I'm frequently asked what my favorite __________ is. Be it a movie, book, author or so on—people ask, and I love talking and sharing about the things that fire me and have had some kind of impact on my life. So I decided to make a a little hub where all of my favorites live. I'm going to keep this post as updated as possible.
"Love yourself" "It doesn't matter what you look like, you should love yourself"
I understand the logic of this advice, but telling someone to simply love themselves is not enough. While it's so easy to spew out of your mouth, it's not easy to apply to your life. Society tells you to love yourself while simultaneously telling you to be smaller, be skinny, be confident but not to much. So in the middle of this message telling you to love where you're at, they're also telling you that you aren't good enough where you're at.
Loving yourself requires you to step out of a victim mentality. No one wants to hear that, but it is so true. It is easier to throw ourselves a pity party, complain, pick ourselves, and stay in our bubble of sadness and comfort that we've created from feeling inadequate, not worthy and not lovable. Maybe you haven't felt all of those things, or any of them. Regardless, stepping into the power and magic of loving yourself is somehow scarier and harder than staying choosing to be unhappy and in a place with little to no self-love.
Maybe you don't realize that happiness is a choice, that self-love is something you can cultivate on your own without anyone deciding it for you. Maybe you don't realize that you've stayed in a place of comfort, that isn't healthy for you physically or emotionally.
So here is how you can begin to step into your power of radical self-love.
1.) Become Whole On Your Own: When your joy, self-worth, confidence and every other way you define yourself is rooted in the opinion, thoughts and validation of someone else, your self-love will be completely dependent on whoever that person is that you're allowing to control so much of you. Step into being true to YOU and less of what you think your boyfriend, best friend, mom, dad etc want you to be. Then you begin to love YOU for all that you are, and not all that you're pretending to be. How can you do this? You can start dressing the way you want to, saying what you want to say, doing what you want to do, chop your hair, color it pink, do you, babe.
2.) Fill Your Cup First: So this is your cup. In this cup is your joy, happiness, kindness, and love. But to me, this cup looks empty.. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong? So If this is what your cup looks like, and you're trying to love others and show them kindness, love, happiness and joy... it's not going to work really well. You can't pour into other and into life, if this is your cup. So how do you fix this? Fill your cup first. What makes you happy? What gives you joy? Do those things. Doing things that take care of YOU and make you happy will in turn leave your cup full to pour into other people. For me, I know that If I'm constantly running on empty I will crash and burn. So every morning I wake up 15 min earlier than I have to and I make my coffee + have enough to spend to drink it slowly before I begin my busy day. I carve out time on Mondays to make sure I can always go to the grocery store with enough time to not rush because I LOVE it there. No joke. I go to yoga and meditation classes frequently. All of these things fill ME up. I need time alone, and sometimes it's as simple as telling my friends I can't hang out and binge watching the new season of Orange Is The New Black while eating kale chips and drinking kombucha. That's what I need to be full. It's not a lot. But taking that "me time", allows me to pour into others from a full cup and not giving everyone the shitty part of me. What can you do that fills you up?
3.) Drop Your Victim Mentality: That's a really intense sentence to read and If I thought I could get my point across with saying it differently I would but I feel this is such a raw and real thing to understand. Check this conversation (that I made up but hear every time I see a friend or anyone with a vagina):
Girl 1: Your hair looks so pretty!
Girl 2: Oh my gosh no it's so ugly, I was on pinterest for hours and told my stylist I wanted white blond and now it's like this orange ish color and ohmygoshicantrightnow. It's so gross.
*new girl walks in*
New Girl: Girl 1, I'm so sorry DickBoyFriend broke up with you.
Girl 1: It's okay, his new girlfriend is like super into working out and I don't do that. She's got much prettier skin than mine because mine is always breaking out and he would get so embarrassed of it so it's like whatever. They are obviously better together.
I could share 500 scenarios with you, at the end of them all would be the same result. Choosing the victim mentality. For whatever reason, deciding that you aren't worthy enough and complaining about it is better than choosing a way out. A way out of hate and into radical self love. How can you fix this? Tell yourself that you have all of the power. Then fucking act like it. Instead of DickBoyFriend breaking up with you and you sitting there picking yourself apart, dissecting all of the make-believe reasons you feel he left you, allowing yourself to stay in shame, hate and pity. Step into the power of changing the story. Okay he left, now you decide that you're beautiful and because he left you doesn't make you any less beautiful.
You are not the gosh damn victim, I know that the safety of picking yourself apart is easier to stay in than clamming power and turning into a woman who fiercely loves herself. Trust me, I get it. But the only way to move out of self hate and into self-love is to decide that this is YOUR story, and you get to actively choose how you want to live it out.
Self love is an intense thing, but if you begin by applying these lifestyle changes
today, right now. Not tomorrow, I promise you will begin to see changes in your life. This wasn't a fluffy list of things that sound nice. This is a list of ways you can change your life starting RIGHT NOW.
Become whole on your own.
Fill up your gosh damn cup.
Let go of being the victim.
You can do this, I know you can. I know you can because I did. It was not rainbows and butterflies, but I was sick and tired of seeing happy women rock their life. I decided I wanted that for me, and I wanted to stop hating them for what I could have if I simply tried.
So, do you think you can try?
Are you ready to go on a journey of radical self-love?
