Category Archives: 14 Days of Self-Love

Thank you so much for joining me every day here for the 14 Days of Self-Love!  We’re going to bring this series to a close with a post by the wonderful Rachel Cole!   This feels like the perfect piece to end the series with and I hope it resonates with you as much as it does for me and that it inspires you to find your place in the ‘family of things’ too. If you’d like to peek back at the previous posts in the series, you can find them all on this page!

Photo credit: Andrea Scher

Finding my way home to a place of self-love has largely been about finding my place in, as poet Mary Oliver says, “the family of things.”

I used to believe that I was unlovable. I used to think that I was not only broken, but more broken than most everyone else. I used to believe that my hungers were to not to be trusted. I used to be in a long-distance relationship with my own flesh.

In the pit of despair, grasping for anything that might be a salve for my pain, I began to awaken.

With the help of a truly excellent therapist, my own fierce dedication, the courage to surrender, and lots and lots of reading…I came to see and feel myself differently.

I came to see and feel that all of life is sacred and that this must include me and every cell in my being. If I am sacred, it stands to reason that I am worthy of love.

I came to believe that all of life is one, big divine ocean with each of us as a distinctive wave. We are made up of the same divine energy and matter but are each as unique as a snowflake. I believe we are tasked with becoming the fullest expression of our “wave” as possible.

For me to be the fullest expression of my wave, I have to be tended to, nurtured, loved, and
most importantly fed. Anything else pulls me out of engagement with life.

The Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more
deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”

Believing this and embodying it sounds simple, perhaps overly simple as I write this. It’s not and you know that.

Self-love at this level, self-love of the awakening kind, came for me when my heart was exhausted from being told the greatest lie there is: that I was separate from it all.

Instead it turns out, it was about finding the truth of my place in “the family of things.”

~

Rachel Cole is a certified life coach, celebrated retreat host, instigator of ease, and hunger-satisfier. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, she spent years steeped in the vibrant Bay Area food community while earning her MA in Holistic Health Education. Rachel is on a mission to help women identify, understand and feed their true hungers. Through her varied endeavors, Rachel continues to be an inimitable inspiration for each of us to feast on our lives.

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Oh my goodness…I love that as we’re winding down the 14 Days of Self-Love we get to watch this powerful video from Kyeli of PaceandKyeli.com!  Prepare to be wildly inspired (and you might just find yourself wanting to get up and dance)!

~

Idealistic storyteller photographer HSP witch, living a wild crazy beautiful life – and helping others do the same! I live in a magical house on wheels, wear fantastic stripy socks, and take pictures of everything. And I’m the sweeter half of PaceAndKyeli.com. (;

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  • lizFebruary 13, 2013 - 7:38 am

    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Love that you raise the roof. Love the truth told here. Love how your voice is full of such kindness so that I feel like I’m literally soaking it up. Yes.

    Thank you Kyeli!ReplyCancel

  • vivienneFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    kyeli
    you are truly incredible.
    thank you SO much for this inspiring video!!!ReplyCancel

  • Karen CFebruary 13, 2013 - 10:34 pm

    Wow! I feel all warm and fuzzy and inspired. Kyeli thank you for your joy and love!ReplyCancel

  • JCFebruary 14, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    There are no truer words and no better deliverer of them — I agree with liz, Kyeli, your voice is so full of kindness and love and sincerity and urgency. THANK YOU for this inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Jo-AnneFebruary 14, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    Kyeli, you speak the truth. And you are in good and wise company. This is from the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…

    “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

    ― Roald DahlReplyCancel

  • LaurieFebruary 15, 2013 - 11:09 am

    Kyeli honey you are so amazingly adorable! Not to mention wise, funny, and strong! This video made me laugh and cry and fall in love with you and myself! I am sharing it with everyone I know! Right on sweet sister! ~xo~ReplyCancel

Today we hear from the incredible Alana Sheeren on her journey to see her self and her body with kindness and compassion.  Alana’s work so moves me. I’ve been loving watching her Transformational Talk series.  Welcome Alana!

My belly button hasn’t recovered from pregnancy.

