Does anyone else see Love in colour?! In honour of Valentine's Day – and really, any other day - I'm calling on us all to show up for Love. Our Love. Of us. Love is abundant, creative and inspiring. It moves so much more joyously and creatively than fear. Can we find some space for our own love, perhaps try asking some different questions – such as, what are we inspired by, what feels exciting to us, joyful to us, loving, and perhaps even different, and beautiful?
We are really good at the fear part, experts at the doubt and criticism and negative self-talk. We are masters and queens of asking the fear-full questions. Why am I so…? Why can't I be more …? Less …? Why did I say THAT? Who says THAT? What is wrong with me? To which we have countless answers.
What if …. we changed the conversation? Started asking different questions? … the outer ones too, perhaps, but especially the inner ones. How about showing our own beautiful, creative, courageous selves some love? How about trying out some of these questions instead?
What do I need today to feel nourished? Tended to? To feel cared for and loved?
What does my body need today to feel strong and fit and beautiful? How does it wish to move?
What is right with me?
What do I love about me?
What is bringing me joy, right now, in this moment?
What is beauty-full in my life? Where do I find that beauty – in my body? In my environment?
What feels loving for me today?
Am I doing this out of a place of love for myself?
Can we listen for the answers, and then act on them?
I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers. I do have some ideas though. And I know what self-love is not:
· It is not throwing hate at my body for not being a certain size or number.
· It is not eating (or not) certain foods as punishment.
· It is not exercising in this way, either.
· It is not believing I am not as lovable or desirable or worthy exactly as I am.
· It is not berating myself for being "too…." and "not …. enough"
· It is not believing I am not okay if I gain a pound or a wrinkle, if I have cellulite or a little pooch
· It is not constantly comparing myself to "everybody"
These most unloving of ways keep us small, disempowered, quiet, and stuck on repeat. And believe me, I spent 40+ years throwing hate at myself… especially at my body. I definitely did not feel or show any love to me. I said really cruel things to myself, believed really cruel things about myself. And. I let that shit go. I love me. I have shit to do in this life, And so much rose-gold sparkly love to shower all over the place. I can't do any of it if I can't find space for my own love in my life, if I don't shower a few sparkles in my own direction.
I noticed that as long as I was focusing on all the things wrong with me, I didn't have the time or the energy for all the beautiful things I could have been focusing on instead – my dreams, my desires, my longings and my yearnings. Those things that were calling to my heart were being ignored or overridden because I believed I was not …. enough, yet. So preoccupied was I with everything I wasn't, I couldn't even hear the whispers from within telling me how loved I was.
What if your incredible, wondrous, precious life is just waiting for you to start asking the right questions, different questions? What if you are just waiting for your own love? What if that's the unconditional love you've always yearned for? What if you find that love within you? What colour are your sparkles?!
I wrote this poem years ago while in a dancer's pose in a yoga class – it is still true to this day. I love the woman I am today, the woman I have become. I fought hard to become her. I am not perfect, nor do I pretend to be. I make many mistakes and sometimes my inner critic can get very loud, too. But I do my best. Every day. With every sunrise, I wake to a new chance to be better, to talk to myself with more love and compassion and kindness for the human that I am. Imagine a world in which we had an inner champion instead of an inner critic?! How different that world might be…
As she stares into her eyes
What does she see?
She sees strength
The strength of the dancer's pose, fierce and proud
She sees power
The power that she has reclaimed, after giving it away for far too long
She sees love
The same unconditional love that a mother gives her child
She sees her worth
The worth that was born into her, the worth that she now seeks within
She sees dreams
Dreams that once seemed lost to her, rediscovered
She sees beauty
The beauty of a diamond that gleams, hidden amidst rocks and dust
She sees truth
The truth of the story that is only hers to tell
She sees wild
The wildness of her courageous heart and soul
She sees freedom
The freedom that is found in releasing herself from the cages born of the generations of women that have come before her
She sees a gift
The gift that she has given herself of a new way, a different way
She sees clarity
The clarity that comes to her in nature, one sunrise at a time
She sees faith and grace
The faith that has brought her to where she is today, and the grace that she lives in because of it
She sees peace
The kind of peace that inevitably comes in the wake of storms
She sees light
The light that shines through the cracks of a heart that has been broken wide open
And as she stares into her reflection
She sees the roadmap of lines on her face from all of the joy and sorrow she has known
The beautifully imperfect body that has birthed her babies, climbed mountains, and holds her in the beautiful posture in which she now finds herself
And the soul that sings for the life that she is creating for herself… and her daughters
This is what I see when I stare into my eyes
with love, lori ann xo