. Just because you haven’t found your knight in shining armor (thanks a lot, Disney! *side eye*) doesn’t mean they don’t exist! It just means you need to take this time to prepare yourself for the life that you desire. We’ve all heard the saying before and it rings true: we get what we want when we’re not looking!

Case Study #3: In focusing on case study #2, you neglected your goals of going back to school, starting a business, creating art, developing an invention – all because you lost yourself waiting for someone that has not yet arrived.

Truth: Just because you put your goals to the side doesn’t mean they’re completely dead! At any time you can register for classes, obtain a business license, pick up a paintbrush/pen/camera, or get in your lab! I am a firm believer that creative expression is one of the HIGHEST forms of self-love there is. It is the epitome of self-expression which can only be done when one is truly at peace with their inner being. Everyone – and I do mean everyone – has a creative side within them. Even if your goals are more logic-based, you can still use creativity to get you back on course.

Once you accept the truth of who you are, you will no longer be persuaded by anyone else’s truth of who you should be. That alone will provide the freedom required to fully love and embrace yourself…and by that I mean your SELF! Nothing has meaning except for the meaning you give it. When you define yourself, by yourself, for yourself, to yourself all other opinions and definitions – good or bad – will no longer matter.

“To thine own self be true.” –

Let’s be honest, how many of you can say this statement represents our life? Are you being true to yourself, or are you living a façade? Most of us are the latter, but swear we’re living in the former…especially in the sector of self-love. Now hear me out, ladies! We have a very warped perception of the true definition of self-love. We’re led to believe that it means having our hair laid out, nails on point, toes on fleek (do people even still use that word?!), body snatched, and clothes cycled out every season for the latest trends. While this may be a 100th of a 10th of 1% true, it is by no means an honest measure of self-love. It may be a representation of your Love Language, but self-love is on another level.

First, let’s break down the two words (thanks, Merriam Webster!):

Self: the entire person of an individual

Love: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Combine these two and you have the overall meaning of self-love: the act of being unselfish, loyal, and benevolently concerned for you. That sounds good, right? Is this really all there is to it?

In a word…no.

Self-love is so much deeper than a combined Merriam Webster definition. It goes beyond the physical appearance and resides on a deeper, cellular level. How we think…how we act…how we treat ourselves is an indicator of how much – or how little – self-love you possess. The way you carry yourself in person and in private are a direct reflection of how you value yourself. Before we dive in to what self-love is, let’s clarify what it is not.

Going back to my examples, these are not true signs of self-love. Yes, we all want to look good and personal care is a must, but that doesn’t equate self-love. In fact, we as women are notorious for using our outer appearance to hide our feelings. If we feel our body isn’t up to par, we wear clothing that hides our shape. If we dislike our hair, we cover it up with wigs and weaves. If our skin is less than perfect (God forbid we have a pimple or scar) we cover it with make-up. We look great on the outside, but it’s only to cover up the emptiness and inadequacy we feel on the inside. And who causes these feelings? Family? Friends? Lovers? The media? We can point as many fingers as we want, but the bottom line is WE are the cause of these feelings. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt stated this truth some decades ago and she was spot on. We’re so concerned about how appealing we are to others so THEY will love us, that we neglect to love our natural self. What do we end up doing instead? We hide behind the disguises of painted nails, false hair, compromised complexions, and uncomfortable clothing – all for the sake of love.

Ladies, this is not true self-love. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good so long as you’re doing it for YOU and not THEM!

Here’s what real self-love looks like. It’s proper rest and nutrition. It’s laughing and smiling genuinely because you’re happy with yourself. It’s complimenting other women in a positive light. It’s living the life that you desire. It’s being grateful for everyone and everything in your life. It’s spending quality time with yourself doing what you love. It’s practicing your beliefs. It’s being you…unashamed and unapologetically!

When I first understood self-love I was on the other side of the spectrum. In fact, I was so far on the other side I didn’t even bother to hide it. My focus was on everyone else: kids, family, not-so-significant others. Everyone got a piece of my love except for me. As far as receiving it…that was a foreign concept. Do you know what it’s like to never be told that you’re loved? That you’re beautiful? That you are appreciated? Now imagine that being your entire life. Growing up, these words were non-existent. It was just assumed, I guess. So, of course, the first time someone told me they “loved me” I was ecstatic! I didn’t bother to think if they were telling the truth or why they said it in the first place. I don’t even think I knew what the word “love” really meant. I was just so enamored a the fact that someone finally – FINALLY – told me they loved me. Too bad that person lied…and so did the next one…and the next one…and on and on and on.

