The (Un) Caged Bird

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." – Rumi


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Self-Love Celebration Month Day 2/7 – 2/12

The second installment from my daily self love posts, day 7 – 12.  Enjoy!

 

Self Love Celebration, Day 7

“When we have the courage to let the walls down – to know and embrace ourselves, despite our human failings, we also open the door to connecting in a more caring, empathetic, intimate way with the ones we love and with all living beings. Our brains are wired for survival, but also for empathy. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people’s pain. Let us learn to love ourselves so we can be more open and compassionate to others, and so we can take down the walls that limit who we can be and what we can contribute. The quotes below are intended as inspiration for your inward journey.” – via Psychology Today, The 50 Best Quotes on Self Love

Self Love Celebration Day 8

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh”

Tiny Buddha, the site which hosts the article below, 21 Tips to Release Self-Neglect and Love Yourself in Action is a great website for all sorts of life advice. I’ve been receiving a weekly email from them for a year or so and find an applicable article in every digest. Enjoy. 🙂

Self Love Celebration Day 9

Isn’t loving yourself a selfish thing you say? Nope, healthy self esteem and setting loving boundaries are not conceited, ego driven acts.

“When I talk of self-love, I am NOT advocating that we should stop caring for others, and just focus on ourselves. Being in service and giving back to your community is something I believe is very important. Showing kindness to others and demonstrating our caring for our loved ones is a key to having a fulfilling life. However, maintaining a balance is critical. You cannot keep giving to others if you do not give to yourself, first. It is like pouring water from a vessel: you cannot pour and pour without ever refilling it – eventually, it will run dry. Like that vessel, we, too, need to refill, recharge, and re-energize. ” – Self Love, Is It Selfish?

 

Self Love Celebration Day 10 –

(This one is not PG rated) If you’re going to talk about self love and leave sex out of the picture then you haven’t got a complete picture have you? We live in such a weird, hypocritical society where sex is used to sell almost every product imaginable yet there’s still negativity attached to real people in the flesh getting it on and women especially seem to harbor all of this guilt and embarrassment around being sexual beings.


“The bottom line here is that self-love equals better sex! The better you know yourself on multiple levels, the more you love and appreciate your strengths. The greater you honor yourself right now, the freer you will feel to express yourself in the bedroom, or even venture out to new locations. Experiencing healthy sexuality and enjoying the pleasures of the body involves awareness, authenticity, and presence. Truly releasing to pleasure, whether it is succumbing to orgasm or just gazing into your partner’s eyes, puts us in a vulnerable position beyond rational control.” – Awakening to Sexual Self Love

 

 

Self Love Celebration Day 11

As a person that seems to always walk the road less traveled, I have struggled a lot with approval and still do. Why? Because the road less traveled means that there aren’t many people along the way that you’re going and you aren’t likely to be encouraged. Ironically, the things that I deem the least important in my life receive the most attention and approval and the things that I’m extremely passionate and heartfelt about receive very little. Perspective is king, so I’ve started doing what I want and fulfilling the need for approval by being kind and supportive to myself and the reward for it all lies in the fact that I’m giving that passion an outlet and letting that voice inside me have a chance to speak even if no one seems to listen.

“The key to an authentic emotional life, like the key to an authentic sex life, is to follow your real desires.” – Stop Seeking Approval

 

Self Love Celebration Day 12

Self love is self care. 34 simple ways to begin your self care practice. In our electronic age it can be difficult to remember that we aren’t machines and we’re merely humans. Humans aren’t made to live and work and push the limit every day, all day, week after week. We just aren’t. Self care can feel like a selfish activity but it’s not. If we don’t maintain our cars, wash them, and provide them with fuel they won’t perform as well as if we regularly maintain and care for them. Humans are the same way, we need regular maintenance and self care to really shine and perform regularly.


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Happiness lies beyond the illusions

Photo Credit – FlickrCC – baejaar

The author Billy Mills wrote about the eight lies of Iktumi in his book, Wokini.  Iktumi, in the Lakota tradition is figure who is a liar or trickster.  The eight lies of Iktumi  prevent happiness and can even ruin a person’s life.  I’m sure we’ve all fallen victim to these invitations to self-deception.  We cannot change the past, but we can change how we look at the present.

