self-esteem

Self-Love and Insecurities: This is Where I Am.

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Show me the most beautiful, powerful, successful, actualized, amazing woman in the world, and I’ll show you a woman who sometimes struggles with insecurities.

We all face the darker side of our own feelings about ourselves from time to time, no matter who we are or how hard we have worked on ourselves, how spiritual or “enlightened” we are, how much we have healed, how far we have come… it happens.

And though some of us are better at hiding it from the world than others, none of us are exempt.

Sometimes I struggle to love myself completely.

There. I said it.

Sometimes my inner mean girls, inner gremlins, inner demons, whatever you want to call the voices, those voices, whisper and chant the meanest things to me.

Does my sharing this with you make you think less of me as a woman, a coach, a teacher?

Did you think I had it all together, and that “all together” included never thinking one negative, mean thought about myself, never critiquing myself, never “ugh-ing” myself in the mirror, never ever calling myself a name?

I’m sorry to disappoint you, if that is the case.

Because I stand for radical self-love doesn’t mean I’ve perfected it. Because I believe in self-acceptance doesn’t mean this comes completely effortlessly for me. It’s my journey. I’m still in it.

If you’ve attended any of my workshops over the years, you know that one of the first things I share, after I point to the bathrooms and ask you to turn off your cell phone is that I am not immune or completely healed of the negative self-talk and self-loathing judgment that plagues women of our western society.

My journey has been arduous and painstakingly bumpy, and very real, and never-ending and yes, I’m still in it. I’m still journeying. But, I say.

But. But on this journey, as I tired of the pain, I have learned many amazing and powerful tools and practices for quieting the critical voices, for cultivating self-love, for remembering who I am, for practicing self-kindess and compassion, for healing the relationship between my body and my mind, and when I practice them, my relationship to myself shifts, it heals.

They work if I work them.

And so of course, I am obligated to share them. We learn, we teach. Some of us are wired this way. Whether we like it or not.

Why am I telling you this?

Perhaps to come clean.

Perhaps because recently, when I told her that I was having a bad day and struggling with self-esteem issues, still another friend looked at me incredulously, jaw dropped, surprised… maybe even disappointed… “You?”  Yes, me.

But my commitment to expand my capacity for self-love and self-acceptance has been recharged. My relationships depend on it. My business depends on it. My life depends on it.

These days, on a bad day, I can remember to turn to myself with compassion, and sometimes I even remember to practice the tools that I teach.

I am not immune to insecurities. But I am not going to lay down and surrender to them, either.

I am devoted to mastering profound self-love and acceptance, and if it takes me the rest of my life to master, so be it.

Perhaps that’s the whole point of living.

I’m in. I’m registered. I’m signed up. I’m enrolled.

I’m no longer enrolled in “Self-Love 101”, but I haven’t earned my Doctorate in Loving Oneself Completely yet, either.

I am a work in progress. I hope you’re okay with that.

 

 

You will never be free, if you don’t do this.

freedomI think its pretty safe to say, we all enjoy freedom. We all want to feel free. Feeling imprisoned, trapped, meh, not really our thing.

I know for me, freedom has been a number one value, for many, many years. My top Core Desired Feeling is freedom. It is my favorite feeling, top sensation. Yeah, it’s very important to me.

In fact, for many years of my life, I was so hell-bent on feeling free, that I often mistook the concern, care or requests of others (mainly, the most important relationships in my life) as control, and putting my so-called freedom in jeopardy.

I used to semi-brag “If it even smells like control, I rebel.”

I spent so much time and energy rebelling against imagined control, my own rebellion became a prison.

I’ve been learning some really important things about this freedom I value so much, and how I’ve been fooling myself.

Anything that limits your capacity to experience joy, to give and receive love, is a prison.

Often, that prison is you.

And if you are in prison, you are not free.

Through lots of therapy, inner work and growth, I am much less of a ‘rebel’ (no longer acting out in dangerous, destructive or hurtful ways, in order to maintain my ‘freedom’.)

Yet, this year being the Year of Big Reveals for me… I realized, I still wasn’t free.

For there was a war waging inside of me. There was a painful battle I was fighting that I very rarely talked about, and its kept me imprisoned most of my entire life.

I was at war with my body.

This war manifested itself in many ways– the way I talked to myself…

The way I weighed myself daily, allowing the number on the scale to determine what kind of day I would have or if I would be in the mood to reward myself or abuse myself…

The way I turned to substances to feel better about myself, to feel confident and self-assured, faux freedom…

The way I constantly tried to monitor and control what I ate, in order to lose this extra weight, this extra part of me that I was so, so deeply loathsome of.

