I have been working on self-love lately, and I came upon this idea to paint how I felt about me. The first thing I placed on the paper was a big heart. From there I just let my creative spirit guide me.
I feel as if the heart is a seed and that I have planted myself on rocky soil. I am firmly planted though. Even I can see that. My puny arms are raised in the air letting the light in as much as I am able to.
I started exploring this because I have a life long habit of falling for unavailable men (rocky soil). It has been two years since my last relationship, and I am getting closer to wanting to go down that road again. I feel the inner work is necessary before I proceed any further. My thin arms and legs tell me I am not yet strong in this self-love I am developing. But the light that surrounds me gives me courage to continue the journey.
I’d like to create a painting once a month to see how I am progressing over time. I’ll share those paintings with you here.
If you are anything like me when you look in the mirror you don’t take in the whole image. It’s hard to do, actually. The eyes tend to gravitate to what we perceive as flaws instead of seeing the beauty that is undoubtedly there.
A friend of mine recently took some photos of me out in nature. For the first time in a very long time, I could see the whole me. I could see the strength and power in my body.
This photo shows that I am a woman with curves. My programming (media, advertising, etc.) says that people with this many curves are not attractive. I’ve recently begun a practice of self-love and it is helping me, along with this photo, to be more comfortable in my body, more accepting.
I like that I am beginning to inhabit my skin instead of disparaging it. Drawing on the strength that years of yoga and meditation have built I can be a light that shines through the social constructs of what “they” say beauty is. I am creating a new program of self-love and self-care that is dissolving the old messages of “not good enough”. This is my mission and I choose to accept it. Would you care to join me?
Since my boyfriend and I broke up a year ago my self-esteem has been in the crapper. Unconsciously I had decided my worth was based on whether or not he loved me. Yes, I know this doesn’t make much sense and many people wiser than myself would tell me not to think this way. Yet, I believe this is a very human condition. We eartlhy creatures are constantly looking to others to tell us we are o.k.
This past week I went back for a visit to the city where he and I spent so much of our time together. Every where I went I could feel him in the memories that we shared. I realized that it wasn’t him that I was missing but the feeling of being in love. When I was in love with him I felt beautiful, sexy and wanted. I think that is the reason that it was so hard to let the relationship go. I simply didn’t want to give up those powerful feelings.
During my stay in the Cities my friend Elizabeth Fritz, who is a Soul Art Facilitator, brought me through a process that helped me find myself again. The journey we took that day with art and meditation made me realize that the most important relationship I have is the one to myself.
The image that you see above is part of the painting that I made during the Soul Art process. The eye is my eye, looking at me with the eyes of love. It is a reminder that it’s time to fall in love with me again. And, that my worth can not be determined by someone else’s actions or opinions of me.
This painting is actually a meditation mat. I use it every day during my yoga and meditation practice. It reminds me that I am my own beloved. In the image below you can see that there is a crown in the upper left hand corner. That is so I remember that I am a noble woman and to carry myself as such. My name Della means noble.
The image on the right represents all the many spiritual paths I have been on that have always led me back to center.
My take away from this journey is that the greatest gift to Self is Self Love. And, the surest way to lose my way, is by expecting another to validate me. I am on the road to falling in love again. . . and its with me.
Check out the playshop Elizabeth and I will be offering in June. You too can make your own mediation mat through the process of yoga and soul art.
This post showed up in my Facebook memories today. I wrote this 1 year ago about how I met my boyfriend. It made me cry as this relationship is now over. I am grateful that I had such a beautiful experience yet I keep painfully struggling with the loss of this love.
I know that true love can never be lost. That the grief I am feeling isn’t from the loss of love but from the loss of Self. The pain is from the story I keep writing about this breakup. This story includes, abandonment, rejection, unavailability, and obsession. This story was written long before I even met this man. Every day I am looking at my pain and seeing my story. Every day I have to choose love time and time again. Love of him, love of the experience but mostly love of Self. The gift here is that I am seeing patterns that have long been part of all of my relationships with men and even some women. This has been hard. I know I have the courage to see it through even on the days where I seem to fail myself. I no longer want to take this story into any future relationships. My true love is me.
I met him in a coffee shop last summer. I wasn’t looking for romance. I was looking for free internet. I asked to sit down beside him because the spot was in the sun. The fact that he was male didn’t even register. He said yes I could sit and didn’t he see me at the library yesterday? Yes, that’s right. I did see you at the library. I didn’t tell him that I thought he was a bit stalkerish when I saw him there because of the way he kept staring at me. I had ignored him at the library.
We chatted for an hour in the coffee shop. As I got up to leave I handed him my business card. I asked him to go to my website and if what I did for a living didn’t scare him off he should give me a call. He called…
I’ve thought a lot about this lately as I’ve stepped off the scale and begun to see my self with more compassion. I’m not exactly sure where I learned that my worth is what I weigh, how much I carry out in a day or how much money I have or don’t have in my bank account. I know that some of these messages I learned in childhood and others constantly bombard us on billboards, magazines, television, etc.
I’ve turned my focus these days to what I have instead of what I don’t. In thinking about wealth I realize I am abundant in relationships, freedom, time, creativity, health & wellness, etc. I don’t always recognize these things because my focus is often on money being the descriptor of abundance. Being self-employed and being a follower of the law of attraction is often tricky at times. The law of attraction teaches that what you focus on you create. It is easy to see what I am not creating in my life and then thinking there is something wrong with me or, that I’m not”doing it” right, or that I’m not being spiritual enough. I call bullsh@#t on that!
Today I am deciding that I have enough. I do enough. I am enough. And, that is enough.
It happened again. I plunged myself deep into the cycle of not feeling good in my own skin. I had not stepped on a scale since some time in February and I was feeling really fit and strong and beautiful. A couple of weeks ago as I was visiting my mother in the nursing home she resides in I stepped on a scale that is outside of her room. The number on the scale said I weighed more than I have since I was pregnant with my son 22 years ago.
I went from feeling fabulous in my body to feeling fat and bloated and unattractive. It had been several weeks and I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the negative self talk. I know this is not who I am nor who I want to be but I couldn’t seem to shift this negativity. While talking to my friend Katelyn about this issue I expressed confusion about why I could feel so good about myself and then, just like that, not. She helped me to see that stepping on the scale was my trigger.
We are socialized to believe that we are our weight. A certain number on the scale determines whether we are 5 or 10 or 50 pounds away from being acceptable, attractive and worthy.
I made a decision: I would not step on a scale again for the next 40 days. Why 40 days? It takes that long to break out of a cycle and create a new one. I would also change my mind about how I felt about myself. If I could feel good about myself before I stepped on the scale then I could feel good about myself by not stepping on the scale. I just needed to decide too.
It’s been a couple of days into my 40 day commitment and I am finding a shift has already occurred. If I see myself looking at my self negatively when I pass a mirror I tell myself: Enough! I’ve noticed this enough attitude spilling into other areas of my life as well. I’ve been aware of how body shaming leads to lack of finances shaming, or not doing enough in a day shaming, etc.
This enough statement stops the negative self talk in its tracks and reminds me that I am enough. We’ll see how the rest of the 40 days goes. Ultimately, my goal is to not step on a scale again. Why would I do that to myself?
Della is a healer, a yogi, an experimental cook and an artist. Please visit her website here.