It used to be a cute innie, pierced in my twenties and adorned with a glittering aquamarine stone. Now it’s a strange looking, stretched, bulgy outie that my daughter likes to poke at and wonder about out loud.

I remember lying in bed with my husband somewhere in my 6th or 7th month, laughing hysterically as it popped in and out, following my laughter like some crazed jack-in-the-box. It was fun at the time, part of the wonder of being pregnant (especially after a miscarriage). Now it’s a reminder of how my life has been transformed.

After my daughter was born, I had a hard time losing the pregnancy weight. Two years later I had another miscarriage, then a broken leg, another pregnancy, bedrest, emergency surgery and a stillborn son. By the end, I didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror and I felt deeply betrayed by organs, muscle and bone.

I made a vow to return to health. I had few rules – no diets, only exercise I loved. I learned gluten was damaging my insides and within days of giving it up felt lighter inside. One morning I stood naked in front of the mirror, dissecting myself with a judgmental eye. I stopped, put my hands on my soft, still pregnant looking belly and said, I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you. Please forgive me. I cried and forgave myself. The weight slowly melted away.

Judging the physical form comes as naturally to me as walking. I grew up dancing and learned early on that I was too tall, not skinny enough and without enough natural turnout to live my ballerina dream. I spent years in Hollywood, glancing around me in audition waiting rooms to see who was prettier, shorter, funkier, thinner, more worthy of the work than I. I dieted and yo-yo’d my way through two decades, rarely satisfied with how I looked.

Now, on the other side of giving birth to life and death, I feel such huge compassion for our bodies. I catch my judgments more quickly, and celebrate our differences instead of letting them feed my ego’s desire for comparison. Somewhere along my healing path, I began asking my body what it craved and listening to the answers – to dance, to sleep, to feel pleasure, to be honored and seen as sacred. While I still struggle to prioritize these things, when I love and care for my body, I feel like I am saving my own life.

These days I stop short when I see my body in pictures. Everything external has changed: thinner legs, softer belly, deeper lines, breasts less perky after nursing a child. There are moments when I laugh out loud at the sight of myself in a shop window, delighted and amazed. I am grateful for my body’s strength and power, for the messages it sends, and the new ways it experiences, inhabits and responds to the world around me.

But on the days I find myself worrying that my thighs have suddenly expanded, or wondering what it would take to finally firm up my belly, or if there’s botox-free way to erase the frown lines from my brow, I do my best to stop, place my hand gently on that part of my body and say, I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you. Forgive me.

Imperfect, lovely, loving, she always does.

~

Alana Sheeren is an emotional alchemist, deep conversation catalyst, Reiki Master, Kundalini yogi and proud mama of two children, a 5-year-old daughter and a stillborn son. Her unique blend of compassion, insight and expertise creates a warm, judgment-free space for deep exploration, self-realization and growth.

You can find her at AlanaSheeren.com, where you can download her free e-book, Picking Up the Pieces: thoughts on grief and growth, watch her interview series, Transformation Talk, or read about Life After Benjamin, where she captured the daily ups and downs of grief and loss.

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  • Christa GallopoulosFebruary 12, 2013 - 5:14 am

    It has been such a gift, watching you evolve through this process, Alana. You are an inspiration, and a huge source of beauty and good in the world. Thank you for this, and all you do.

    XOXO

    CReplyCancel

  • lizFebruary 12, 2013 - 7:53 am

    I am tucking this beautiful, brave, honest post into my heart today. Thank you for sharing Alana. Thank you for giving these words for these 14 days a place to land Viv.ReplyCancel

  • vivienneFebruary 12, 2013 - 8:11 am

    Oh Alana…your words so resonate with me my friend.
    Thank you so much.ReplyCancel

  • danetteFebruary 12, 2013 - 8:42 am

    Love you big Alana! These words are deeply etched on my heart today.ReplyCancel

  • PamelaFebruary 12, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    Alana this is incredible and I know I will turn back to these words again and again!! Thank you for sharing this deep wisdom with us.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin NoelleFebruary 13, 2013 - 10:49 am

    I’m all teared up. Thank you for these beautiful words, Alana.ReplyCancel

I’m so excited to have the lovely Hannah Marocotti joining us today!  I’m head over heels for Hannah’s work and her amazing classes.  Today Hannah shares a story with us about looking back at your self in the past with love and kindness and how doing this for herself helps cultivate self-love.

