Okay, so I’ve spent the last few days flummoxed by the idea that wellness and self-worth go hand-in-hand.
Which is ridiculous because how obvious is that, right?!
The thing is—
I didn’t realise that I don’t value myself.
I thought, well, I do yoga, I learn about mindfulness, I eat well (most of the time!) and read motivational quotes for Africa—I’m well enough, right?
Because all that external stuff looks and sounds great, but self-worth starts from the inside.
And, I’ve always put my value way, way out there—in my future basket.
All will be well when …
I’ll be worthy when …
Real life will begin when …
Do you know the feeling?
What I’m just now realising is that if I don’t value myself now, if I don’t see my worth now, I’m never going to get to where I want to be, to who I want to be—because present me has to do the work.
Future me is present me, unless I make changes now.
So, how do we start building our worth now?
Believe in ourselves
I’m reading Educated by Tara Westover [which I just, this moment, discovered is a memoir when I Googled to remember the author’s name—I’m reading on a Kindle, I don’t see the cover every day!—and realised it’s the same name as the title character. Holy freaking moly, my mind is blown! She tells the most incredible story. She’s phenomenal].
Sorry, my mind matter just splayed all over the page there—in case you can’t tell, highly recommended read!
Anyway, I don’t think this is a spoiler alert, but, in it, she says—
To admit uncertainty is to admit to weakness, to powerlessness, and to believe in yourself despite both.
To believe in ourselves.
To believe in ourselves—despite our fears and faults and flaws and failures and fuck ups. All the ‘F’ words!
My question is still—
How? How do we do that?
Chicken or egg?
Wellness and now, by association, self-worthiness, start [and end?] with self-care.
There’s a lovely man called David Steindl-Rast—he gives a TED talk on gratitude, where he says [and I wish I could write this in his accent]—
It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it is gratefulness that makes us happy.
In this same light—it is not a sense of worthiness that makes us care for ourselves, it is self-care that cultivates our worth.
And, not just the yoga or the baths or cups of tea or getting a massage—
We’ve got to go deeper. Self-care has to start with what we think about ourselves, how we talk to ourselves, our inner world.
Law of reflection
I heard recently, from Susan Ferraro, that the art of attraction is really more like the art of reflection.
You know that old karma motto [and what we get taught as kids]—treat others the way we want to be treated, the way we treat others will come back to us?
This is true, but the law of reflection says that the way we treat ourselves is what is reflected back to us.
So, if we’re sweet as pie to every stranger that we meet, but we’re wondering why our life isn’t going the way we wish it to?
We need to look inside.
Taking more notice
I mentioned in the last post that I was going to start paying attention to how I speak to myself.
It’s only been a few days, but it didn’t take long to see where my thoughts were going.
Why are you teaching a kids’ yoga class?
What if you fail and they don’t enjoy it?
What if the studio owner regrets taking you on?
Why are you writing a blog about it?
What have you got to offer anyone?
Two things I notice—
The tone. Definitely negative. Absolutely unpleasant. Totally unproductive.
But, more importantly, not me.
The voice in my head, when it’s saying these things, is saying—
Not me, or I, but you.
Weird—or crazy?! I’ve never noticed it before.
Descartes said I think, therefore, I am—Eckhart Tolle calls hogwash.
We are not our thoughts.
And, this gives us power.
When we start to hear the you, we can realise that those thoughts, that voice, is not really us and begin to replace it with our own voice of kindness, of caring, of value.