Even though I was in the business of helping women love themselves and their bodies, that luxury was not for me. That freedom was for others. I didn’t deserve that kind of freedom.

Here I was, Miss International Spokeswoman for Freedom, but I was not really free.

And the same is very likely true for you. Are you free, truly free?

Or are you in prison?

What I’m about to say might seem harsh, but I say it out of love, and first-hand experience.

If you are weighing yourself daily, you are not truly free.

If you are depriving or restricting yourself of entire food groups in effort to lose or control weight, you are not truly free.

If you are obsessively thinking about your body, your weight, your appearance, you are not truly free.

If you are withholding love from yourself until you reach that “ideal” weight, size or look, you are not free.

If you are counting calories, fat grams, tracking every calorie you burn or ingest, this, my beloved friend, is. Not. Freedom.

This is war.

You are at war with your body.

Your body wants peace. Your body wants to be loved. Your body wants you to know how much it loves you, how hard it works for you, how deeply it needs you to end the war.

Until you end the war with your body, you are not really free.

Until I ended the war, I was not free.

Truth is,  I have to end it again and again, sometimes even on a moment by moment basis. Body-loathing was so habitual, it has become more natural than body-loving. But I am on a path of freedom now. And I am willing to fight for it.

I did something really bold a couple months ago. I put the scale in the garage. I stopped weighing daily. Instead, I weigh on Monday mornings. The feeling of freedom from the tyranny of the scale has been exhilarating. But, here’s what happened last week.

Last week, I went to the gym three times. I did yoga at home. I took a couple walks. I was so proud. If you know me, this is a really big deal. I was feeling so good about myself. My body and I were crushing on each other. My confidence level was higher.

I was doing these things, taking great care of my body, for the first time, from a place of loving kindness. My body and I, buddies, lovers… it felt amazing.

Then this Monday, I got on the scale and the number was slightly higher than it was last Monday. And my mood plummeted. My great feelings about myself and my body evaporated, instantly.

I was disgusted.

There I was again, back in that cycle. Whether I am weighing daily or weekly, if I allow that number to determine my mood, my worth, my feelings about my body, I am not free.

So I went to work… I reminded myself of all the wonderful things I had done for my body the previous week.

I reminded myself of the new way I talk to myself, kindly, respectfully. I reminded myself of my new desire, real freedom. True freedom.

I reminded myself that bashing myself over the number on that blasted scale is not freedom, and I returned to love.

I reconsidered my weekly weigh-in, and began a new conversation about where I go from here. I want to feel good. I want to feel free.

So, what I am learning here: this freedom that I love so much is something I will sometimes need to fight for.

I will need to return to it, perhaps again and again, for the rest of my life. Or perhaps someday it will just be my state of being.

Either way, I’m in.

The same goes for you.

Unless you end the war with your body, you will never be free.

The freedom we long for is on the other side of body-loathing. And so is the power. Real power. True power. But I’ll save that for another blog.

Let’s fight for our freedom by deciding “no more body-loathing”, and ending the war, even if we have to do it again and again and again.

Are You a Hot Mess? The New Archetype in Town and Why She’s Dangerous

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hot mess – noun – informal: a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered. (Google dictionary)

Jenna is a client of mine who seems to travel with a tornado whirling around her. There are usually papers flying around her, she’s chronically late and she has a tendency to forget important dates, even when they’re in her calendar that is synced to every device she owns. She’s brilliant, beautiful and like most of us, has unlimited potential. She has dreams she has yet to take the slightest step toward. “I’m such a hot mess!” She laughs, exasperating herself, and those around her.

Sandra, a longtime friend of mine dreams of being a published author, has enough insight in her to fill a shelf of books, talks about writing all the time, but does not write. She’s even signed up for writing courses and events and has canceled at the last minute. “I’m just a hot mess.” She’ll shake her head.

You’ve heard of the Queen archetype, and the Femme Fatale archetype, and the Priestess archetype.

There’s a new archetype in town, and it’s helping us women stay small, across the world. It’s the Hot Mess archetype. And it can be very dangerous.

When I first heard this phrase a few years ago, I liked its sunny, somewhat sexy charm. Yes! I can be my messy self and it’s cute, even affable, I thought.

I’ve noticed it making its way into our day-to-day lexicon, and primarily, when its used, it’s a woman describing herself.

