90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 73 – Constructing My Self-Care Regimen

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 73: Constructing My Self-Care Regimen

Dear Self,

I’m taking the time to construct my self-care regimen by going through what I use to help me in different areas of my life. Once I’ve done this, I will figure out how to make time for the tools on a daily basis to continuously help me appreciate and improve my life and my relationships with others.

  1. How am I taking care of my connection to my spiritual life and beliefs? I take time to connect everyday with my gratitude with prayer, gratitude lists, free writing, letter writing, meditation, listening to music, and/or embracing nature. I also connect to other’s in my spiritual community.
  2. How am I taking care of quieting my mind? I use meditation, yoga, nature, breathing exercises, mindfulness meditations, get enough sleep, listen to instrumental or chanting music, and/or practicing presence
  3. How am I taking care of accepting myself in the mirror? I use positive self-talk, affirmations, letter writing, and/or gratitude for what my body does for me.
  4. How am I taking care of my body and organs? I get enough sleep, yoga, dance, walking, drinking lemon water in the morning, water throughout the day, drinking fruit/vegetable smoothies, eating nutritious foods, occasional cleanses, and/or quieting my mind to listen to what my body needs. I also write love letters to my body for loving me and taking care of me on my journey.
  5. How am I checking in with my perspectives of truth (Days 42-46) to make sure they are working in my life? If a perspectives cause me pain, worry, anxiety, depression, fight or flight response, rage, and/or vengefulness, I question what I believe and come up with different ways I can think about the situation. I write letters to help me write new stories. Then I practice applying new perspectives of truth that bring me more peace.
  6. How am I showing myself love? I practice self-care regularly, do things I love to do, get enough sleep, practice positive self-talk, give myself quality time, write myself letters, and take care of my body, mind, and soul.
  7. How am I showing myself respect? I take care of my mind, body, and spiritual self. I have healthy boundaries with others. I honor the person I am. I do the best I can in each moment. I put the oxygen mask on myself first, then I assist others.I take time to breathe. I write myself letters.
  8. How am I investing in my quality time with myself? I go for walks in nature, watch sunsets, write from my heart, do yoga, read, and/or dance.
  9. How do I feed my mind? I read, research, solve puzzles, come up with creative solutions, talk to people who believe differently than I do, and/or try to understand something I didn’t before.
  10. How do I practice presence? I meditate, focus on spots in nature, actively listen to the people I’m with, enjoy what I’m doing, practice mindfulness, or live gratitude.
  11. How do I live gratitude? Write gratitude lists, practice seeing gratitude in day-to-day activities, use gratitude in challenging situations, look to nature with gratitude, look at the love in my life,nd/or meditate with a guided meditation focused on gratitude.
  12. How do I take care of myself in the presence of other’s darkness (fear, anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, envy)? I remind myself, I don’t have to engage in the energy that they are. I take space to strengthen my own energy. I pray for protection from their dark energy. I pray for them to find some light. I pray for guidance in how I communicate with the person if I have to. I take deep breaths to stay calm and peaceful. I laugh with friends. I write letters that I don’t send to properly process what is going on inside of me.
  13. How do I take care of myself in the presence of my own darkness (fear, anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, envy)? I pray, write in my gratitude journal, take deep breaths, practice mindfulness to quiet my mind, write letters of encouragement to myself,  walk, and/or DANCE.
  14. How do I take care of myself when I’m feeling depleted? I get rest, quiet my mind, do yoga, write something inspirational, write letters, sit outside, make time to play, and/or spend time laughing with friends.
  15. How do I take care of myself when I’m feeling a lack (loss, grief, disappointment)? Write down as many things I can be grateful for as possible! I question the perspectives of truth I’m engaging in and I write out as many positive perspectives I can look at instead. I write letters about how I’m abundant in my life. I focus on love instead of grief, opening doors instead of closing ones, and change instead of stagnation. I also pray and work to connect with Source energy.

With this list, I will take the items that can be used to handle multiple areas and work them into my daily self-care regimen. I will look at where I use some of the tools to take care other items on the list and be conscious of where my head is to see how I can best serve myself in the moment. I know I have the tools to live my best life.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful that I have the tools to live my best life.
  2. I’m grateful for my realization of how to better manage my self-care.
  3. I’m grateful for having the time to invest in my own care.
  4. I’m grateful for my ability to help others when I’m taking care of myself.
  5. I’m grateful for how I feel when I take care of myself.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Side note: This letter is not edited intentionally. This list isn’t about being grammatically correct; it’s about just writing out tools however they come out. You can add to sections, delete, and add some more. You want to see the overlap in what you can do on a daily basis to handle multiple items of self-care. Those are the ones you want to implement first.

