I’m taking two classes at the local junior college this semester, Human Sexuality and Human Relations.
My Human Relations class fits perfectly into the Self-Love Diet. It’s all about increasing self-awareness and cultivating a stronger relationship with myself, so I can then better interact with others.
Last week I read a chapter on Attitudes. The textbook defined attitude as having three parts: thoughts, feelings and actions. What we think influences how we feel, which influences our actions. This makes up our attitude, “a position resulting from the beliefs and feelings people have about themselves and about other people, which directly affect their treatment of both.”
When attitude was first discussed in class, I immediately thought about my mom’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, and the thoughts, feelings, actions loop she wrote about. We have the power to change our beliefs, feelings and actions by starting with becoming aware of, catching and changing our thoughts.
The Attitudes chapter in my textbook also talked about optimal experience, “the pleasure in performing the process of an activity itself, rather than achieving the goal,” and flow, “the motion in which each step of a task seems to flow effortlessly into the next.” When we experience flow, we experience an optimal experience. We get lost in the pleasure of the task. We start to live in the present moment.
When I was reading that chapter, I asked myself when I have experienced flow in my work and my every day life, and what was my attitude during that time. What were my thoughts, feelings and actions that cultivated my flow?
In my first year of college I was living in flow. When I first began working on The Human Experience I was working in flow. I started to reflect on how those environments were different, and how my attitude was different. I also started to think more about my present day attitude. What thoughts have I been perpetuating that have been cultivating a negative attitude?
I’m a bad friend. I’m not spending enough quality time with my family. I’m behind in work. I’m not doing enough. The progression of my life goals is moving at the pace of a slug. I can’t focus. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t … I’m not, I’m not, I’m not … these were a lot of my thoughts. I wasn’t living or working in flow.
I realized that I was telling myself that I had to do X, Y and Z, and if I had time, then I could do A, B and C. I was working against my flow and what my intuition was telling me that I needed.
I need a more social environment. I need my friends and my family. I want to make new friends and go out more and explore more. I’m a social being, and I thrive as a person and light up energetically when I’m with others. I’m a freelancer who works from my computer. That’s not a very social in-person environment. It’s isolating.
I was making my priorities work and goals, and those aren’t my priorities. My priorities are people and experiences.
When I thought more deeply about what flow meant to me and the attitude that surrounded my flow and that did not surround my flow, I realized that I was not living according to the priorities that live in my heart, but I was living according to the priorities that live in my head. That fostered me to live more in my head, to develop more self-critical thoughts and to be in a low energy place because I was going against what my intuition was telling me to do. I was focused on my work and life goals from an achievement focused mindset, not an enjoyment mindset.
About a week ago, daily, I kept on thinking that I wanted to see two of my friends who live only about a mile away from me. I wasn’t visiting them because I told myself that I didn’t have time. Not visiting with them weighed on me. I felt an aching in the pit of my stomach and in my chest. I missed them. I wanted to see them, to talk to them, to listen to them, and because I wasn’t, I was telling myself that I was a bad friend. I felt guilty.
It was when I heard myself say, “I don’t have enough time to visit my friends” that I realized my priorities were wrongly focused. If something is my priority, then I’ll make time for it. Everything else can wait.
And everything else doesn’t necessarily have to wait because when I’m experiencing flow in my every day life, it effects my work life, and I become more productive in work because I’m not fighting against myself to not do X so I can so Y. Instead, I’m moving from task to task seamlessly because I’m enjoying the process.
Since this past Monday I’ve been experiencing flow more in my every day life, and recently, in my work life. The energy shift is huge because I’m no longer fighting against myself to make myself do something that I don’t want to do, I’m just doing and flowing.
Last week I committed to practicing Reiki and consistent self-love writing as part of my self-love practice. I said that I would write 3 to 4 self-love posts a week and practice Reiki about 3 times a week for at least 10 minutes each time.
I’ve kept my commitment to practicing Reiki, and it has been really helpful in relaxing myself and cultivating clarity of my priorities. I have written 2 self-love posts this week, and the week isn’t over yet, and I’m going to change this commitment to writing at least 2 to 3 self-love posts a week.
This week I realized that sometimes writing is really beneficial to my self-love practice, and sometimes it isn’t. These past 4 days the most loving actions for me were visiting with my friends and family, biking, buying new running shoes and every day shoes, getting a massage, getting a LGBT club officially started up again at the SRJC and hanging out more with them, cleaning my room, exploring Petaluma more so I can interact with more and new people, organizing different projects and just focusing on myself and my needs. This past week it was more loving for me to act out on what I knew I needed, other times it’s more loving for me to reflect on what I need.
I know that I want to continue to foster my flow, and to do that I need to continue to listen to and act on my intuition. Part of that is spending more time with my friends and family and creating a stronger local social life. Part of it is listening to my body and stretching, getting massages, practicing Reiki, sleeping more, getting movement through biking, running, walking or something else. Part of it is listening to my heart and mind in relation to work, and working on things when I’m motivated to and just going with it, instead of working against it and doing something else because I feel like I have to, even though most of the time I don’t.
I don’t have a detailed outline of what I need to cultivate my flow more, but I have an idea and I have my intuition, and if I follow my intuition, I think I’ll be fine, and I believe that it will lead to a stronger self-love practice.
– Emelina Minero
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at the Petaluma Copperfield’s bookstore. For upcoming events and book signings, starting Feb 7, visit Michelle’s Events page.
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Gay Media Network, and is Curve’s Social Media Manager. She’s launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication, The Human Experience. 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.