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 Lilac:
How do you love yourself first? What does that mean to you?
I love myself by practicing forgiveness towards myself on a daily basis. Life is so demanding, and we all have our goals we want to achieve, things we need to get done. I have the tendency to be hard on myself, which is not always a bad thing, until it goes out of balance. I have realized I take so much joy in being active and on-the-go, to the point where I can carry the world on my shoulders and just keep pushing, forgetting my well-being in the process. I am very driven by passion but I think still, at times, there is some perfectionism and fear involved, which can then easily make me ill if I don’t stop and listen. The love I practice for myself is through tuning back in, and listening to my mind and my body.
Self-love is also practiced through sharing my struggles with others, instead of trying to prove I can do it all by myself. I know if I forget, they can quickly remind me and help me get back on track.
What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body and soul?
A 30-minute daily morning session of meditation and yoga really helps in listening, focusing and maintaining balance. I have also learned to accept those days when I feel like I just can’t get anything done, so instead of battling it and getting even more frustrated – I just take the day off and go outside, watch some telly or cook something. I absolutely love cooking great healthy recipes with my partner; eating healthy is so gratifying. Friday is my Spa Day. I do yoga, Pilates, and then a spa session of steam room and Jacuzzi. It brings me back to life.
At times of need I am loving myself by creating change in my life and opening new doors of possibility through therapy sessions, guided imagery and holistic therapy. I have recently started a free Sunday meditation group, and I find the collective energy of people meditating together and sharing experiences, unique, powerful and even healing.
Is there an obstacle or challenge that you’ve overcome that led to a deeper love for who you are?
My childhood was immersed in trauma of different sorts and that has put me on a long path of self-abuse through different eating disorders and over exercising. These also led to other physical issues such as IBS, lower back pain, torn knee meniscus and arm tendonitis. I have had to undergo different types of therapy and treatments over the years to help re-shape my core of self and learn to forgive the past and move on from it as a stronger human being who is compassionate and accepting towards herself and others. Throughout my life, music has been a core strength in this process: writing, composing, playing, singing, performing. It’s given me an identity and a sense of self. I am still learning how to enjoy the healing power of music without focusing on material success.
What have you learned from self-love?
Self-love teaches me something new every day, in learning to accept others and myself. It has taught me to look at myself first – for better AND for worst. The love starts from within, and if I want my surroundings to change, I first have to change my own perception, behavior and patterns. Self-love has taught me to tune-in closely on judgment, and realize that the things I dislike about myself – will be quickly reflected back to me through others. I have even learned self-love and inner peace from my cat, who easily shows me how life can be joyful and relaxed when you can give and receive unconditional love. By learning to love myself, I can completely change the way I view the world every day, which eventually results in a better world for myself. Because I deserve it.
Lilac Sheer is a singer/songwriter; learn more here. Her new project Zoe, is a music video created to promote women’s self love and acceptance for International Women’s Day 2016. “The song refers to those days when we don’t love the reflection in the mirror, only to realize that our imperfections are exactly what make each of us unique. 40 courageous women chose to take part in this project with me, to help create a heartfelt human testimony, for which I am both humbled and grateful.” Check out the video.
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.