“I’m such a hot mess.”

Do I think that all use and identification with this phrase is harmful? No.

Do I think that words are powerful and we should choose them carefully, especially when describing ourselves? Most definitely.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this phrase and the women who use it, and here’s what my theory is. There are primarily two reasons women use Hot Mess to describe themselves…

  1. To stay small.
  2. To play small.

Think about it. If I am continuously shaking my head at myself, and enlisting others to join me, I never have to rise and shine. I never have to fully claim my power, my potential for greatness. It’s like written permission to stay stuck in a smaller gig, when really I am meant for bigger, better things. Being a Hot Mess, if you think about it, is actually pretty “safe.” No one expects much from the Hot Mess. And she doesn’t have to expect much from herself.

I also hear women using this phrase who are successful, shining, empowered, self-actualized women. These women are creating businesses, running corporations, raising families, making art, doing life, juggling a dozen balls at once, they’re doing it.

Yet, when they get the opportunity to refer to themselves as a hot mess (for example, forgetting an appointment, making a mistake, spilling their coffee) they jump on it.

And it’s my belief that they do this to shrink themselves a little bit, lest the world think they have it all together. To diminish their own glorious light, to shine a little less brightly, lest the world think they are better than them.

What they might be really saying is… “See, I’m human, just like you…” “How can you hate me when I’m a hot mess?”  “I promise not to outshine you, because I’m a hot mess.” “Don’t be jealous of me. I’m a hot mess too, just like you!”

We ALL have the Hot Mess archetype in us. If Carl Jung was alive today, he might call the Hot Mess archetype part Saboteur, part Victim part Fool.

This potential, these fallible, flawed, chaotic tendencies are in ALL of us. So since it’s universal, do we have to keep pointing it out?  We’re all human.

The danger of identifying as a Hot Mess is you being a smaller you. And you are here to play big, to shine brightly.

Yes, we are human, we screw up, we forget things, we all play small sometimes. No one is immune from the Hot Mess tendency.

But be careful how you label yourself, even if doing so tongue-in-cheek or lightheartedly, or you might find yourself stuck in a box of your own design, the Hot Mess Box. And that box, sister, is a trap.

How you refer to yourself matters. The words you use matter.

Next time you find yourself using the term to identify yourself, check in. Ask “How am I staying small or playing small in this moment?” And more importantly, “Why?”

Chances are, with one brave step at a time, you can move out of the Hot Mess box, into a greater, bigger, braver and more badass version of yourself. Ditching the Hot Mess archetype means stepping up, shining brighter, “adulting”, evolving into more magnificence. And it’s yours, if you’re ready.

Radiance-Robber: The Terrible Way We Speak to Ourselves

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Every day I work with women who are looking to reconnect or realign with a version of themselves they feel is lost. As I stated last week and I’ll say it again, nothing is lost. In fact, what you are being called to create, what’s getting ready to emerge from you is a higher, more radiant, more brilliant, sexier, lit up and powerful  version of you.

There is no need to go backward to retrieve some misplaced version of  yourself. A new version of you is waiting to be born. This is in fact your true essence. She’s in there, already.

However, there are several blocks and deterrents that get in the way of us accessing our true essence.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to what I think gets in the way of our true essence.  I’ve boiled it down to seven primary blocks. These blocks, these sexiness-stiflers, these radiance-snuffers, get in the way of our radiant life force, they disconnect us from our joyous radiance. Last week we talked about Old Programming.

This week I want to address the sexiness-stifling, radiance-snuffing  power of the second block…

Crappy Self-talk

Imagine if you will… if the voice inside you, the one that criticizes you, berates you, reminds you of your flaws and shortcomings and works so hard to diminish your power and happiness was an actual person, outside of you, that followed you around, saying those things out loud. You would have that person arrested for assault and harassment!

Or imagine if even just for one single day, you said all the awful, nasty thoughts you spoke to yourself, out loud, to your daughter or niece.

I shudder to think of how painful that would be. Yet, it’s so easy for us to default to talking to ourselves in an unkind way, like it’s no big deal, just another day at the Chattering Mind Office!

Would you continue to allow someone to repeatedly come into your home and rob it and ransack it, time after time? Then why do you succumb to the terrible things you say to yourself, about yourself, that rob you of your peace and radiance?

For you to connect to your true essence, which is joyous radiance, you will need to get this under control. Your brilliance will thank you.

