?Greetings my Starlights…? Welcome to New Year 2021! It has been a while since I have written a post on my platform due to writing my memoir, soon to be published this Spring, and the roaring pandemic. So much has transpired for many of you since I was here last. My heart and prayers go out to each of you for the loss of family, loved ones, and friends that have occurred due to COVID 19. My Aunt passed away from it so suddenly that it was a whirlwind of shock. Many have lost employment, shelters, and basic necessities also due to the pandemic. The economy has dropped so severely. Mental health in America is staggering.
?My hope for today is to offer ways to give you mental strategies of mindfulness and self-care to keep your well-being optimal and strong. Practicing an attitude of positivity and optimism is creating space for “me” time. I have tried to offer a few tidbits on how to love yourself from inside out through enhanced self-esteem and positive self-talk.? Coffee’s brewing, so grab a mug of glow and glean some fresh vibrational nourishment that will tickle your toes and bring light to your divine soul.
?Self-love is a practice that gives our lives the meaning and depth needed to remain healthy. With self-love, we instill healthy habits and live in accordance with our bliss and truth. Whether our self-love habits include getting massages, avoiding conflict, or venting frustrations to others, self-love creates a transformative inner-peace. Daily, we can include self-care rituals in our lives as we make ourselves a priority and remove self-judgement.
❤️During a crisis, self-love is critical. With self-love we begin to appreciate and embrace the fullness of who we are. Our mindset is transformed by how we see ourselves. How we communicate and behave towards others is in direct correlation to the glow of our divine spirit that shines from within. When we let go of our shame, guilt, and fear of rejection, we learn to trust our instinctual resiliency that is born of survival. Forgiveness is part of this process and removes us from the prison our minds unconsciously suffered so we can be free to choose a life of joy. Developing self-love takes time; its a journey of self-discovery. The journey allows us to be refined and transformed into the person we were meant to be all along. We become grounded in who we are by what we stand for by our choices in principles, values, morals, ethics, and spiritual powers. It is in believing the God spark from within that we have the power to glow from inside out…✨
Self-love often includes self-compassion. Compassion is defined as a sensitivity to the suffering of others. It teaches us to extend our hand, be caring, empathic, and remove others from their suffering. Self-compassion is aligned to this same concept for ourselves, even though the suffering and pain comes from within. With self-compassion, we learn to dig deep, “see” the abuse, shame, guilt, abandonment, and fear and realize there is no longer a place for its darkness. Having self-compassion breaks the chain of negativity by leaving an open space for light and positivity we wish to expose through the cracks of our soul’s shattered glass. By exhaling our past, we inhale the “present” and make room for the future. As we evolve, we unveil ourselves. We glean clarity and can more readily neutralize frustrations and perceived failures. This is what spurs us forward to rise during the most humbling of times. Self-care teaches us how to be gentle with our divine spirit. It gives us permission to seek a higher consciousness where there are limitless possibilities. It is a mind shift where mental boundaries no longer inhibit our destiny to aspire to our dreams.
?Incorporating self-compassion into our daily lives creates space for self-transformation and the awareness needed to improve relationships. The practice of self-compassion reduces feelings of depression and anxiety which may be present after leaving a rehab facility. Self-compassion can be developed by embracing our humanity and listening to our inner-voice.
Self-compassion embraces true authenticity of who we are as individuals even with our perfect imperfections. Self-kindness encourages us to make healthy long-term decisions to maintain a holistic lifestyle of wellness. This may include leaving toxic relationships, investing in self-care routines, or leaving stressful jobs.
Healthy self-esteem impacts health and wellness, and studies report strong links between low self-esteem and addiction. It reveals insight on how people perceive themselves, as well as their perceived value. Healthy self-esteem can manifest in confidence, self-forgiveness, problem-solving skills, and trusting others.