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 73 – Constructing A Self-Care Regimen

5 Ways to Stop Abusing Ourselves: How to Bring Healthy Relationships into Our lives

If you are one of the many people who have wondered what a healthy relationship looks like, more than likely you are guilty of abusing yourself. Why do I say this? Because healthy people don’t have to ask the question, they just have healthy relationships. This isn’t just an outer appearance healthy; this is the healthy that comes from the core. Those of us who struggle with issues of self-worth, guilt, and shame have to dig really deep to even figure out where these insecurities come from and have to do even more digging and work to figure out ways to let these past struggles go in order to move on and have healthy relationships. I will give you some of the tools I used to break the horrible cycle of self-abuse, but I can’t do the work for you. If you don’t do it, you will continue on the same path and continue to ask yourself the question, what do healthy relationships even look like? I don’t know what the result will be for you, but for me…It was AMAZING!!!!!

1. Become AWARE of Your Part

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I know it is so much easier to blame the other person involved, but we are treated the way we project out. What does this mean? Watch how you are talking, communicating, and acting towards yourself. I’ve read so many relationship books throughout the years and whether the author was talking about it in ways I didn’t understand or I was focused on the outward goal that I ignored the inner work. I don’t know, but seriously I didn’t see this clearly until I was taking a college course at 38 years old. A college professor told the class how “We’re as sick or as healthy as our partners.” WHAT????? I didn’t realize my sickness was my feeling of having no value to someone else. I didn’t know that my sickness wanted credit for making other people better. I didn’t realize how utterly unlovable I felt. I was one sick puppy who spoke horribly to myself and treated my body like a giant punching bag.

The way we treat ourselves is like any other habit. Somewhere we pick up an action or behavior. We start repeating it daily. Once we can do it on autopilot, BANG!!! It’s now a habit. Habits of self-abuse tend to hide under rocks, so we don’t tend to see them until we are ready to start looking under rocks to find them. If you’re ready to start, here are some good questions to bring out some of the hard to see habits that have been taking over your psyche:

  • How do I talk to myself when I make a mistake?
  • How do I treat myself when I do something nice for myself?
  • How often do I do something nice for myself?
  • Do I feel guilty about doing something nice for myself?
  • Do I exercise my body and mind so that it can function at its best ability?
  • Do I talk to myself in ways that I wouldn’t accept people talking to my best friend?
  • Do I talk to myself in ways that if a partner, parent, or stranger did it, it would be called emotional abuse?
  • When I look in the mirror, what do I see?
  • When I let other people’s behaviors stir me up, what thoughts about myself are going through my head?
  • Do I take responsibility for other people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions?
  • Do I mentally beat myself up?
  • Does my eating support a healthy mental outlook?
  • Do I criticize myself when I don’t exercise, eat right, or have unhealthy encounters with others?

Be honest and write the answers out. Really become aware of how you are treating yourself. It matters, because if you accept that treatment from the one person you are with from the cradle to the grave, you will make it acceptable for others to take your lead.

2. Accept Responsibility for Your Choices

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If you are anything like me, that list above revealed a lot of not so nice truths about how you treat yourself. Some of them were very well hidden. Don’t use this list as yet another reason to beat yourself up. You are finding your way out, which is something to be celebrated!

The way I started accepting my responsibility is by seeing my relationships as lessons of how I was treating myself. I used a method by Byron Katie called “The Work” (click on it and it will take you to her site). The method consists of four questions and then a turn around. This process REALLY helped me to start to accept the responsibility for what I was putting out there. It helped me see what these partners were latching onto and flinging right back at me.

Now, when I’m being triggered its my sign to look at myself. I’ve accepted that my lack of self-care can lead me to be mistreated by others. My critical eye on myself can create me to have a critical eye on the relationships in my life. If I’m judging others, I’m judging myself worse. One of the questions I used to ask myself was why did I choose him? I even wrote a piece on it.

Every partner we choose gives us great lessons. We just have to open our eyes wide enough to see them. When a relationship is unhealthy, we aren’t healthy. Healthy people don’t attract unhealthy partners. Accepting our contribution to the chaos is the way out of the ugly patterns that keep us making the same mistakes over and over.