I’ve often said “show me the most successful, beautiful, powerful woman and I’ll show you a woman who deals with insecurities and negative self-talk.” I’m dubious that negative self-talk is even something anyone can ever truly 100% conquer, so they never have another insecurity or negative thought about themselves again.  If you are that person, please contact me! I want what you’ve got! More accurately, it’s a daily practice. Emphasis on the practice.

With effort, time, patience and compassion, we truly can become kinder to ourselves. Ironically, it takes becoming diligent about policing our thoughts, and responding in kind, loving ways. We must learn to stop the cruelty in its tracks. Your mind will try to lead you down dark alleys, but you do not have to follow it.

 So how exactly do we get a grip on this painful and damaging default?

If you remember last week, when we discussed old programming, I suggested that catching the old belief, asking if that’s really what you want to believe and if not. then replacing the belief with a new one. The same goes for our negative self-talk.  In order to change the way you talk to yourself, you first have to catch yourself in the act. Become an active security guard of the way you speak to yourself. Get used to having inner dialogues like this with yourself…

 Chattering Mind: Wow. That was a really dumb thing for you to do. Haven’t you already learned? Seems like you’re destined to be lonely and miserable. SMH.

Security Guard in Your Head: Hey hey, watch it. I don’t like the way you’re talking to me. There are better ways to talk to me.

Chattering Mind: Yeah, well if you weren’t so pathetic I wouldn’t have to talk to you this way.

Security Guard in Your Head: I’m gonna need you to back off. I’m learning to talk to myself in a kind way. I would never say such things to my daughter or my best friend. It’s got to end. I want to feel good. I want to think differently.

Chattering Mind: Okay, fine. What would you rather think right now?

Security Guard in Your Head: That what I did wasn’t that big of a deal, in the big picture. That I am learning and growing every day, and am not the same person I was a year ago or even yesterday and I deserve credit for my courage.. That I deserve my own kindness. I’m a good person, with a beautiful heart…

 

Bam. The negativity is diffused, and you are one step closer to being someone who speaks kindly to herself. This is not something that will be transformed overnight. Chances are, you have been talking cruelly to yourself for your entire life, or most of it.

Begin with one thought a time. It gets easier, I promise.

What’s one nasty thing you frequently say to yourself? What would you rather say to yourself? Start now. Your fully expressed brilliance is depending on it.

Self-love is a radical act of rebellion.

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O God, help me to believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is!”

– Marcia Weiderkehr

First things first here, you are divine. That’s right, you are divinity incarnate. An expression of holy art. God walking around in a meat costume. Okay, I know that one’s a little graphic. But it’s true.

And until you own that, claim it as truth, you will never quite be able to grasp and embody the truth of your existence, your power or your light.

So let’s start there, and break this baby down…

“I claim my divinity…”

It is brave, bold business to love yourself, the way you are.

Our world is structured to put us at war with ourselves, to set us up for self-judgment, for self-loathing, plain and simple.

So to love yourself unconditionally is a radical, brazen act of rebellion.

Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.

True and unconditional self-love is a lifelong journey, a practice that when practiced, we get better and better at.

This practice happens choice by choice, moment by moment. I have worked hard to get to the loving place that I mostly reside in these days, but I still have moments of insecurity, of self-doubt, self-loathing. Being human has its perks, and its drawbacks. Even still…

“I boldly love who I am…”

There’s an interesting paradox I’m learning to embrace. It’s the dance between self-improvement and self-approval. Loving myself just as I am, while I strive to make improvements, to grow, to emerge, to shift into a higher version of myself.

You are a work in progress. And you are exactly right, right now.

“I do not need to be anything other than what I am…”

you are exactly right. Right now. As is. You are not broken. You do not need fixing.

“but I am always open to exploring undiscovered terrain of who I am.”

Stay open to new expressions of yourself, to new interests, to new hobbies. A dangerous way to live is in the “this is who I’ve always been” box. It leaves no room for evolution, for the new you that you are always becoming.

I recently heard someone say that being human is an ever-changing ratio between being and becoming.

Embrace your being, while becoming.

Breathe. Read this out loud, feeling its truth permeating your cells.

 

 

 

For a downloadable worksheet to bring the experience of this blog into your journal, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tyranny of Boob Padding

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“Am I enough, Piggy?”

It was a sexy new little navy blue chemise and I was excited to ‘premiere’ it for my partner.  Its stretchy satiny fabric felt good on my skin, it hugged my curves in all the right places and the light padding built into the chest area made my boobs look fuller and higher.

