Self Love

Give Yourself the Gift of Self Compassion This Holiday Season

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In case you haven’t heard Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends spinning tunes on the radio or seen the decked out evergreen firs around town yet, the holiday season is upon us. While the holidays are often a time when people are encouraged to spread joy and be generous to others, the intense pressure of “giving enough” and showing up for our families can really amount for a lousy holiday if we forget about our own self-care. Here are a few tips to help you toast to a healthy holiday season!

  1. It is perfectly okay if you don’t feel like being joyful this time of year. Maybe the holiday season reminds you of a painful event in your life or you don't have any family nearby to celebrate with — there’s no reason you should have to take a ride on the holly jolly trolly if you aren’t feeling up to it. Instead, spend some time nourishing you and doing something cathartic like reading a book, meeting a friend for coffee, going ice skating or watching a new movie.

  2. If you are purchasing holiday gifts, stick to a budget that makes sense for you and do not spend more than you can afford. Spending extra now when you truly cannot afford it may lead to resentment and financial hardship later. Consider giving the gift of your time, a heartfelt card or experiences that can be financed over time like concert tickets. By following a strict budget for holiday shopping, you can walk into the new year feeling more financially stable and confident!

  3. Holiday travel can be hectic. If you are traveling this holiday season — be gentle to yourself and come prepared with calming essentials. Calming essentials are go-to items that will help you stay calm and bring you peace amidst chaotic circumstances. Not sure where to start? Now is the time to start packing. Some recommendations may include: your water bottle, tea or hot chocolate mix, positively energizing tunes, essential oils, hand salve/lotion, a cozy scarf or blanket, a favorite photo album (electronic may be best for traveling), a you-approved selection of podcasts/audiobooks/books, and don’t forget your favorite snacks!

  4. Prioritize YOU-time. So often, we are expected to show up to holiday parties to socialize and be “on” which can be draining, even for extroverts. If you have a lot of social events that you anticipate will zap your energy, take some time to plan lots of YOU-time before and afterwards to recharge and recover. While it may sound trivial to schedule YOU-time, you will thank yourself later and be glad you did. When we push ourselves too hard while running on empty, we are more prone to experience stress. Take the time this holiday season to get the rest you need and take care of you. That way, you’ll be more fun to be around later when you rejoin the group!

  5. Know what would be absolutely perfection this holiday seasons? Letting go of perfection. It is far too easy to get caught up in a holiday headspace that is populated by Pinterest, but it’s less easy to actually create in real life. Instead of trying to make your holiday table look exactly like the one you pinned and have been admiring for weeks, try to focus on one element that feels special for you. Maybe making your grandmother’s recipe or hanging an heirloom ornament on the tree is really important or perhaps spending time with family or going to the movies is your thing. Instead of focusing on ‘having it all’, try to consider which aspect will bring you the most meaning and aim to make that one thing possible. Remember #managingexpectations makes for a better-than-perfect holiday!

No matter where you find yourself this holiday season, remember to give yourself the gift of self-compassion - YOU deserve it!

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Forget your resolutions...Here's how to live your best life in 2018

New Years resolutions are not for everyone. Historically, New Years resolutions have been a catalyst for excitement and inspiration that are eventually followed by defeat and disappointment. Most often because many resolutions tend to be drastic changes or overly ambitious. It is no surprise that statistics show that only 9% of people report feeling successful in achieving their resolutions. Then there's the attitude shift. When we focus on creating a 'resolution',  sometimes that implies that we are doing something wrong already and the attitude puts a damper on the experience. While the intention of New Years resolutions is often self-improvement, the process feels difficult to grasp at times. Here's another suggestion... ready? Back away from the resolution-making. Instead, redirect your energy towards reflection about your innermost passions and desires! Our passions and desires are important to us and we don't often think about them while we are wrapped up in holiday shopping or office parties, so the New Year brings us quite the invitation.

What are you passionate about discovering in 2018?

How do you wish to spend this year ahead?

If you value family time, perhaps consider what opportunities you can create in the year ahead to fill up your cup. Or, maybe you truly want to travel on an international adventure and explore Eastern Asia... why not start planning now?

