Our recent Zoom chats have centered around "loving yourself," a theme we chose because Valentine's Day was approaching and we wanted to do something timely. We had no idea how big this topic would grow! We've done six weeks so far! Each week there have been tons of resources to pour through, but it has resulted in a greater understanding (at least for me), of the many different components we have to balance in order to claim great health.
Oh sure, we all think we're healthy - to a degree - but I think, if we are honest with ourselves (and that is the only person who matters), we all have some improvements that can be made. For me, it's exercising more frequently (and consistently) and watching my diet. Truthfully, I do watch my diet. I watch what's on the plate and I watch it go into my mouth, and then onto my thighs. I watch my good intentions get thrown out the window.
To quote a common phrase ... I believe it takes a village to be able to keep ourselves safe, healthy, and accountable. I have no doubt that there are those who are incredibly disciplined and can feed their bodies only the healthiest, organic foods available, in between exercising three times a day ... but I am not one of them. I need constant reminders of why I decided to give up pork, or how to cook with less oil, or even why I'm buying organic veggies. Deep inside, I know it's the right thing. I read the research or reports and I understood it - at the time. But comes another time when I've forgotten to eat (glued to the computer writing blog posts?) and ravenously devoured anything I could find in my fridge - which is shamefully understocked in healthy choices.
Who else needs help in this area? Who needs an accountability partner? Or team? I'd love to be able to share what I find with someone, and then in return, have them slap the bacon from my hand before I scarf it up! We all need friends like that, right?
But, if there is one thing I've learned from all of these chats on Loving Yourself, it's that we are all beautiful the way we are and need to accept that before we can grow and change. You must love yourself unconditionally, and then begin the work on improvements. It's like buying a house - you see a ton of them that you hate, but then you see the one that works. The one you can see yourself living in for years to come. (And like many of us, because you saw the rejects for so long, you view the "winner" with blinders on.) Never mind. That's where the growing and changing come in. You love the house, buy it, and then begin the renovations. So, too, must we love ourselves first, and then recognize our faults or shortcomings and begin to work on some changes ... one at a time.
In the areas we've chatted about - physical, emotional, social, environmental, spiritual - there are so many ways to grow. I'm focusing on the physical right now. I think my emotional state is fairly intact. I had a slump in January/February, but I'm feeling great now. My social life is probably a lot like yours. Who goes anywhere any more? But I have some great plans in the works! And with environmental, I'm probably ahead of the game because I've been detoxing my home, yard, and body for a few years now. (Still have a long way to go, but I'm on it!). Spiritual is another area that I am working on - trying to deepen my commitment to and relationship with God, but as we have learned, spirituality does not have to include a belief in God. Hey - you do you!
There are a few other areas of self-growth that we will be talking about soon - creativity, intelligence, financial - but it all comes down to one thing. We are all works in progress. It's important to keep learning, keep growing, keep developing... and more importantly, to share your knowledge with others. If you think you've got it ALL figured out ... you're wrong. Even when you're 90 years old, (and I hope you are some day), you should still be learning and growing.
So, go out and LIVE LARGE! Accept yourself, flaws and all, but keep your eyes open wide and your mind open wider. After all, we are only human!