It would take years of disappointments, let downs, and false illusions to finally accept that none of these claims (made by not-so-significant others and friends) were true. It would take just as long to rebound from the hurt and confusion it caused me to feel. If they never really loved me, did that mean I was unlovable? Did I even know the true meaning of love? Again, it would be years before I finally GOT it.

You see, where most of us as women go wrong is we look for others to love us instead of learning to first love ourselves. In order to love ourselves, we need to know ourselves. In order to know ourselves, we need to spend time within ourselves. Only then are we capable of self-love, and it isn’t until we master self-love that we are truly able to love others. Otherwise, we’re simply lost souls seeking a “feeling” that we think is love, but we’re not quite sure because we don’t really know what love is ourselves. Once we get that understanding, we become force to be reckoned with!

This week, I want you to spend some time defining self-love. What does it mean to you? Are you living out the true meaning of self-love, or are you covering it up with distractions and illusions to mask the pain? What will it take to improve your self-love? Share your story below. This blog isn’t just about me…it’s about US! Look for the video blog expounding on this topic in a few days. You can view my current and previous videos here.

Ahh…Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. The day we shower our loved ones with candy, cards, stuffed animals, and other trinkets. It’s also the day we curse for being fake, commercialized, glamorized, and created for profit’s sake.

Honey, listen.

Your thoughts about Valentine’s Day are valid…because they’re your thoughts. Maybe you love the day. Maybe you loathe it. Maybe it brings up beautiful memories of how you met your spouse. Maybe it’s not even recognized as a day and you’re still pretending it’s February 13th. Whatever the case may be, look past the “holiday” and see the purpose of it.

This day is about love. It’s about caring for individuals in a way that may or may not be deserving. It’s about putting someone else’s needs before your own simply because you value them that much. To me, Valentine’s Day isn’t a chance to show off how much you love your mate to the public. It’s a day to prove to someone that you love and value them…in private.

That can be hard to do, especially if you’re still healing from a broken heart. I understand because I’ve been there. Hell, technically I’m STILL there! There are different levels of pain when it comes to a broken heart. There’s the level due to the loss of a love one through death. There’s the level due to loss of a loved one intimately (breaking up). And there’s the level due to loss of SELF! This is the level I want to address because – in my opinion – this is the hardest heart break of all to heal from – but it’s also the EASIEST to recover.

When I say, “loss of self,” what I’m referring to is forgetting about the essence of who you are. This could have been done for the sake of pleasing someone else. It could have been due to extensive responsibilities. Or maybe you were never taught how to love your self so you didn’t, in fact, lose it…you never had it. When we neglect our own needs it becomes hard to meet the needs of others. When they don’t understand this neglect of self and still demand things from us, it can also make us resentful.

This is dangerous for several reasons. Resentment blocks our ability to reason. It prevents us from seeing the full picture because we’re so focused on what’s being taken from us; we don’t stop to see what we’re giving ourselves. It also makes it harder for others to love us because we automatically group everyone in the category of “leeches” and assume they just want to stick their grimy straws in our backs and suck us dry. That may not be the case, but when we have no love for self and set no boundaries it sure can seem that way.

That’s why it’s important to step back from everyone and everything for a while and refuel your own cup. You need to get into the habit of loving you even when it’s hard to love others. We get so wrapped up in trying to prevent others from breaking our hearts that we don’t see how we’re breaking our own hearts daily. Love isn’t outside of you. It’s within you. When you love yourself properly it begins to REFLECT outside of you. So the love that you believe others have – or don’t have – for you is really a REFLECTION of the love you have for yourself.

Now the question is how are you loving yourself? What have you done to please you lately? Do you even know your love language? If not, find out what it is here. Once you know how to love you, then you can fall passionately in love with your SELF. Then and only then will the additional love from others have true meaning.

This Valentine’s Day, spend some time loving you even if you’re recovering from loving others. It’s okay to still show love to others as well, even if you’re working on healing yourself. No one has ever been hindered by love. Lust…yes. Love…no way! The best way to heal your heart is to use it. Start inward and work your way out. The more you love, the faster you’ll heal.

How will you  love yourself this Valentine’s Day? Share your ideas below.

Are you struggling with learning to love yourself? Let me show you how vital love is to your personal growth.

http://isyspublications.com/coaching

 


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