Building up from low self-esteem is empowering to help us break free of addiction and self-harm. The lower your self-esteem, the more likely you’ll feel depressed, anxious, lonely, and incapable of achieving new goals. Exercising, for example, can provide people with the practice of safe habits and confidence building. As people discover their strength through physical fitness, they also uncover their inner-strength. Fitness has overall benefits that keep us glowing from head to toe. It lowers our blood pressure, charges our cardiovascular system, gives our mental health positivity, and brings shine to our overall skin due to increased blood circulation. That’s a power boost right there!?♀️?♀️
Words have power and can deeply impact us. Positive self-talk encourages us to maintain a healthy self-image. What positive attributes define and affirm positive self-images? What affirmations or mantras can we use? Being mindful of how we label ourselves can make a big difference in self-perception. For instance, instead of saying, “lazy” we can emphasize relaxing for balance. Instead of shaming negative emotions, embrace them as the evolution of expressing difficult emotions. Saying, “I AM”, sentences is simple and amplifies the positive qualities and traits we carry from inside out. How we see ourselves is far different than how others perceive us. No one can affirm who we are. We must be able to carry the crown of jewels and define who we are by seeking our beauty from within. The God spark is our salvation, always waiting for us to rise and Shine On…✨
Consider times when you have positively impacted someone. How would these individuals describe you? How do you describe yourself? Take time to reflect on positive and negative thoughts you may have about yourself. Shine a light by sharing your gifts as a reminder of your value and worth. Be proud of your growth, who you are and what you alone stand for.
?MAKING SPACE FOR SELF-CARE
?Self-love involves upholding self-care. Self-care can vary from person to person yet includes basic functions to enhance well-being. Investing in a wholesome nutritious diet that is full of vitamins and nutrients will sustain the physical body holistically. Getting restful sleep is a simple part of self-care, as is tending to regular medical checkups.
But let us think more in terms of self-care during a pandemic. Making space for self-care in 2021 is more critical than ever. Having lost connections with family and friends, spurred on by enhanced isolation, increased unemployment, a dismantled economy, and vaccines that are rolling out as slowly as the stimulus checks, our mental health has lost its optimism while clinging to escape routes for survival. We need serious self-reflection time to bring light, positivity, joy, tranquility, happiness, and productivity back into our lives starting NOW! Setting goals can be a mind shift from learned helplessness to learned optimism if given the right tools for positive thinking. It will brighten our souls in order to thrive.
A few quick ways we can open up space for ourselves is to be a little “selfish” with our time now that we are at home and have more free time to play with. Self-care takes care of our needs to bring us slowly back into a calm and tranquil state of mind. It’s a breath of fresh air. Let us use this time more wisely, constructively, and optimally for “me” time.
- Take Inventory: Journal your feelings surrounding whatever is impacting you from the pandemic or other trauma causing stress, fear, confusion, and uncertainty. Under each category, (mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual) list which of these areas need self-care. Set up goals for each and then the actions you will take to attain them. Example: Physical and Mental Stress– Goals: schedule a routine fitness plan for 45 min M-F. Action: Use spinning bike at home MWF at 9am. Walk on Tuesday and Thursdays at 10am. Read or do yoga on the weekends. Keep it simple and desirable. You want to be motivated to do it! 🙂
- Connections: People are the spice of life. Many of us have been removed from our loved ones during the pandemic. Others have been reintroduced to their grown children from college due to school closures and working from home. Keep those you care about close to you by phone, texting, Skyping, Zooming, Instagram, Face Book, email, and snail mail. Let people know you care about them and that you are safe, healthy, and happy. Plan activities together, such as preparing meals and eating together, play board games and charades, go to art, history, and/or other museums, serve together on non-profits, or create websites, blogs, and other social media together to serve people in need now and in the future.
- Home Clutter: Take inventory of your home to determine what furnishings, clothes, items are cluttering the spaces in your house. You may choose to give those items away to Salvation Army, a Church, or to faith-based, or non-profit organizations. Or, you can sell items on Poshmark.com or eBay.com. Your leftovers are someone else’s treasures. It’s not a race or competition. Go at your own pace when making space. One closet or one room at-a-time can be your starting point. Opening up space in our homes opens our minds and relieves it of the stress it places in our lives. Being more organized gives structure to your home and thus, to your brain. Breathe…..?