1. If only I were rich, then I would be happy.

2. If only I were famous, then I would be happy.

3. If only I could find the right person to marry, then I would be happy.

4. If only I had more friends, then I would be happy.

5. If only I were more attractive, then I would be happy.

6. If only I weren’t physically handicapped in any way, then I would be happy.

7. If only someone close to me hadn’t died, then I could be happy.

8. If only the world were a better place, then I would be happy.

Photo Credit: FlickrCC – donireewalker

How could you change your thoughts so that you are not falling victim to the illusion? It’s very easy to find things to be angry and frustrated about.   There are days when I feel like I hear and see 2% positive and inspiring conversation, and 98% complaining and negative conversation.  One look at your social media stream and it’s probably full of complaining and snarky comments.  It’s no wonder with this type of attitude prevalent in our society that we also have the largest rate of anti-depressant use in the world and that the majority of the people I know use alcohol or other stimulants to “have a good time”.  Our society is focused on the shallow and material, and largely condemns that which has substance.  (We are a capitalistic, so this is not a shocker.)  I personally have lived many, many dark years where I went day to day angry, resentful, depressed, and in a lot of emotional pain because I believed in the illusions that were being sold to me by everyone around me.  I thought that happiness was a place I’d arrive to one day when I’d healed from the scars of my life, found someone to share it with, and/or had reached a point where I didn’t have to be so budget conscious that I stressed over every dollar spent.  I finally hit a point where I was just plain tired of it all and realized that happiness is a choice.  We can choose to be stressed out over the events of our lives or the lack that we see, or we can choose to be happy about all of the wonderful positive things that we have.  It can be a very hard battle and it requires a daily commitment and there are days when you’ll fail, but you have to get back up and keep trying. I’m not saying that you stop trying and cast all ambition aside, but instead to not let whatever it is you desire be the only path to happiness.


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WISDOM: Doses of Inspiration

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.“- 

I subscribe to several sites that send daily (or weekly) inspiration emails that give me strength, hope, and guidance as I travel down my life path.  These emails generally focus on building confidence, keeping motivation going, and encourage  self love.  Receiving these emails in my inbox has been a great comfort to me and has provided me with a daily dose of inspiration and wisdom that provide me positive food for thought and encouragement to keep in the forefront of my mind as I go through my day.  Many days I feel as if the emails have been written just for me as they address topics that I’ve been struggling with, maybe you’ll feel the same way too.

I hope you enjoy them, subscribe, and I hope they help you as much as they have me.

DailyOM – You can subscribe to a daily general inspiration and a specialized inspiration for each horoscope.  These emails address subjects pertaining to the body, mind, and spirit.  This website also offers online courses on a pay what you can scale, which is marvelous for those on a budget and for those who are feeling generous.

The Daily Love – If you follow me on Twitter you know I retweet The Daily Love tweets all the time.  This email is a “daily multivitamin for the soul” and focuses on achieving your goals, relationships, and being your authentic self.

Tiny Buddha –  This is really a weekly dose of wisdom, but there’s so many great articles included that I keep it in my inbox and read them throughout the week.  Tiny Buddha offers “simple wisdom for complex lives”, and has the added bonus of giving you a free e-book on 92 life lessons when you sign up.

Wishing you all the strength, hope, and inspiration to dream and to achieve your dreams.


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HEALTHSPIRATION – Simple, easy, natural steps towards health.

In the last post I talked about choosing my goals for 2010.  Below, are the main things that I try and incorporate into my daily routine.  They aren’t expensive, and are very easy to accomplish.   

Eat the Rainbow.  Experiment and try all the fruits and vegetables that you’ve never had before.  Make your meal a canvas and be creative in its preparation.  Just because a diet is comprised of fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean that you have to be lacking in variety and flavor.  For dessert I often snack on blueberries, pomegranates, blackberries, and star fruit.  I love the sweet, juicy, refreshing tartness of these fruits.  They have all the flavor, without the unhealthy artificial sugars in many desserts. For lunch, I enjoy some sort of salad, soup, vegetarian pizza, or sandwich.  One of my personal favorites is a sprout, avocado, wasabi mayonnaise sandwich.  I love wasabi!  I steam, sautee, broil, and bake vegetables.  I like to pair them with a pasta, or brown rice.  The sky is the limit, and you are free to create new recipes, combining flavors and colors to create a pleasing meal for yourself. 

