autumn days

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Self-Love Lists

What are the areas of your life that do not feel good?  Money, marriage, profession, relationships, health, etc.?  Look at these areas to find personal benefits. 

Perhaps your knees hurt from an accident.  Start your list by being appreciative of all the things your body can do, the ways your body helps you accomplish what you ask of it.  "I am able to play basketball with my friends.  I am taking care of myself by walking every other day."

Would you like enough money to take a trip?  See the abundance of money in your life.  "I am providing myself with healthy foods, car insurance, an occasional dinner out, and a warm bed.  I am financially responsible.  I am open to financial abundance.  I am living a life of abundance."  The more we appreciate all areas of our lives, such as health and finances, the more these areas swell in abundance. 

When you are done with your list, put it up where you'll see it each day.  Read it to yourself for a month.  Expect miracles.  They will arrive, perhaps in a different form.  Watch for them.  Trust their arrival.  Here is a sample of my self-love list.  What is on your list today?

I am fully loved and supported to take on new adventures.
I am healthy and thriving through my regular exercise routine.
I am hive-free by eating whole foods that feel good to my body.
I am able to spend time making lists that make me happy.
I am patient and loving with my children.
I am building a skill-set that financially benefits my family.
I am taking time to appreciate living in a lush green world full of infinite beauty.
I am a great listener.
I am listening to my children's stories and watching their eyes as they speak.
I am the baker of incredibly delicious healthy meals.

Soul-Full Self-Love Homework

I have recently been assigned to write lists of what I like about myself.  You know, as silly as that may seem, it is an incredible project.  Once I got started, it was so much fun to keep going.  Start all your sentences with "I am."  Then read them to someone.  Then your partner will read them back to you and look into your eyes with conviction that all the statements are so very true.  Grab a tissue, because it is incredibly validating for a trusted friend to look you in the eyes and tell you how awesome you are, adding their own awesome additions along the way.  I spent an hour doing this with my spiritual group last week.  I was so jazzed from the experience I went home and shared a self-love circle with my grandmother, daughter, and friend.  I audiorecorded my grandmother and daughter reading their lists, so they can open up their own self-love anytime they want. 

When sharing this idea with others, a friend said she did this through a marriage class at her church and she and her husband read eachother these lists every day for a month.  What an incredible boost to yourself and your marriage to validated so often.  My teacher says this list will go where you can see it and add to it every day.  Read it daily, have someone read it to you, and watch the miracles unfold within your life.  Here is a sample of my list.  What is on your self-love list today?

I am strong.
I am determined.
I am persistent.
I am a great writer.
I am lovable.
I am loving.
I am loved.
I am beautiful.
I am a creative dancer.
I am a delicious baker.
I am healthy.
I am a healer.
I am helpful.
I am energetic.
I am a sister to all.
I am a great daughter, wife, granddaughter, friend, and mother.
I am a thoughtful, generous friend.
I am an herbalist.
I am creative.
I am inquisitive and ask clarifying questions.
I am forgiving of those who have hurt me.
I am compassionate.
I am a lifelong learner.
I am worth it.

Overflowing with Appreciations

Every day I feel such appreciation for the blessings in my life.  This doesn't come easily, though I notice the more I consistently make deposits (thought and intention) into my life, the more withdrawals (of joy) I am able to access.  I appreciate a bath every couple weeks.  Before each bath, I list my appreciations in my journal.  Today is one such fortunate day.  Here's my list.  What's on your list today?

  • helping Grandma clean her cupboards.
  • helping her run errands.
  • flying home alone.
  • my Spirit community.
  • singing within my heart.
  • my congestion clearing.
  • finishing so many small tasks.
  • dancing to cheesy songs.
  • seeing a musical with my daughter.
  • a pile of yet-to-be-read books.
  • cuddling my family.
  • time with my family.
  • a future massage.
  • seeing an out-of-state friend soon.
  • ice cream.
  • leftovers.
  • cottage cheese.
  • my friend helping me with projects.
  • journaling.
  • saying no once in a while.
  • saying yes.
  • writing songs through journals.
  • indoor plumbing.
  • privacy to journal alone.
  • bath time today.
  • my children loving their nanny time.
  • using what we have and making crafts with what is already here.
  • my children who love crafting, painting, creating, exploring, cuddling.
  • my husband who openly loves me.
  • sunshine.
  • rain.
  • laughter.
  • smiles.
  • singing in the car.
  • a love note from a friend.
  • sending birthday love notes.
  • airplanes.
  • traveling.
  • paper products.
  • wood.
  • dirt.
  • compost.
  • worms.
  • trees.
  • 13 colors of green in my bathroom plants.
  • endless greens outside.
  • blue sky and fluffy clouds.
  • dogs.
  • birds singing.
  • wind.
  • color.
  • kombucha.
  • books.
  • letters.
  • my parents.
  • my grandmothers.
  • time with my mother's mother, her siblings, their children and grandchildren.
  • embracing the opportunity to walk through my great great great grandfather's house.
  • mountains.
  • rainbows.
  • cars.
  • stars.
What joy!

Joys of a Lazy Gardening Parent

Oh, how I love working in the garden.  And how I wish I'd tackled more weeds each Spring before they are taller than me.  It is currently difficult to see the garden boxes through all the surrounding weeds.  My children are always at my side as I work in my garden boxes.  Most of my time is spent tackling the weeds outside the garden, a welcome distraction from the garden's needs.  Being the lazy gardener I am, devoting my time and attention to raising my children and not my garden, I love to identify, collect, and use edible weeds from the garden, giving me a reason not to spend the rest of my life pulling them as weeds.

I've been clearing (inedible) yard weeds so my children can plant more flowers, their current interest.  I also welcome my children's interest in planting and harvesting their own garden beds.  My children still prefer I do all their weeding and watering, though are thrilled when it's time to plant.  My three year old son plants all his seeds in one hole, making for a beautifully creative and full garden space, while my six year old daughter creates a strategy for equal space between her seeds.  Each growing season is different, in parenting as in gardening.  Never is there a dull moment.  Always there is a new adventure blossoming.  And I cherish each one.

Planting beet seeds with a friend
Collecting and understanding our edible weeds

Delicious dandelion cookies

Preschool Joys

Goodness gracious, great balls of joy!  I so fully appreciate these days with my preschool son.  With young children, the days are long and the years are short, so I am constantly reminding myself to appreciate the little people in my home.  I love to see my son bubbling over with creativity, silly-ness, curiosity, unparalleled scissor-skills, and his excitement for the next adventure.  What a blessing it is to make the time to witness my beautiful boy in action (in balance with time for myself to write about these reflections).  Here are some of our latest preschooling adventures.

Building Trojan horse banks to start saving money

Standing on raw eggs without breaking them at family presentation night

Reading Llama Llama library books on his own

Berenstain Bear books with big sister

Banana Grams (like Scrabble) while camping

Cutting and gluing together animals (from my teaching days left overs)

Making and coloring with our own chalk (from a friend's old powdered tempera paint)