Welcome to the May 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Self Love This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about their thoughts concerning self-love. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Babywearing.
x(Acknowledgement + Appreciation + Admiration + Adoration)
It's one of those days. Gerry won't go to sleep, I'm tired, and if I'm not really careful I could have an army of discouraging thoughts battering my mind. One that crossed my mind moments ago, "The last thing I want to write about right now is Self Love." But actually this is the PERFECT time to write about it - when I'm not feeling at the top of my game and doubts are lingering in the shadows of my mind, just waiting to pounce on me when I am down. Because these are the moments that we need to love ourselves the MOST - because of this fundamental truth - we are human and worthy of love. If I told one of my closest loved ones what I was feeling now they would offer me love - so that is what I should offer to myself.
True tests of Self Love emerge NOT when times are easy - it's effortless to love when the sun is shining, we are healthy and making good choices, and we feel connected to our loved ones. No, true Self Love shows itself when we make mistakes, big or small, or feel less than our best. Overdue library books, raised voices, frustration, hurting loved ones' feelings, forgetting something important - these are tests of Self Love.
How we treat ourselves in these difficult times is the basis for how we treat others. The words we use in our self-talk are the same words we use in outward conversations (or in our heads!) about others. If criticism is our main mode of talking to and about our self, it will be the same way we handle our partners and children. If *we* are never good enough for ourselves - others won't be good enough for us either.
In fact I would argue that the antithesis of Self Love is PERFECTIONISM. There is no room for perfectionism when we love ourselves or others - because we are not perfect, not a single one of us. There are always ways we can improve. True Self Love can begin to flourish when we throw off the yoke of perfectionism and embrace our humanity. A fundamental way to do this is by practicing forgiveness .
Do you beat yourself up when you mistake or do you let it go - knowing that everyone blunders in life sometimes? Do you forgive yourself and move on the best way you know how, or are you stuck in shame?
It takes practice but if you start loving yourself unconditionally through your personal highs and lows - it will transform your life and relationships because you will offer this same grace to others - and the effect will spread outwards from you as you influence those in your world.
I really believe that if we desire change in our world, if we seek peace for all, if we want our children to experience a better future than our current state, then treating our children with love and kindness is the most concrete action we can take to promote change.
But the basis for for this concrete action is even more personal - it is Self Love. I am more convinced of this every day:
Self Love is THE basic building block for creating a better life, future, and world.
Check out the Mindful Parenting eBundle Sale for a great group of resources for parents in the modern busy world. Meeting our needs is a basic way to love ourselves and sometimes it feels impossible. There are great tools in this bundle for self-care.
Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month'sAuthentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss babywearing! Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants: (This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 1 with all the carnival links.)
I've written a bit about synchronicity before. And I believe it is really true - the more aligned you become with your true self and values, the more you open yourself up to life and all it has to offer, the more synchronicities you will experience.
I've shared several times on both my Together Walking Facebook page and my personal page that I'm currently taking part in the Transformational Author Experience - it has really been an incredible ride so far and I know that it is going to end with as big of a bang as it started with - Christine Kloser is way too classy and amazing for it to go down any other way. I mean I was blown away last week so I know that Friday is going to be like a 4th of July fireworks finale (I mean COME. ON. - The last person lined up before Christine closes the series out is Marianne Williamson, talking about Putting the Law of Divine Compensation to Work for You).
This is where the synchronicity comes in. The message has already been overwhelming - that until you value yourself others won't value you. That of COURSE it is ok to be compensated financially for doing what you do - even if that's "just" being yourself! That accepting money doesn't cheapen your message. That to keep your message going and to spread it further, then in fact, you NEED money. (All of this I gathered from today's awesome speaker, Lisa Nichols ... I know - I use the words amazing and awesome a lot... sorry, there's just no better way to describe some people and events!)
And this week I've jumped feet first and rather blindly into my first affiliate experience. Some really awesome and amazing (I can't stop!) bloggers put together an eBundle of amazing and awesome mindful parenting resources. 22 resources in fact. And I am an affiliate! Which means that if you buy the bundle through my link I will receive half of the money. Wow, pretty cool!
And the most awesome and amazing thing is that it is full of really powerful, life-changing, inspirational, and practical tips and tools for you. Everything from meditations and poetry to eBooks on topics like playful parenting, why we explode sometimes, children and food, and many more.