I asked Patrick if he remembered the first time he met me. I knew he did of course because he has told me the story many times. We were both in the theatre department and there was a party at a house out in the woods and all of us were gathering together for rides to the house.

I was coming out of a horrible heartbreak but determined to get myself up and dressed and out to this party, the last before summer. I was 18 years old for reference! I started over to the meeting spot and I do remember him sitting in the back of a truck or something. Right about the same time the person who broke my heart showed up. Needless to say I didn’t go to the party. I think I ran back to my dorm as fast as I could. Details of the heart-break not shared but I will say it was so completely devastating, even as I look back on it. I can’t believe such a young soul had to be inside such sadness.

But Patrick will say he met me and was really pleased I would be at the party. He said he thought I was beautiful but in such a different way than other people. He tells the story with words about how my style and who I was didn’t seem the same as other 18 year olds. I wore a scarf every day, huge earrings, layers, hats…

He was bumming that I didn’t go to the party.

My sense of self was so strong when I was younger. I remember it. I remember the feeling of being 19. I have always known how deeply our style translates who we are to people faster than words. It was how I communicated with my surroundings. No one was talking about HSP or females with ADD and I had yet to have my first panic attack.

The layers provided me with gentle comfort. The scarves held me grounded. The jewelry centering. I remember I used to come back to my dorm for a nap each day and I would strip off the layers down to leggings and a bodysuit. Oh yes, I said bodysuit, every day. (It was the 90′s!)

As Patrick and I are both seeking healing in our own lives and in our relationship we find it so helpful to look back. To remember. To find the connections not just to our togetherness but to who we were.

To remember what we loved.

To remember what felt good.

To remember what made us laugh.

To remember the kind of people we loved spending time with.

To remember our why-s.

To remember our passion.

To remember our style.

To remember our movements.

Our dance.

Our spirit.

Our me.

At some point, I don’t remember quite when, maybe when I got my first job and had to wear a uniform, or when I started to make decisions that went against my heart and gut, or when I was going through that slightly painful decade(s) of growing up – I started to disconnect. I do believe we are born with all of our answers and truths but the journey we are on is how we unearth them. I don’t believe that journey is supposed to be free of mistakes or loss or regrets or missteps.

How could we reach these beautiful places without going through the whole emotional scale? The reason I believe in joy so deeply is because I believe in all emotions, all feelings and their validity to our purpose, to our being.

Every time I think how calm and slightly easy my life seems to be something happens. I go into the shake-up, the crazy-making, the lesson-learning, the heart-expanding.

These last 4 or 5 years have been about the journey back to me. Connecting back to the passion of that 19 year old girl in a woman’s body with so much less fear. With a confidence that can only come with the seasoning of the soul. I’ve always felt like an old soul whose mission was to relearn and then guide others once I found the inner wisdom.

What I am asking of you is this :: Look back at you.

Grab yourself at any age where you felt connected and wise and free. When you climbed mountains or went on road trips or ran around on the beach in the nude. Free.

Don’t go back and look at your mistakes, you’ve already grabbed the wisdom from them. Don’t focus on regrets, they are spirit eaters. Don’t blame. Dear me, don’t blame others or yourself. That is baggage for the heart sad. We want heart happy.

That 19 year old wanted her nose pierced and to have tattoos and to live in NYC. She wanted to be madly in love inside of a passionate love affair and no marriage certificate. She desired becoming a mama always. She couldn’t remember why she ever put down the guitar or was too afraid to take singing lessons. She always thought about belly dancing. A road trip across the United States made her tingle. She spent so much time thinking about rearranging furniture and going on auditions. She craved time barefoot in gardens and lying in the sun letting the Vit D soak into her skin. She loved making people feel good.

