Today marks the day!
I'm always trying to better myself and this here lies my ultimate self-love list of things that I know make me feel awesome and that I am trying to connect with on a daily basis. Its not often that I get to do everything in one day. Actually it would feel more like a fluke if I did! But having this as a reminder is always nice.
Giving myself enough time!
The amount of times I have hit the ol' snooze button in the early AM for those extra teeny pockets of sleep (plural because lets face it, if I hit it once, Ima gonna hit it at least two more times!) instead of getting up with enough time to actually do everything, is, well.. A lot! I know that the perfect amount of time in the AM for our little fam bam is 1 hr 15 mins. Which isn't a huge amount of time, but when we are talking a 6 am wake up, sloppily getting our lives together in 30 mins becomes much more the norm!
I am trying to commit to the 6 am wake up. I break up the morning into 15 min increments. 15 mins to do some stretches/exercises, 15 mins to cook/make breakfast, 15 mins to eat breakfast (as a family), 15 mins to shower/get dressed and 15 mins to get out the door (because you know, toddler etc).
More often than not that 15 minute exercise/stretch ends up being my snooze fest, but the times that I do commit, I feel fricking fantastic and start the day like a force of unstopable energy.
Lots of Sleep
Funnily enough, directly related to the snooze button... I am a sucker for cruising Facebook/instagram/netflix/stan etc to procrastinate doing the one thing that I know will allow me to start tomorrow feeling semi-human. I do it a lot, and it makes me feel shitty. So, I'm making a conscious effort to put my computer away well before bed. Actually on my I-phone, where my alarm is, there is an option called 'Bedtime' and you can set your wake up time (6AM) and work backwards to set your bedtime taking into consideration how many hours you want to sleep. I Set my bedtime for 10.30, so I have 7 1/2 hours for the sleeps. You can choose to get a reminder of the bedtime (I chose 30 mins prior so I know to put my computer away/wrap up what I am doing and start getting ready for the sleep) and I've chosen a nice little ditty to wake up to. It works fine, till I hit that snooze! But I'm only human and I'll keep trying!
This is a constant for us - aways trying to find the right balance in what we eat. The problem is that once we fall off the wagon, we tend to dive into the abyss (which in my imagination is a swimming pool full of donuts) and it take insane amounts of effort to get back on (also because it's soooo much easier and more fun eating naughty food!). But we are trying. We are doing our best. We are being good, not perfect. At the moment this looks a little like - Pescatarian/very little to no grains/no dairy/no sugar (apart from fruits obvs!). This decision followed discussions about what made us feel good and what makes us feel shitty and trying to find a way of eating that suits both of us. This combination makes it tricky to eat out (which is great because we are saving some serious $$$) but if we get caught out with no packed lunch and the closest thing available has dairy/grains/sugar in it, we just eat it. We figure, its better to have food in us than skipping meals and passing out on public transport/at work. This food combo (trying really hard not to call it a diet) means quick and easy meals are OUT and we end up doing a fair bit of prep time in the ol' kitchen. But the good thing is, we feel great! Most of the time. Haha. We generally have a massive cook up on Sundays and always try to over cook so we can have portions in the freezer. I'd also like to note, generally the kid eats most of what we cook, but we are in no way restricting his diet. He has the dairy, and meats occasionally at his grandparents house or at daycare but he seems to be getting all that he needs with what we make him at home.
Capitalised because.. Vulva Party! After having Otis, I developed vulvodynia which for those who don't know, is a chronic vulva pain with no known cause that can be brought on by a plethora of different things -nerve injury or irritation, hypersensitivity to yeast infections, muscle spasms, hormonal changes, frequent antibiotic use.. And the list goes on. Basically, it's just my bad luck. I have it, it's just there and there is currently no know 'cure' for it. EXCELLENT. There is a myriad of treatments, but nothing is a guarantee and unfortunately it is just a matter of trying EVERYTHING until you find the combination that potentially works for you. Naturally, it made me want nothing to do with my vulva as I was seeing it as this 'thing' that was causing me 'pain' and ended up completely disconnected with it, along with my sensuality and my sexuality. So in an effort to try and work through it without going on a medication that was suggested (which for this condition is a low dosage of an antidepressant) I started seeing a physiotherapist and a sexologist in the hopes of finding the right combo of treatments, then fixing, then reconnecting, then loving my vulva again! I have exercises that I should be doing daily (but I forget all the time) and am keeping track of the things I am trying and what is working/not working. I'm also generally just being kinder to my Vajayjay while working through it all and trying not to get too pissed off with it. So, vulva party it is!