So yes, it is a bit new, and therefore uncomfortable, to be selling something. But it's also fun and exciting! And I know that these tools will change people's lives... parents' lives... children's lives. And that makes my heart expand and ache all at the same time.
Please check out these resources - they are absolutely worth every penny and far more. You can get to more complete descriptions of all the products here, and from there purchase your bundle.
Or you can click on the picture here to the left, the header at the top of this post, or the picture linked in my side-bar - lots of choices ;-)
Thanks for taking the time to check this eBundle out so that you and your family can experience even more love and connection as you learn and grow together. Because that's what it's ultimately all about - you, your family, your relationships.
So I'm on the tail-end of a visit up to my hometown. I'm feeling so filled up and content and have attempted to write a blog post a couple of times but the writing juices just aren't flowing and I want to soak up what little time I have left (as my sister sits across from me at our mother's dining room table on her iPad, me on the laptop, both of us iPhones at our sides!)
This week has been so wonderful. I feel so connected when I'm here - to my past and childhood, to nature and the earth, to my family and loved ones. So much comes into focus when I'm here.
I was able to see my Grandfather and Great-Aunt while I was home this week. My Aunt Carolyn was just diagnosed with cancer and had an appointment the next day. I asked her if she was nervous. She replied, "What good would that do?!" I love that. I guess when you're 85 years old that kind of wisdom is actually part of you and not just a something in your head you know is true, yet not fully accepted to your core.
And I also got to hang out with my niece and nephews (well technically they are my first cousins, once removed, but that just sounds so boring and... removed). Campbell will be 10 years old this summer - he was born exactly 1 week after Mike and I got married. He loaned me one of his favorite books - and it was AWESOME. I'm officially hooked and can't wait to check out the next one in the series.
In two days we head back home. I'm determined not to get depressed (I'll let you know how that goes!) Because I know almost all of this I can bring back with me. Not the people, but the lessons. The gratitude - for each moment, for the sun and breeze on my skin, and my feet in the grass. I can experience these connections wherever I am - I just have to choose to.
I know it's hard to believe that I could write more on Balance - but it's a topic that just won't leave me alone. On my last tribe call we talked about what balance means to us - and of course I mentioned that I've been trying to make a mental shift from the word balance to flow. In that post I said that I felt like if I had a good balance between being "On Fire" and "Peaceful" then things would flow. The same formula from a post 6 months earlier!
Passion + Peace = Flow
So clearly the ideas of balance, flow, peace, and passion frequently inhabit my mind.
But even with all this thought-fermentation, I still couldn't explain "Balance" means to me! (Maybe this has something to do with why I'm trying to avoid it!)
But I think I finally have it! (I know, I know, this is REALLY EXCITING! Don't worry, I won't keep you in suspense much longer.)
Balance is achieved when:
Energy output = Energy input
Whew! Did I just BLOW. YOUR. MIND? Or what?!
What this means to me is that I allow or put back into myself at least the same amount of energy as I put out into the world (my family, friends, home, community etc.) If we don't do this, our energy reserves get low and that is when we feel out of balance.
I love this way of looking at balance for a lot of reasons. Of course I love it because it's a formula, and if something can't be expressed in a mathematical formula or scientific theory, well, then what good is it at all?
Seriously though, I mostly like this because it is actually very general; it's sufficiently vague so that we can make it work for our own individual needs. Because the truth is we are all unique. Some of us need time alone every day and others of us die a little without having some major social interaction daily. Some kids need to be moving ALL. THE. TIME. and others ok with less activity.
I also really love this because you can choose to "zoom out" on your timeline with this idea. Yes there may be days or a stretch of days where you are putting out a lot of energy into the world, maybe even compromising on your own needs for a while. But you know that after this time you will have a period of calm and be able to replenish yourself. Or perhaps you even knew this busy time was coming up and made sure to take extra-special care of yourself before hand.
Anyways, I'm kind of in love with this idea.
I'll leave you with a story about the Dalai Lama that I love (and found here):
A friend who I met through HE recently told me a story about a question the
How wonderful is that? And it explains it so perfectly! If we are busy giving, doing, rushing, achieving, connecting and all the other things we do in our modern, busy lives, then we must put at least as much back into ourselves.
What do you think? Does this Balance Formula make sense to you? Does it help you feel better about taking care of yourself so that you have more to give too?
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.