8 Ways to Increase Your Self Love

We spend so much time doing our best work on the outside — working on our bodies, careers, relationships, cooking skills and goals.

It’s just as important to spend time doing work on the inside — developing deep and lasting self-love, acceptance and compassion. The more we can make ourselves feel whole and worthy as individuals, the more we have to give to the world.

With this in mind, here are eight beautiful and effective ways to increase your self-love.

1. Practice self-care.

Get enough sleep to feel revitalized; attend a yoga class or go for a run; fill your fridge with healthy whole foods; drink plenty of water; and schedule in time for fun, adventure or relaxation. Value yourself enough to make self-care practices a regular part of your routine.Serene Young Woman Relaxation In Spa Salon

2. Use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

This is a healing tool where you tap on specific parts of your body while repeating a mantra or affirmation. If you’re feeling anxious or self-critical about a particular issue or problem, you can use EFT to release your negative emotional energy and re-establish inner calm and peace.

Use the mantra, “Even though I (insert your problem), I deeply and completely love and accept myself”.

I Want to Masturbate in a Circle of Women

I adore the ritual of masturbating. I live for every single sultry part of it. I get ecstatic when I feel the first tingle of arousal in my underpants, which typically appears while I’m watching a smooching scene in a movie and/or thinking about a man I’m crushing on hard and/or literally out of nowhere for no reason while I am at work in the middle of an important meeting. Do conversations about fiscal periods turn me on? Only my libido knows.

One of my most beloved thoughts to get lost in is the thought of beautiful vibrators, and in particular my beautiful vibrators. Yes, I have plural and I am proud of it. I love stimulants that aid my hormones in achieving their goal. I revel in finding sexy videos on the internet that excites my clit without offending my brain (trickier than it sounds) and/or digging deep in my imagination for the face/sweat/penis/butt/knees/hip bones of a dude I’m into and/or staring into a mirror and satisfying my hot self to my hot self.

And then of course I am a fan of the actual act. Searching for the right buttons. Figuring out what I want that day, that hour, that minute. Building the orgasm within me. Climaxing and feeling my whole body uncontrollably contract and twitch and release. It’s a transcendent experience that I attempt to repeat as often as I can, specifically in the mornings, and in the afternoons, and in the evenings… okay, I do it a lot and have since I was 13-years-old.

Something I haven’t ever done in the masturbation department though is get my own bod off while surrounded by important ladies doing the same to their bods. I hear dudes talking about circle jerks constantly but it’s rare for women to share tales of collective genital bliss. And why is that, I ask you? I mean, females often gather in groups to chat about life and drink wine and make plans to dominate the world. I wonder then how my ladies nights have never morphed into an epic, gorgeous, highly empowering jilling off session. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Do I need to provide MORE chips and dip? Is chocolate the answer? Should I start offering oysters and dildos with dinner? What is the SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM?


I suppose it’s not really a problem but I honestly believe that if a group of ten women, all orgasmic simultaneously in a circle as if we were a coven of pleasure seekers it could better society. We could eliminate the wage gap with one unified moan. Our voices would ripple through the globe like a tidal wave of squirting. The 4th wave of feminism would rise and if it’s that time of the month the wave would be crimson! The energy we would release would be magnetic and contagious and legislation changing. Abortion access would suddenly exist for all! Maternity leave wouldn’t affect career growth! Slut shaming would be a thing of the past! Hillary Clinton would instantly be elected president and all men would make her a sandwich!

…. okay, I might be exaggerating a tad bit here. But, you cannot deny that the image of a dozen vibrators doing god’s (Gloria Steinem’s) work is rather powerful and hella inspiring and majorly instagram-worthy. I have become much more sex positive over the last two years and with that has come a growth in confidence, a decrease in body shame, and an understanding of how to expertly “walk my poodle” (yes, I refer to my vagina as my poodle). So why not take this sex positive attitude a step further? I say, let’s get real positive and bask in the glow that is women’s recently orgasmic faces. I’m interested in experimentation and my favorite hobby is being in and/or around crowds of labia lips. So why not combine the two?!

Plus, it would be so relaxing and non-threatening and FUN! We could do yoga afterwards and get brunch and check out a dog park. I would have to 100% make a day of it. if I’m going to gather my best friends together so we can all masturbate as a unit you better believe we’re going vintage shopping post-climax and eating gelato. We’ll be in top notch moods and totally at ease and ready to get real about our emotions in regards to women being censored on Facebook (which is one of my number one topics to get real about).

