When we took our big family vacation, other people's moods or opinions about the way things were going became none of my business. My job was to keep me happy and simply "hold space" for whatever anyone else was feeling. It was the best vacation ever for me. I held by points of reference on myself and maintained a fantastic level of self love and acceptance. I see now how the result of such an action is the overflowing of love for others. You find yourself no longer looking to others to meet your needs. When your own needs are met, you feel happier, more fulfilled and more loving.
I took care of lots of kids this summer and without judgement, allowed myself whatever food I wanted. It was the summer of the cheeseburger. As long as it didn't make me sick, I ate it. By the end of the summer, my clothes were tight and by belly was soft and round. It was a great opportunity for me to really love all the parts of me that allowed me to play. My strong heart and legs continued to take me on hikes in the foothills. My arms held me up in yoga. My back was strong and permitted me to carry all that I needed to carry (including children) at any given time. My vision began to change drastically but I still had the ability to see clearly (without my glasses at times). My hearing allowed me to take in voices and music and make out the origins of various bumps in the night. My nose continued to guide me to the right essential oils for healing and candles. My skin grew more soft and smooth with all the loving tenderness bestowed by me and my oil/lotion blends. Although more round, my body still offers me a perfect vehicle to FEEL in. Even the feeling of mud on my face became joyous.
I listened to myself more. I asked myself what activities brought me energy and what activities drained me of it. Kids seem to feed me and so I spent lots of time with kids, creating. I spent time playing in my body in yoga with Eddie at Yoga Soup and hiking barefoot in the San Marcos Foothills. I played in the ocean with my friend Jill and spent a glorious weekend in the redwoods with friends and deep meditation.
I have realized that this recipe, of LOVING one's self first, is an excellent behavior to model.
I offer you, in whatever form of being you come in, to find LOVE and pure, unconditional acceptance for yourself now, and try, one day at a time, to maintain this for a year.
Just see how you feel at the end like I have. See if the sparkle in your eye shines for you as brightly as mine does for me. You too are a model.
You are that beautiful.