After a few minutes of kissing and fondling, I got up to use the restroom and was startled to notice in the mirror that the pads in the chest area had become bunched and rumpled and dislodged inside of the gown and now were completely uneven and ridiculous looking! I laughed at myself, yet felt a little embarrassed. Wait! I thought. These can come out! I grabbed a pair of scissors and snipped a tiny hole on the inside layer of fabric and pulled out the two strange looking pads.

Even without the padding, the nightie still provided enough support and hugged my boobs in all the right ways. I looked fine! Not just fine- I looked BETTER.

And then I had an epiphany. These pads were sending me a message. That message that we women get a thousand times a day in a thousand different ways:

YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.

The message came loud and clear, I’d been hearing it all my life!

But this time, instead of subsconsciously obeying it, I recognized it as a lie. This time, it angered me.  It pissed me off with its sneaky subtlety, something so quiet and ‘unassuming’ as breast padding in a chemise-  but still, the underlying message had attempted to taunt me with my “not-enough-ness.”

Yet, once I took the pads out, I looked and felt better.  My partner’s eyes widened when, with my more natural, unpadded look, I entered the room. And of course, I could feel his touch better without the padding. I WAS BETTER off just being me, without those stupid built-in boob pads.

I am not saying we burn our bras and stop shaving and stop caring about the way we look in an effort to celebrate our enoughness. If that’s where you’re led, awesome! For me, that’s way too extreme and I have way too much fun being girlie for that.

My invitation to SacredSexy YOU  is to simply be aware of when and how those messages sneak into your subconscious.

And some days, when you are feeling brazen enough, my hope is that you say no to the tyranny of boob pads.

I double dog dare you to grab a pair of scissors, cut out the proverbial pads in your life that lie to you and tell you that you are not enough. That your breasts are not big enough. Your legs are not smooth enough. Your face doesn’t look young enough. Your “feminine odor” is not fresh enough. (Floral scented crotchl? Really?)

Decide, just one brave moment at a time, that you are not going to be tyrannized by that message of not-enoughness.

Declare, even if just for a moment, that you ARE enough.  Because really, Goddess, you are.

 

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new front cover TODLExcerpted from my book, Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for Your Sacred, Sexy Soul. Now through the holidays, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite chapters from the book, available on Amazon.com, while I revive and reignite my creative fire with some much needed rest. Enjoy!

Insecurities: The Struggle is Real

insecurities_by_littlemissrockstar-d37i3mc

Show me the most beautiful, powerful, successful, actualized, amazing woman in the world, and I’ll show you a woman who sometimes struggles with insecurities.

We all face the darker side of our own feelings about ourselves from time to time, no matter who we are or how hard we have worked on ourselves, how spiritual or “enlightened” we are, how much we have healed, how far we have come… it happens.

And though some of us are better at hiding it from the world than others, none of us are exempt.

Sometimes I struggle to love myself completely.

There. I said it.

Sometimes my inner mean girls, inner gremlins, inner demons, whatever you want to call the voices, those voices, whisper and chant the meanest things to me.

Does my sharing this with you make you think less of me as a woman, a coach, a teacher?

Did you think I had it all together, and that “all together” included never thinking one negative, mean thought about myself, never critiquing myself, never “ugh-ing” myself in the mirror, never ever calling myself a name?

I’m sorry to disappoint you, if that is the case.

Because I stand for radical self-love doesn’t mean I’ve perfected it. Because I believe in self-acceptance doesn’t mean this comes completely effortlessly for me.

If you’ve attended my BodyLove Revolution workshops, you know that one of the first things I share, after I point to the bathrooms and ask you to turn off your cell phone is that I am not immune or completely healed of the negative self-talk and self-loathing judgment that plagues women of our western society. My journey has been arduous and painstakingly bumpy, and very real, and never-ending and yes, I’m still in it. I’m still journeying. But, I say.

But. But on this journey, as I tired of the pain, I have learned many amazing and powerful tools and practices for quieting the critical voices, for cultivating self-love, for remembering who I am, for practicing self-kindess and compassion, for healing the relationship between my body and my mind, and when I practice them, my relationship to myself shifts, it heals.

They work if I work them.

And so of course, I am obligated to share them. We learn, we teach. Some of us are wired this way. Whether we like it or not.

Why am I telling you this?

Perhaps to come clean.

Perhaps because recently, when I told her that I was having a bad day and struggling with self-esteem issues, still another friend looked at me incredulously, jaw dropped, surprised… maybe even disappointed… “You???”  Yes, me.

