Luscious Life Lesson- Let February be the month of Love-—Starting with Yourself!

Too often February is associated with romantic love, and very rarely, self-love.

Well here’s the deal, if you don’t have a deep appreciation for yourself, who you are and what you bring to the world, all the flowers, candy and re-runs of “Sleepless in Seattle,” will get you bupkiss! (don’t you just love that word, thanks Grandma Lily)

“So, nice theory Luscious Living Lady, but how do you do that when you’re feeling stressed and stretched.”

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time., Take 5 minutes out, or do it while you’re walking or commuting. Make an appreciation/acknowledgment list,  mentally or on paper, listing not only your accomplishments, but what you bring to people’s lives, and your unique qualities. Ask three friends, “Hey, what are the 3 major qualities that I exude or what are some ways that I contribute to our friendship?” Why not do a partner exercise with a friend and reciprocate. You can do it over the phone and it doesn’t have to take a long time. Write those qualities down and put them on an index card in your wallet and look at them regularly.

Develop the “inner sweetie voice.” When you goof up, forget things, and fall short of your goals, instead of saying to yourself, “Wow, how can I be so damn stupid?” you breathe, let yourself feel the pain of sabotaging yourself, or disappointment, this is not about ignoring your feelings, and then you talk to yourself the way the most loving person in your life would speak to you, and add a “sweetie” for good measure.

“Sweetie, that was really painful, we’re gonna need to find other ways to keep track of your stuff, or wow, you really are disappointed, huh!?

Many years ago, after decades of dieting and a pretty wicked eating disorder, I did the most self-loving thing I could do, gave up beating myself up for overeating and developed the “sweetie,” voice for myself.  I still paid attention when I did overeat, but instead of criticizing myself, I let my sweetie voice run the show, “Sweetie, you were really nervous about that blah blah blah, (fill in the blank) it’s okay, you’re human, we’ll find other ways to do it without overeating.”

As a result of that single action, I lost 30 pounds and have maintained it for 15 years. The more kinder I was towards myself, the less I needed to medicate myself with food. Do I still overeat? Yes. But when I do, it’s automatic for me to talk to myself about it in a far more gentle loving way, and the irony is, the pattern just stops.

For the month of February, I’m suggesting to my clients, colleagues and friends to take on one act of self-love a day. Keep it really simple. Don’t even plan it. Just create one in the moment. One day, it can be letting yourself sleep in for 15 minutes, because you’re exhausted, the next day it could be NOT sleeping in for 15 minutes, so you can get up and do your much needed core routine. It could be saying “No,” to doing a favor that would leave you severely overextended, or saying “Yes,” to a frozen hot chocolate with a friend at Serendipity at the last minute. You get to decide.

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