Also, we can give each other tips! If a lady is having a hard time locating that spot, another lady can saunter over and give her a helping finger. This could dip into a mutual masturbation zone and if it did I would be beyond thrilled. It’s killing two birds with one ejaculation! Or if one woman’s vibrator isn’t doing the trick, she could switch with another woman who wants to try something new. Like a game of musical chairs! And you know how sometimes it’s difficult to see what’s going on down there? When you’re attempting to pleasure yourself and it begins to feel like parallel parking? Sometimes you just need someone to say “an inch to the right, one centimeter up, and turn it at a 180 degree angle” in order to pinpoint that clit and that’s OKAY!

And another thing, I went to a nudist retreat once and what I loved most about it was seeing how unique each woman’s body is, specifically their crotch areas! It was a breathtaking sight that I would definitely like to repeat. Although I am straight, I have an obsession with the female anatomy and, like the process of masturbation every single part of it fascinates me, especially the sexy parts. If I could orgasm while several other vulvas are in my periphery, I could die happy. I want nothing more than to be satisfied as I hear other women being satisfied, metaphorically and non-metaphorically. That would be my ultimate wet dream.

Random Act of Self-Love

It’s great to do sweet things for your partner, but what about you? 

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~Jack Kornfield

We have all heard about random acts of kindness. We’ve probably all — at some point or another — been a giver or a receiver of these little, big and sometimes life-changing moments.

The simple act of doing thoughtful, unexpected good deeds for others can fill us with joy. And when someone reaches out, out of the blue to touch us in some way, it’s something we rarely forget.

No matter what end of the act of kindness you are on, they are usually moments filled with ease, grace and love.

Acts of kindness come to us naturally, without effort or much thought. An opportunity presents itself and we act swiftly and whole-heartedly. We don’t think; we just do.

Recently a friend confided to me that she needs more time for herself. She has a demanding schedule and kids she cares for so I understand why it ‘s difficult for her to find time alone. It’s more than that, though. In listening to her, I realized she isn’t being kind and giving herself the simple joys she’s craving.

I thought of how she often extends generosity towards me — a cup of coffee, a listening ear, a meal shared.

I wondered — what if now and then she surprised herself with a random act of kindness — for herself?

What if now and then we all gave ourselves a random act of self-love?

I’m not talking about spoiling ourselves, giving in to our every whim or over-indulging. I’m referring to being honest with ourselves. So often we put our needs and wishes on the backburner and neglect our desires because we’re afraid to authentically acknowledge them.

Giving to ourselves should be a regular part of our lives. While some of us are better at this than others, for many of us, this idea feels absurd. We worry how it may look, what others may think or we feel guilty. We worry we are being selfish or that others will perceive our actions as self-absorbed.

But there’s nothing wrong with giving to ourselves.

Who’s My Emergency Contact Now?

So, you’ve broken up.

You’ve taken their number out of your phone so you don’t text in moments of weakness. When you drop your cat off at the groomer’s and they ask for an emergency contact you say, “I don’t have one. I guess if I don’t come back, you have to set the cat free.”

Best case scenario: you came together, you challenged each other to be your best, inspired each other, learned from each other, then evolved so much you grew apart and mutually decided to consciously uncouple. Worst case scenario: everything else.

Here are some tips to help you deal:

Mourn the plans you made together.

It could be that annual trip to Batfest in Austin, TX, it could be your aunt’s wedding in Boston, it could just be the new Iron Man movie. Notice and release your disappointment in each thing you won’t be doing together. You’re creating a new reality map in your brain without that person in it.

Disconnect electronically.

This might be the hardest part, because we all want to be supercool adult people. That doesn’t mean you need to see when this dude is out to dinner with a girl whose haircut is very similar to your own, and he doesn’t need to know when you’re out at karaoke singing the Stevie Nicks songs that he used to hear in the shower. You don’t have to delete them, but certainly turn their feed off for a couple of months while you get your head together. Even though it sometimes feels good to dwell on the object of your affection, scratching that itch will just contribute to an obsession and will delay your healing.

Cut off communication.