All my love and light being sent to you as you get ready to rock the fuck out of life.
Sometimes titles for my posts come to me quickly and other times, like now, I have so much to say that I want to pull you in with but I can't fit it all..#thestruggle
While I wish I could've learned the things I'm going to talk about below in school. I won't blame school for not teaching them to me. I won't blame anyone. Because now,
I I'm learning through incredible life experiences, both good and not so good--what I've always wanted to learn. Now, I can do something about it. I can work every day through Strong Chicks Rock to teach women what I wanted to know. know
1.) Women empowerment is rad as fuck. High school Rachel didn't understand this. See, my friends lived off gossip and tearing others apart. While it never felt right to me, while I'm not proud of many of my actions in middle/high school--I let myself live in a reality I deemed normal, where if I wasn't dressed right I was looked down upon, where if we didn't gossip we didn't fit in, where the thought of supporting another girl wasn't heard of. How sad is that?
What is cooler than women joining together and supporting each other? Nothing. To let go of the need to compete, to support each others dreams and goals. To STOP bullying. To stand together and live in the awesomeness that is being a woman. Ladies let me tell you something, life isn't a competition between us all. So if I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: Support one another, be kind, encourage and support each other, don't let someone sit alone at lunch, compliment someone, speak nothing but goodness, be fucking good.
2.) LOVE AND ACCEPT YOURSELF. I spent hundreds of dollars that I saved from working in high school to buy extensions because I thought pretty meant long hair. I thought accepted meant Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, fancy VS underwear, highlights in my hair, eyeliner. Never did I look in the mirror and say: "Hey you beautiful girl, you are perfect just the way you are". I was so caught up in doing my hair (2 hours before school started) that I had ZERO idea of what self love even was.
Think back on your high school experience. Can you imagine the kind of life you would have lived if you had learned to love and accept yourself. Not feeling the need to change for every.single.person who made a comment about you. Not even that. Changing for what you thought people would want. Can you imagine the chain reaction that would have happened from starting to love yourself, then exuding confidence, happiness and peace? If I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: It is okay to be different, it is okay to not conform to what society says you should wear, how to act, what color to make your hair. Practice self love daily. You are allowed to love yourself.
3.) Healthy and strong aren't a joke. Though I knew better, and I have to apologize to my dad...because growing up with a strength and conditioning coach as a dad, I know what healthy is. In high school though, I went to a "normal" gym for the first time because I wanted my ex-boyfriend to see me working out. I literally would run with my bestfriend past the lacrosse field only so he could see me (yup, I was that girl). Though I knew better, I opened up Seventeen Magazine and searched for workouts, but because I had 0 self confidence and was too embarrassed to ask my brilliant dad(because in my heart--I wasn't doing this journey for me)--I went to the treadmill every time. I'm sure you know how this story continues, following the treadmill I did a few core exercise and called it a day. I didn't understand the gym, but who was I kidding. I wasn't there for me or my health.
The extent of learning about what "healthy" is, stopped in middle school after I learned what the food pyramid was--well fuck that(7-8 servings of grains a day my asshole). If you didn't play a sport you didn't learn how to workout, or what it means to be strong. Not in the sense of simply picking up a weight and putting it down, but strength in all aspects of your life. Because of fitness, because of knowing how to honor my body through food that fuels me well and through movement--I'm able to walk through life with confidence. I would have killed to feel the way I do now back in high school. I wish that someone would have talked about learning to eat healthy, not dieting, but how to honor your body with nutrient dense food. If I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: Don't be embarrassed to make healthy choices. Make this journey about YOU and no one else. Try not to fall into fads and what Seventeen says. Start moving to feel good, eat to feel good. Do those things out of an act of self love and respect
I don't share these things to diss my school, more so to speak to the women who and girls who have ever ONCE felt like I did.
I went through a lot of my life never feeling like I was enough. Like I had to change for everyone. Its not a new story. It's been told 100x over. Instead of letting it continue though, and letting the story repeat for girls for the rest of time. I want to do something about it, I want young girls, women my age and women everywhere to be able to take my stories and my past life experiences and learn from it. I want them to take the things I wish I would have learned and start making moves to change those things. How?
If you're a woman who wants to make a change in society, in how women see themselves, in how we act, do one of the following(or all--you don't need my permission):
- Be kind to women
- Let go of the need to compete with other women
- Compliment another woman
- Speak words of kindness. Gossiping needs to stop!
- Lift other women up who you admire
- Stand up for yourself
- Don't change to fit into labels you think you need to
- Practice self love (AND SHARE IT)
- Share your journey of loving yourself. It INSPIRES other women to do the same.
- Advocate for your health.
- Start to honor your body through movement and food that fuels you well
If you've ever wondered why I started SCR, what you just read about my own personal experiences with life is why.
It's not enough to go through something shitty and change then be done. To go through something shitty, change and then advocate for women to do the same--that's it. To be the change, that's why this started. Strong Chicks Rock was designed to be a community for women to grow and learn through their fitness journeys HOW to love yourself, HOW to be kind, HOW to rock your life, and HOW to create your own version of healthy. So we produce women who come out knowing their worth, loving who are they, knowing who they are and then those women inspire others to make the same change.
Will you be the change today? Will you take the reigns on your life and do something about the things you want to change?
In Light and Love,