I'm in a contraction period and I am uncomfortable.
It's bringing up a lot of feelings for me. For years I didn't wear shorts, wouldn't leave the house without a full face of makeup, beach trips were for other women, being intimate in the day time was out of the question. I was told I was too quiet and then when I spoke up I was too much - too intimidating to others.
I am drowning in a sea of limiting beliefs and it has felt unbearable.
Montpellier was sleepy and slow - it's gave me just enough time to see how uncomfortable in my skin I still am. It has been easy to distract myself on the road but it was slow enough there to feel it all.
The heat rose well before me every day and I tried to dress accordingly but no matter what the sweat beads rolled down my face. I saw the same faces daily and ordinarily that would be comforting but not there. I experienced more glares in that city than ever before. I forgot what it feels like to be a tad different - by choice.
The judgmental looks towards my uncovered legs that are slightly adorned in tattoos cut through to the 20 year old who was afraid to wear shorts for a decade. Every time, I quickly began to question my size and how I move through this world.
I used to be obsessed with making myself smaller. The old me had a sincere desire to disappear while also being the most seen woman in every room. It's was a delicate balance that I could never find the right equation for - due to the discomfort in my own skin.
When my beloved teacher Dana Balicki asked me if I loved myself last February - I felt a ball of insecurity form in my stomach. My face scrunched up. What an uncomfortable thing to consider. I have no issue giving all of my love to my friends and family but the idea of turning that inward was enough to induce a stomach ache. I thought if I gave of myself it would return to me and I would feel whole. That never worked out - I often was left feeling depleted.
I was never taught how to be kind and loving to myself. Here I was, a grown woman in my thirties and I couldn't take a compliment. I questioned the honesty of every lover that came in and out of my life. I wanted to be softer towards myself but I didn't know how. I was prone to being an emotional wreck.
Thankfully for me, Dana had some helpful tools to start to shift the old stories in my head. Unfortunately, that required some action on my part.
One of the things she suggested I do was read Mirror Work by Louise Hay. I scoffed at that suggestion at first but eventually I came around to it. I have subsequently lended my copy to a slew of amazing women in New York who have also reaped the benefits.
Self love and being in healthy relationships is a lot of hard work - I am no expert. I have to battle the negative thoughts every time I receive an unsavory look, every time a date doesn't go well, every time my mind wants to self destruct. But I'm on the right path now.
I have to remember that self love is the groundwork for all future growth. If I'm hitting a road block here now - I'm in for some trouble in the future.
So I'm taking it back to basics - I'm going to be gentler to my sensitive soul. I am going to listen to what my mind and body needs - which is currently a bunch of yoga and Beyoncé. I'm going to head back to the mirror and do some positive affirmations and as always - return to my ever so trusty Breathwork.
I've got decades of self hate to undo - it wont happen over night but I'm a seeker of growth. I hope you are too.
If you're interested in connecting with yourself in a deeper way I am hosting a Virtual Breathwork Group on Love + Relationships on Saturday, July 7th at 7p ET. I'd love to see you there. If you are unable to attend the live portion - I'll send you a recorded version after so you can do it on your own time - in your own home. All you need is Zoom (free) and an open mind. I hope to see you there!
Sending you all the love from the South of France.
Sign up for the Virtual Group Class on Love + Relationships