Self-Love is not Optional

life mind yoga Nov 26, 2020
Annis Fender with puppy on grass

I was not always this wholesome. In fact, I devoted much of my misspent youth to dancing the nights away, promoting clubs, working as a cocktail mixologist, and presenting myself as a general social butterfly around the world. And yes, I kind of see the irony that my ecstasy swilling nineties-self turned into someone who won’t clean her toilets with bleach or use fluoride toothpaste.

But the real irony is that, in my case, this is the one path I had to go down in order to be genuine as a healer today. I have lived the ups and the downs; I know what it means to feel numb, rejected, self-loathing and utterly exhausted because long-term partying isn’t all they make it out to be. And when I evolved from social butterfly to equally numb, rejected, self-loathing plus sleep-deprived wife and mum, the drugs were replaced by habits of ‘wine o’clock’ and that tongue-in-cheek-haha label of ‘shabby parenting’ at extended pub-lunches with friends, leaving me riddled with guilt after I grew out of it.

Whatever our goals on the road to happiness, self-medication is usually the very first choice when the going gets tough.
Even when the going is easy we tend to stop the good things we’re doing — because change is not always comfortable. Alignment is a steady flame of intelligence, and once we learn to hold up against that great inner saboteur — otherwise known as the Ego — the shift happens.

 

My inner broadcast changed from party-gal to wise-woman because I slowly (very slowly) changed my vibrations.

 

With my daily baby steps of active self-love, everything around me changed for the better. Not drinking was just part of the ticket, and I am still not completely tea-total. I simply decided not to beat myself up about it when I realised I couldn’t be that, because I carry enough guilt around as it is.

First: my yoga practices. Non-negotiable, daily. I am not talking about a 90-minute workout here people - 5 minutes daily, sometimes 20 or 30, and an occasional class thrown in. It’s the steady focus on the breath as I glide into the familiar poses on my mat that fuelled an inner strength I was not even aware was growing. That first sun salutation of the day is now as ingrained into my being as brushing my teeth.

Then I started to sit still in earnest. I can confirm that meditation is blooming difficult, but when I found my path… wow! If sitting still is not your thing, I recommend you look up Synctuition - you can try it free for a week. I actively look forward to my meditation time now and feel almost sad when coming out of the deep relaxation. My point is: you must find your own way, one you love. Whether quiet, guided, mindfulness/mantra, Yoga Nidra, Synctuition - there is a myriad of options, and there WILL be one for you.

Once the essential oils entered the scene, the change was complete. I have used oils in my yoga studio for decades, but my first encounter with dōTERRA oils was something else. Inhaling truly pure oils daily completely and utterly elevated my vibrations. I use them internally and topically and made my own produce (lotions, balms, cleaning products, candles and more), slowly banishing toxins and surrounding myself with plant goodness.

And so, over time, I realised that I had said no to that second glass of wine more often than not. That my sleep improved, my energy levels increased, my self worth rose and my curiosity awoke. I was determined to change, instead of just practicing wishful thinking.

The transformation was real. I left an abusive relationship and stopped feeling like a fraud. While I am not a multi-millionaire, I earn a steady income and can provide for my family. Now that I am completely in tune with my intuition, I trust in yoga and my inner wisdom and I am utterly, utterly unapologetic about my daily self-care routines.

There were only 2 days when my life hit rock-bottom during my divorce where I could not cope. One day I found myself having a panic attack in a supermarket because I couldn’t find something in my handbag. And on another, I suddenly felt so fearful of what my future will hold I was almost paralysed.

Those two episodes had one thing in common: I had hit the ground running at 6 am, telling myself there was too much to do for fiddling around with oils and silly stones.
I had not remotely appreciated how absolutely fundamental these are for my core strength, and every single one of my little habits has reshaped me into the woman I am today.

In truth, I always knew my path, even in my party heydays. I simply chose not to listen. I know that deep inside, you know yours too. The question is: Are YOU ready?

 

Stepping out of the Inner Shadow

Jul 01, 2021

Self-Love is not Optional

Nov 26, 2020

Rocking Autumn with the Cleanse

Sep 18, 2020

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