The most important part of any self-improvement plan is a healthy dose of respect. Very often, I approach this teaching through a discussion of self-love. I talk about how important it is that we love and care for ourselves in a deep way. However, I am going to focus this discussion through the lens of respect.
Respect is a deep acknowledgement and honoring of the totality of who we are. It is a critical component of self-love. Personal development work will not really begin to shift our life until we do the work with a fundamental respect for all of who we are, rather than a desire to fix, improve or change who we are.
Respect for ourselves keeps us on the path of doing our work and helps us to do it in a way that honors our deep nature.
It is too easy to approach personal development work with the mindset that something needs to be fixed. We might be left feeling this way because of the emotional pain or life event that motivated us to start this work. Along the way you will most definitely meet parts of yourself that you do not like and be tempted to go in directions that do not really serve the true you.
But what if instead we were to move forward on our personal development journey with the belief that the process of growth is an honoring of who we are and who we can become. Honoring who we are in every way implies a deep respect -deeper than perhaps you have ever known.
Respect is both respect for the process and respect for each and every aspect of who you are. Additionally, respect for ourselves translates into respect for others. As we learn to treat ourselves with respect we begin to see how we can do this for others.
Two of the central things that keeps us from growing and changing are the limitations and rules that we put on ourselves because of how we think that we should be. How we think we should be is without respect for who we truly are. It negates rather than strengthens. It distorts rather than clarifies.
Respect holds you and cares for you in the cauldron of transformation. The more you can respect yourself and your process, the more you will connect with your deeper nature and unfold into the totality of who you are, achieving a profound sense of fulfillment.
When we approach our work with respect, it brings strength and clarity. It helps us see where to work and where to yield to something greater than us. It makes our transformational process more gentle.
A few years ago, I watched as many of my friends who owned their own businesses ran themselves ragged. I watched as they over-worked themselves and moved further away from the benefits of being an entrepreneur. I thought to myself, “this is not right. Why be in business for yourself if you’re going to sacrifice your quality of life?”
I decided then and there to better understand why many of my fellow entrepreneurs make this sacrifice.
I’ve come to see this issue as bigger than an out-of-whack life-work balance. I see it as a happiness crisis.
We tend to look for happiness in all the wrong places. We leave dysfunctional jobs or relationships only to recreate the same dysfunction all over again. We give our all to something that we think will bring us joy, and in the end we just tire ourselves out.
The want for happiness is a great engine for change. Yet, when we know we’re unhappy and don’t know how to create the happiness we seek, that engine can stall out.
Everyday I see how our ideas about success hoodwink us. Because as much as we think that reaching a certain level of success is going to bring us the happiness we seek –it’s just not.
I’m on a mission to support people in growing their whole lives in ways that bring them TRUE happiness.
And TRUE happiness comes when we learn to care for ourselves, each other and the world. This is the next major social revolution – and it’s going to happen at both an individual and collective level.
4 Creative + Inspiring Things You Can do to Care for Those You Love (Including YOURSELF!)
According to Caroline Myss, “the self” that we now talk about is an idea that emerged in the nuclear age. By the 1950’s, psychology and psychoanalysis had become accepted as a way of thinking about people and their behavior. In turn, the rich inner life that we all experience became just as real as the outer life we live.
This new way of thinking about “the self” ushered in the birth of self-care! Up to the 1950’s people didn’t talk about self-care. They didn’t think about balancing their everyday life demands with things that foster their well-being. Fast forward to today, and self-care is a multi-billion dollar industry and an everyday conversation.
I think that the conversation about self-care leaves out one major thing: and that’s inspiration. Inspiration is more than just happening upon a cleaver idea. It expresses our creativity and forges a path to real change in ourselves in our world. When you’re inspired, you feel alive!
Ideas about self-care are mostly directed at how to eat, exercise, or think positively and less toward how to get inspired. Yet, how can we feed our spirit and nurture our soul without inspiration?
Feeding your soul is self-care. Self-care is all about honoring and caring for yourself in ways that matter most. When you’re able to practice self-care your life becomes less of one huge to-do list and more of a field of abundant meaning and joy.
So to kick off the self-care revolution, here are 4 easy, rich, and deep ways YOU can bring more inspiration into your life.
Write a poem about someone you care for.
Notice the tiny, beautiful details and riff on them.
Create the most luxurious and perfect experience, FOR YOU.
Give an impromptu gift that will make someone’s day.
It’s too easy to let days slip by where we’re distracted from what matters most. So challenge yourself to spend an hour each week doing one of these activities. It won’t take long before you’ll feel more inspired and your spirit will feel more nourished.