While he wasn’t my favorite of The Beatles and I’m not head over heels for this particular quote, it does a decent job of describing why I chose to embrace self-love this month (besides the fact that February is usually associated with love and it’s also my birthday month, so what better way to celebrate?):
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” John Lennon
I’m a firm believer that you have to love yourself first. And I don’t want my theme to make it sound like I don’t. I actually feel like I’m at a really great point in my life and have a good grasp of who I am. All that being said, I know I don’t always give myself the credit I deserve or compassion and patience I would give others. This month I’m hoping to have my own radical self love boot camp of sorts.
Discover my strengths and weaknesses: To start generating goals for the month, I googled self-love. A big part of it is knowing yourself. A potential problem is that I have the tendency to want to be good at everything when in reality I should really learn to play to my strengths. But what are my strengths? We’ll see if some online quizzes hold the answer (and I’m only slightly kidding…).
Challenge myself: I know I keep talking about hot yoga, but I’m still impressed with myself. Doing things outside of my comfort zone really bring a huge feeling of accomplishment and pride, particularly since I’m the type to play it safe. I’m for sure going to try a regular yoga class this month and hope to try an aqua zumba class as well. There’s even a good possibility I’ll go to hot yoga again. My challenges won’t be limited to just working out either. I’ll be honest, I just haven’t thought that far in advance.
Write a letter to myself: I’d done this about a year ago and opened it right around the first of the year. It may seem odd, but I love it. I’m stealing Lindsay’s idea, though, and am going to have someone else send it this time. Since I’m going to see the middle sister this month, I’m going to entrust her to mail it to me when she thinks I need it or just as a surprise.
Pamper myself: One morning last June I decided to buy myself flowers. This month I’m going to take that concept a step farther, starting with a massage. Rarely do I splurge on myself, unless you count a cute shirt or new book every now and again. It may sound cliche, but sometimes you need to pamper yourself. I’m also excited because I’ve got a mani/pedi friend date coming up this month and the company will make it that much more enjoyable.
Cultivate a space for me: The one area I didn’t organize last month was my spare bedroom, primarily because it overwhelms me. While I have a general sense of what I want the room to be, a lack of energy and funding prevents me from really moving forward with it. No more. I’ve got the space and I want to start utilizing it. Even if it’s just minor changes or better organization, I want to start cultivating a relaxing or productive space for me.
Create a vision/inspiration board: Partially in conjunction with the previous goal, I want to create a vision board. I already have random quotes or magazine articles throughout my apartment, so I want to centralize it into one location and in a visually appealing manner. Plus I think it would be a fun activity to get my creative juices going again. It’s been too long since I’ve crafted!
Go through memory/photo boxes: I probably have about five or six boxes with mementos I’ve kept over the years — birthday cards, letters from friends, awards. The problem is they just sit there taking up valuable space on my bookshelves. Not only will it be a great trip down memory lane and help me remember how far I’ve come, but going through them will also be a perfect opportunity to purge.
Pursue my passion: I struggled with what this goal would be titled. And actually, I struggled with the decision to pursue this particular venture since it requires taking four days off work. Last summer I mentioned that I wanted to become a CDSMP leader for arthritis courses taught in Missouri. I worked with the data for this program for three+ years and have a huge interest in chronic disease prevention and management. So I’m biting the bullet. At the end of the month I’m attending a four-day training to become certified to teach the course. It’s a little scary, but I’m incredibly excited about it!
And there you have it — the rough outline for my radical self-love boot camp. It’s a lot more rigorous than my January goals, which is a little scary since I have fewer days to accomplish everything (I became really OCD today in tentatively planning out my 55+ miles this month…although I hit 87 in January!). It may sound selfish, but I’m really looking forward to a month focused on embracing self-love, particularly after a long January.