Now at 38 I can go back to her desires and align them with the me now. The strength that has come with the journey allows me to look back at her desires and peek at them next to my desires now. Part of my visioning process comes from her wishes too. She is me. I am her.

Look back at you.

Take the time to remember. Throw out the should-of could-of crap. You are you now.

White space. Beautiful canvas. Emerging feminine. Desirous spirit.

Go.

~

Hannah Marcotti
Quietly Impassioned Motivator.
Highly Sensitive Truth Seeker.
Tattooing Joy On The Spirits Of Many.

Hannah Marcotti is a quietly impassioned motivator who serves as guide to your gorgeous life and business of the heart. She is a highly sensitive mama who wishes to help you dream and seek out the truth of your purpose and help you celebrate life. She is often found tattooing joy on the spirits of those in her community. Each Thursday morning Hannah sends out a love note to her community which you can sign up for here.

Connect with Hannah here:

Website :: http://hannahmarcotti.com

Twitter :: @hannahmarcotti

Facebook :: https://www.facebook.com/hannah.marcotti

Instagram :: @hannahmarcotti

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  • vivienneFebruary 12, 2013 - 8:15 am

    Hannah….this is so inspiring to me my friend. My teens and 20’s were pretty intense and vulnerable…yet I too see so much in her that I want to return home to.ReplyCancel

I’m so honoured to have the wonderful Pace of PaceandKyeli.com sharing her story of self-love today (and you’ll hear from Kyeli this week too)!  Let’s get inspired by Pace today as she shares that journey of coming to a point where you need to follow your heart, even when its a big risk.

Choosing to love myself wasn’t a decision I made once, and then it stuck forever. It’s a decision I make every day.

Each day, I choose to fall in love with myself all over again. And like any skill, it gets easier the more you practice.

Ten years ago

Why can’t I just be happy the way I am? Why can’t I be happy with the body I was born with? Why can’t I be happy with the gender I’ve lived as for the past 25 years?

It’s not that big a deal. I’ve been fine with a male body and a male gender role for my entire life so far. It would be way easier to just stick with that. I don’t want to freak out my family, friends, and coworkers. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.

It’s comfortable. I’m strong. I can take it.

But… but it just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel true to myself. My true self is female, and I want to align my body and my life with my true self.

Is it worth risking everything to be true to my heart?

Yes. Yes it is.

Four years ago

Why can’t I just be happy working at this programming job?

I love my coworkers. I solve interesting problems. They pay me gobs of money.

It’s comfortable. I’m strong. I can take it.

But… but it just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel true to myself. My heart lights up when I help others get in touch with their hearts and live their lives wholeheartedly. My brain lights up when I program, but my heart doesn’t.

Is it worth risking everything to be true to my heart?

Yes. Yes it is.

Six months ago

Why can’t I just be happy living in one pl-

Fuck this. Let’s hit the road.

~

Pace Smith is a starry-eyed queer spiritual nomad who loves to play Dance Dance Revolution. She’s happily married to Kyeli, her partner in life and in business, and together they live a nomadic life RVing across the country, helping others live wild crazy meaningful lives.  You can find her at PaceAndKyeli.com.

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  • vivienneFebruary 12, 2013 - 8:16 am

    Pace! This post absolutely rocks. I’m so glad that you followed your heart as you are such a gift to the world!ReplyCancel

  • RebeccaFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    This is really beautiful. Oh how I can relate to the “why can’t I. . . . ?” I love it: “Fuck this. let’s hit the road!” I need to remember that for when I’m feeling conflicted about heart vs brain connection 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Pace SmithFebruary 13, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    Thank you, Rebecca! I’ve never regretted following my heart, even when it leads me to wild and crazy places.

    I believe that life is a process of forgetting that, and then remembering it again.ReplyCancel

  • […] Day Ten: Pace Smith shares a story  about risking everything to follow your heart! […]ReplyCancel

  • Karen CFebruary 14, 2013 - 10:13 am

    Hell ya! Go Pace! And as one of the people you’ve helped get back in touch with her heart and live wholeheartedly, I am so grateful. <3ReplyCancel

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