February is a new month. 🙂 I haven’t made any self-love posts for about a week or a week and a half, and within that time, I’ve had some great self-love days, and some not so great self-love days.
This past Saturday, I attended and helped my mom at the 5th Annual Eating Disorder Awareness Conference: Pathways To Eating Disorder Recovery. The organization she created, EDRS, puts on the conference every year.
It was such a blessing to be in a building with so many amazing people who are all passionate and dedicated to helping others, to helping people recover from eating disorders, and helping them re-discover self-love. It was such an energetic atmosphere.
I loved watching my mom’s presentation; it was energetic, interactive, and lively. I felt the energy change in the room, and I could see the immediate impact she was making on everyone in the audience. The energy in that room was like an instant shot of caffeine. It was amazing.
There were a few activities she did, one of them was forgiving a part of our body that we have criticized. I chose the back of my arms, the tricep area, because I have some acne on the back of my arms. During her presentation, we buddied up with another person, shared the part of our body that we criticize, and then our partner told us all of the good things that that specific body part does for us. We rubbed lotion into that body part, and asked for its forgiveness, and made a promise to focus on bringing love into that body part. That was really cool. I noticed that when I shower, I just breeze the soap on my body, and rinse it off quickly, but lately I have found an exfoliating soap that I use, and I take time using it when I’m in the shower. It’s a small practice, but a nice one. 🙂
There was another presentation that I really liked, that Bridget Whitlow did, one of the board members of EDRS. It was meant for people who cared for people with eating disorders, and a lot of it focused on self-care. At first, when I heard what the presentation was about, I wasn’t sure what I would get out of it. Some of my friends have had eating disorders, but I’ve never really been in a caring position for someone with an eating disorder. It was eye opening to hear the presenation and to hear from some of the audience members who were carers. I’ve grown up with my mom, who specializes in eating disorders, but it never really occured to me to think about those who care for people with eating disorders, like the family members, etc. I just always thought about how horrible it must be for those with an eating disorder.
One of the cool things about watching that presentation is that if focused heavily on self-care. And one of the activities that Bridget asked us to do was to list everything we do throughout the day, then to put a + by the activities that bring us joy, and a – by the activities that drain us. She then asked us what we could do to change those minuses, to plusses. She also asked one thing we really want to change, and where our motivation and desire was on making that change happen, and what was blocking us from making that change. That was really cool.
It made me think about what I really want to chagne in my life, and I want to change my work habits. I work almost all the time, and I don’t give myself enough balance, enough down time, or enough time with my friends. I don’t like that. 🙂
I’ve been thinking about my freelance business structure, and I have a plan on how to restructure my business plan so I’m not overworking myself and feeling overwhelmed, but instead of working on my own projects and making that happen, I’m piling on more work for other people.
I decided that this is the thing that I want to change, one of the changes that can help bring more balance into my life.
It’s exciting. I have been making a series of changes to bring more balance into my life. I have been listening to my body a lot more, and I have been sleeping a lot more, which feels amazing. I go to sleep a lot earlier, and I wake up earlier. Instead of pushing myself to stay up later, or to do more, I just go to sleep.
I have also stopped drinking caffeine. I realized that I never really needed the caffeine, I just wanted it. I was in love with that energy high. It made me feel more awake, more productive, and more alive, but at the same time I had a lot of energy crashes, which led to an irritable Emelina, and it messed with my sleep schedule. I felt like I had to start my day with a cup of caffeine, but I don’t feel like that any more.
There are a few times when I crave caffeine, and it’s interesting to observe when those times are. When I get tired, when I get frustrated, when I feel unmotivated to be productive, or when I feel overwhelmed – that’s when I crave caffeine the most. It’s cool to notice that. Instead of going to caffeine, I can choose to take a nap if I’m tired. Instead of having caffeine, I can take a break, do something fun, like go to the movies, or go for a run, if I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or unmotivated.
Not having caffeine has made me more aware of my body, and my emotions.
Another self-love practice that I have recently brought back into my life is running. I’m in love with running. For me it’s a form of meditation, and a time where I can focus on just being in the present, releasing all of my thoughts, which is an amazing feat if I can do that, and when I can, I have the most amazing, relaxing runs.
I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been able to not think about anything in particular when I run; I have just been able to zone out. It usually takes me a couple weeks to get to this point when I’ve started to bring running back into my life. I think it coincides with my body adjusting to the running. My legs are getting used to the running again, my lungs are adjusting, each run becomes easier, smoother. It doesn’t become something I have to force my body or mind to do, it just becomes natural, and when that happens, I can let go of everything, and just be aware.
My mom and I went on a walk/run this morning, and she told me that she wanted to focus this month’s blog posts on body love, instead of a general self-love. I thought that was such a good idea.
So, for February, a new month, 🙂 I decided that I will focus on making the change that I most want to happen, happen. I have been putting off the re-structuring of my business, and have instead been overworking myself. Theres no better time to change than the present moment, so I’m going to focus on my business, and forming it into a structure that doesn’t have me working like a chicken with its head cut off, and that will enable me to have a lot more free time, and more money too. 🙂
I’m excited. 🙂
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Media Network. She’s working on launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.