Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) is part of our Shed Light series collection. We invite women to tell their LYFF stories to inspire and empower others to also fiercely demonstrate self-love in action. The questions are meant to “shed light” on various ways our featured Phoenixes are making self-care and intentional living a priority.
This week’s motivated and courageous Phoenix is Darlene, Founder of Sisters in Spirit:
On September 1, 2014 Sisters in Spirit (SIS) invited the public to join us in a 30-day self-love challenge. With so many other challenges going on, using Facebook as a platform, we thought: “Why not challenge others for the greatest cause of all? Self-love.” Every experience is framed by how much we love ourselves!
In the journey, posting an inspiring self-love message and photo each day, I began to feel that this cause had grown much bigger than SIS. Personally, I began thinking more about what and how I ate, who I was spending my time with and what I was spending it on, and what I was thinking as I went about my day. More importantly, the biggest question was, “Am I doing whatever I am doing with self-love?”
Two quotes that hit me the most were:
- The highest spiritual practice is self-observation, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. -Swami Kripalu
- She realized that life was what it was. And suddenly she understood the only part of it she had any control over was how she lived it, so she chose to do it with self-love. -Queenisms
I was thriving on this self-love until one day a heavy funk hit me out of the blue. I swam in and out of it for about two weeks. My co-worker noticed it, and so did one of my yoga instructors. They both said I wasn’t my normal, cheery self. I noticed it, but I didn’t understand what it was. I didn’t understand how I could be so deep in the celebration of self-love and allow a funk to overcome me.
One day I just allowed myself to feel the funk. I sat outside in the sun and began to question the feeling. Nothing was wrong with me physically. I had no major issues to speak of, so what was the problem? Then it hit me. It was depression! I had experienced this feeling related to the death of my son, but it had been so long since I’d had the feeling, I’d forgotten what it felt like. The moment I identified it, I understood that this pain in my body wanted to live. It didn’t want to be shed in my 30-day self-love journey. It was fighting fiercely to stay alive. Once I experienced that revelation, I could let the habit go. When I let go, it let go as well. I was encompassed by an overwhelming joy. A joy so powerful, that thinking of it makes me happy!
It’s never too late to start your own challenge. In fact, right now is the perfect time to embrace self-love. Be-YOU-tiful!
Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your LYFF story. You’re definitely a Phoenix rising.
Start Your Own 30-Day Self-Love Challenge:
It’s a new year. In fact, a new month is starting soon! What a perfect time to start your own 30-Day Self-Love Challenge. Make a list of things you plan to do during the process. What self-care rituals will you participate in on a daily/weekly basis? Be sure to include things that you’ve never done and to journal about what “comes up” for you during the journey – positive or negative. Journal entries throughout the 30-days may include;
- Daily gratitude at the end of your day (even for the little things)
- What experiences bring you happiness and joy (so that you can do more of them)
- What actions boost your self-esteem and empower how you feel about yourself
- What and who depletes your energy and how you can change that to create a more fulfilling experience that aligns with your intentional living practices
- Your favorite quotes that motivate you to be self-love in action
Like Darlene, observe and examine any emotional and/or physical resistance you may feel. Don’t ignore it. Go through it, as your personal healing and growth are on the other side. Be patient with yourself, and also celebrate each step you take toward giving yourself the love you deserve.
If you’d like to share your self-love story with The Collective contact us here.
Love Yourself First! Friday is a bi-weekly self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Beautiful, diverse women tell stories of triumph, share personal affirmations, and declare love for their lives! The series is meant to inspire and empower women to fiercely demonstrate self-love in action in order to build and sustain healthy, positive self-esteem. Be sure to read some of our other inspiring stories.