I was wondering if you could maybe do a post on some exercises & ideas for thing we could do in our Radical Self Love bibles in preparation for the sunshine, & to keep our spirits up during those long hours where we are slaving away at work, school, or home & would like nothing better than to be lounging around in floaty dresses & wedges with glasses of long island ice tea on a roof terrace somewhere, soaking up the vitamin D.
Hey Sylvia! Yes, of course! It would be my pleasure! Here are a few ideas of Radical Self Love exercises & activities to keep you busy this summer…
1. Come up with 5 affirmations that you could really use in your life. I always love the idea of writing “YES!” on Post-Its & sticking them all over your house.
When I asked about this on Facebook, there were a lot of great suggestions. Some of my favourites:
Everything I seek is now seeking me I can! Work hard, be nice Act as if it were impossible to fail I experience love, joy & magic every day! Happiness is a state of activity I am courageous! I must become a lion-hearted girl…
Thank you Tanya, Moa, Loulou, Kitty, Althea, Anna, Wanda & Lucy!
2. Think about 5 fantastic attributes you inherited from your parents. If you never knew your parents, or your relationship with them is an unhappy one, who influenced you? Make a list of 5 important things they taught you, that have impacted the way you live your life today.
I was thinking about this one last night while I was at dinner with my parents. While my father was talking, I realised that I get my sense of enthusiasm & passion for life from him. My sense of excitement is so massive that it has become a cornerstone of my life. I am so appreciative of that!
3. Write down 5 characteristics of some of the people you admire. Do you respect their bravery, their honesty, their imagination? Why do you think highly of these attributes? What could you do to bring more of those qualities into your life? How could you be more like that?
It could be something as simple (& as terrifying) as speaking up in a meeting, or it could be something as ground-shaking as quitting your job to pursue your passion. Either way, we view our heroes in a positive light for a reason… & bringing a little of their chutzpah into our own lives can only be good!
4. Print out the best email you’ve ever received. Pin it up somewhere so you’ll see it all the time. Use it as a reminder that you are smart, you are magnificent, you are doing the right thing, & you are doing the best you can.
5. Start making a list of things you really want to do, but are slightly terrified about. Some people call this a “bucket list” — I just think of it as a to do list!
I sent off an email this morning which makes me very, very nervous. I have agreed to do something that will be very physically punishing, but immensely rewarding. To say that this is somewhat “outside my comfort zone” is the understatement of the year… & yet, as Susan Jeffers would say, I’m feeling the fear & doing it anyway.
I’m proud of myself… for now! Check back in a few months, since I might be feeling very sorry for myself! Haha! Either way, this is what I believe life is about: challenging yourself, trying new things, & embracing the terror!
6. Take time to redefine your boundaries. These boundaries may be emotional, physical or mental; they may relate to work, relationships or your health. You might look at these areas of your life & realize that everything is going swimmingly, in which case, great! But you might examine them & see that you’ve got a bit of work to do.
Do you say “yes” when you mean “no”? Do you take on other people’s work or problems as if they are your own? Do you feel that in your relationship, the only person who ever compromises is you? It’s time to put your foot down & stand up for yourself. No one else can do it for you!
7. I’ve said it before & I will say it a million more times: write a gratitude list every morning. It really is the best way to start your day. The simple act of sitting down & making a few notes on what you’re happy about builds up so much positive energy that you can’t help but do something amazing with it!
Jill emailed me the other day, & she said, “Just recently I began a gratitude journal, similar to what you suggest, where I write 5 things I’m thankful for or made me happy that day before bed. It’s a small change, but ever since then I have been much less stressed, sleeping better, and have been able to process my emotions better.”
That’s how gratitude lists work for me, too. Give it a shot!
8. Don’t be afraid to change direction if you realise something isn’t working out for you anymore. I received an email yesterday from a girl saying she felt she was becoming too negative & cynical.
She said, “I feel like I’ve been SO snarky in my life lately, and generally negative, and I want to change some of that. I don’t mind if people think I’m opinionated or amusingly sarcastic, but if people expect me to be automatically negative and judgey because of a precedent I’ve set, that’s terrible.”
We all have patterns, but the fantastic news is that we’re able to change them! If you also feel like you’re becoming too snarky, this article is a great place to start. But if your pattern relates to something else, there are always ways to change your behaviour. Googling “how to _____” is an obvious place to start, & beyond that, cognitive behavioural therapy & EFT are other brilliant ways to effect massive change in your life!
9. Practice spending time alone. This is such a simple thing but so few of us really do it: just being alone, & being happy that way.
For the record, spending time alone means no internet, no phone, no music, no books. Terrifying! Yes, this can be really difficult & weird. Some of us are totally uncomfortable being by ourselves, & I’m convinced that this just makes it more difficult to tune into our intuition. It’s harder to make decisions or get centered when we never spend any time listening to our inner guidance.
The first step is simply spending time by yourself.
10. Take time to write in your Radical Self Love Bible… & be sure to carry it around with you!
There’s no better feeling than carrying around a notebook full of your dreams, goals, prayers & wishes. Journalling has been going on for a long time for a very good reason: it helps us realise who we are.
Here’s to a radical self love-fest all summer long!