This is the third instalment in the Boundaries versus Barriers collaboration with Rachel Freemon Sowers. If you didn't catch the first two you can find them here: Boundaries versus Barriers (Part I) and Boundaries versus Barriers (Part II).
Wow, week three of our series already! I hope everyone is having as much fun taking part in the series as we are bringing it to you.
This week we’re checking in to make sure that as we’re doing this work we’re always coming from a place of deep self-love. No one thrives when they are being constantly criticised and belittled. Yet so often that’s exactly how we treat ourselves isn’t it? We demand levels of perfection from ourselves that we would never ask of anyone else. We get caught up worrying about how we’re doing compared to others. We let self-doubt and criticism invade our thoughts. And then we wonder why things feel like such a struggle!
I like to think of it in terms of supporting and encouraging yourself the same way you would someone close to you. Perhaps your best friend, perhaps a sister or a daughter. You’re their biggest cheerleader, constantly reminding them that they are capable and strong and they’ve got this. You’re kind and gentle with them if they’re struggling, and you’re also there to keep them on track and hold them accountable.
Are you treating yourself with that same respect and compassion?
Remember that if you’re struggling with any of this we at The Upward Spiral Project and This Authentic Feminine Life are always here to help and support you.
Make sure you’re choosing to make good use of our old friend self-awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts and guide them in helpful directions instead of just letting them stampede through your mind like a herd of buffalo. Can anyone relate to this? It’s perfectly natural that you will experience doubting and critical thoughts, the key is not letting them take over. It’s like when we do the exercises during Truth Serum Tuesday sessions. Thoughts arise but you choose to observe them and just let the unhelpful ones float past.
Speaking of Truth Serum Tuesday, if you’ve missed any of the sessions in our series so far here’s where you can catch up: This Authentic Feminine Life.
Be cautious in your use of comparison. Observing others can be a great way to get inspiration and learn helpful new ideas or techniques. The problem with comparison is that we frequently use it to judge ourselves against others, which is a fast path to misery. Remember it is about growing and expanding in our own authentic way not trying to fit ourselves into someone else’s mould.
Self-love means being kind and gentle with yourself, but it also means holding yourself responsible for following through on implementing changes that you know will bring you greater peace and freedom. I’m a big fan of don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” and especially the agreement “Always do your best”. Ask no more and no less of yourself than that. Some days you’ll feel stronger and more capable than other days and there’s no shame in that. Just consistently give the best you have to give in any moment and you will create a life you love.
I think of all of this under a global term ‘heart based living’. Heart based living is:
What does heart based living mean to you and how do you make sure to consistently show yourself love and respect? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!