I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. ~ Maya Angelou
The journey to full self-acceptance is both challenging and exhilarating.
As I move through the world as a 40-something woman, there is one thing I will no longer compromise on—my authentic self.
Below are five ways we can be better self-advocates and claim our sexy, authentic selves.
1. Become more aware of your self-talk.
Guess who you will be around more than anyone else in your entire life? You. Not your lover, not your bestie, not even your kids.
We live with ourselves all day long. What we say, how we say it, and how we respond all happens in our own heads. It’s time to speak more kindly to ourselves.
The real purpose of mantras and affirmations is to train our egos away from the conditioning it received and toward a more enlightened perspective. Pick some that work for you specifically. Notice how the body responds when you choose a better thought.
2. Start listening to your body more—in fact, start living there.
The body doesn’t lie. It also doesn’t defer to the beliefs or whims of the ego. We must start trusting the feedback we receive.
Most of us are disconnected from the neck down most of the day. Why? Because we’ve made our conscious mind king and begun to ignore everything else.
Our body will tell us exactly how aligned we are. It’s precise, and it’s never wrong. Many times, we push forward when something in our gut is screaming at us to stop. We follow logic verses what we know to be true on an energetic level.
My teacher always reminds me of this: if you feel confused, lost, overwhelmed, or out of sorts, this is a clear sign you are in your head and have sent your energy up and out. Stop, sit, and breathe for a minute. Reconnect with the body and send your energy down through the earth. Lean in and wait for divine guidance to bubble up from below.
Our bodies will always speak truth if we are grounded, rooted, and centered.
3. Find a phrase that helps in conflict.
Existing with other humans can be a complicated experience. We are all seeking the same things: to be loved, understood, valued, and to feel safe.
Many times, we forget how connected we really are, especially when our basic safety is threatened.
When conflicts arise, it can feel uncomfortable and scary—even more so if we experienced abuse or chaos as children.
When a disagreement or conflict comes up, it helps to have some go-to phrases that can acknowledge the problem, but also take us out of the line of fire.
Here are some ideas:
This is an upsetting situation and we both want to be heard. Let’s stop and calmly express what’s bothering us.
We have a different point of view on this topic and I acknowledge that. Here is how I feel about it. How do you feel?
We’re both scared because we feel unsafe, but, ultimately, we both want to be understood. How can we express our anger or frustration without blame?
4. Accept how you feel, no matter what.
Suffering has been defined as “the resistance to what is,” which is exactly what it feels like.
When we feel like utter crap, it’s often made worse because we resist it. We think we are somehow less than because we are having a human emotion or feeling, therefore, making it worse.
The life of an emotional neurotransmitter in the brain is 90 seconds! That’s it! So why does it feel like it lasts longer? Most likely because we are telling a story about the feeling verses sitting and really feeling it.
When you feel pissed off, allow yourself to be pissed off. Yell, scream, hit something with a baseball bat. Cuss up a storm! Get it out of your system—and this is very important—without telling a story about it. It will pass, no matter how strong it feels for those 90 seconds.
Do this with sadness, frustration, doubt, rage, fear—feel it, accept it, acknowledge it, and then let it go.
5. Clear your energy field at least twice a day.
We as humans are energetic beings. Because of this, we pick up other people’s energy as we go through our day.
Think about walking into a room where you know people have been talking badly about you—you can feel it. Conversely, think about walking into a room where people have been talking lovingly about you—again, you can feel it.
As we interact with other people, our energies mix. Because energy has no will of its own, we have to direct it away from us if we don’t like how it feels.
It’s simple. Sit, get present, and do a body scan. Maybe you feel sadness or anger that you know doesn’t belong to you in this moment. Identify it, name it, and say, “This isn’t mine; I release this back to Source (or whatever word helps you feel connected).” Really feel it leave your field. Energy must go where you tell it—it can’t just stick to you without your permission.
Knowing this will bring you a sense of personal empowerment unlike anything else. To realize you can direct energy around you is something most folks are completely unaware of—they just accept the vibration they’ve picked up as their own.
We are so much more powerful than we have been told.
When stress or inner turmoil arises, remind yourself that the best practice is to be on your own side. How can you soothe? How can you acknowledge? How can you soften?
Our power lies in how we respond, so respond with the care you would give a small child or animal. Cherish yourself.
It’s safe to be right where you are.