Go LOVE Yourself !

Self.

self/self/noun

1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

Love.

love/ləv/noun

  1. an intense feeling of deep affection.
  2. a great interest and pleasure in something.
  3. a person or thing that one loves.

love/ləv/verb

  1. feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).


Self-love feels like one of the most talked about concepts, yet I believe most of us don’t DO self love.

While we are familiar with the notion, for so many of my sisters, self love is simply not an ACTIVE practice.

It sounds good in theory and we read books and burn sage and purchase crystals and get manicures, but when it comes to actually executing an intentional practice…

We say things like, “That’d be nice. I wish I had time for that luxury…”

The truth is, the active practice of self love demands us to shift our seat on our long task list. We have to move ourselves from dead last to first. Self love calls forth a bold declaration from the depths of our soul. An unapologetic battle cry…

“My needs are JUST as important as your needs.”

Because dead last? It is killing us.

We are quick to leap at the opportunity to serve and give and show up for another, but “GASP!” how dare you ask us to show up for ourselves? I mean, we’re soooooooo busy.

The habitual “I’m fine” slowly erodes at our self-esteem and self-worth as we seemingly, suddenly find ourselves angry and resentful waiting for others to give us what we haven’t given ourselves. We’re impatiently waiting for a person or an accomplishment to come along and validate us. And when they don’t? We become irrational and irritable because they haven’t given us what we haven’t asked for and yet believe we are owed.

But friend, it’s you. The love you’re seeking is within. There is NO external source that can love you enough… validate you enough… to satiate the hunger rumbling deep in your belly.

I snapped this picture in April 2018. I was leaving a week long transformational coaching training and it was during this week — just one year ago — that I fell in love with me. I released shame and guilt I’d been carrying for years. I stopped punishing myself and I chose love. Intentionally. I saw the wholeness of who I was and I loved her with the ferocious compassion of a mama bear protecting her cubs.

I didn’t know how

But you showed me

I didn’t know if I could

But you believe in me

I didn’t know I was worthy

But you reminded me

I didn’t know if I was enough

But you lovingly affirmed my truth

I forgot where to look

But then I saw your reflection

It is impossible to love others if we are not actively in love with ourself first. And, if you’re like most people, you are going to have to enlist support in cultivating new habits. We are simply not programmed to choose us.

In “Pussy – A Reclamation” Regena Thomashauer says, “It’s very difficult for us to say yes to our own pleasure. We have no experience prioritizing our own joy or making an investment in ourselves. But it is very easy to say yes to responsibility and obligation.”

This has to change.

It’s time to change.

And, I believe we are most effective in transforming our lives and habits when we have the support of tribe.

My new friend Sharon, the founder of GO LOVE YOURSELF– a self care and self love subscription box- shares the following on her website:

…as March’s featured author Kelly Corrigan notes, “you can’t really be loved if you can’t bear to be really known.”

And you deserve to take the time for yourself to know yourself, and love yourself, to know others, and to love others, and to be known by others, and to be loved by others. You don’t have to go it alone.

Sharon believes that self care is an action and self love is the result. 

Awareness in and of itself doesn’t bring change. Motivation, while fun to experience, doesn’t bring change. What does bring change is ACTION. A commitment to DOING what needs to be done to change our lives and increase our self love and happiness.

As Sharon shares, “if you’re ready to be the change you want to see, take the actions you need to take, do the work, and connect with a group of women who are committed to truly living their best lives, we’re here for you.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Take the first action step in choosing YOU and get yourself the support you’re worthy of.

If you have any questions about the support Sharon provides, feel free to contact her directly through her website: https://www.thegoloveyourselfbox.com/about_us or if you have questions for me, send me an email at: michelle@coachmichellemoore.com.

xo

how to “do” self love

the other day i posed the question, how do you “DO” self love?

i think many of us talk about it, but how many of us actually BE about it? what does it mean to DO it? to take ACTION?

i was chatting with a client last week and we spoke about how awareness is the first step, but the only thing that has the power to change anything in our lives is ACTION.

and yet, how many of us are stuck?

aware and stuck.

i have been pondering this conversation and contemplating how i can help.

what’s the catalyst to move from awareness into action?

i recalled that in the past, i have shared with my clients that a very simple way to begin the practice of self love is to think of someone or something that you love and write down 5 ways you treat them.