Living your best life in 2018 is all about living your life the way you want to, which happens when you follow your passions and desires. So grab a pen and maybe a cup of tea and get to reflecting! I hope you live your best life yet!

 

The Beginner's Guide to Energetic Love

Energetic Love has the capability to transform our relationships. This stems from understanding that love is not simply a noun - a product of something we create, but also a verb. Love is an ongoing and evolving process. Energetic love is the act of loving (with energy).

We energize our love by increasing our awareness of ourselves and our partners and through this insight, we are able to love more intentionally and authentically. Energetic love also implies that loving itself requires energy, which is true. Love is an active process and one that does require our body, mind and spirit. If we love without energy, it may not be as sustainable or meaningful.

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So, how does one practice Energetic Love?

Balancing individual and interpersonal awareness with proactivity. Examine what is going on internally and externally in your relationship:

  • Consider your own understandings of love; think about this as your love template. How do you feel loved? If you have a partner, how do they make you feel loved? How do you express love to others or a partner? What ways does your partner feel love and express love? Gary Chapman's book, Love Languages is an excellent resource for understanding how we "love" one another and receive love ourselves.

  • Fill in the blank. When we understand that our partner feels loved by _____ we can use this information as an opportunity to speak their language in the way that we act (using energy).

  • Embrace imperfection. We are human and cannot possibly do everything right all of the time, no matter how nice that would be. When we make mistakes such as forgetting an important date or to unload the dishwasher, it is important to acknowledge these moments and use them as learning opportunities. Consider saying to yourself or your partner, "I am not perfect, but I will try to ________ in the future".

  • Forgiveness. We do not always show up in our relationship the way that we hope to and our partners do not always show up for us the way we hope they will. When these moments occur, embrace the disappointment, sadness or uncertainty that follows and direct your energy into a conversation on how to be more on target next time.

There is great wisdom that can come from our interpersonal awareness of how we love and experience love. When we are not getting something from our partners that we need in order to feel loved, we ought to communicate that in a benevolent way. When we are not loving our partner in the way that they need, we can use this information to channel our energy into more productive and meaningful loving.

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How do you practice Energetic Love? Feel free to share your ideas below!

Be Your Own Valentine.

Not feeling the love this Valentine's Day? That's okay. You're not alone.

February's frigid temperatures and scant sunshine have had a history of dampening spirits, requiring us to really dig deep if we want to stay motivated and connect to our loving intentions. Throw in the task of trying to figure out a special way to celebrate Valentine's Day and too often we are left with a pile of stress.  It's a shame that a day focused on love can create such chaos. As you shop for a great gift, plan the perfect evening, or indulge in your favorite chocolates, consider these reflections...

Open your heart and your mind.

If your date doesn't go according to plan, just know that some of the greatest love connections blossom in the moment, spontaneous or random moments that would not be nearly as meaningful if they had been planned. Trade in your blueprint of the perfect evening for possibility. The possibility of what happens in between perfection and paranoia. You might be surprised, perhaps even relieved.

Love isn't in the air, unless we surround ourselves with it.

It's highly unlikely that we will suddenly feel a ton of love unless we choose to create love in our lives. We might have to be extra mindful or bundle up a little tighter to make those opportunities happen in the winter season, but ultimately, love requires our energy and attention.  When we make conscious efforts to treat others in a loving way, we open our hearts to receiving love.

Celebrate efforts and love often.

If you ask people in happy relationships they will likely tell you that love does not just happen on one day of the year- it happens every day if we want it to last. Love requires us to be thoughtful, respectful and kind to our partners all the time as well as having patience and a sense of self-awareness, which cannot be cultivated overnight. Expressing gratitude for the time and energy we've invested into our relationships reminds us of what it truly means to love and embrace love.

Self love = the greatest gift of all.

Cupid may want everyone to feel the romance on February 14th, but if that's not where you're at, that's totally okay. Take this opportunity to treat yourself with extra love and do things that promote love in your life. Maybe it's a bubble bath or a sauna session, seeing a movie, rock climbing, or reading a good book and a homemade meal is just what you need.

However you decide to spend Valentine's Day, choose something that feels completely right to you. Treat yourself if you want, and relax if you don't. Everyday you have the chance to be your own valentine, so what will it include this year?