Radical Self Acceptance- Why I’m Not Making New Year’s Resolutions
First and foremost, I have decided to not make any New Year’s resolutions this year. They usually last me about three days, and it’s a setup for failure. I, like so many women also have spent my entire life feeling: inadequate, not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not enlightened enough. I came from a very critical family of origin and culture, and was always looking outside myself for confirmation, comfort and solace. I then, joined a few religions that exacerbated deep existential fears, judgement of self and others, punishments in some most likely made-up afterlife, self doubt and negative self talk.
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I’ve been trapped in a lifelong, colossal self-improvement project, that just fosters more self hatred that expresses itself as spiritual narcissism and codependency. There is a Buddhist teaching we often forget, and that is called Maitri in sanskrit, it means having kindness and compassion for yourself. We can’t hope to have any genuine compassion for others, or engender world peace, if we can’t firstly find that within us. My one “resolution” is, to finally accept and sincerely love myself in a real way, just as I am– for the first time, starting today!
Radical self-acceptance can be defined as the process of fully and unconditionally embracing ourselves, including all aspects of our identity, experiences, the wide spectrum of emotions, from the most noble to the most profane. It goes beyond simply tolerating or acknowledging ourself; it involves embracing with open arms, and shedding light on all parts of ourselves, including the shadow, that is often seen as flawed or undesirable. We become our own best friend, as someone once said, I’ve found~ “the greatest love of all.”
Radical self-acceptance rejects the need for constant external validation or approval (e.g. social media) and instead focuses on cultivating a deep sense of self-worth and self-love from within. We are no longer people pleasers, nor live from needing others to confirm our ego, putting a temporary band-aid on a broken soul. We can acknowledge that all of us, as being human, means having imperfections, making mistakes, and experiencing both radiant successes and devastating failures. It is about keeping going, embracing all of these aspects with kindness, compassion, and non-judgment. Radical self-acceptance requires acknowledging and finally letting go of dark, self-critical thoughts and negative self-perceptions that may have been internalized over time by our family, culture or even religious community. There is no more space for guilt, blame and shame, we can forgive ourselves and be a veritable lamp unto ourselves. We can embrace our strengths and weaknesses, honoring one’s passions and interests, and giving oneself permission to be- ok with not being ok!
12 Days to Uncovering The Divine Feminine
Welcome to this transformative, New Year’s 12-day journey towards unveiling the already existing divine feminine within us. This wellness manual is our guide to embracing self-love, genuine, “Grounded Goddess” spirituality, and overall natural well-being. Well-being also embraces this imperfection, shadow and not always feeling great. Let’s embark on this beautiful, poignant adventure together, one day at a time.
On each of the 12 days, I’m going to post an inspiring quote from an accomplished Divine Feminine. If you can, I’d like each of us to wake up 30 to 45 minutes earlier, in the stillness, bliss and quietude of the early morning. A private time, just for you, before any other family members or pets awaken, to start the day with the self-care ritual. Each day, I invite us to integrate a few micro-changes, reflections and insights as we take steps to living our most authentic, and best life possible.
And finally, as we settle down before bed, if we could spend 15 minutes and journal, reflecting upon some of the topics for the day. If you could get a nice shiny new journal and flow-y ink pen; or better yet a brand new daily planner, one that you can write in, that would be great! They have some low cost daily planners at Marshalls, TjMaxx, Home Goods or Staples. I also created a simple, low cost and fun, Digital Daily Planner if you have an Ipad and Stylus Pen and an app called Goodnotes. Let’s embark on this beautiful adventure together, one day at a time… starting today!
WISE WOMBMAN QUOTE
“The world and some of the people in it try to steal and extinguish the fires that exist with in us … we were born with these fires burning in our hearts and the core of our being. They try stealing the fires that ignite the dances we feel and know and move to the moment we first hear them upon arriving earth side. They try to steal the fires that warm our voices to sing-love songs, fight songs and songs of celebration. They try to steal the fires that strengthen and protect…the ones that rise up like holy bonfires when needed -life or death. Yes, they may try to steal the fire… but they cannot steal what creates the fire… they can’t steal the glowing embers that are always hidden below the blackened scarred evidence of once was. Let them try to keep your fires dim. Let them … let them try to keep you from your freedom to live joyfully and fully. These fires may take some work to re-ignite… but they can and will burn. Light them over and over again… learn to care for and protect your fire. Watch others light theirs if you need to. Be inspired … but do not sit wishing… take… the …. steps. For those finding their way through the coals… you will find what you are looking for. You can heal these wounds… little by little you will dance again.”
Lisa Martinez- Modern Medicine Wombman
Day 1: Embracing the Self
Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Start your day with affirmations. Stand in front of the mirror, look into your eyes, and repeat positive affirmations about self-love, acceptance, and body positivity. Take deep breaths, thank your organs, cells and blood for working to keep you alive. You can put a hand on each organ, and “smile” inside to thank them! Then think of at least 3-5 things you love about your body or appearance, just as it is.
Throughout the Day: Practice self-compassion. Think about all of the good you have done since you have come into this world. Who have you loved, who has loved you? Who have you helped, and been generous with? Talk to yourself with kindness, love, appreciation and respect. Notice any negative self talk, guilt, shame, blame or inner harshness, and let those thoughts detox from your mindstream. Replace them with positive thoughts, acknowledge your accomplishments and forgive yourself for any perceived shortcomings.
Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Before bed, take out your journal and write down three things you noticed about your life, family, relationships and things that you love about yourself. Focus on your strengths, beauty and unique qualities. Use the Buddha’s “Sleeping Lion” pose. Go to sleep on your right side, with your right arm bent under your head, gently pressing the right nostril and your left resting on your torso. Imagine a pink lotus flower in your throat chakra, beaming with warm clear light. Feel the mother of cosmic space blanketing and protecting you, from inner and outer space. Your are loved and blessed by a world of goodness, light and compassion. You are loved. Sleep soundly and deeply. Goodnight dear Goddess~
Image of Native Woman Copyright: luzazure