Acceptance & Growth
So I know what you're thinking "not another Valentine's post telling me to love myself first". I know, every email that hits my inbox I feel the same. But the truth is that for me, none of them are quite hitting the nail on the head for me, and so, here I am, trying to give it a whirl and see if I can get my thoughts and feelings to make sense in hope that it might resonate with some of you too!
Self-Love has been tagged on instagram over 24 million times and has been the overarching theme guiding wellness brands and practices over the last couple of years. And it's helped to transform the lives of many women, from giving them permission to slow down, to taking pride in JOMO (the joy of missing out) when we swap a weekend of partying for face masks and long baths etc. But here's the thing that I still feel is misunderstood: ACCEPTANCE. Hear me out...
In all of the conversation around self love, we are told to accept ourselves as we are. But here's a short anecdote that I hope explains my point:
Just last week I was guiding a retreat in Bali, surrounded by nature, in the beautiful jungle. During my packing I accidentally left behind the swimwear I had planned to bring and picked up the ones that no longer fit for various reasons, and so upon arrival I treated myself to one that I had wanted for a while from an Indonesian based, sustainable swimwear brand. So here I am, in the jungle, beautiful new bikini and surrounded by women. We take some pictures and I noticed how much my body had softened over the past few months. I didn't feel bad about it, but I knew I wasn't feeling my best. I still felt strong and at home in this body, but I feel like I have not looked after it in the way I would have liked to over the last few months, choosing convenience over the most nurturing option on many occasion as I rush around town or miss meals between classes etc. I simply have not prioritised my physical wellbeing with the consistency that I have in the past. And so, here is my body, a little softer than I might like it to be, and yet self-love tells me I would be wrong to criticise myself for that. And I didn't. But what I felt was inspired. Think of all the things I've been doing, I said to myself, when I'm not at my most confident self. Now imagine what I could do if brought my confidence back with a little more consistency in my diet and exercise. Not bringing in rules or rigidity, but just a little more respect for this vehicle that I am travelling through life in. And so I found myself in a seat of acceptance. But not 'I accept myself as I am' in stagnation. This is 'I accept myself as I am, and from here I am choosing to grow'. And so as I sat with my journal, I wrote a list of mantras and practices that I want to offer myself and I thought I would share them with you in hope that they might shift your perspective on what 'acceptance' might mean...
1) I am worthy of all the time and effort I choose to give myself
2) I am in choice
3) I respect my physical body and honour it through taking care of myself
4) Consistent exercise will help me feel strong
5) Make an effort at least a few times a week. Dry my hair properly, use lovely lotions and potions on my face and body. Get dressed in clothes that make me feel wonderful, so I don't forget that there's a wardrobe beyond yoga clothes.
6) I am not embarrassed to want to change. I can accept where I am, but grow from here.
7) Give myself a gift every month. This could be a massage, a workshop, a piece of jewellery, a bunch of flowers or a new book. It doesn't have to be big or expensive, nor the same type of thing every time. Jewellery is a big thing for me. It reminds me of special people, or times, or notes to myself. Especially something with a gemstone or crystal connecting me to self-love, like a rose quartz. Next on my gift list to myself is a special one - this rose quartz pendant from Missoma to wear as a symbolism of that commitment to my own self-love and growth.
8) You are right on time. Stop rushing and fighting for things, or wishing them over. The right thing will unfold at the right time. Work hard on the things in my control and let go of everything else.
And so with this list in mind, I am moving from a place of compassion and kindness towards myself, accepting where I am without becoming stagnant. I can still be happy in this place but strive for growth and so that is where I am choosing to be right now. I hope that puts a spin on things that helps comfort you wherever you are. And if not, I am always keen to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please share them with me @mind_body_bowl on instagram.
This post was created as part of an ongoing sponsored collaboration with Missoma, my favourite jewellery brand. The links shared in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will get a portion of the purchase price of any pieces bought through their site. That's how I enable myself to do things like create YouTube content and I only ever work with brands that I love.