- Enhance Mindfulness: Living in the present with mindfulness can include an inventory of how new activities make us feel. By exploring new opportunities, we can look within and connect, further guiding us to know where our joys and sorrows are. Mindfulness frees ourselves with discernment in the moment of despair, stress, anxiety and fear. By surrendering our minds to calmness, we allow ourselves to exist in harmony with the feelings of discomfort. We transcend ourselves mindfully above the stress and anxiety by controlling and channeling them away from us by ‘setting intentions’. This can be done the start of the day by getting centered. Set a time in the morning to journal thoughts of glow, meditate with music, or read a book that creates mental positivity a for you. Just 10 minutes a day can make a difference in motivation, inspiration, and transformation…✨
- Practicing Meditation: Meditation allows us to manage anxiety or heightened stress levels, adding to our self-care routine. Mindful meditation increases our connection to our higher self and our intuition. Following our intuition honors our inner truth and guides us to gain mental clarity over our lives. Since we live in our heads all day its nice to de-stress it. Meditating requires no special effects. There are different ways and styles to accomplish it. You can choose to visualize an object or setting to change your mood. Performing mantra meditation allows you to meditate on a phrase or word until it becomes part of the consciousness. And, mindfulness uses the breath to improve attention to the present moment to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, meditation has been shown to:
- Improve overall well-being of people’s health 76%
- Reduce anxiety by 60%
- Reduce wake time during sleep by 50%,
- Reduce hospital time for coronary disease by 87%
- Reduce insomnia by 75% and insomniacs have reduced or eliminated sleeping meds by 93%
- Reduce daily tasks with back pain by 30%
- Reduce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by 73%
- Reduce high blood pressure by 80%
- Being Your Best: Invest in your dreams and surrounding yourself with the warmth of caring friends right now.
- This year focusing on what we have learned from our past and grow from our experiences.
- Try not to look backwards because the windshield is far bigger than the rear view mirror. We can only change what is before us.
- Sharpen our moral and ethical compass from the trials we experienced in 2020. Glean from them a sense of clarity, vision, wisdom, and perspective.
- Practice gratitude daily. Seek it above the pain, fear, loss, uncertainty, frustrations, entitlement and privilege. Let gratitude serve our cause instead of darkness.
- Choose positivity. Take small risks to offset the negative impact of last year’s hardships. We must believe in the power of good so it will serve us as our light.
- Try to not let one bad experience destroy our outlook on life. Our lives evolve daily and people change accordingly. The battles we fight daily are fought by people who are flawed. No one is perfect. However, we can minimize the forces that offend us and rise above to a greater good and do better. When we change others they either change with us or are left behind.
- Focus on solution. There will always be problems to conquer. Taking a step back and being a think tank in creating solutions is a more positive way to fight the issues in front of us. Negativity is not an anchor of progress. It presses you down to focus on the misery. Positivity is foundational to light and energy which gives power to synergy of motion, function, possibilities, and where the universe’s cosmos is aligned.
- Positive self-talk. This is our self-care speaking to us. Be kind and gentle to ourselves. Bask in the goodness and shine of who we are. Roll in our self-worth and bathe in our inner beauty.
?Ready To Get the Healing You Deserve?
?Living a life of self-love includes making the best decision to ensure progression and wellness. If you are struggling in your quest for transformation, experts are standing by to better serve you. Contact an expert to determine the best treatment plan to get the care you deserve.
✨As we lean in to loving ourselves, it doesn’t mean “me first”, but “me too”. We are all fighting a battle together. Let us be united as a community of human hearts connecting in ways that will serve those in need.
??Civic engagement is a force of action by community members who rise to the occasion when called to be proactive. When doing so, wear your protective gear of face masks, gloves, 6 degrees of separation, an attitude of glow, and a mindset of positivity. We’ve Got This Peeps! Share the glow so we can set the world on fire.?☄️?
?♂️My wish for you is to take time out and regain perspective of what your needs are intuitively. We have all changed dramatically from the pandemic in work space, fitness space, private space, social space, physical space, and mental space. Transitions are a part of life, yet our lives have been transformed before our eyes without our consent. Thus, we must, with discernment, take inventory on how to reconcile these transitions in a manner that ‘fit’ in harmony with our lives so each person in the home lives in a spacious center. It’s critical to have space, be centered, and feel at peace about the choices made in the transition. Communication is so important with these decisions. Make this a priority for you and others in your home. Be the change! Never be afraid to stand out because you are worthy and were meant to Shine…?
Always be the BEST you can be sweet souls! And BELIEVE in YOU!
In Love and Light,?
Kimberly Lees, Ed.D.