One of the hardest parts of a breakup, especially of a long relationship, is that you find that the person you used to get comfort from is the last person you should speak to. Talk to friends. Talk to family. Talk to your pastor. Don’t talk to each other. Part of your job right now is to get this person’s smell out of your nostrils, literally and figuratively. Once you stop hanging out with them, you’ll stop saying things like “but we’re so good together!”

Depressed Man After Split Up

Ditch the Knick-knacks.

If you have stuff of theirs that reminds you of them, and it bothers you, put it away. You can even throw it away, if you want. If something is in your house that makes you sad, get rid of it, unless he gave you a couch or something, in that case throw a blanket over it until it doesn’t make you feel sad anymore, because that’s a nice couch.

Convincing Your Heart to Love Your Body

Embracing yourself for who you are is very important for your overall confidence and sensuality!

You and I both know that it’s important to learn to love our bodies. But it’s one thing to know know it, and quite another thing to convince our hearts to actually do it. For most women, making that transition is very, very difficult. Learning to really love our bodies is often a long process that includes lots of stops and starts along the way.

But I’m confident that you and I both can make that transition, if we take it one step at a time. If you’re ready to give it a try, here are 11 ideas to help you get started:

  • Avoid television shows, magazines and other media that feature perfect women.  Recognize that those women are media creations, and understand that they don’t actually exist. They are images, not people, that result from professional makeup, professional hair styling, professional photography, perfect lighting, and Photoshop.
  • Treat your body well. Most women devote time and effort to caring for others, but little to caring for themselves. So take the time and make the effort needed to   eat healthy foodexercise regularlysleep at least 7 hours each nightkeep stress under control, and take some time to do things you enjoy.
  • Get up and move.  Regular exercise/physical activity makes you feel great and helps you look great. Make time to move your body – walk, bike, dance, work out – every day.
  • Stop thinking and saying negative things about yourself.  Whenever you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative about your body, stop and rewind.  Replace those words with positive ones that focus on your strengths.
  • Focus less on your appearance and more on the things your body allows you to do. The body God gave you is awesome. It allows you to live, to breathe, to work, to walk, to dance, to sing, to create, to care for your children, to make love with your husband. Focus your energy and attention on those things.
  • Don’t zero in on your “flaws.” Women are infamous for focusing like a laser on things they don’t like about their bodies. We look in the mirror and see pimples or wrinkles or gray hair or an extra 20 pounds. But most people don’t look at us that way. They see the “big picture” – the way we look, the way we act, and the way we make them feel. They don’t zero in on our flaws, and we shouldn’t either.
  • Disconnect from people who make you feel bad about yourself. A few people in our lives, however, might focus on our “flaws.” Some of those people gain energy by making other people feel bad, some of them are mean, and some are just thoughtless.  Avoid all of those types of people as much as possible. Give them very little of your time and energy, and no space inside your head.
  • Stand up straight and walk with confidence.  Look people in the eye and speak with confidence.  Try it as an experiment, even if you don’t feel it.  People perceive confidence as attractive, and acting confident (even if you’re faking it!) can help you feel more attractive.
  • Wear clothes that make you feel good. They don’t have to be expensive. They don’t have to be fancy. They don’t have to be the latest styles. They just need to make you feel good in your own skin.
  • Work on something you really want to improve.  Almost every woman wants to improve some aspect of her appearance, which is fine. Pick a change that’s reasonable and go for it. For many women, losing some weight falls into this category; few things make women feel as bad about their bodies as extra weight. If that’s an issue for you, focus on eating well and becoming a physically active person. Ditch the foods you know you don’t need and allow yourself time to exercise or just move your body every day.
  • Don’t use food as “medicine.” Some women eat when they’re stressed, tired, bored or lonely. If you’re tempted to reach for food when those feelings strike, try substituting exercise, companionship, or productive activity for food. Exercise can actually alleviate some of those negative feelings, by boosting hormones and chemicals that help you feel good, while food just provides a temporary fix, one you’ll probably regret later.

Learning to love your body is a process, and it will take time. But you are worth it, and you can do it.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article


Selfie Love

Why the most important relationship is the one you have with your SELF.

“You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck”. – Rumi

Rumi was such a clever chap, and I like how this quote personifies how we so often look for love “out there” in the world, only to discover, it’s been “inside here” all along.