that list might look like:

i pay attention and really listen when they speak to me

i spend quality, uninterrupted time with them

i honor their needs

i respect their boundaries

i have fun with them and play with them

but this morning, i realized– this list– is the ideal way i’d treat them. it’s how i feel i should treat them.

and then i asked myself a hard question, is it what i DO?

and i’m a bit embarrassed to say, that with the specific person i was thinking of, my honest answer was, “nope.”

here’s how my list would look if we were evaluating my ACTIONS:

i put her after most other things

i am often distracted in our quality time

i am frequently tired when we’re together

i can be lazy and allow things to run on autopilot

i can be impatient and energetically demanding

if this is true, then me telling me to treat myself like someone i love means to put me after everything else, be distracted and not present, be lazy with my care, make thoughtless choices, run myself down, and hold high and unrealistic expectations and throw a fit when they go unmet.

that’s when i realized, THAT is actually the bigger conversation.

many of us will want to

need to

redefine our relationship to LOVE

and, i hear you… HOOOOOWWWWWWWWW?????????

so, here’s my encouragement…

if this applies to you (and i know it won’t apply to everyone), don’t make your ideal list wrong.

explore it.

i believe it’s your inner child speaking. celebrate that– celebrate her.

there is a divine feminine energy in you that longs to nurture and love and care for self and others.

allow that– allow her desires and longings to be exposed.

and then?

pick one thing from your list.

just one.

i know our precious human brain wants to go from not-love to love immediately and zip from a zero to a ten in 0.5 second flat and while all of that is cute, it is unrealistic and not at all sustainable.

so, if you’re committed to implementing actionable self-love, pick one thing.

and then practice.

practice toward others and practice toward self.

and reverse the order.

practice toward self and then practice toward them.

we cannot give what we do not possess.

for me?

i choose “i pay attention and really listen when they speak”.

so, from this place of choice, how can i pay attention and really listen when i speak?

for me, the first step is giving myself a voice.

i’ve begun pausing throughout the day and asking myself, “what do you want right now?” or “what do you need in this moment?” and then i’ve been listening.  

if my back hurts and wants to lie down, i create space for that.  

if my eyes are tired and want to rest, i let that be okay.  

if my body is craving food, i feed her. 

if my heart is longing for connection, i find ways to give that to her.

it’s not hard. but it does take practice.

and i’m worth it.

and so are you.

need tips that are specific to YOU and the unique individual you are? send me an email at michelle@coachmichellemoore.com and lets set up a time to chat.

xo

i don’t know

 

i don’t know

i know

it’s not cute

but it is

a hit

that feeds

the addiction

calms

the twitching

 

that beast within

is becoming extinct

she’s dying

and she’s afraid

so she rages

in her attempts

to cling

to life

she scratches

on occasion

i can smell her fear

 

i know

i no longer

need the sanctuary of that old story

i know

i no longer

need the high of your attention

i know

i no longer

need the protection of my pretending

i don’t know

 

because

the truth is

i do know

the truth

i’m done pretending

i am not

 

she needs me to know me

i get me

she needs me to own me

i got me

she needs me

it’s time

step-up mic-up pen-up speak-up show-up

visible

 

i know

i am

the truth 

i’d been acting 

like i’m not 

 

she is begging

pleading 

stop

pretending

faking

feigning

weakness

ignorance

stupidity

 

but that hit…

of attention

so addictive 

feels

so

very

good 

another hit…

inhale

hold it 

 

feel the 

love

as it courses through my brain

exhale slow

feel the

approval

settling in my veins

 

confirming

validating 

all the things 

i’d been contemplating 

my worthiness

my intelligence

my pretty

my polished

perfection 

good enough 

only is

if you 

please

tell me so 

 

 

my attachment to the entrapment

of my addiction

seductive on the surface

is but an illusion

the comfort is deception

for protection

i no longer need

 

i see me

i am safe

with me

i am safe

i got me

i am safe

 

anchored

supported

held

inside my truth

i can expose myself 

and allow 

you 

to see me

and your experience 

of me

has no power

to hurt me 

that power 

full in me 

is no longer

 

 

 

 

who are you?