But my commitment to expand my capacity for self-love and self-acceptance has been recharged. My relationships depend on it. My business depends on it. My life depends on it.

These days, on a bad day, I can remember to turn to myself with compassion, and sometimes I even remember to practice the tools that I teach.

I am not immune to insecurities. But I am not going to lay down and surrender to them, either.

I am devoted to mastering profound self-love and acceptance, and if it takes me the rest of my life to master, so be it.

Perhaps that’s the whole point of living.

I’m in. I’m registered. I’m signed up. I’m enrolled.

I’m no longer enrolled in “Self-Love 101”, but I haven’t earned my Doctorate in Loving Oneself Completely yet, either.

I am a work in progress. I hope you’re okay with that.

 

Throw Out Your Raggedy Underwear!

… And other ways to feel sexier, right MEOW.

My 99 cent makeover!
My 99 cent makeover!
Frumpiness…
It happens to all of us. One of the first things I tell students when they come to my Unleash Your Inner Bombshell workshop is that none of us feels like a bombshell all the time. Even Marilyn Monroe, the bombshell of bombshells knew her “bombshell self” (Marilyn) was something she (Norma Jean) could turn on and off; it came and went. This is real life, after all.
In fact, it’s safer to say, as a work-from-home entrepreneur who spends most of her time sans makeup, in yoga pants, it’s more common that I feel… comfortable.
And when comfortable, it’s quite easy for me to fall into frumpiness. And it’s a strange coincidence, when I’m feeling frumpy, I’m also likely to be feeling funky.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Yes, self-esteem is an inside job. No, your appearance does not determine your worth.
I work hard on cultivating my inner world… But I will make no apologies for being a sensual, feminine woman, who enjoys lipstick, lingerie, and smelling pretty.
We cannot deny there is a direct and strong connection here: When we take the time to take care of our outer appearance, we feel better on the inside. Yet, when we get comfortable, we can get lazy, and when we get lazy, we succumb to the frumps.
These are the most common excuses women give me for letting their physical care go, and quitting on themselves, when it comes to the care, adornment and decorating of their temples…
  1. I don’t have the money. To that I say: Phooey! I just bought a 93 cent lipstick, “Retro Red” fact, and put it on in the parking lot, while running errands. And just like that, I felt more alive, more magnetic… more me. That’s me in my Retro Red up there in that picture, check it. It’s the only makeup I’m wearing and it had an instant effect on me.
  2. I’m too old. You are never too old to enjoy being a woman.
  3. I’m too busy. It takes ten seconds to apply lipstick. It takes ten seconds to put on a lacy pair or pretty panties. Next!
  4. No one (but the kids… the pets… the walls…) will see, so why bother? YOU will see. You will know. But mostly, you will feel.
I tell you these things because I love you. And because I get it.
I’d been feeling so unattractive lately. And guess what? I haven’t been bothering with makeup. With pretty undergarments. With keeping up with my grey roots. You should SEE the raggedy old strapless bra I’d been wearing because I hadn’t made the effort to find new ones. (Why is finding strapless bras that fit well so daunting?)
I get lazy. I forget how good it feels to feel sexy, just for me. Not for sexy-time, not for the world, not for my partner. Just for me.
So today, I treated myself to some lovely new panties, nothing crazy expensive, just enough to give me a little thrill. I’m wearing the yellow lace ones now. They make me happy and feel like a wearing a secret smile. I put on some lipstick. I’m about to go dye these crazy roots. I finally threw out the raggedy strapless bra! I’m doing little things to feel better, because how I look on the outside DOES affect the inside. And vice versa of course.
I’m in charge! I no longer hand over responsibility for how I feel about myself to others. But that… comes with responsibility.
I’m worth it. So are you.
Married or single, sexually active or not, young, old or somewhere in between, you are worth the effort. You deserve to feel good. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. It doesn’t have to be extravagant.
Do what makes you feel good.
Here are four things you can do today to immediately feel lovelier:
  • Go through your undergarment drawer and clear out the raggedy panties! Let them go! Sure save a couple of the ratty “granny” panties for that time of the month, if you must… but lose the other nasty old things! I just did.
  • Treat yourself to a 99 cent makeover. Buy yourself a fun, bright, bold cheap lipstick and put it on, right now, I don’t care what you’re doing. To really be adventurous, go outside your normal range of shades… For example, if you say “I never wear pinks,” buy a pink! Wet & Wild is a fun and super cheap way to play with new colors. See if that doesn’t immediately shift things for ya a little. If you have more to spend, spend more! The point is, treat yourself.
  • Put on some sexy music and use it as your background noise while working, cooking, being… and if you’re feeling really adventurous… dance around to it.
  • Do something sensual with your glorious body. Take a skinny dip tonight. Moon bathe naked. Rub yourself with luscious body butter, from your neck to the soles of your feet. Or just rub yourself. Be in your body. Enjoy it.
Experiment. Take a chance. Play. Enjoy the flesh and texture and shape of your body, as it is right now, and the senses you have been gifted with. Revel in the soft, sexy, fleshliness that carries your gorgeous soul around day after day, likely with very little thanks…
What’s the point?
YOU are the point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You Used to Be A Heartbreaker”: Reflections on Aging & Self-Love

