Kindness to ourselves

One of the biggest ah-ha moments I ever had was the realization that what we give to others starts with what we give to ourselves. Good or bad, I’ve found this to be true time and time again.

Let me rewind to a time when I showed up very differently. I was pretty judgmental towards just about everything and 2 of my BFFs were sarcasm and perfection. This was long before any personal development work, when I was good at keeping people at arm’s length. I wouldn’t have described myself as being unkind to myself back then, but hindsight is 20/20.

In those days, what I gave myself was often unkind. Unkind words, unkind foods and unkind expectations. I would judge myself in the mirror, at my job, and with friends, all while smiling and cracking jokes.

No wonder I was judging everybody else, too! It was a small attempt to make myself feel better.

Gradually, as I started to shift things in my own life, I noticed that how I treated others shifted, as well. I started to like how I was showing up and interacting with friends, family and even strangers. I started being able to let things go, instead of harboring resentments. I was allowing myself to be vulnerable and connect more (I HIGHLY recommend this one!). I felt less anxious than I could remember feeling in years.

Real, tangible shifts started with kindness to myself. Kind acts like feeding myself nourishing foods and not holding myself to unattainable standards of perfection. Being more flexible with myself and less rigid with everyone else.

It seems pretty simple, when you boil it down, but there are days when it’s still a conscious effort, and that’s OK. See, letting go of all of that judgement toward myself, includes being OK on the days when I struggle. Understanding that progress is never linear, and is often a dance of 2 steps forward and 1 step back…acknowledging the progress I have made and being proud of my courage.

This week, I have a lot on my to do list, which is something that often triggers my perfectionism, so I’ll be paying extra attention to my self-kind practices. I’ll put myself to bed on time, make nourishing food choices and ask for help, because that’s the life I choose. That’s how I want to show up for myself, and what allows me to show up for others.

I’d love to know you practice being kind to you. Share your self-kind practices with me below!

Thanks for being on the journey with me.

?, Lara

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