Chapter 13: Your Joy is Your Responsibility

January 12, 2019

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. Happy Saturday to you, my sweet reader. Ooh, if I could give you a warm hug right now.. I would. As I type this, love is pulsing through my veins. Why? Because I am experiencing the benefit of nourishing my heart. Because I am prioritizing self-love and showing up for myself in ways I have dreamed of in the past. That’s why. Now my question for you is: what action are you taking TODAY to nourish your heart?

I am a few hours away from picking my daughter up and spending time with her for the next 6 days. If you remember a few newsletters ago, around the holidays, I was drowning in motherhood. I didn’t prepare for my long week with Rayne, and therefore, I suffered. I take full responsibility for this, too. I was the cause of my suffering. Yikes. Well, I am about to do another solid chunk of time with her and I am so inspired, so motivated, to self-love-the-fuck out of myself during. I woke up this morning and asked myself, “what would make me feel good today?” and three things came up instantly: movement, writing, and seated meditation. I went to ecstatic dance this morning and my experience was…pure-fucking-joy. I cried halfway through my dance because I was feeling so much joy. Not because of anything materialistic, either. I wasn’t thinking, “I have this, therefore I am joyful.” I was experiencing joy because of where I was putting my focus. I was experiencing joy because I was moving my body
with community. I was experiencing joy because I was choosing gratitude. I was experiencing joy because I was focused on what I have; The abundance in my life. I was experiencing joy because I was choosing self-love over self-sabotage and FEELING the benefits of that choice.

Each day, I have roughly 15 hours awake. That means, I have 15 hours to show up for myself in some way. Whether I am with my daughter or alone, the hours don’t change. What can change though, is my mental state. I can drop into a scarcity mindset or I can blossom from an abundant mindset. I can drop into fear or I can radiate from my heart. I can make decisions as a victim or I can make decisions as my powerful inner wise woman.

I always have a choice and so do you.

I made a decision to take my seated meditation practice to the next level. We are twelve days into this new year and I have sat silently in meditation each day. This past Thursday was an extremely busy day for me. I was working on my FINAL edits for my book and was deep in my creative flow. I then had to pick my daughter up from school and the rest of my afternoon and evening was stacked with commitments. I arrived to a restaurant where I was meeting a dear friend. She just so happened to be running behind and I realized that I hadn’t sat in meditation yet and probably wouldn’t have much more space before bed to get it in. I had twenty minutes before my friend would arrive and I was sitting in the drivers seat of my car. It was around 6:30pm, so it was totally dark outside. I set an alarm on my phone, sat as tall as I could in my seat, and closed my eyes. Let me tell you, as bizarre as that context may have been, I dropped the fuck into that meditation. Like, I went deep.

The point of me sharing this story?
I took what life was offering me and gave myself exactly what I needed, despite the circumstances.

So my sweet friend,
What would it be like to let go of our expectations and our stories, and to take what life is offering us, and create what we need in that moment?
What would it be like to stay in our power rather than drop into our victimhood?
What would it be like to show up for ourselves even when life is inconvenient and less-than-perfect?

Questions I am contemplating in my life.
Questions I encourage you to contemplate in yours.

Show up for yourself today. You won’t regret it.
I love you.

With Gratitude,
Bree

Chapter 8: Self-Love

December 10th 2018
Chapter 8: Self-Love

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you, wherever you may be while reading this. It is Monday morning for me and I have just sat down on my bed, in my new bedroom, with a warm cup of coffeeish at my side. I say coffeeish because it is really an elixir of sorts. Most mornings I hand grind my coffee beans and then use my camping pour over to make a slow drip. I then will add a handful of superfoods to a large mason jar and blend my coffee right into that. It was inspired by bulletproof but naturally, I had to create my own unique concoction. This morning I added: grass-fed unsalted butter, organic coconut oil, organic mct oil, collagen, and a few squares from a cacao bar. It is a treat and it energizes me first thing in the morning. It also brings me peace to move through a slow morning ritual. Whether it is steeping genmaicha green tea or blending up a fatty coffee elixir, it soothes me. Over the years I have been asked, “why don’t you get an electric grinder?” and it has
always makes me smile. The point is not to move faster. In fact, it is the opposite. It is to connect to what I am doing first thing in the morning. It is to move slower. It is to practice patience. It is to appreciate the process and to then appreciate the final outcome. It is another way I practice self love each day.

Speaking of self-love, let’s dive into that, yeah? It is a cute little phrase we hear all the fucking time, especially in my industry (wellness, movement, holistic health). I remember when I first started saying it. It was winter of 2014 and I was living in Boston. It was a cold-fucking-winter, as most are, and I spent a majority of my time indoors. I was either in a strength and conditioning facility working with athletes or in my bedroom. When I wasn’t working, I was being quiet. I would roll out my yoga mat and take myself through a practice while the snow fell outside my window. I would journal. I would listen to music. I would watch movies on my laptop. I would make meals and then eat them on my bed. It was one of the first times in my life that I was really alone. I didn’t have any family or friends in Boston. Most of my interactions were with my housemates in passing, at the gym with coworkers or athletes, or with strangers at the grocery store. Besides that, there wasn’t much
communication. This was a time that I began to get really comfortable being alone. I have always been extremely independent, but this was different. I didn’t have community, so by default, I was solo.
Being alone really encouraged me to take care of myself.