 

my friend…

i wrote this long post on instagram earlier and i’ve spent many moments today questioning.  wondering if maybe the post would’ve been better received had i put it here in the blog. i hear myself silently judging…

maybe it’s too long for the gram.  who is reading all this anyway?  no one cares.  this probably isn’t what they want to see… is it?

jeez.  when i tell myself THAT bullshit, disempowering story there’s only one thing i want to do.

HIDE.

i hear my old inner voice yelling, “retreat!  abort mission!”

the truth is, i am human and as a human, it’s super easy for my old stories to pop up.

i keep reminding myself of this truth while my brain contemplates taking the post down.

but i don’t.

why not?

because i’m experimenting.  i am playing with length, with language, with where and when and how i show up.  and there is no room for judgment in experiments.  just noticing.  then tweaking. then trying again.

plus, my gosh.  who can tell who sees what on social media anymore?!  there is so much out there that if you’re not intentional with deliberately searching for someone and their posts, well– you probably won’t see them.

so here’s what i shared earlier today:

{who am i}
I don’t know ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
You tell me ⁣⁣
I’ll be ⁣⁣
What you need ⁣⁣
Me to be ⁣⁣
To be ⁣⁣
Loved ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I am ⁣⁣
Who I ⁣⁣
Pretend to be ⁣⁣
Scared to be ⁣⁣
The real me ⁣⁣
Safe ⁣
Under the mask ⁣⁣
I spent my whole life constructing ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Getting to know ⁣⁣
The woman under ⁣⁣
Cover of protection ⁣⁣
Has been ⁣⁣
Messy⁣⁣
Has felt ⁣
Scary ⁣
I’ve felt ⁣
Angry ⁣
It’s been ⁣
Exquisite ⁣
⁣⁣
You’re in there ⁣⁣
You see ⁣
You’re just ⁣
Buried ⁣⁣
Beneath ⁣
Programmed  ⁣⁣
For protection ⁣⁣
Heart crying⁣⁣
For imperfection ⁣⁣
Soul dying ⁣⁣
For connection ⁣⁣

It is possible to unbecome ⁣⁣
Everything you’re not ⁣⁣
You can let⁣
The layers crumble ⁣
You can take ⁣
The mask off ⁣
You can allow ⁣
Everything you are ⁣⁣
To show ⁣⁣
To shine ⁣⁣
To glow ⁣⁣

Noooo⁣!!!!!!!!!!
They can’t know ⁣
They can’t see ⁣
Me exposed ⁣

⁣Please know⁣⁣
While this may feel scary ⁣⁣
The fear is only temporary ⁣⁣
The pain of pretending ⁣⁣
The weight of the mask ⁣⁣
The effort of the act ⁣⁣
Is slowly killing you ⁣⁣
Crushing your spirit ⁣⁣
Choking off your soul’s song ⁣
⁣⁣
You deserve ⁣
Life unleashed ⁣⁣
Freedom ⁣⁣
Happiness ⁣⁣
Love  ⁣⁣
Real love ⁣
Wild ⁣
Crazy ⁣
Unapologetic ⁣
Authentic ⁣
Deep love ⁣
From the inside out ⁣
⁣⁣
⁣My friend ⁣
You are love ⁣

⁣She is waiting ⁣
For you ⁣
Begging you ⁣
Please ⁣
Come home ⁣⁣

⁣Reunite⁣
With yourself ⁣⁣
By yourself ⁣⁣
Fall⁣
Into yourself ⁣⁣
Surrender ⁣
Trust ⁣
You’ve got you ⁣

for me?

the journey home has been truly magical, beautiful, and an incredible adventure– one i am still traveling.

writing my story has reminded me of so much pain i numbed out and avoided for so many years.

writing my story has also reconnected me to how much i’ve shed and unbecome over the past five years.

my deepest desire is to affirm hope.  wherever you are, whatever you’re going through– when you’re ready, you can heal.

 

you don’t have to pretend.  i promise.  and yet i know.

 

i remember how very alluring and seductive the mask can be and how positively scary the exposure can feel.  i know how terrifying visibility can feel and i know for many of us, our protection is rooted deep and has been for many, many, many years.

 

i don’t expect you to simply read this, rip the mask off, and show up as the real you all the time in every situation.  maybe that’ll be what happens, but if you’re like most of us, it’ll be a process.

