Embrace and Love Yourself


A friend of mine recently suggested I read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Ruben. I have always been a fan of her podcasts, but in the book, I found new ways to focus on my yoga practice.  So much so, that I have decided that each month I will choose a theme from the book to focus on for my yoga classes, blog, and videos.

Last month I focused on emotional strength and combined it with the book’s chapter on letting go of “the clutter” that is holding us back from feeling joy. By combining both, I was able to build relationships that made me feel good about myself while learning to be okay with letting go of the relationships in my life that were not in keeping with who I truly feel I am. It is definitely still a work in progress, but I feel great about the decisions I have made regarding the new social pathways I am embarking on.

There is something about February and St. Valentine’s Day that makes this month all about love, so you guessed it, this months’ theme is...love and relationships! No doubt we all love the people in our lives and if you are anything like me, you will do anything you can show them how much you care. Unfortunately, we have the tendency to forget to take care of ourselves when thinking of others, I know I do, and it can really take a toll on our energy levels.

We all do a lot of giving throughout our week; knowledge, emotion, decision making, compassion, connection. For myself, giving happens in the health classes I teach to middle school students, the videos I create, the weekly classes I teach, and the listening and support I give to my husband, cats, and friends near and far.  Even knowing all this I still need to remind myself to take care of me and be my best each week.

This month, I decided to focus on self-care as the theme for my classes, videos, and life. Self-care can mean different things depending on what your immediate needs are at the moment. Physically it can translate to eating better, drinking more water, using safer products, more exercise, relieving stress or the getting the physical therapy your body requires. Emotionally it can translate to being more mindful of your thoughts and distractions, connecting more with the people who fill your heart and soul and making them more of a priority in your life. Mentally, self-care can translate into loving all the great things you do and letting go of preconceived notions of what you “should” do instead of focusing on what you are doing in your life.

I feel the mental side of self-care is the one I neglect the most in my life. It is so easy in this day and age with all the instant gratification of the internet and seeing all the “perfect” posts via Instagram and Facebook to  get caught up in what others are doing that I am not, rather than focusing on what I am doing that is amazing for me without comparison to anyone else out there. This will be my focus for the month, embracing my successes, challenges, differences, and similarities on all levels to give me the self-care I need to fill me up each week to continue to give to others in my best capacity. This translates into being able to turn off my teaching mind and allow myself to focus on me during yoga practice or a workout, allowing myself to take time to build my mindfulness practice to 10 minutes a day, and making time to connect with those people who fill my heart with joy.

This will be my self-care focus for the month. What are yours? Take a few moments to question if you are taking the best care possible of your needs so that you can take care of the needs of others in your life. Where and when in your life could you show yourself a little more self-love?  If you are comfortable enough, I would love to hear from you about your journey. Namaste’