Now, here’s the trick: We can’t beat ourselves up over the choices we’ve made to get us where we are now. If we do that, we stay in the cycle of self-abuse. We have to forgive ourselves, find the lessons, and move on.

3. Take Action on Your Personal Journey

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We can’t do this for anyone else. No one can do this for us either. No friend can tell us enough times. No mom or dad can forbid us from getting treated badly again. No therapist can listen to our problems enough to support us not doing any work. We have to do the work. We will stay unhealthy until we decide with all our convictions that we truly want something better than we have right now. Nothing will change until we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I love you exactly the way you are” and more importantly, mean it. If you, like I did, struggle with this part of the journey, Louise Hay recently wrote a book called Mirror Work. She’s been doing seminars on this for decades, but she finally came out with a book that has a 21-day process. It took me a little longer than 21 days to accomplish what I wanted to, but this offers a great start and if you can stick to it, you will start treating yourself better.

We can’t blame anybody else for where we are right now. We all make choices to contribute to our best or worst attributes. We all have the opportunity to make an ugly past into something beautiful or to let it be our excuse to hold us hostage to our misery. We also each get to make the choice of the life we want for ourselves. As long as our actions follow the path of what we want, we can achieve it. As for healthy relationships, we can only attract healthy partners if we become a healthy partner. We can’t tell the Universe we want healthy lungs and then pick up a pack of cigarettes everyday. If we want healthy lungs we need to do a good cardio routine, drink water, and stay where there is good air quality. Take responsibility for your actions. The relationship with yourself has to be fixed before any other healthy relationship is possible.

This is your journey! A couple techniques that may help you commit to taking positive actions are:

  • Practicing Positive self-talk
  • Writing a list of all the positive attributes you would like to see in a partner, then start taking action steps to make sure you yourself are portraying those attributes.
  • Write a story of a positive life you would like to see for yourself. Make sure you are the hero in your own story. Don’t put the power of happiness in someone else’s hands.
  • Make a list of three things you like about yourself EVERY day for 60 days. This is you doing one thing for yourself daily to take care of your emotional and mental well-being.
  • Make a daily gratitude list
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Get outdoors and just watch nature unfold
  • SLOW DOWN and be Present
  • Meditate
  • Pray

WAIT!!! This list is not meant to be taken on all at once. Pick a couple of things and start there. I like change right now, so sometimes when I start looking at positive outlets for change, I want to take them on all at once. Then the second I fail, I use it as an excuse to get back into the pattern of self-talk that says, I’m not enough. I can’t do it. Don’t go there. Of course if we take on too much it will be too much. Start small, we can’t fix ourselves overnight. A friend once enlightened me on how the process of personal growth takes time. The longer we’ve had these self-sabotaging habits, the longer it will take to unlearn them and replace them with healthier ones. BE PATIENT!

You may experience big changes, then follow it up with a little step backwards in order to take the lesson a little deeper. Remember, we will only be given the lessons we are ready for.

4. Put Yourself on top of Your Own Priority List

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Don’t think I don’t know how hard we can make this one. Believe me, I know and as mom and a partner, I can definitely challenge myself to stay on my own priority list. With awareness, acceptance, and action I get see my progress. Now, I see a lot faster when I haven’t made my needs and myself a priority. I see when my kids are suffering, because I’m stretching myself too thin and making us all crazy for it. I can see it with my partner when I start expecting him to be someone he’s not and resenting him for taking care of his own needs. All signs lead to me not being at the top of my own priority list. My most recent lesson with this has led me to see that I just need to focus on the 24 hours ahead of me.

We don’t need to get caught up in any unknown future that keeps us from being available today. That’s what a calendar is for. Taking on only one day at a time makes self-care possible. The second we get into future thinking, all the sudden our time magically disappears to do anything to take care of our own personal needs. Just today, what are you going to do to take care of you?

Oh the excuses we can come up with to not do this one. Please, stop. If we have the time to do things for others that they can do for themselves; let them do it! They can be responsible for their own stuff; we have to be responsible for ours. If it means we need to get up 30 minutes earlier to do a meditation, exercise, or read a chapter in a book that contributes to the life we want to have; MAKE TIME FOR IT! We may need to use our lunch break or come up with a different routine at bedtime, but whatever it takes. We are all WORTH IT!! If we truly want to attract a healthier lifestyle, our life has to project it. We can only do that if our own life becomes a priority.