When we don’t fully accept our true Self (“SELFie Love”), we feel incomplete in some way, undeserving, unworthy, unfulfilled and suffer from “not enough-ness”.  The things we don’t like about ourselves are our holes that we set about filling in with relationships that make us feel better about our self-perceived flaws. Without realizing it, we blindly go out into the world bearing a “Fix Me” sign, on a quest for the missing piece that will make us feel complete.  Once found, we like to think we’ll find happiness, fulfillment, and love. The caveat is, that we inevitably attract relationships that recognize our incompleteness and present themselves as our missing puzzle piece.  In exchange, they’ll expect the same from us; that we will serve to be their means of completion.

“I can work with that”, you say to yourself.  “They fix me, I fix them, and everyone wins”!  If this scenario sounds familiar, ask yourself how it’s working out for you?  Do you have a track record of helping others to be their best, yet somehow come up short when it comes to your own fulfillment?  Is there a pattern of love relationships that start out as champagne and rapture, but end in cheap beer and heartache?  Do you travel from Wow to Woe post honeymoon phase, arriving bewildered at the destination of “what’s missing, why did he/she change, why does this always happen to me?”  And perhaps in a state of perplexed denial, you lay the blame at the feet of your partner, often making it their problem and responsibility to “fix” it again.  We get frustrated when we sense the missing piece is being withheld from us, so we deliver demands and the misery ensues until finally we, or they arrive at the conclusion that once again, we’ve misjudged, made a mistake and we call it quits.  Rinse, repeat.

I must confess, I am a former “not enough-ness” sufferer.  My story was nothing unusual.  I was raised on a healthy diet of fear and trust no one.  I often felt like I was a glass half-full, living in a glass half-empty world.  In my quest for role models, sameness and connection, I invariably missed the mark and found myself instead on the comfortable path of the devil I knew.

Dwelling in the business of pleasing others and not myself eventually got old.  I grew tired of feeling ridiculous as another rug beneath me was yanked, and the weight of being responsible for the happiness of others was suffocating my own joy.  When the lessons got harder and the pain hurt deeper I stopped asking myself “why” and started asking “WTF?”  What was it exactly I felt I lacked and sought to find in others?

With gentle compassion and warrior-esque grit, I declared “game over” and patiently retraced the breadcrumb trail of lessons all the way down to my soul, who welcomed me home with unconditional love.  Once the SELFie key unlocks your buried treasure, the epiphany is transcending.  The sparkle shines so brightly you’ll find it illuminates the entire pattern of behavior that’s been sabotaging your bliss.  Accepting the “new and improved” you is like winning the “enough-ness” lottery.  The brandished golden ticket is the discovery that you are your own missing piece to your own magnificent puzzle. You are finally enough just as you are.

Although I was a little late to this party, (incidentally – it’s never EVER too late) this epiphany changed my life.  From the moment I turned the key; that “I was my own missing puzzle piece, everything shifted.

When you find love within your Self, that’s when the world sees the real deal and you attract someone who lives from that same enough-ness place as yourself.  When these two souls are aligned the LOVE is cosmic.  Based on attraction, not neediness, each person complete independently, and elevated when shared together.  I call it “Blississsippi” or the “Mother Lode Love Lottery”.

Imagine the change we would see in the world if more of us believed we were enough.  To see change in the outside world, we first have to change our inside world.  You are entirely up to you.

Love you xo.

Desire and Your Nature

How much do you know your sexual self? What are your desires?

In helping us understand our sexual selves we need to understand the nature of desire. The basis of all desire is that most fundamental impulse to seek connection. I see this as a two-stage process and I could include in this not only desire for sex but also any type of desire. We cannot desire ourselves, much as we might narcissistically love and enjoy ourselves. All desire is a felt sense of longing for that which is “other” than us. If we already have it we cannot, by definition, desire it. We may enjoy it but we cannot desire it. Desire arises because of how we imagine we will feel within ourselves when we meet the object or our desire, whether that is another person, an event or an experience. We might desire a glass of wine or a good meal – because of how we experience our tongue or taste buds when we meet this other thing. We might long for contact with another person because of how we feel when we are with them. This understanding of desire also applies to internal sates. If we are feeling tired we might long to rest. If we feel stressed we may yearn for calmness. This is because we experience ourselves in relation to the “otherness” of that object or feeling.