Prior to moving to Boston, I had completed another holistic lifestyles coaching course with Paul Chek in San Diego. My brain was totally loaded with information and then I had the opportunity to apply it once arriving to Boston. I prioritized sleep, food, movement, and rest. Each night, I was in bed from 10pm-6am, minimum. I was eating strictly gluten-free and mostly grain-free. I was exercising a lot at my internship and taking myself through restorative yoga practices at home. I was resting, a lot, in many different ways. In holistic health, resting differs from sleep. During sleep, we repair our physical and psychological bodies. During rest, we work energy back inward and encourage healing (i.e. yoga, meditation, tai chi, being quiet/avoiding stimulation, etc).

I literally had no distractions that all I could even think to do in my spare time was take care of myself. So I began to contemplate the term self-love. I was reading a ton of books (mostly Osho at this time) on the topic and had added it to my vocabulary. I had created such a strong self-love routine out in Boston that I ultimately forgot there was any other way to exist.

There was a point in my internship that I knew it was time to leave. I didn’t have a consistent meditation practice at this time or a strong connection to my inner wise woman yet, but my intuition (or “gut”) communicated loudly that it was time to go back to California. I had completed what I needed to in Boston. In hindsight: I had to meet Rayne’s father, I had to get clear about my career path, and I had to learn how to take care of myself.

Fast forward to now and my self-love routine has evolved. I still prioritize sleep, food, movement, and rest when I can, but now I have a 3.5 year old child. That changes things quite a bit. I don’t have as much control over the outcome of my days, nor do I have as much freedom and space. I have had to surrender entirely to the mystery of motherhood. My self-love has evolved into a game of awareness. The game goes something like this: You have roughly 15 hours awake in your day to choose self-love over self-sabotage. Should you choose self-love, you will feel good. Should you choose self-sabotage, you will not feel good. Good fucking luck.

This game of awareness involves two major pieces: observation and choice. Is it possible to observe myself in the moment and make an informed choice that will add to my self-love versus my self-sabotage?
It is possible. I always have a choice.

I can choose to show up for myself or I can choose not to.
I can make my coffee and sit down and drink it it, instead of continuing to task and be busy around my home.
I can make myself a nourishing breakfast and sit down and eat it while it is warm instead of standing in the kitchen and inhaling it like a fucking robot.
I can drink clean, filtered water throughout my day (half my body weight, in ounces, at minimum).
I can move my body in some way throughout my day, instead of staying sedentary.
I can give myself a few extra minutes to get somewhere so I can drive the speed limit, instead of rush and drop into fight or flight mode.
I can say no to people and their offerings.
I can say yes to people and their offerings.
I can use the restroom as soon as I feel sensations instead of waiting until the last fucking minute (most parents will understand this).
I can meditate for a few minutes after my daughter goes to sleep, instead of stare at a screen mindlessly.
I can get into bed before 10pm, so I have ample time to wind down and drop into my circadian cycle.

I always have a choice.
It may not always be the priveledged-childless-choice, but I always have a choice.
My self-love has evolved into taking care of basic, survival, needs.
If at the end of the day, I don’t feel good, that’s on me.
I take full responsibility for my wellbeing.
For my emotions.
For my experience here.

Sure, I’ve played the blame game. I’ve played victim. I don’t feel good because this person said that and my daughter didn’t sleep and I’m a single mother and no one understands and fuckity-blah-blah. But ya know what that game ultimately is? The self-sabotage game. Now that game gets played a lot.
Caffeine, sugar, and processed foods over real foods and water.
Stimulation over sleep and rest.
Suppressed emotions over expressed emotions.
Netflix and chips over movement, connection, and community.
Blame over responsibility.
Shame over honor.
I can’t over I can.
I think you get it.
We all know this game well and it sucks. No one actually enjoys or benefits by playing the self-sabotage game. But you know what we will enjoy and benefit from?

Self-love.

As this year comes to an end and we are inspired to reflect, let’s take a deeper look at how we are caring for ourself. Let’s prioritize self-love and let’s fucking ditch self-sabotage. Let’s spend time around people that motivate us to be the best version of ourselves and if you’re around people that are drowning in self-sabotage, get the fuck out of their energy field. Let’s encourage each other to feel fucking good.

Someone wise once said “in order to love another, one must love self, first.”
Choose yourself first.
Over and over and over again.
You’ll win.

With Gratitude,
Bg

Ode to Motherhood.

Motherhood
is being asked ten questions
before your eyes open in the morning
it is being interrupted
from making your coffee
because your toddler needs 
to wear a dress and a crown
right now
it is sweeping up crumbs
from the night before 
because a dirty kitchen
feels suffocating
and there is already enough of that
it is taking a sip
of your coffee or tea
like you have finally found
your soulmate
it is learning how to
cultivate peace
while both the dishwasher
and your toddler sing and hum 
it is getting triggered
by your needy toddler
but dropping to your knees
in forgiveness 
moments later 
it is forgetting
who you were
outside of being a mother
but also meeting your new self
who you actually
really like 
it is saying ‘no’ before
hearing the next question
because they truthfully
only get more ridiculous
as the day goes on
it is waking up
in the middle of the night
to make sure she is covered and warm
and then likely not falling
back asleep for another hour or three
it is wondering
where you would be
right now
if there wasn’t a toddler
performing a scene
from a movie that doesn’t exist
but also deeply grateful
that this is your reality
and you know that
even in the ugliest of moments
you wouldn’t change
a fucking thing
because this life
was totally meant for you. 

~bg

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