I am always needing to remember to practice self-love. I often forget and end up throwing a pity-party for myself and having a terrible time. My self-love practice comes in many forms, but mostly at the moment its just being kind to myself. I have a insanely amazing ability to put copious amounts of pressure on myself to be a freaking super-woman and sometimes, I am just not. Sometimes I am just a human, trying desperately to get through the day so I can go to sleep. A lot of this kindness comes in the form of softening. Softening around situations I cannot control, softening around not completing the tasks I set for the day, softening around a hard day at work, softening around physical pain and not letting it affect me emotionally, softening around a toddler that has over night turned into a gremlin, softening around the frustration of the dishes piling up.. You get my drift. It is quite honestly just stopping, taking a deep breath, softening my body, softening my mean-ass furrowed brow and just letting go. It's not always easy, but mostly it works for me.
I have so god damn much going on in my life and I often find myself wanting to just switch off. Getting frustrated and holding onto annoyances is common. This ties in a little bit with softening around moments and situations, but also has a lot to do with choosing to be present in the moment. Especially with my partner and my kid. I often catch myself thinking about what I need to do before the day is done while Im supposedly having a conversation with Al. Or Otie is asking me to come and play and Im saying 'just a sec, I just need to check one thing'. I have to actively stop in these moments and bring myself back to them. My phone is a massive contributor to this, and I have been practicing putting my phone away when I am with them. Oh, I also took social media off my phone and it completely changed my life, but thats a whole different blog post in itself!
I don't know about you, but I fucking LOVE how I feel when I exercise. It just changes me. It lifts the fog and it makes me feel great. It's not always a thing that I can do as I have arthritis and sometimes it flares up and I get killer referred pain. But when I'm feeling actively able, I dig it a lot. But... time. TIME. When is there ever time? I have one regular boxing class I go to on Saturdays but apart from that, I'd find it hard to fit much into my day. Then I discovered HITT (high intensity tactical training). I found an app that has a 10 min strength routine on it, as well as cycling/running/walking. So I try to do this a few times a week, and find times that I can do the HITT run (like the days that I pick up my son from daycare as it is timed perfectly from my house to the daycare front door). We have also started doing the HITT run to the supermarket as a fam bam with the kid in the pram and I got boxing gloves and pads for my birthday which we intend to use every now and then (also a great way to release tensions!!). So when I change my thoughts from 'I NEED TO DO AS MUCH EXERCISE AS I CAN AND A MILLION CLASSES' to 'I'll just fit in what I can when I can' surprisingly it all seems much more achievable!
My sexologist/therapist amazing lady person took me through a heart coherence meditation in one of my sessions and I really connected with it. I have always been very tentative when it came to meditations as I felt like I never really got it right (ooooh that over active mind of mine!!) but I have discovered that imagery is something that I can really connect with. In the heart coherence I imagine breathing gold sparkly light down into my heart and then with every breath out, I move the gold sparkly light throughout my body, then the room I'm sitting in, then sprinkling it over Al and Otie, then the whole of Preston, then the whole of Melbourne, then the whole of Australia, then the world, then the universe because, let just go big and get that gold sparkly heart light all over this joint! There's obviously much more to it than that, but thats it in a nutshell. If I can't sleep, I do a heart coherence. If I'm feeling disconnected, I trying to remind myself that leading with my heart is an incredible way to live life, and doing a heart coherence meditation is an awesome way to stop, reconnect and then keep going.
Taking a trip to Sass town!
A big part of my therapy sessions is based around re-connecting with the real Indiana. I mean, I am real. I'm really real. I'm also unreal! ZING! But there has been a lot of self-doubt going on since I was a teenager thats been based around and ingrained in the idea that I am too 'big'. Personality wise, weight wise, dreams wise etc etc. I have had this feeling of resentment towards the child version of me because I was such a big personality and I have consistently let this be a subject of contention with my personal development. Sometimes I find people that I feel able to really truely be myself around, but most of the time I am trying to conform to what I think society expects of me, and how I think others want to perceive me (I mean, seriously!). Through some recent therapy sessions I have discovered that I actually fricking LOVE the kid version of me and that unapologetic go-get-em sassy attitude is something that I am trying to seriously re-connect with. It's awesome and it requires many-a-trip to Sass Town. How fun is that?!
So. It's a lot but it's all achievable. Just in pockets and snippiest and surrounded by softness and kindness.
Whats on your self-love list?