5. Be KIND to Yourself!

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Developing self-care, self-respect, self-love, and self-worth are all big tasks for people who have to ask themselves, “What does a healthy relationship look like?” We took a long time to get so down on ourselves that we don’t even know what healthy is anymore, some of us may have never known. We can’t expect anything to change over night. Just like anything else, we have to build up muscles that are weak or have never used before. The only way to keep going in the right direction is to practice, practice, and practice. We are going to make mistakes, but they are there to help us learn what we need to work on. We may go back to unhealthy relationships and be shunned by the people who love us, but if we need to do it to learn, then that is our journey. We may go for a person who is worse for us than any other person prior, but we brought the relationship there for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, we are ready to see what we need to do to break the cycle. Any way if happens, be kind to yourself.

Self-Abuse gets us nowhere and will keep us stuck wondering if we will ever be truly loved. We all get to choose how we will be treated by the people we love. When we love ourselves, we won’t attempt to hurt others or ourselves. We will not attract others who are looking to hurt us. They aren’t even meaning to hurt us. They, like us, are caught in a cycle of self-abuse caused by shame and guilt. Some people’s shame is so deep seeded it causes them to mentally and/or physically abuse others. Most of these people are burying their shame so deep that they have no idea how badly they are abusing themselves. They are projecting hate and rage that is stirring inside of them. It’s very sad to see, but they will only get help when they are ready to change. Our job is to stop focusing on the relationship that is causing us pain on the outside and start focusing on the one that we can change, the one we have created for ourselves on the inside. The first step is start figuring out ways you can be kinder to yourself.

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We will project a person who people respect, because we respect ourselves. We will project a person who inspires love, because we know how to love ourselves. We can’t fake this, if we try, the truth will come out. We will continue to get lessons to help us see the beautiful person that lies within the walls we’ve created. Trust the process! You are Worth it!

If you are in a situation where your physical safety is at risk, PLEASE seek help from an abuse shelter in your area. They are trained to help to keep you safe. If this process is too much for you to do on your own, please seek help from a professional. The key is for you to get the help you need to stop the cycle.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Facebook.com/FromALovingPlace

Let Today be the Day You Start a New Journey of Discovery

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As the new moon approaches, now is time for us to look at where we are and focus on who we see ourselves uncovering. Are you ready to manifest the life you have dreamt of? How are you feeling about yourself? Do you think you deserve the life you are requesting? Are you willing to put in the effort to get it? Why does it matter how you feel about yourself?

In order to get rid of old patterns that keep us where we are, we have to embrace new thoughts and feelings about ourselves. Negative patterns all stem from the way we are treating ourselves. Some of these patterns have passed through generations and are so embedded that we don’t even know that they are there. In order to move past our roadblocks we have to look for new ways that will get us to where we want to go. We can’t just sit and wait. We have to take charge and do something different.

When we are setting intentions we have to know from the deepest core of our being that we are worthy of these changes we are seeking in our lives. If we don’t, we won’t recognize the signs that are leading us there, and we will continue to get lessons to help us to open our eyes. We will get hit with emotional 2x4s if we don’t start paying attention to what is keeping us from getting the life we envision for ourselves. Here are a few questions to help you dig down and see what might be holding you back:

  • Do you have belief and behavior patterns that go against what we are asking for?
  • Do you have negative feelings about success and/or money?
  • How do you view people who have a lot of success or money? Do you criticize them or feel happy for them? Do you hate the rich?
  • Do you put up invisible forcefields around your heart because you feel unworthy of love?
  • Do you let your physical restrictions take charge of your inner worth?
  • Do you keep the word “can’t” as your safety mechanism as an excuse not to try?
  • Do you fill yourself with messages such as, “life is hard”, “I’m going crazy”, “This is too hard”, “life is a struggle”, “I must suffer”, “money is evil”, “I hate money”?

Pay close attention to the messages that are going through your head and feeding the energy that you are putting out into the world. If these are the messages that are going through your head a better life will continue to be out of reach. If you are looking to change set intentions for the process.

  • Today, I will be more aware of the obstacles I am creating in my own mind.
  • Today, I will show myself kindness, respect and love.
  • Today, I will see my value and appreciate the gifts I give to the world.

If you can spot the negative messages you are carrying, write them down. Then for each one write three different ways you can choose to view the situation. These lists are not about being right or wrong, they are about seeing that there are other ways to look at something, and that it is our choice and our own personal power to choose how we see it. Here are a few examples:

Money is evil:

  1. Money is just paper, it only has the energy that I put into it.
  2. Money can help accomplish wonderful things.
  3. Money is wonderful.