 

your unbecoming will be a journey.

 

no matter how long it takes, you’re worth it.

no matter the effort required, you’re worthy.

 

and i’ll tell you what– it’ll probably take a lot less effort and energy and time than you think.

 

if there is anything at all i can do to help support you in the shedding of your layers i hope you’ll reach out.

 

you my sweet friend, you are not alone.

 

 

xo

 

too much and not enough

 

 

i am a transformational geek.  i get high on facilitating transformation in other humans and i’m addicted to transforming my own life.  because of this, i welcome anything that “triggers” me.

if you’re unfamiliar with the term, what it means to me is anything that “sets me off”.

sets me off in anger, in upset, in irritation, etc..

the thing that comes first?

that is the trigger.

there are definitely positive triggers too.

things that can trigger laughter, joy, peace, etc…

so, this past weekend i’m at a live event to learn and grow in my business and on the second day, i get triggered.

i notice myself becoming concerned with how others are receiving me.

was that too much? maybe i shouldn’t have done that.  maybe i shouldn’t say that. i probably shouldn’t post that.  i need to calm down, reign it in, turn it down a little.  it might be- i might be too much.

i woke up the morning of the second day really inspired. i wanted to share something i’d written in our private facebook group.  instead of simply sharing my writing, i felt the pause of,  “i don’t know… maybe it’s too much.” 

so i didn’t share.

then about an hour later, i said, “you know what? this is valuable, i am proud of it, my heart says GO and i trust that.” 

so i posted it.

about half-way through the day, my coach made a comment that flipped my “too much” trigger and i went online immediately and i took it down.

defeated.

i put on my jacket, my body became tense and my legs started trembling. these are signals i am quite familiar with.

they are my body’s way of shouting, “houston. we have unexpressed emotions!”

we broke for lunch and i was deep in irritation.  i chose to sit in the irritation and not come out for a couple of hours.  as the evening progressed, things loosened up for me and i came back to myself.

the next day i asked for coaching support around the old story that got lit up.

you see, i want to be loved and i know i’m a lot to handle.

i’m a lot.

my personality is big.

my energy is big.

my truth is big.

i feel hard.

i love hard.

i am loud.

i look loud.

i talk loud.

i laugh loud.

i am a lot.

too much maybe…

here’s what i realized.

too much and not enough is the same story.

the SAME story!

unworthy.

and i’ve put that story to bed.  a long time ago.  it’s not my truth anymore.  it’s an OLD story that i was stuck in.  AND, the trigger brought up new awareness.  for that, i am incredibly grateful.

 

here’s what i want you to know.

you are love.

you are light.

don’t ever be afraid to shine.  the sun doesn’t care if she burns you.

people can stay indoors or slather on the spf.

their burn is actually not your responsibility.

but it can feel that way.

it felt that way to me.

but it’s NOT.

your obligation is to be unapologetically you.

that’s where your gifts are.

that’s where your truth is.

if you’re feeling like you can’t.

if you’re afraid who you are will hurt people.

if you’re stuck in “too much”.

if you believe you have to shrink to accommodate the comfort of others.

if you feel like you have to squash your voice or hold back i need you to know — those are lies.

everything that is not love is a lie.

and you my friend.

you are love.

 

xo

perfection was my protection

 

 

Yesterday I heard my coach say, “We are programmed for protection and dying for connection.” 

His statement shook me.

I felt it in my core.

I messaged him back and shared how I had said on a video just a few days prior, my perfection was my protection.

I got what he was saying.

I FELT both the power and the sadness in his words.

So much of who we are is buried underneath who we’re pretending to be.  My belief is if we want to know who we are, we must get intimately connected with the false self we present to the world.  Acknowledgment of this facade is the first step in reconnecting with our core self.

