“Kindness Starts With You” was the recent theme at my Girl Power Station Wellness Center. If you aren’t kind to yourself, your kindness to other people rings false. The way you treat yourself sets up the framework for how you treat others. “Love your neighbor as thyself” is a phrase we learned in childhood. But you can’t truly love anyone else until you love yourself.
Speaking of speaking kindly, I had an epiphany yesterday (yes, another one!) about treating myself with kindness around food. I have struggled with food, dieting, and my weight for most of my life. I thought that if I found the “perfect” diet or work out, that I could finally control my weight and be that perfect size 6. I kept thinking that the answer was “out there”. Yesterday, I realized that 45 years of struggle may have been a wee bit much.
I was drinking my green smoothie. It was exactly what I wanted (that’s how I choose my nourishment these days – what do I really want to put in my body?). I was almost finished with the glass, and I realized I was full. Since there was only an inch or so left, I was about to chug it. After all it was good for me, and I should finish it, right? Wrong! The thought popped in my head, “Would you force feed a baby?” Of course, I wouldn’t – that would be sick and twisted. And then I started to cry. In my kitchen, looking at my cockapoo. Because I have been force-feeding my inner child for decades, trying to fill the hole inside my heart with food. But now, I have my life’s work all around me. Every day I make a difference in someone’s life, by doling out hugs and impromptu coaching sessions at will. That empty space is filled with love.
So, I put the green smoothie back in the fridge and went to my wellness center to spread smiles. I’m not sure how this changes my life, but I do know that I recently had to buy workout clothes a size smaller. I also know that I can create a sense of wholeness by being kind to the fragile soul within me.
What do you love about yourself? Notice the way you talk to yourself, and, if it’s less than kind, STOP. Then start again. If your self-talk has been mean or critical for a long time, then that’s your habit. It’s going to take a little while to learn the language of kindness. Give yourself time and space to start a new habit. If you get impatient, take a deep breath and imagine that you’re speaking to a small child. “That’s OK, sweetie! Everything is going to be just fine. You’re doing great!” That’s a much more effective way to motivate yourself than, “You’re such an idiot! How could you have done something so stupid!” That’s how I used to talk to myself, and it made me feel like a loser. When you feel like a loser, it’s really difficult to win at anything. Self talk makes a difference.
Choose your words kindly. Treat yourself as though you’re precious, because you are.