It is only through the experience of contrast, that is to say “I feel like this” and “You feel like that” that we can experience ourselves. We might say therefore that our desire for anything arises out of a desire for contact and from a yearning to feel the otherness of that contact. It is the space between us and the other which creates the desire, the longing to have contact with them or it. This is the first stage of the process of desire, that is, the experience of self through contrast with the other.

When we merge with the otherness, as it is possible to do in profound lovemaking, we cease to experience ourselves as unique individuals and we become one with the other. Our bodies move in rhythm, our breath synchronizes, our heart seem to beat as one. If we are lucky enough and in tune enough to orgasm together there may be a deep sense of melting into one another. This merging with the other is the second stage of desire.

So on the one hand the nature of desire is to feel ourselves through the contrast with the otherness and on the other it is so that the felt otherness dissolves and we become one with the other. Eating a delicious meal or drinking the wine we become one with it, making love to the other we merge with them. We long for the otherness in order to feel connection it, to experience the return to one-ness. This then begins to have a spiritual quality to it. Fundamentally all spiritual traditions say that “God”, the divine, “Goddess”, whichever form the tradition imagines exist, created the universe in order to feel itself because being one with everything he/she/it cannot experience itself. The nature of the universe, say the spiritual traditions, is that it is constantly striving to know itself as its true nature (that is one-ness) and to return to that sense of one-ness.

This is the universal cycle – the rotation between separation and unity.

How Low Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

Self esteem is a very important component within a healthy relationship. People who have low self esteem tend to wreck their relationships.

People with low self esteem have difficulty believing that they are unconditionally loved and accepted by their partners. They tend to hold back from fully committing themselves in their relationships or from making themselves vulnerable. They tend to engage in other types of behaviors that are unhelpful for relationships (e.g. testing their partners’ love)

The result of low self-esteem tends to be the prevelance of “Lower quality relationships” because their relationships have less love and trust, and more conflict and ambivalence. This is because they are unable to establish healthy boundaries or limits with people.

People with low self-esteem come to relationships with a variety of irrational thoughts, emotions and actions all of which lead people to lose themselves in relationships with others. This loss of self into others leads to a loss of personal internal control. They become victims to being controlled by how others think, feel about and act towards them.

Personal Value

In order to have a healthy relationship, it is required that both parties feel confident about their voice and their personal value. If those components are missing it can take a tremendous toll on ones emotional well-being.

Self-esteem and self-worth

In romantic relationships people often feel most comfortable around those who have a similar level of self esteem as their own. This means subconsciously people with low self-esteem will attract others with low self-esteem.

A person with a low self-esteem often also has low self-worth. Even if they don’t verbalize it, they do not act as if they feel they are good enough to be loved. This lack of self-worth is born from lack of self love. If you don’t truly love and accept yourself, then you cannot truly accept love and acceptance from others.

This lack of self love can lead to a state of emotional impoverishment. This occurs when you are unable to create feelings of love and acceptance within yourself. Instead you look to others as a source of approval. Lack of self love causes you to see people not for who they really are, but for what they can or cannot do for you. In this state, your ability to love will remain emotionally immature and undeveloped because what you have to give in return is not love, but rather your unfulfilled needs.

Low self-esteem creates lack of connection and trust

Low self-esteem destroys relationships because this kind of insecurity creates a disconnect between yourself and your partner. An example may be “Please call me every night at 10pm because other wise, I will worry.” The subtext to this is, “I’m worried that you are going to cheat on me!”

No adult should have to hold themselves accountable to that kind of disrespect. That sort of accountability is for children, not for adults in a relationship.

A person trying to have this type of “control” in a relationship is really suffering from low self-esteem. They need to control the situation because they need to control you. Their need to control you is because they don’t trust that you love them enough to control yourself.

(Which begs the question, if the only way to keep your partner from losing control is this level of hyper-vigilance, then maybe you are in the wrong relationship.)

There comes a point within a relationship that you need to believe that you are with someone who cares about you and respects you enough to not hurt you. When you trust someone, you open yourself up to the possibility that you might get hurt.

What about people who cheat?

Most people who are unfaithful do so because of low self-esteem. Very few people do it if the relationship at home is satisfying. Cheating is a sign that something isfundamental missing within the relationship.