After sitting with his words all day, I wrote the following:

 

{the soul’s slow death}

Pain 

Programming 

Me 

Screaming 

Danger 

Run

Hide 

Dictating 

Me 

Build walls

Suit up 

For safety 

For us 

We must 

We have to 

Survival 

Dependent upon 

The strength of the steel

Stronger 

Stronger 

Singularly focused 

On construction 

Adding 

Layer upon 

Layer upon 

Unaware 

My soul 

Was in lock up 

I’d imprisoned myself   

In a body mask of perfection 

Intricately crafted 

With my own hands 

Built to protect 

Serving its purpose 

Fulfilling its duty 

Standing guard 

At the gates 

Pacing 

Keep out 

Keep out 

Nothing in 

Nothing in 

Blind to the consequence 

Numb to the pain 

Afraid to see 

The enemy I was fleeing 

Was trapped in with me

Death was imminent 

I was suffocating  

Inside the armor 

Collapsing under the weight 

Begging for release 

Voice hoarse from yelling

Silent screams 

Help me 

H E L P 

M E 

Set me free 

Pretending I lacked 

The ability 

To put down 

My shield 

Take off 

My mask 

Melt 

My armor 

Pretending I was trapped 

By an outside hand 

Lungs filled with metal dust 

From a decision made 

Many years ago 

Now 

Longing to connect 

Losing 

My self

My soul

My sanity 

In solitary 

Confinement 

Locked up 

Just the way 

She wanted

 

 

I feel the heaviness– the weight of the words as I read them.  This is my story and yet I know I am not alone.

It’s no longer my reality, but it is part of my past pain.

Owning this truth was the launching point for my transformation– my unbecoming.

There is hope for your healing.

These masks we wear are not who we are.

They are part of our programmed self.

Identities we craft for protection.

However, for most of us, we are moving through this world as adults with wounded little girls and boys locked up inside.  Those children longing to connect with us and with each other.  We can do it.  We can heal.  We can save our souls.  But we have to be willing.

Willing to see.

Willing to really look at the armor.

Willing to confront the costs along with the benefits.

Willing to recognize that it’s a suit we wear– not the soul we are.

Willing to feel the weight in our bones.

Willing get support in removing the layers.

Willing to remove them with love; not rip them off in anger and disgust.

Willing to meet and rediscover who we are underneath the protection.

I am not saying it will be easy.

I am not saying it will be hard.

I am saying it will be worth it.

You are worth it.

You are worthy.

 

xo,

Michelle

 

 

I was both the ringmaster and the circus animal.

 

 

This image effects me in a deep way…

There is a tightening in my jaw.

A tension in my neck.

A dull, but present ache in my chest.

Once I allowed the sadness to come and wash over me, I sat with my truth.

The truth of what I saw in this disturbing picture.

A version of my punisher.

The part of me that does not like me.

The part of me who spent years telling me that I would be worthy and valuable if – and only if – I achieved perfection.

The part of me who demanded I adjust, assimilate, and accommodate those around me in order to be worthy of their attention.

The part of me who cracked her whip and shouted, “PERFORM!” 

 


 

I was on a call with my coach recently when I was struck with an analogy that created a nauseous feeling in my stomach.

I spent much of my life as a circus animal.

Performing.

Night after night. Show after show.  Doing tricks for applause.  Wearing whatever mask or costume you wanted.  Dancing, standing on my back legs, jumping through rings of fire, or just sitting pretty -poised on a stool waiting for my next instruction.  Working hard.  Working SO hard.  My ferocious work ethic fueled by the hope that I’d get rewarded for making the ringmaster happy.

And if I didn’t?

Back to my cage.  Alone.  To think about what I did.  What I didn’t do. And how I could do more, be more, try harder.  I wasn’t just seeking external validation.  I was inspecting constantly.  And in my inspection, I was internally invalidating myself, my choices, my physical appearance, my performance…

You are wrong.

You are bad.

You are unworthy.

You disgust me.

You are fat.

You are ugly.

Fix this.  Fix that.  Fix everything.

Do more, more, more, MORE!

You are not and never will be enough.

 

“Okay” I said.  Next time.  I will work harder.

And I did.

For years.

 


 

One of the most empowering things I ever did, was taking responsibility for my personal healing and happiness.

But, the most empowering thing I have done to date, was take full ownership of my personal abuse as the abuser.

I was the punisher.

That was my hand striking the blows.

Those were my words coming out of my mouth.

Was this a learned behavior?

Absolutely.

But the source of the learning was no longer doing the abuse.  And keeping myself tethered; a hostage to the teachings was MY doing.

And it was time to own up to that.

Not to abuse myself further.  Not to put one more thing on the list of things to feel bad about.  NO.

Embedded in my personal responsibility was my freedom… my healing.  If I was the one doing it, I was the one who could stop.

