As 2018 was wrapping up I went through one of the hardest transformations that I have ever experienced. You know when you are going through a period of such immense change in your life and at every turn you think that you have learned “the lesson” and that there couldn’t be any more for this shift? Think again. For months during my self and personal exploration I thought that “my time” for going through earthquaking shifts was over and that I had somehow earned a period of ease and rest. That’s not what happened at any time I thought that, but as usual any time I think back about what I experienced and what I learned, I am eternally grateful.
I haven’t written in several weeks and there is so much I want to share. To give you some context: I am in my early twenties finding my own place in the world (yes I just said that) so there is plenty of content. However, the lessons I have learned about self love, intuition and surrender were profound and not what I expected.
I feel as if the past year the term “self love” was a part of everyone’s vocabulary unlike it had been any year prior. To be honest, I really had no idea what it meant to me and so many people had so many different definitions. Whenever I asked about their journey, none of their explanations really clicked with me so I asked the Universe to know what it meant for myself. Boy did I ever receive an answer.
Fast forward to a couple days ago when I thought I knew what self love was for me (it’s different for everyone so if we don’t agree on the definition, I honor and respect yours because I couldn’t not love anything that allows people to love themselves). I moved through the phases of discovering self love by making sure I made time for myself (introvert over here), was eating effectively for my body, getting that eight hours of sleep, etc. and all of that made sense but I knew I wasn’t there yet. Then I did some more deep shadow work in order to get to know myself and shine light on everything I thought was unlovable about me, because we all have those shadows. Several months later, I knew myself in a way I never had before and I thought I was “done”, even though there’s really no such thing.
I was in the shower, thinking about the last year, as so many people do early January, and about the wonderful journeys I had gone through with myself, my body, my family, and that is when it hit me. I paused and went back to when I thought about my body and everything just clicked for me.
Let me explain: as women (I’m sure men as well, but I can only speak on my experience) we are on an eternal journey with our bodies that is always changing. Body image was something I worked a lot with when I was younger because mine was changing all the time. Back then it wasn’t in a negative way, it’s just that when you are in those growing stages and doing different things your body inevitably changes. It wasn’t very apparent to anyone else who knew me, maybe only my mom because she gave birth to me and raised me thereon after. What really put me through it was rowing. I won’t go though all of the details but in rowing there are “lightweight” boats and “heavyweight” boats and for me who has always been taller and leaner, I was the most competitive in the lightweight boat. However, it’s hard to be taller and be lightweight because being lightweight usually meant I was underweight (for my height) unless I was right at the cutoff. Long story short, I had never had a reason to worry about weight before because I was always healthy and I never even had to weigh myself for anything. All of the sudden, I had a reason to weigh myself all the time which lead to unhealthy control with my body that started with weight and spread everywhere else.
When I was in the shower I realized in that moment that I hadn’t always been this way about weight or my body and in that particular moment I was really noticing (not in a positive or negative way, more of in an “aha moment” way) my stomach a.k.a the solar plexus chakra region. This story will still make sense even if you don’t buy into chakras. However, the solar plexus is usually associated with inner power. What I didn’t realize until I was in the shower (a lot of my breakthroughs happen in or near water) was that I also associated it with my gut or intuition. We have all heard the phrase “gut feeling” and have felt when we “know” things in our stomach. Consciously I associated the third eye chakra with my intuition, so I never made the connection with my solar plexus and intuition. It was that moment when I realized that my relationship with my stomach directly paralleled my relationship with myself and my intuition.
Before rowing, I didn’t really have issues with my body that extended beyond basic growing pains in grade school. Throughout my time on my rowing team, there were times when I loved my body and then couldn’t stand it for not doing what I wanted it to when I needed it because I was worried about making weight healthily. What I didn’t realize for the longest time was that I was going through the same story with my intuition. There were so many times over the past year when I knew my intuition was trying to tell me something and I either loved it and accepted it or I completely rejected it. As you may have guessed, those were the times I landed myself into trouble that could have been avoided. What was most profound to me that my journey with my body of the last couple of years directly corresponded to my relationship with my intuition, hence the revelation about the connection between the solar plexus and intuition.
I see intuition as your most unfiltered, un-programmed, authentic self. We take in so many societal constructs from the time that we are born up until now. It’s not a bad thing since we have to learn something growing up. Part of my shift that has been occurring for months was figuring out who I was underneath everything that I had been conditioned to know. What I didn’t realize that the most authentic part of myself had been communicating with me this entire time and I was cherry picking when I would listen to it when it suited me. If there was something I knew that I didn’t like on a conscious level then I would reject it. I didn’t understand that every time I wasn’t respecting and honoring my intuition I wasn’t loving that part of myself. Hence, what I mentioned before about my self love journey and this was the lesson that resonated with me the most. It was in that moment that I discovered what self-love really meant to me.
Yes, self love is so many different things and all of the things I have mentioned. It also extends so much deeper because for me it is also about loving and accepting your authentic self a.k.a your intuition and not being afraid to follow it/completely surrender to it. Your intuition is a gift because it hasn’t been touched by any of the conditioning. This can also make it scary because since it hasn’t been touched by any of the conditioning, it’s unlike anything you are used to.
We all have wonderful intuitive gifts at the core. They may not look like anyone else’s and they aren’t meant to. Self love includes loving and honoring all aspects of yourself whether it is third dimensional e.g. your body or beyond e.g. your intuition. I’m sure I couldn’t have read this in an article somewhere if I just looked up what self love meant but there is such a huge difference between reading about it, hearing your friends talk about it and living it.
If there is anything I know I’m doing in 2019 it is shifting from cherry picking when I listen to my intuition to completely surrendering to it and trusting the most authentic form of myself. There is no more picking and choosing what parts of myself, my intuition etc. are lovable and discarding the rest. It is all inherently lovable. Your intuition is the Universe, Source, God, Spirit, Consciousness, Presence etc. guiding you in every moment. How could you not love/trust that?
with unconditional love, katie