A few nights ago I gave the girls I nanny two small triangles of watermelon each for dessert. I felt the serving was a bit modest and assumed they’d both demand more. The rationed servings were really just my selfish attempt at inducing scarcity mindset in the girls. The third slice can make a world of difference regarding whether or not dessert becomes a highly esteemed event, or, dispensable art supplies.
You can imagine my surprise when the 3 year old squealed with delight, “Auntie Natalie, why did you give us two watermelons?”
I put on a tone like I thought the serving was generous too, and told her that of course it’s because I love them so much. When I grabbed two triangles for myself she asked why I gave myself two slices. I answered with a wink,
“Because I love myself.”
She tossed her head back for a full, hearty chuckle - then with the same playful tone usually reserved for “Silly Auntie Natalie,” she singsonged,
“you can’t love yourself!”
I was struck. It only then occurred to me that though I often tell both girls to think of all the people who love them, and all the people they love, I have not thought to specify including themselves. *Apply palm to face... nanny fail.
They are young, and pure, and joyful. Their sugar and spice runneth over like a hippopotamus in a bathtub. I figured they loved themselves innately; that self erosion, insecurity, and fear were later learned (or projected) traits that wouldn't require tending for a great while longer.
In three seconds I had about 4 million thoughts, and realized whether or not self love is innate, every precious person on this earth can benefit from understanding gratitude and energetic abundance. Even if children do fully love themselves, teaching the articulation and good habits to sustain that positive relationship with the Self can be —
Finally my thought train pulled back into the station, and I responded,
“Oh yes I can love myself! And you can love yourself. And you should love yourself!”
I asked her if she did anything that day that she enjoyed, like swinging, or sliding, or teeter-tottering. She said she had, so I asked if she thanked her body for letting her have all that fun.
She got really quiet as she thought about this concept. I explained that it is a gift to have a body that takes us from place to place, and hands and feet that walk, and grab, and play, and do - as we please.
I tell my yoga class all the time to look in the mirror and spend a few quiet moments honoring and celebrating their incredible bodies, and the unique life that lives inside.
I don’t do it enough for myself. I love guiding others in it because I know how powerful it is to love and appreciate yourself.
But I don’t do it enough for myself.
Today, that changes. Today I will sit in quiet and appreciate:
My hands and feet that go and do.
My guts and organs that selflessly toil.
The health that I have.
The strength that I have.
And lastly, I will take a few moments to honor as a whole, the way that I look. My image.
This body isn’t me, but it is my home for this life.
I am thankful for this body.
Flaws and all — It’s been with me through every chapter. All of my physical flaws and hardships, have proven to be illuminating both inside my Self, and outside in the world.
It’s like every closed door; everything that has made me different, insecure, and unlikable, has opened four windows to something greater.
Loving myself is the only way I can truly see past myself.
This is your permission to steal yourself away from whatever you're doing and find a place to create quiet within you. Breathe, and cry, and smile. No matter what you're going through right now, find something (anything) you love about yourself, and breathe into it. Really - fully - breathe into it.
Notice how celebrating yourself sets you free from the inside out. Rinse - repeat.
What do you think? Does this resonate? Tell me about it... :)
More to come. Thanks for reading, make kind choices. :)
Share and subscribe!!!