Eat the Rainbow

Eat the Rainbow - Colorful Fruit by justin and alissa

 Colorful Fruit by justin and alissa 

Fruit and Vegetable Salad - Jenny Downing

 Eat The Rainbow – Colorful fruit and vegetable salad by Jenny Downing.  

Stop weighing in on the scale, and start asking yourself how you feel.   I admit that I still weigh myself every now and then for curiosity, but I never use the number to determine whether I am healthy or not.  Weight isn’t an accurate measure of health, and since we are all individuals, only you can determine what feels right for you.  A number on a scale will also never tell you whether you are properly hydrated, and consuming the proper nutrition for your body to function at its best.  It is more important to ask yourself how you feel inside your body, then what it weighs.  Does it feel limber and supple?  Well rested and energized?  Do you feel strong? How is your digestive system functioning?  Do you sleep well at night?  Do you breathe deep and easily?  Or do you hold your breath under stress?  Answering the questions above and creating your own of the same type to answer can provide you with valuable feedback on your state of health.  Being concerned with being toned, active, fit, and eating a balanced diet that nourishes your body is personally where I would prefer to focus my attention, then on how much I weigh.  Because if I feel healthy, vivacious, and comfortable in my own body the number doesn’t matter. 

  

Photo Credit: Egor.Gribanov-flickr

  

Laugh Often 

Laughing is a great resource of free serotonin, it helps tone your abs, and its fun!  Watch movies or tv shows that make you laugh.  Release your inner child, act silly, and play.  Get together with friends and play charades or another type of laughter inducing board game.  You’ll not only brighten your own spirits but the ones of those around you as well.  Smiling is a free, simple, and easy gift to pass along to the people you meet. 

 

 
Happy Birthday Girl by D. Sharon Pruitt

 

Smile - I command you! by Alan Cleaver 2000 (flickr)

 

  

-Drink clean filtered water 

Since our bodies are largely comprised of water it is essential that we drink enough water for it to operate properly.  Ingesting the proper amount of water allows our bodies to flush out toxins and waste, and maintain digestive health. 

There is a handy formula for calculating how much water you should drink each day.  Drink 1 oz. of water for every 2lbs of body weight (if you are not active),  or approximately 3 oz.’s per every 2 lbs if you are an athlete.  An easy way to remember it (if you are inactive) is to divide your body weight in half and drink that amount in ounces of water per day.   At the beginning it may seem as if you are drinking a lot of water, but by spreading it out through the day, it becomes very natural and manageable.  Imagine how much water you would consume every day if you drank no beverage other than water!  When you initially drink more water then you are used to it can cause more frequent urination.  This is pretty common as your body adjusts and flushes out your system.   

I love carrying Sigg water bottles with me.  They don’t have any toxic ingredients that leech into your beverage, are very durable and resilient, and help to keep beverages cold when not exposed to sun.  Not only are they healthy and environmentally friendly, but they are fun and fashionable too!  Cool designs for everyone in all age groups. 

Sigg Kids Flutter Flirt Water Bottle
Sigg Kids Flutter Flirt Water Bottle

Photo from Sigg Website 

  

Get enough sleep 

Our bodies require sleep for restoration and healing.   Just because we can make ourselves get by and function on 2 to 4 hours of sleep every night, doesn’t mean that we should.  Our bodies need to relax, dream, and be given a chance to relax and rest so that we can perform the demanding schedules that we develop for our lives. 

  

Sleeping cat by kaibara87

Create peace and quiet 

Take a few minutes when you wake up to ground and center yourself.  Light a candle while you have your morning cup of coffee, tea, or eat breakfast.  Celebrate each morning and take time to enjoy having a brand new day in front of you. Find your own special way of taking a few moments to set an intention for the day ahead, and take time to get yourself together.   Find whichever way is comfortable and enables you to create inner peace and let your soul soar free. 

Serenity by baejaar

 

~ Until next time.  Let’s enjoying riding the breezes and observing the clouds.

* spiritedwildfire