10153082_10152140087913473_2833283768099282817_nI’ve been 42 for almost a year now, and I’ll tell you, it’s been an interesting ride.

As I inch toward my forty-third birthday, coming in about two months, I notice my contradictions are alive and well. Anyone who says they live in perfect harmony all the time, without any inner turmoil, contradictions or conflicts is either dead inside, in denial or lying.

Here’s a big one this year: I love and adore myself. I love and appreciate my body and its beauty and miracles and abilities. I feel alive and sexy and appealing. That’s one side. Then there’s the other side…

I am old. Look at those new lines. This extra 20 pounds will never go away. I’m gross. I’m old. I’m unattractive. I’m over the hill. I’m washed up. I’m fat. I’m gross. I’m old. Did I say that already?

Thanks to a lot and I mean a LOT of inner work, I have gotten so much kinder to myself. Trust me, it’s a way kinder place inside my head than it used to be. And I’m proud of that.

But I’m noticing it sometimes feels more difficult to be kinder to myself when I am also trying to reconcile the normal changes that aging brings with it.

I am not the thirty-year old sexpot I used to be.

And that’s a good thing, really it is.

But…

I’m not gonna lie. I sometimes miss her.

I love the way I’m growing. I love the way I’ve changed. I do love myself, I really do.

Yet sometimes I struggle.

I was in Austin last week, out at a local dive bar with my best friend, who has been galavanting at such establishments with me for oh, about 20 years… and some jerk of a guy, blasted out of his mind, gooped up on gop, wanted to tell us some things. He knew everything about everything, of course. And at one point he pointed at me and said “And you… you used to be a heartbreaker.”

I can’t tell you what that one statement has meant because I’m still processing it, a week later.

It struck me mostly because he’s exactly right. I used to be a heartbreaker. I used to get some sort of twisted pleasure from using the attentions of men as food, gobbling them up, and stringing them along so that I could have fun, feel good about myself, with no regard for them as people, as souls with feelings and hearts and whatnot. Then as I continued to grow, and do my work, that shifted. I no longer needed their attentions or validation. I did not need anyone’s help to like or love myself. I learned how to do it for myself.

So thankfully, my femme fatale days are over. But then why did his comment hit me like a punch in the gut?

I look in the mirror and there is a new reflection, one I’m not that crazy about sometimes, because I am comparing her to an old, outdated reflection. A younger me. I am evolving, changing, and yes, I am also getting older.

When we are moving into new phases, new chapters of our lives, it is only human nature to longingly cling to the old phases, missing who we used to be. Recreating ourselves is a fierce act of courage. It means leaving parts of us behind.

And at times, I struggle. I struggle when I hold on to what I used to be.

I struggle when I compare myself to a younger me, with disdain and frustration for who I now am.

I struggle when I forget that I am a queen. That this age, this face, this body, this belly, this me… this me is the now me.

And I could waste my time wallowing in what used to be… or what I wish I was… or I could use that energy to love the now me. I could love me now.

Every time I bring myself back to loving me now, it’s progress.

Every time I change the direction of my thoughts to loving thoughts, even just “a kinder thought than this one”… that’s progress.

Every time I choose to focus on what’s right and beautiful, every time I choose to love myself for the woman I am, right now, I become more beautiful.

Whoa… did you get that?

Every time you choose to love yourself for the woman you are right now, YOU become more beautiful.

Did we just crack the code to eternal beauty? Is MORE LOVE the answer?

Well I’ll be damned, I bet it is. Let’s try it.

 

 

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photo by Dee Hill

“I Can’t Love Myself.”

Dear Lisa,

I’m always seeing and hearing things about ‘self-love’ and ‘until you can love yourself, you can’t really love anyone else.’ I have an impossible time loving myself. I always have.

