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Jessica Wilkerson Mental Health

Loving Every Bit Of Yourself

by Jessica Wilkerson CPT, PN-1

Me walking past a mirror in the mall… 

“Oh heyyyyyyy! I’m totally feeling myself today!”

The hair is laying just right, the outfit I chose is giving me vibes of love for myself!
I can tell the work I’ve been putting in in the gym and in the kitchen are paying off, and I know that I can hit that goal if I just stick to it!

I feel light and bouncy amidst the world’s craziness. Sometimes I even get funny looks because I am smiling for no reason. 

SMILES SPREAD LOVE! 

And because I take the time to love every bit of myself, I feel like I have a slight advantage… not in a cocky or arrogant sense, but in the fact that I can pour into others. I can take care of my family, of my friends and even those I may not know very well.

What is self-care?

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others. 

You say, well I take care of myself! But here are some things to consider when it comes to that self care, and taking the time to do the self care really implements that loving yourself aspect!

Ask…

Am I getting enough sleep at night? Is it a restful sleep?

How has my nutrition and exercise been? Do I need to sweat it out or stretch it out?

Am I taking time to reflect in a positive way on my day and ask myself what I can learn?

Am I saying yes to too many people/commitments?

When was the last time I laughed, I mean really belly laughed?

Do I need to have some time socializing? Or some quiet time by myself?

What actions/ tasks could I possibly delegate to someone else for a while?

Is it time to ask for help? (This could be at home, medically, spiritually, psychologically, etc.)

Do I need a change of pace or change of scenery? 

Are there unresolved issues that could be getting in the way of me living my best life?

If by chance you answered yes to any one of these, it might be time to pause and look at what you need to do in order to love yourself the best.

When I feel like I need a pause, I take some time to sit in my thoughts. I realize this may be hard for some of you, but give it a chance. 

Sit with nature if possible and just close your eyes. Start by tuning into your breath. Notice that audible inhale and exhale… feel your chest rise and fall and maybe even start to count your breath. Inhale, 1. Exhale, 2. Inhale, 3. Exhale, 4… all the way to ten and then start over if you need to. But if you get to ten and you feel calm and your thoughts feel free then this is where you want to be.

Once you get to your calm, take time to think about the questions above. If one particularly resonates with you, then stay there a while. Work through the feelings that come up, give yourself permission to FEEL the emotions to their depth.

Then ask yourself, “If I could resolve this issue and have the outcome be exactly what I desire, what would that look like? How would it feel? What things would I hear from others about this new outcome?” And then envision it happening. Not just once, but feel it and see it over and over again until it’s ingrained in your mind.

The very first step to loving yourself is to recognize that there is something that can be improved upon. It doesn’t mean you are flawed, no not by any means! It means you see that you have weaknesses. It means you can learn to use those weaknesses to your advantage. I encourage you, if you don’t know much about your personality to take the time to get to know yourself a little deeper. 

I know finding out my weaknesses helped me to also realize that there were a couple of places I needed to make changes in my life! It’s so important to spend time alone. It’s so important to love yourself, because most of all it will help you pour into others and allow you to guide those you love most into loving you at their best as well! 

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Megan Spears Spiritual Health Uncategorized

Meditation for Women who want to clear their mind (but can’t).

by Megan Spears


I was 17 years old when I decided to  try a formal meditation class. I don’t remember if it took place on a Monday or a Sunday, at 5am or 5pm, but I do remember the smell of nag champa and the feeling of quiet reverence as I walked up the stairs to the space. I also remember, and will never forget, the  first bit of advice from the meditation teacher. He said, simply and clearly, directly to me, “try less”.

“Try less?”, I thought. “What the hell?”

I immediately became both frustrated and intrigued by the concept of trying less. I was so new to this practice; I couldn’t gauge my level of effort. It boggled my mind and stayed with me for several years, coming up randomly in my mind as a grew in my yoga and meditation practice.

I eventually (five years later) became a yoga teacher and started leading both power yoga classes and meditation classes. I purposefully did not cue “try less” in my meditation classes, simply because I hadn’t unpacked that cue for myself. I guess you could say I was sitting with it.


Photo by Molly Thrasher.

A few years into my teaching, I was invited by a fellow teacher to begin a meditation training with Dr. Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine. In this training, my teachers  shared the amazingly rebellious notion that neither have to try less or clear my mind in meditation.

I don’t have to clear my mind? Wait, what? Isn’t that what meditation is about?

No, ma’am. You sure don’t have to clear your mind or try less.

What I offer to you is what my teachers offered to me – the 8 Rs.

Rest. Release. Remember. Rehearse. Repair. Restore. Relax. Recharge. Remember that you’re meditating. Then Rest again.


Photo by Molly Thrasher.


Imagine this as you read along:

You settle into a seated position, or lie down. As you rest in your posture,  you feel your muscles release. As you release, you might remember why your muscles were tense in the first place. As you remember why you were tense, you then commence your rehearsal of the experience that made you feel tense. You problem solve, build a list of things to do, have that discussion that you’re putting off, budget your finances – all of this happens in your rehearsal stage.

(This is traditionally where you get frustrated and think you’re not meditating.  As your meditation teacher, I’m here to tell you that this is a part of the rhythm of meditation. Keep going.)

As you sense yourself in rehearsal, you might step out to jot down notes of who to call or what to do after your meditation. You might have a seriously creative moment where you finally solve that problem or think up the next best step in your business. When you come back, you will feel that you’ve repaired something – lightness ensues; you feel restored. Then you relax because you remember that you’re meditating. Sense your muscles, and the deeper layers of your awareness, rest again.

This cycle could happen 2-3 times in the span of 10 minutes. As you become aware of where you are within the 8 Rs, the time spent in each R may stretch or extend – you might find yourself in a restful state for a long time. 

Now I can appreciate the cue to “try less”. Rather than  pushing or over-effort, sense what happens when you rest into your meditation. With this understanding of meditation as a rhythm, we can appreciate and respect said rhythms. Play with the rhythms. You may start to look forward to your practice the same way you look forward to the first sip of your morning tea (or pourover cup of coffee, if you’re boujee like me). 

I hope you feel free to meditate knowing that you don’t have to clear your mind. Rather, develop a sense for what each R feels like for you.

Rest. Release. Remember. Rehearse. Repair. Restore. Relax. Recharge. Remember that you’re meditating. Then Rest again.

-Megan Spears RYT 500