You see, for many years I fully believed I deserved to be punished.

But my friends.

When you’re ready to stop.

When you come to the place where you believe you have suffered enough.

You will stop fighting against yourself; fighting against others.

And you will begin to fight for her.

In advocacy.

In love.

Not protection.  She doesn’t need protection if you’re not beating her up.

And in that journey, you will heal the relationship with yourself.

So many of these patterns have been embedded for years.

Please give yourself grace as you travel along your path.

Be patient with yourself as you travel your personal healing journey.

But please keep going.

I promise, you are the one you’re waiting for.

xo,

Michelle

 

 

 

If I may be of any support, please connect with me:

 

Email:  coachmichellemoore@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coachmichellemoore/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachmichellemoore/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmA27XKdDoD-ftj75inhoaA?view_as=subscriber

 

 

Do you trust yourself enough to try?

“I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.” 

― Dejan Stojanovic, The Shape

One week ago today, I was one day home.
Having arrived late on Saturday evening from my most recent trip to California.
Transformed, but in ways not yet fully detectable by me.
Aware of a stirring.
Unsure what it meant or what to do with it.
My friend, have you ever been in that space?
Felt the longing…
Pulling toward something new…
Knowing you don’t belong where you are.
And yet…
Unsure.
Uncertain.
Unclear.
What does it look like?
What’s my next step?
What are the details? 
Who will I be?  
I remember those fears.
They were so powerful.
I felt defenseless to their pull.
Keeping me stuck.
Paralyzed.
Frozen as if cemented.
I write about it in my story…
I was completely terrified to step out into the unknown.
Fearful of the space between where I was and where I wanted to be.
Rather WHO I was and WHO I wanted to be.
I was so scared.
I didn’t want to feel out of control.
I couldn’t.
Out of control was dangerous.
If that’s where you are right now, I honor your fear.
I remember what mine felt like.
It wasn’t that long ago.
What I want you to know is that there is hope.
When you’re ready.
Not before.
When you’re ready.
You’ll stop seeking from the outside in.
You’ll begin connecting from the inside out.
You’ll build trust.
Not with others.
With you.
And from that space you’ll take a step.
Feel it out.
Take another.
Or a different one.
You won’t make “It didn’t work.” mean “I don’t work.  There’s something wrong with me.”
You won’t make “That sucked.” mean “I suck and I can’t do anything right.”
And then?
Then the game will change.
Your soul.
She doesn’t need you to win.
She does need you to not beat the crap out of her for trying.
The peace I felt at the ocean edge was not brought by the ocean.
It came with me.
I know that now.
What you’re seeking lies within.
Always has.
You’re the answer.
You’re the one you’re waiting for.
I trust myself to try.
ImperfectAF.
But trying.
Giving oxygen to my thoughts.
Giving breath to my voice.
Without apology.
Please let me know how I may best serve you on your journey.
I love you.
I so appreciate you being here with me.
I see you.
Your journey is uniquely yours and I celebrate it!
xo,
Michelle

a glimpse : my hate/love relationship with my body and working out

At the beginning of this month, I made a commitment to begin working out.
Again.
Up until March 2, I had been doing yoga {inconsistently}, but I had stopped doing cardio and lifting weights.
Part of this was intentional and part of it seemed to slip away without my noticing.

Has this ever happened to you?
One day you wake up and you realize you’re no longer doing something you used to do?
It’s like, “Wait… When did that stop????”

You may or may not know this, but I used to be someone who worked out.
A lot.
Aggressively.
In fact, in another life, I taught classes at a women’s gym and I dabbled in personal training.
And I was intense.
I taught kickboxing classes and hiphop and strength training and I pushed myself and others.
HARD.
People loved it and I loved seeing their results.
I watched and encouraged women to grow and embrace their inner strength.
A strength that oftentimes, they had forgotten was inside of them.

However, it wasn’t pure.
You see, my personal reasons for working out were rooted in a very dark place.
In one breath, I was encouraging and speaking love into other women and using the same eyes and mouth, I would go home and inspect, pick apart, and criticize my own body in the mirror.
I was constantly searching for areas that needed to be “fixed” or “worked on” or “improved”.