What is this self-love thing and how can I love myself when I look in the mirror and just see a plain, fat-thighed woman, past her prime? Even when I was pretty and young I couldn’t love myself. I’ve always had a low self-esteem. So how can I now?  I have a decent job I enjoy, some great friends. My life is okay, but there’s just nothing really special about me.

I can love others, though. I love my family, friends, my pets. This self-love thing seems like a cliché more than anything. But I am jealous of the people who seem to be able to do it. And because they do it, it makes me believe it’s possible. Is it possible for me?

Can you help me or am I as hopeless as I feel?

Signed,
Linda Love-less

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Dear Linda,

I feel your despair, yet there’s something in you that senses the possibility of a loving relationship with yourself, for why else would you have written? That’s a great place to start. In fact, where you are in this moment is the beginning.

I’ve always struggled with the idea of ‘until you can love yourself, you can’t really love anyone else.’ I’ve known people, and at some points in my life I’ve BEEN someone who did not love myself, yet loved others, with all my heart. But my heart had so much more capacity than I knew, and it grew as my ability to love myself grew. What I prefer to believe is that we can love so much better when we love ourselves. When you love yourself, you have a greater capacity for loving others. We become better lovers, better parents, better friends when we can love from a place of self-love.

Believe it or not, you are ON a path to self-love. I can’t pluck you up from where you are now and drop you off in self-love-land, but I can offer you a few tips:

  1. Instead of thinking you need self-esteem to love yourself, see if you can practice loving yourself AS IS… low self-esteem and all. If you can’t feel “LOVE” in this moment, what about tenderness? Kindness? Can you extend compassion to yourself, for now, just gentle, kind compassion, trusting that where and who you are right now is perfect? Start there.
  2. Make a list of 100 things you can love about yourself. Yes, I said 100. There’s something magical about 100. Start each list item with “I love…” Can you love that you are a generous friend or a great dog parent or have curvy, sensual hips? Can you love the sparkle in your eyes or your love for nature or that you do your job well? Keep the list nearby so that you can read it daily. Whether you FEEL love or not, just keep reading it.
  3. Reach out. Your friends obviously see great things in you worth loving. Don’t be afraid to ask them. Tell them you are working on loving yourself better and it would help you to know what they love about you. Seeing yourself in someone else’s eyes is not the be-all, end-all of our self-worth, not by any means, but I’m not gonna lie. It feels good to be reminded of what makes us great.
  4. Fake it ‘til you make it. Pretend you are someone who exquisitely loves and treasures yourself. Ask yourself “what would someone who loves herself do with this body butter?” And spend some time lovingly applying it to your body, as someone who loves herself would do. “What would someone who loves herself do in this moment?” And then DO what someone who loves herself would do. Do this enough, and eventually, I kid you not, you will BE someone who exquisitely loves and treasures herself.
  5. Tap into a bigger love when you need it. When you are experiencing a moment of self-loathing, say for example, in the mirror loathing your thighs, get vigilant about stopping yourself, mid-thought and asking “can I love my thighs in this moment?” and try to conjure up love in your heart. If the answer is “no, I can’t.” ask yourself “can I have a higher, bigger love run through me to love my thighs?” There is a limitless supply of love floating around you, always. Grab it, funnel it, direct it to your thighs. Steal a bigger love, when your love won’t cut it.
  6. Lastly, try the “love bait and switch.”  Spend a couple moments conjuring up “easy love” in your heart … like for your pet, or your best friend, or your nieces and nephews. Feel the love welling up in you, until your heart space swells and glows, and feels warm inside. Then BAM! Switch and aim it at yourself. Feel what it feels like to feel your love aimed at YOU. Even if it lasts for two seconds, that’s two seconds toward a grand and glorious love affair with yourself.

Trust your journey, it really is perfect. Stay open, and welcome yourself to this new path: deliberate, attentive and conscious self-love cultivation! It’s the adventure of a lifetime.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong love affair.” – Oscar Wilde

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I invite you to write with your questions or topic suggestions. I will answer all either privately or in this space. It’s my intention that my words will bring hope and new clarity. Email your question to me at lisa@sacredsexyu.com

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The suggestions and opinions offered on this site are not meant to dissuade any reader from seeking the advice and care of his or her own appropriate and licensed health care provider. The reader is strongly encouraged to seek out and establish a meaningful relationship with such a provider who will have the opportunity and responsibility to examine him or her and offer individualized health care suggestions and services.