I am never going to find love:

  1. Love is everywhere.
  2. Love is within me.
  3. I am complete in loving myself.

Life is hard

  1. Life flows and will give me what I need to be the best version of me.
  2. Life is a classroom and the lessons are as easy or hard as I make them.
  3. Life is what I make of it.

How we choose to live our lives is OUR choice.

How are YOU going to CHOOSE to live it?

If you like what you have read, scroll down and see the ways you can follow my blog. Have a beautiful day!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

 

What We Tell Ourselves is Our Reality: Time to Take Our Power Back

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We create the world we live in. Yes, we are that powerful. It all starts with a stream of thought and where our focus is. How is it that twins who grew up in the same household can go off to lead such different lives? How is it possible for some in poverty to break down the barriers and rise up, while others fall? How is possible for some people to find the love, careers, and lifestyle they want and others struggle? How do some people feel like victims of the world and other feel like participants in the journey?

It all begins with the messages we feed ourselves.

  • How do I use my words?
  • Do I speak in the positive or negative more?
  • Do I focus my attention on stories of successes or stories about tragedies?
  • Do I see possibilities or obstacles?
  • Do I question my reactions to others?
  • How do I judge myself?
  • How do I judge others?
  • How do I participate in life?
  • Do I work hard or smart?
  • Do I try to lose weight or create a healthier lifestyle?
  • How do I treat myself?
  • Do I put more values in others than I do myself?

These questions only tap the surface, but how we answer each one dictates the life we are creating. Old patterns of thinking take time to break. Some of these may have come from the generations before you. Investigate your current beliefs and break free from the past ones that hold you back.  Here are a few ideas on how to improve the life you are creating:

  1. Make  lists to change your thinking to a more possibility focused outlook. I have used it for love, work, family, spirituality, self, money, and school. I am amazed in the changes  every time. When I can make a list of all the positive things I want my life, I know what I am working towards.
  2. Write a Letter the God of your understanding,  a friend, or a family member like you already have what you are wanting in your life. Pick on area to focus on so that you can give it your full attention and energy. Go through the feelings of having it in your life. Use ALL your senses. This will help ignite every part of you in the process. Make sure to write about the details of how things look, smell, taste, sound, and feel. Create scenes where you can use each sense. If you can’t see the life you want, you are giving away your power to create it. Remember to leave it open to be better than you can even imagine. This will give it space to grow above and beyond.
  3. STAY AWAY from focusing on what you don’t want. If you know there are certain qualities that aren’t appeasing to you, focus on the ones that are their opposite. Instead of focusing on losing weight, quitting smoking, or ending toxic relationships focus on the actions of a healthier lifestyle. You don’t want to see the excess weight, the smoking, or the unhealthy relationship. What does the opposite look like to you.
  4. Expand your tool box. How do you plan on staying in this positive mindset? What books will help you focus on the life you want? What exercises will benefit this life the most? How do you need to change your eating habits? What videos would you like to see on-line (If you haven’t been introduced to the world of Ted Talks check them out). We don’t have excuses anymore, it doesn’t matter how our life looks to anyone else. It only matters what you want your life to look like.
  5. FEEL! Covering pain with outside substances will only accentuate the problem and keep you farther from the solution. When we allow ourselves to fully feel the joy and the pain it will help move us to a better place. When we use things like drugs, alcohol, or other people to cover up what is going on. It lays stuck creating diseases, illnesses, and despair. It steals our hope, joy, and power. I’m not saying not to enjoy a cocktail or a companion. Just don’t use them as a tool to cover up what you are really feeling.
  6. Allow yourself to grieve the losses of the old life. This is the life you have lived for a very long time. It will take time to release it. It will happen in stages and you may feel the loss of the walls of protection you put up around that life. Be gentle with yourself. What I have noticed is I will create a situation with another person, where I find myself facing that part of me. Patterns keep repeating until we are able to fully release what is keeping them there. See the opportunity to learn and the progress you have made.

    “If we do not suffer a loss all the way to the end, it will wait for us. It won’t just dissipate and disappear. Rather, it will fester, and we will experience its sorrow later, in stranger forms” -Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open p. 99

  7. Record your progress. Even when you have a bad day, which you will, find something in it to contribute to the life you want for yourself. Notice as much as you can to be grateful for in each day. Take charge and put your energy into where you want to go while being grateful for what is already here.

Photo Credit: Rachael Wolff