Even after I stopped teaching, my reasons for going to the gym still stemmed from this unhealthy place.  If I didn’t workout for a few days, I would freak out fearing that… that I was getting fat or gaining weight or that my round face had become even more round.  I just knew that my belly was pooching out and that my arms and butt had suddenly become flabby.

Years later, as I began digging more deeply into my own personal development, I realized and came face to face with a harsh reality.
My motivation for working out was rooted in hate.
I hated my body and I felt the need to “whip it” into shape.
I was working out from a place of fear.
Fear of getting “fat”, fear of gaining any weight, fear of what you {me} might say if my stomach wasn’t flat and my arms weren’t ripped.

When I had this realization at the end of 2016 and began the journey of deepening my own self-love, I went to the opposite extreme.  I didn’t want to do anything that didn’t feel good to my body.  I revisited yoga, but I avoided any intense workout.  I didn’t want to push my body at all.  HIIT workouts and bootcamps terrified me and I hid from them.

All I wanted was to love my body and I didn’t know how to do that while working out the way I used to.  And, if I’m honest, there was a part of me that was afraid if I went “there” in the gym, I would go back “there” mentally and I was not going to let that happen.

The truth was, I didn’t trust myself.

This pattern continued for awhile and then one day last year, I allowed myself to get reacquainted with cardio and weights.  I found ways to move that felt really good to me.  I didn’t work out all the time, but I was working out and I was feeling pretty awesome.

But, at the end of last year, I fell ill.  And then came the holidays.  In December we bought our first home, in January and early February I was out of town for 10 days, and then we packed up our apartment and moved into our home.  All semblance of routine was lost to me and so were my workouts.

 I woke up at the beginning of this month and realized that I had literally stopped working out.
Like, I was not doing it.
At all.
I didn’t give the new realization a ton of attention.  I simply had the awareness, took ownership in accepting it for what it was, and took action to change.

  1. I got myself some accountability {the closest thing you can get to a “secret sauce” to success} around working out.
  2. I forced my ego to start small by committing to 3 workouts a week.
  3. I gave myself permission to have a do-over.

I have worked out 3 times a week every week this month and I’m feeling terrific!  I’m exploring new workouts like barre and pilates and I’m noticing what I enjoy and what I don’t.  I’m finding what feels good to me and it’s actually been a lot of fun!


But.  It has not been easy.


Despite muscle memory, if you haven’t worked out in awhile, you simply cannot just jump back in where you left off.  Expecting that you “should” be able to… well, that can lead to disappointment and frustration.  You might start to feel like you suck or even begin to beat yourself up for what you feel you’ve “lost”.  Please don’t do this.  It will serve ONLY to delay future progress.


The reality is, you’ve got to build momentum and strength and recondition your muscles.

This process will take time

Consistent effort.

Practice.


In fact, progress in any area of your life will follow a similar pattern.

MASSIVE results typically take time.

Consistent effort.

Practice.


HOWEVER.

Remember, recognize, and celebrate that you ARE making progress.

Small steps are still steps.


Here’s the truth:

You can make a decision to change and then you will spend every day moving forward actually changing.

Sometimes you will have to modify things because you simply don’t have the energy to go “full-out”.

That’s okay.

What’s important is that you keep showing up.

Keep giving your very best.

But recognize that “your very best” is relative and “your very best” may look different day to day or moment to moment.


Now?

I workout because I love the energy I create and feel.

I love knowing that I am doing something that is nourishing my physical self.

I love feeling strong.

I love how I feel when I’m done.


You wanna know what else?

My body has changed.

But so has my attitude about it.

I genuinely love what I see when I look in the mirror.

I am in love with all of my perfect imperfections.


I want to encourage you to check your “come from” the next time you head to the gym or to a class or head into the room where you do your at home workout practice.

Why are you there?

Why did you show up today?

Do you love what you’re doing?

If not, why are you still doing it?

Is it necessary to do something you hate?

How can you move your body in a way that feels good to you?

Or, are you not working out at all right now?  Why not?


Or, perhaps you are already coming from a place of love.  Of joy and celebration for your strong and exquisite body.

No matter your “come from”, awareness is the first step.

Comment below.

I would love to hear from you, celebrate in your most precious journey, and offer any support.

