As integral as cinnamon, cider & spice are to fall, there’s another ingredient that you must add to your diet this autumn…
That’s right, time to feed the soul.
Your diet is not just what you eat. It’s what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, what you think, and who you spend time with. I say self-love is the most important ingredient of any diet, any time of year. Here are five ways to practice it each day to ensure the sweetest fall of all:
- Double the positivity, Empower yourself
The power of positive thinking is not just a catchy slogan. It truly is a power. Sometimes it feels like our thoughts choose us, but that is never true. We have the power to filter our thoughts, and our thoughts shape our outcomes. If you look in the mirror and all you can see is that wrinkle, that blemish, or those scars – look again. Look until you can tell yourself at least two of the thousands of miraculous positives about yourself. And every time another negative thought or judgment surfaces, follow that thought with two positives. Keep practicing this and soon it will come naturally, and you will see, think, and be only the beautiful positives.
- Take some time, Treat yourself
I’m not talking indulgences and guilty pleasures. Treat yourself to something that makes you feel GOOD from the inside out. Something that you’ll thank yourself for tomorrow. Maybe it’s a massage, a yoga class, a walk on the beach, or a long candle-lit bath. You’re the only one who can make time for YOU. I know you have paperwork, bills, appointments, and assignments; I know you have things to do. But to keep pushing forward, your mind, body, and spirit must be fueled. So look at that schedule of yours, and make some YOU time – you sure deserve it.
- Allow fun, Connect with yourself
Remember when you were a child and everything had a sense of magic to it? When the possibilities were endless? Life doesn’t lose it’s magic as we grow. We do.
Try reconnecting with your childlike sense of wonder. Do the simple things that you did when you were young. Take a walk exploring in nature, draw chalk on the sidewalk, or try baking something new. Allow yourself to dance around the kitchen in your pj’s and sing into your mixing-spoon microphone at the top of your lungs. And if you’ve forgotten how to do these things, sometimes it just takes a reminder from the children around us. My daughters remind me of the magic every day. Though you might feel silly at first, just go with it and see how having fun suddenly makes the weight of the world feel like a feather. Connect to your inner child, allow yourself to be part of this enchanted life, and have the fun you deserve!
- Forgive wrongs, Free yourself
After my accident, I was ripped from my life and shackled to a hospital bed with no one but pain as my cellmate. Did I feel trapped by my circumstances? At first, yes. Unbearably so. Though I was physically bound, I knew I couldn’t let my mind and spirit become trapped too. But my jailkeeper was strong…. and that jailkeeper was the anger that I held in response to the seeming injustice of what had happened. I remember how the driver who hit me scowled down at me like I was an unacceptable inconvenience.
Then left me bleeding there without a word.
Though you have every right to feel angry after imposed injustices… there is only one person you are punishing by holding unforgiveness.
By being a vessel of anger, you are only punishing yourself. Choosing to forgive the driver who hit me wasn’t me saying that what he did was okay. Forgiving him was me saying that I was no longer willing to carry around extra pain in response to his actions. No matter how minuscule or monstrous an injustice is, and whether you hold unforgiveness against yourself or another … let it go. Let it go and refill that space with love. Love for yourself who survived, for yourself who is pushing forward with grit and grace despite it all.
- Embrace authenticity, BE yourself
Live this life as YOU. You with all your uniqueness, quirks, fears, and dreams. Because as Neil Gailman so truthfully said, “the one thing that you have that no one else does is YOU. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only YOU can.” Don’t waste your energy holding back or pretending to be something else. Allow yourself to express truthfully, embrace authenticity and be the real you.
I love you like that!