Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) is part of The PRC’s 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 Phoenix is Natasha:
How do you love yourself first? What does that mean to you?
I love myself first by taking care of my health first. I try to make sure that I really pay attention to what my body is telling me. If I find that I need to force myself to do something then I stop, take a breath and reevaluate what I am doing and why. At the same time when I notice that I’m avoiding a task I try to figure out the underlying reasons.
What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body, and soul? (Exercise, healthy eating, spiritual practice, etc)
- I try to exercise at least four times a week. Through CrossFit I have been able to push myself further than I ever imagined.
- I food prep on a regular basis, usually on Sundays. I make sure that I have enough to eat throughout the week (five small meals for five days) and set an alarm so that I won’t forget to eat. When I’m engrossed in my work I have a tendency to forget to eat. As a vegetarian and a graduate student, I have found that food prepping allows me to save money and have options that I wouldn’t otherwise.
- I’m Buddhist and I try to chant everyday, it is definitely a work in progress.
Is there an obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome that led to a deeper love for who you are?
When I was a teenager I was raped. For a long time I hated myself; I had a difficult time feeling that I was worthy of love or even loving myself. I have been working through this for the past 12 years; now I am able to see the good inside of me. Actually, it’s deeper than that: I have been able to see my strengths, weaknesses and potential. I have been able to embrace my flaws, change my self-talk, and learn to be kind to myself.
I am still on this journey of self-love and still get frustrated with myself (especially as I am writing my dissertation) but I am learning that I am human.
What have you learned from self-love?
Self love has shown me how strong and beautiful I am. Regardless of my weight, hair, skin, eyelash length, or waist size, I am phenomenal. I am not a doormat. I am not one dimensional. I am a full person. That sounds kind of hilarious, but seriously in this society sometimes it’s difficult to recognize your full humanity.
Thank you, Natasha, for having the courage to tell your self-love story. You are a brave Phoenix rising!
Share your self-love story! Send an email HERE. Put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.
Love Yourself First! Friday is a self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Phenomenal women who fiercely demonstrate self-love in action in order to build and sustain healthy, positive self esteem share their stories. Be sure to read some of our other inspiring stories.