 

xo,

Michelle

Life lessons courtesy of my new home…

 


You may or may not know this, but we have recently moved into a new home.
And, a new home = lots of projects.
So, here’s what’s been happening in my world as of late….
Every.  And, I mean EVERY project we have started has taken waaaay longer and required more than we anticipated.
More shopping.
More time.
More effort.
Every time we think, “YES!!!  We’ve got everything we need!” we find ourselves back in the Jeep (often with what we just purchased) and headed back to Home Depot or Lowes.
Here’s what I know for sure:
Every person and every situation can be your teacher.  There are lessons in all things if you’re open to receiving.
What I want to share today are a few of the mic drop truths my new home has been teaching me:

1.  Just jump in and get started.

 

The truth is, if you are doing something that you’ve never done before, there is literally NO WAY you are going to know exactly how long it will take or what will ultimately be required.

Even if you’ve “done research”.

Even if you’ve “asked around”.

Attempting to know the unknowable will keep you frustrated and stuck in inaction, clinging to your BS excuse as to why you have yet to “go for it”.

Even if you attempt a guess at the time and effort required, you’ll probably underestimate.  That’s what we do as humans.

And then you’ll get irritated that it’s taking longer than it is “supposed to”.

Does this cycle sound familiar?

My 2 cents?

Stop planning so much.

Stop trying to know the unknowable.

Jump in and start.

The truth is, you will not know what you actually need or what you really want until you begin.  The specific details and your true desires will not be revealed while you’re sitting on your couch thinking.

They will ONLY gain clarity while you are taking action.

2.  Your “microwave mentality” isn’t serving you.

 

That being said, I get it.

It’s how you’re programmed.

You want results immediately.

And by immediately, I mean yesterday.

You’re a human.  So am I.

There is a part of me that wants my results yesterday too.

But that’s not going to happen.
And, my expectations that it SHOULD will keep me frustrated, aggravated, exasperated and NOT celebrating all of the little wins along the way.
And the truth is, there have been a lot of little wins.
BUT.
If I keep looking at what’s not yet complete, if I focus on what we still have to do, I will continue to feel behind, overwhelmed, so busy, and like “I just can’t get it together” all of which is BULLSHIT.
Do yourself a favor and drop the microwave mentality.
Go on and gift yourself some celebration.
You deserve it.
Look at how much you have done, how much you are accomplishing, how far you’ve come, and give yourself a well deserved high-five!

3.  The joy really is in the journey.

 

This phrase is repeated a lot and to be honest, I used to roll my eyes when I heard it.

But it’s TRUE.

The fun, the joy, the laughter, and all of the memories are made during the process.

Here’s what’s true, all of the memories I have when I think about our home are of the silly things that have happened along the way.

When I think of my laundry room I chuckle at the number of times Amanda had to go back and forth to Home Depot and Lowes.

I do wonder if the neighbors have seen us naked because there was a good week or so that we didn’t have any blinds.

There’s blood on our wall from when our friend helped us re-wire a light in our kitchen and he got electrocuted and there’s part of me that doesn’t want to paint over it.

We’ve ate dinner on the floor and the stairs and we’ve since upgraded to a card table which doubles as my office since my desk is still on the deck about 3/4 of the way sanded.
The truth is, the “old me” used to want all the things to be done perfectly and immediately.  And anything less would create stress and anxiety.
Now I know that perfection is an unattainable lie.
My home?
It is perfectly imperfect and I love it.
I love how it’s unfolding.
I love how it’s revealing itself to me.
I love the process and what I can now say with absolute certainty is, the joy really is in the journey.
You know, life is fun if you allow it to be.
When we change our perspective, when we change how we’re looking at things, the things we are looking at change.
I want to encourage you to stop.
Stop rushing to be done.
Stop rushing to arrive.
Stop chasing the achievement.
Stop hustling to get “there”.
How often are you not fully present because you’re racing to be somewhere else?
You’re missing out.
You’re missing out on memories.
You’re missing out on fun.
You’re missing out on joy and belly laughs.
I can almost guarantee that whatever you’re striving to accomplish will take you longer and potentially be waaay more involved and/or complicated that you anticipated.
But I can also almost guarantee that if you take the pressure off, relax and enjoy the process, you’ll create beautiful memories with friends and loved ones.
There will be more laughter.
More joy.
More learning.
More fun.
xo,
Michelle