We all have that little voice in our head that trips us up – that makes us feel insecure and unsure about who we are and what we’re doing. It’s no wonder.
We are bombarded with ads and commercials that tell us we’re not good enough, smart enough, sexy enough, or skinny enough. But it’s time we regained our power.
So I’d like to offer you five easy ways to inspire yourself. Putting these steps into your daily practice will not only inspire you, but empower and motivate you like never before.
Here are the 5 steps with brief examples below to get you started:
- Be kind to yourself
- Pay yourself first
- Know that it is more powerful to go towards something rather than away from something
- Trust yourself
- Understand that you don’t need as much as you think you do
Be kind to yourself – here are three easy ways:
- Savor the next bite of food you eat or the next sip of beverage you drink. How does it smell? What does it remind you of? Feel it on your tongue and feel it nourish your body. Even if you’re eating fast food, think of it nourishing your body supplying it with needed energy.
- Hug yourself. Go on – wrap those arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. Breathe in deeply and feel your hands around you. Let go. Repeat as often as necessary.
- List 10 things that make you happy, and try to do at least 3 of them every day.
Pay yourself first. When I was in high school and got my first job, my dad told me to pay myself first. I asked, “Does that mean I can buy that sweater I want from Hudson’s?” “No,” he said. “Then you’re paying Hudson’s first.” That stuck with me. I worked hard for my money and I wanted it to work for me (not Hudson’s).So, I opened a savings account and put $10 of my paycheck in that savings account each pay period. Then I used the rest to pay bills.
“I asked, “Does that mean I can buy that sweater I want from Hudson’s?”
“No,” he said. “Then you’re paying Hudson’s first.”
But isn’t paying bills important and more urgent than saving money? Yes, at times it is. But someone will always hound you to pay bills – you will find a way to pay them. But, no one will hound you to take care of yourself – to save money for your future. You must make that happen. Why? Because this is the most effective, proven way to financial freedom. And when you have financial freedom, you no longer have to work – you can choose more freely what you do each day. And that is a beautiful feeling.
It is more powerful to go towards something rather than away from something. When we think about changing something in our life, many of us say things like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to stop smoking”. What this does is create a kind of void around where we are going – we are running away from weight gain or smoking, but we’re not quite sure where we’re going. What if we told ourselves a different story. For example, what if we said, “I want a healthy, toned body”; or “I want strong healthy lungs”. In going towards a picture of ourselves as healthy, we automatically make better choices. And the rewards will follow.
You don’t need as much as you think you do. Somewhere along the line, we forgot who we are at our core. Big cars, big homes, big bank accounts took over and left us feeling like there should be something else. Something different. Somewhere along the line, we’ve converted curiosity about the world into constant worry about status. We can change this simply by reminding ourselves how blessed we are for what we have.
“We’ve converted curiosity about the world into constant worry about status.”
Watch the sunrise or sunset. Take a walk. Look at the moon tonight. Try something new, or teach one person a skill that you have. It can be anything from baking a cake to learning a computer program or changing the oil in a car. In this way, you are not only reminding yourself that you have something of value to offer others, but you’re bonding with the other person and empowering them in a way that just doesn’t happen otherwise.
The Indigo Girls wrote a powerful song called “The Thin Line”. In it, they sing “Now I’m trying to get back to what I know that I should be. Hoping to God, I was just a temporary absentee”. We’ve all been absent from our own life – we forget who we truly are on a spiritual level, and we let the worries of the world consume and control us. The great thing is that we can change it. And we are changing it – one person at a time. Here’s to your power!
Imagine a full moon. Bright orange, heavy in the sky. It’s one of those moons where you feel you can reach out and touch it. “Wow, look at the moon!” you might exclaim to the person next to you. And they glance, and kind of grunt “yeah”.
Now imagine standing on the beach with the ocean stretching far in front of you. You hear and see the tide coming in….the tide going out. Magnificent. There is something about the ocean tides that help people release all stress. Now imagine the life in that ocean. If you’ve ever been snorkeling or scuba diving, you know there is so much more just beneath the surface that we never see until we make an effort to look.
Now see your breath. In and out. In and out. In tune with the tide.
Many people never even notice a full moon. Some people who live near the ocean take it for granted. We often fail to connect the dots between the life force that keeps the moon in the sky, that causes the tides to go in and out, that allows us to breathe. And we forget to connect those dots with the vision staring back from the mirror each day. It’s in us, too, you know.
“Yeah it’s beautiful”, we might say. Or we may really appreciate it and be in awe. “It’s AMAZING! Wow!” And the next minute we say, “Oh crap, I forgot that deadline, and I still have to do ________ (we can fill in the blank)”.
And so it goes. And so we go.
We wear our pain in the lines on our face; the sometimes far-away look in our eye.
White women are quickly becoming the forgotten gender – except, of course, for sex.
Now that we have a black male President, I think white women have the right to rebel; to throw things; to yell, to punch, to say “what the fuck.”
But we won’t. We’ll keep moving ahead the best we can.
You know who we are. Look in our eyes. We are more alive, more free, and more wild than we appear. But we don’t know how to shake off the air of reserve that we’ve been taught to carry for so long.
The most important first step is to acknowledge every level of your being – be a saint, and love her. Be a slut, and love her. Be a professor, a student, a wife, a mother, a dreamer. BE.
The most empowering book I’ve ever read on this subject is Marianne Williamson’s “A Woman’s Worth” – whom obviously gets all credit for the title of this post.
We are all struggling under the weight of something heavy. Live free and support your fellow women.
How do you set goals, when you’re not sure what you really want – and maybe not even sure who you really are anymore?
How are you supposed to figure out where you want to be in a year, when it’s a chore to even figure out what to cook for dinner?
Sometimes it seems so hard. Days drag, but years fly. And here we are. So you try to plan a little – “ok, this weekend, I will sit down and write my goals.” And you try. And that blank piece of paper stares back. Time passes. Now it’s time to clean the house, time to do the laundry, time to take kids to soccer practice. I don’t have time. Not now. Knot. Now.
And so it goes.
How do you get clear on what you really want when you don’t take the time to ask yourself meaningful questions and – more importantly – listen to the answers? Because life is answering, but we’re not necessarily listening.
Try this. It takes 3 minutes. If you have a pet, look at her (or him). If you have more than one pet, look at the one closest to you. Or look at a baby, or a bird. Anything you love (that’s alive – except an adult person). And, without saying or doing anything, show them how much you love them. Send your love to whatever you chose. Send it with your eyes – send it with your heart. Now, with the same eyes, hold up a mirror. And send that love to yourself.
Go easy on yourself. It’s ok not to know right now. But, it’s not ok to ignore that small whisper inside of you that’s asking you to listen.
It’s weird isn’t it. How many self-help books there are. How many free e-books there are. How many experts there are. All telling us we can do it. We can be successful, we can have it all. But what if we can’t. What if we have to be where we are – for now. Can we accept that? What’s the alternative?
We can be where we are, accept it, and work from a source deep within us to grow. Or we can react against whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. We can scream, and swear, and fight all night. Or we can curl in a ball and let the world go by. It’s ok. No matter what you choose. It’s ok. Maybe we’re supposed to give up – give up trying so damn hard. Give up the struggle. And for once, step outside at midnight and let the stars guide us.