Self (ish) Love
With the excitement and craziness of the holidays all around us, it can be hard to zero in on what’s truly important. Gifts to buy, parties to attend, vacations to plan and time with family- the list goes on and on. Amidst all this, I’ve got a challenge for you, Tribe members.
This holiday season (and beyond): I want each of you to BE SELFISH.
Hold up. When has that ever been okay? Well, I’m arguing that it’s more than okay- that it’s actually healthy and frankly, incredibly NECESSARY to live the full life that you’ve been dreaming of.
Recently, I’ve been trying to practice self-love in every element of my life. I’ve been attempting to tune into my intuition, listen to my soul and do what “feels” right- regardless if I understand the reasoning behind it.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong.
This has been been one of the toughest decisions to stick with. I’m often confused by my desires, hesitant with my direction and doubtful that I am following my true path. I’m sure a lot of you feel that way pretty often, and it can be a very confusing time. As for me, I’m currently living semi-nomadically with a storage unit and a car full of skis. My weeks never look the same, my clothes sometimes smell and I’ve eaten more frozen burritos than I’d care to admit. I’m skiing as much as I can, cooking when and where I can, and plowing through books. I’m flaky with commitment, vague with my plans and spontaneous in my decision-making (even more so than normal). Over the last few months, I’ve frustrated my friends, accidentally broken some promises and been wildly unpredictable.
But you know what? I’m more alive than I’ve ever felt before. The secret? I’m being selfish- but for the right reasons.
All my life, I’ve been taught to be self-LESS, to think of others more often than myself, to put my beliefs / wants / needs on the back burner. I was told to never demand too much from any situation, person, relationship or job.
Being selfish was not tolerated in my household growing up, nor is it a socially acceptable quality now. I am an only child, and as a kid I was hyper-aware of speaking up for myself. I worried that vocalizing my needs would be dismissed as being “spoiled” or because I have “only child syndrome.” We’ve all met people who live up to the “only child” reputation, regardless of whether or not they actually are. I grew up (and still deal with) bratty folks every day who are demanding, impatient, narcissistic and self-absorbed. I knew from an early age that I couldn’t let that be me- WOULDN'T let that be me.
So over the years, I’d bent over backwards, accommodated others’ needs to the point where “compromise” became my middle name. I became a “yes” girl, following orders, others’ expectations and the pre-determined path society laid out for me. I had a hard time raising my voice or saying “no,” for fear of disappointing friends or family (though maybe I wanted a quiet night at home instead of going out, and that I actually hate coffee and prefer tea any day of the week).
It became so bad that I would get such anxiety if I thought I’d made a friend angry, and wouldn’t be able to let it go until I had scrutinized every conversation and possible outcome to see where I’d erred. I had trouble carving out “KK days,” just for myself, where I did nothing but what I wanted for an entire day because I’d be racked with guilt that I flaked on friends, or worried I was being too anti-social (though I actually enjoy being alone).
So 26 years later, I decided I was done.
I made a change- a mindful adjustment that has dramatically altered my life and opened up a world of possibility. And now, I challenge you to do the same.
I’m not suggesting it’s easy or necessary to drop off the grid, walk out on your commitments or erase your life and start fresh. I’m aware and so incredibly thankful that I am able to live like this, though I know it's not a forever thing. At this time in my life, I’m blessed with good health, great friends, flexible jobs and minimal commitments. I can answer to my own beck and call, and have found such a strong sense of empowerment from doing so. I believe each and every person is entitled to an incredibly free and joy-filled life.
So how do you get it? Three “easy” steps (that are some of the hardest to do):
1. Start by taking inventory of your life and identify what doesn’t serve you anymore- a relationship, a job, your diet, a routine, hairstyle, etc. Trim the fat. Become a minimalist. Less is more. Quality over quantity. These cheesy one-liners are around for a reason. Check in and decide what stays and what is okay to change, and then… LET GO.
2. Become more forward-facing. Set goals. Push yourself to learn a new hobby or skill. Start a new workout routine. Learn to cook an exotic dish. Get out of your comfort zone. It’s incredibly rewarding when you realize you’re not bound by anything or anyone. Yes, you may have a family or a job or a mortgage, but zeroing in on what’s most important to you allows the surface crap to fall away. You will have more energy and chutzpah for the relationships and experiences that actually matter in life.
3. Get out there and F***ING do it!!! Again, arguably the hardest and most challenging step. Get your butt moving and GO. I understand it’s not easy, but nothing ever worth doing is easy, right? If you want it bad enough, it won’t be easy – and in fact, thank goodness it’s not! The experience is much more worthwhile knowing it was not handed to you.
Being selfish for the right reasons is a game changer. How can you share your love and kindness with the world if your needs are not met? If you don't care for yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, etc- then how can you expect to lead a fulfilling life and inspire those around you to do the same? It’s time to stop “talking the talk” and actually start “walking the walk.”
So, stop reading this article and GO. NOW. Move forward with gratitude, and open mind and the courage that you’re about to live the life you deserve. If you’re feeling nervous, go sign up for some FemTribe classes to jump-start your self-confidence and get back in shape (2017- New Year, New You whadduppp).
Enough reading- now go kick some ass!
Peace, (self) love and lots of chocolate,