In case you missed it, I recently shared my personal skin story and why I joined the Beautycounter movement of supporting, educating, and advocating for safer skin care.
If you place a Beautycounter order by Monday, 3/26, you’ll be entered to a win a Charcoal Cleansing Bar — my nightly go-to for removing makeup and feeling squeaky clean!
The inspiration that was rampant to work in this space last week took a nose dive the past few days. I couldn’t find it. I tried, but the last thing I want to do is force uninspired content in order to press publish. My bottom line is that if I am not honestly inspired by my own work, how could it inspire you?
Which leads me into a bigger conversation of self-love and self-compassion. My boyfriend graciously listens to me externally process this topic often, and the other night, he said something that stuck with me: “When you truly love and appreciate yourself for who you are, it will allow more things and opportunities to open up in your life.”
In complete transparency, adjusting to this new life in Florida has gone better than I expected. I anticipated feeling isolated in a new house, in a new town… which would, in turn, be a catalyst for my anxiety and uncomfortable panic attacks. I am so so grateful that this has not been the scenario. What I did not anticipate, however, was for my negative self-talk and self-criticism to escalate. This is something that I have struggled with for years… we’re talking since middle school when my battle with perfectionism ate away at my adolescent life.
If I hadn’t been absorbed by all the logistics of moving across the country, perhaps I could have predicted that making multiple 180 degree turns in almost all areas of my life might, just might, irritate my persistent self-critical thoughts into a dusty mess.
In this world of 24/7 social media, the comparison trap is more prevalent than ever. In my chosen circle of the healthy living and wellness realm, I can get sucked into a downward spiral of comparing myself to how others are living their healthiest life. And that’s the thing — everyone’s healthy is theirs and only theirs. It’s entirely individualistic. My body is not going to feel the same, look the same, or operate the same eating the same kale smoothie and avocado brownie that yours is.
For some reason – the reason more than likely stemming from my experience with a life-threatening illness at 7 years young – the majority of my perfectionistic thoughts and actions relate to my body… striving to control it, in any and every way possible… for nearly two whole decades. The unconscious thoughts that have been uncovered in recent years (hi, therapy!), stem from the belief that my body needed intense medical care for 19 days to stay alive so I better do everything I can each and every day to control it from being in that situation again.
Before I go too far down the rabbit hole of my battle with body image and control, let me bring us back to the present and how it is disturbing my life now — in this new chapter in Florida.
As I mentioned, many facets of my life look much different from just a couple of months ago:
Living in California >> living in Florida
Living on my own >> living with my boyfriend
Working a full-time corporate job in an office setting >> working on this space and myself — in the comfort of my home
Consistently working out at a gym on my own time >> squeezing in short runs and gym workouts that fit Nick’s schedule
Rather than giving myself any grace or wiggle room to navigate this new chapter (okay, maybe I did for a couple of weeks), I’ve continually been beating myself up about not doing enough, accomplishing enough, or contributing enough.
I know that a lot of this is rooted in recent years of supporting myself comfortably, accomplishing work Monday through Friday that equated to a regular paycheck. I did the work, unexcitably so, and reaped many benefits. Now, the passion and excitement about what I am doing is visible, but the returns on my (time) investment are not yet tangible. My boyfriend repeatedly reminds me how he has never seen me this animated about my “work.” Why can’t this be enough? Why do I have to reprimand myself for dressing in athleisure clothing Monday through Sunday and baking up batch after batch of the best paleo chocolate chunk cookies?
I wholeheartedly believe the idea that “you are right where you are supposed to be.” I am meant to be living in Florida sans an 8 to 5 job that provides a paycheck but doesn’t fill me up. Last night in bed, as my mind was churning, I came to the consensus that I am supposed to be experiencing this season of extreme solitude. It is life’s not so subtle nudge for me to work on the relationship I have with my body — with myself. This is my current 8 to 5 job. Because the relationship I have with myself directly correlates to the relationship I have with others. Because the relationship I have with myself directly correlates to my overall perspective on this messy and beautiful life. Because, as my boyfriend gently reminds me, when I love myself, and appreciate what my body has done for me and continues to do for me every day, I will naturally welcome what I desire into my life.
Can you relate?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and personal self-love stories in the comments.