From when my eldest daughter was old enough to talk I started to ask her a series of questions.
The questions started with “Are you happy?” Then I would ask “Do you know that Mommy and Daddy love you very much?” My final question was always one I considered to be crucial: “Do you love yourself?”
I asked this question because, looking back on my life, I had a hard time answering it myself. I wanted to reinforce to my children early on, that I was genuinely interested in the answers to the above and willing to change whatever I needed to in order to ensure these answers leaned positive.
It’s been the source of many wonderful conversations I'll forever cherish.
I never leave regretting that I asked.
I personally have a very strong self-punishing streak.
When I was a child and I’d get sent to my room for doing something wrong; I’d pound my fists into my own legs until they would bruise. As I got older the self-punishment got stronger. I would cut my skin with whatever was nearby.
Once, when someone asked me why, the answer was simply that the guilt and shame I felt hurt less when I had a physical release. It was my legs usually and nothing too drastic. Not enough to scar; just enough to draw tiny droplets of blood. It was a distraction and it made my internal heart-pain feel less to experience the self-inflicted external physical pain.
I also remember when someone would ask me how I was feeling and I was particularly anxious or guilt/shame-filled I would tell them I wanted to zip myself out of my own skin. Most people had very little idea of how to relate to this concept.
I remember the feeling of disconnection making my need for release even stronger.
I would fantasize about literally taking a zipper and unzipping myself from the top of my head to my feet and walking away from my “skin”. At the time, it was an almost daily feeling.
It should not come as a surprise that I have at thing for snakes.
Through therapy I was able to channel these feelings differently. I’d do push ups until my arms didn’t work or sit ups until standing up straight was a challenge. It was a much healthier channel but the root cause of the feelings was still the same. It was like swapping skin-glue for stitches; less invasive but it still didn’t prevent the wound in the first place.
And then I flipped my life upside down, got clear on my Core Desired Feelings (from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map) and started rebuilding my life based on a new foundation of how I wanted my life to feel.
For me this was revolutionary and the reason I left my corporate career to start my own business; I wanted everyone to have this type of “rescue”.
I wanted to spread the word.
It’s been a year now and I’ve gained so much experience. I’ve surprised myself with my technological skills. I’ve gotten more in touch with my natural instincts. I follow nature and the cycles of life more closely and allow more room for the human I am to follow those same natural cycles. I hibernate and shed when I’m feeling the need to do so.
I study a whole host of spiritual leaders and through my clients I’ve learned some of my most precious and important lessons.
Whenever a recurring theme rises in my awareness I feel compelled to create a path that I hope will create help and healing.
It’s why I’ve created a new course on self-love.
I believe that all love is rooted in the ability to love one's self. Since learning to love who I am and the life I live; my relationship with my daughters has changed dramatically; as have the answers that they give me to the questions I still ask. I believe it’s because I’m walking the talk.
I’ve seen self-love rescue so many people from the brink of destruction.
I’ve seen it enhance, repair and salvage relationships.
I’ve learned that love doesn’t come from external things; it comes first from oneself and is mirrored in things external; other people, other relationships and life’s happenings.
I’m more patient, more kind and more generous when I’m feeling filled with love. I say this as a single woman, two-plus years divorced.
I love myself and feel more loved now that I can ever remember feeling.
I feel the freedom of that love being sourced from within vs. the vulnerability of it coming from an external source of validation.
If you know me personally, you know I can’t help but share good stuff and it’s in the spirit of my deepest wish of love for you that I introduce this course; A Study in Self Love; designed to reignite your passion, reverence and gratitude for the most important person in your life; YOU.