Hi guys! If you follow me on Instagram (blissful_lyss29) you’ll know I had the gift of leading a women’s interfaith spirituality retreat. I also had the gift of teaching yoga and sharing a speech I wrote on nurturing seasons in our life. I wanted to share it with you in hopes that some of you would connect with it as well!
After looking at the evaluations from last years retreat, there were a lot of requests to talk more about self-love, body acceptance, and confidence. After seeing this, I was like “yes this is the stuff I LOVE to talk about.” If you don’t know, I do a lot of work in all these areas through blogging and Instagram and talk a lot about self-love and embracing the body you are in. These topics hold a very special place in my heart.
So I am honestly thrilled to be giving this talk on nurturing seasons today. I think that in life we can find our dharma, or purpose, through what has hurt us the most. And I feel like that is very true in my own life.
The word nurture means to “care for and encourage the growth and development of.” The first thing that comes to mind for me is how we so lovingly nurture a young child. We feed it well, we make sure it gets enough rest, we never say any mean words to it, we are always so gentle with it. There are no actions of cruelty against this young child. We would never neglect it and leave it without care. But the thing is, we so easily do that to ourselves. We forget to treat ourselves with love and we are shy to appreciate who we are. We think we don’t have enough “time” to practice acts of self-love. We are caught in the trend of saying cruel things about ourselves and our bodies. We fight the natural shape we are supposed to be in and try to mold our bodies into what society deems is “beautiful.”
Women spend so much of their lives trying to take up less space, but why? We were given this space on the universe, we might as well own it and stand tall- feet grounded into the earth, our home and the place where we were meant to be. When we are trying to take up less space, we aren’t nurturing ourselves. We aren’t caring for ourselves, we aren’t loving ourselves. I spent years trapped in a terrible mental illness- anorexia nervosa- where I was constantly on a mission to take up less space, to be “less.” When I was 17 years old I realized this was not how I wanted to live my life anymore. Years beyond years of trying to be less, did I realize that less was not more. I deserved more than a less than life.
I live my life a lot differently now than I did in my high-school years. I have finally learned to love my body. And in loving our bodies doesn’t come days where we don’t feel the best about ourselves- I have those days. Those days just make us human. But in loving my body I have found greater appreciation for all it can do. It allows me to walk from class to class. It gives me the ability to climb mountains and teach yoga classes. It allows me to inhale all of the beauty of this world, it lets me dance with my friends and walk my dogs into trails surrounded by nothing but green. In loving my body I have grown so much gratitude for it. The years I spent abusing it, the years I did anything but nurture it… now I have learned to cherish it and treat myself with the utmost respect. For I deserve that, and so does my body.
In nurturing myself, I have grown to only plant kind words into my head, and to water the words that I know beautiful flowers will come from. I spent so many years planting toxic thoughts into my brain, watching flowers die day in and day out. Now I know better. When I plant positive thoughts about myself and body into my brain… even when I may not believe them, I know that the most beautiful plants will sprout for positive thoughts carry enough power to grow an entire garden.
I value self-care, and it’s something I will always tell people to spend more time doing. We cannot pour from an empty cup. In doing acts of self love and care, we give ourselves the chance to refill our cups. For when our cups are full, we can pour to others. I never understood the topic of self care. It seemed selfish and like a waste of time. But when I realized that I am so worthy of devoting this time to myself during the time to replenish my soul, my life changed: my head became clearer, my soul felt at ease, and I felt a greater sense of peace. Self care for me is through journaling, writing- poetry, blogging, my thoughts; yoga- as a spiritual practice to connect me closer to my innermost self and transcend my ego, using crystals as a healing source or meditating, rejuvenating my soul in nature though walking, hiking, or spending time outside just in silence doing absolutely nothing but listening.
A few years back, I read this quote while on Pinterest. It struck a chord with me, and I will never forget it: “and I said to my body. softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” Nurture yourself. Your body needs your love and care. Your mind and soul are craving it, your body wants to be your best friend. Have the most beautiful love story be with yourself- in the way you treat yourself, in the way you live life wholeheartedly, in the way you love and accept every layer of your being.
And to end with two poems; one of my favorite poems by Rupi Kaur, an incredibly talented writer you probably all know, and a poem I wrote myself.
“the universe took its time on you
crafted you precisely
so you could offer the world
something distinct from everyone else
so when you doubt
how you were created
you doubt an energy greater than us both” -RK
I quieted the echoes of voices that told me I was a body of imperfections.
I began to realize these imperfections made me real-and I would not let these imperfections become insecurities.
The pain sculpted in my bones and heart was replaced with the utmost appreciation for myself
How wonderful it was to be overflowing with love for every fiber of my being
Thank you guys for reading this. Hoping one day in the future I could share these kinds of things with you all in person!!
Thinking of you all as you spring into a new week and sending you nothing but good vibes and love. Happy Monday!
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