Value and respect

The main reason people are unfaithful is due to a lack of feeling valued and respected by their primary partner. They genuinely believe they are not valued at home. Everyone wishes to be significant and valued, especially from the most important person in their life. When they don’t feel significant, and feel as though they are taken for granted, are being used for convenience or have little value to their partner, they are likely to find someone else who will value them.

Sex and affection

Another reason people cheat is because of lack of love and affection. Love and affection is often withheld by one or both partners when there are layers of resentment beneath the surface in a relationship. Feeling neglected takes over, especially when sex is sporadic. Nothing is worse than being in a relationship and feeling lonely. If one is single, one can always go on a date etc. But if one lives with a partner, yet feels loneliness, then it feels hopeless because there really is no hope without significant change. It affects one’s self esteem, because one feels unwanted, but can not do anything about it. This makes the partners more prone to seek that love and affirmation somewhere else.

Validation and attention

A very important part of being in a relationship is the need for validation and attention. If the closest person to you does not validate you, does not confirm what you mean to them, does not reinforce who you are and wish to be (not what your partner thinks you are and wishes you to be), it can precipitate a feeling of being abandoned and uncared for. Most cheaters do not feel validated or affirmed, neither do they get much attention. They often feel neglected, especially if there is also a lack of love and affection or any real conversation either, mainly accusations and blame. Once we are not validated by those who matter, we begin to seek it elsewhere.

When any of these elements mentioned are missing, self esteem plummets and the person is likely to feel like a failure. It erodes a person and effects everything they do because they are constantly unhappy, anxious and stressed. It is difficult to feel good about one’s self when there is an overwhelming number of unmet needs missing from one’s life.

Personal confidence

The unfaithful partner feels a tremendous loss of personal confidence. It has a domino effect on everything else. Many unfaithful partners suffer in silence for a while, feeling low and hurt, until they feel compelled to do something about it in order to boost their confidence and improve their esteem.

Relationship in a rutt

There are many relationships where partners have settled into a rut, taking their spouses for granted, living in resentment and hurt, withholding affirmation and attention, value and respect. Those are the kinds of relationship that are most vulnerable to infidelity because living with someone else should enhance our happiness, not make us feel worse.

People with low self-esteem need to have “perfect” relationships and compete for control in order to make their relationship be the way they think it should be. This results in healthy relationships deteriorating. Eventually the relationship partner finds themselves in empty, hallow, phony, relationships with deep resentments and hurts. The partners have given so much to the relationship, they have nothing left of themselves to keep the relationships alive.

Here are symptoms of low self-esteem:


  1. Not spending very much time living in the present: If you worry about the future or spend too much time reflecting on the past mistakes, the bottom line is that you are not living in the present.
  2. Always wanting something you don’t have or something that’s out of reach: When someone has a great dissatisfaction with the trajectory of their life, or their lifestyle and it seems that what they want is always just out of reach, and that situation doesn’t ever change, self-esteem is probably the cause.
  3. Avoiding real intimacy: People who have low self-esteem have problems opening to and connecting with others on a deep level. Some don’t even recognize that the bonds they share are shallow and superficial until they get involved with someone else, on a much deeper level. They feel that if the other person finds out who they truly are, all love will be lost. They are afraid that opening up will result in getting hurt. Some people have entire relationships built on walls and avoiding intimacy. If you are avoiding real intimacy for whatever reason, take it as a sign that you need to look at how you are feeling about yourself.
  4. Busyness: The business of being busy, always keeping busy so you don’t have to look honestly at your underlying problems. Often times people will keep themselves busy so that they don’t have deal with feelings that they keep hidden. If you are a “do-er” and are constantly busy but not truly happy, start looking at the areas of your life that aren’t quite together. That will give you a place to start in finding out what you are trying to suppress with your “busyness.”
  5. Acting destructively towards yourself and possibly to others such as being overly critical or self-sabotaging behaviors. People who are overly critical tend to project feelings about themselves falsely onto others. An overly critical attitude comes from their feelings of inadequacy and fear of making a mistake. Unaware that they are more critical than other people, they focus on the negative rather than the positive and give more weight to the negative in both themselves and others.
  6. Those with low self-esteem tend to choose the wrong partners, and remain in relationships that continue to be unsatisfying despite many red flags that it is time to end it. They fear change, they fear being alone, and they fear their own ability to make sound decisions.
  7. Motivated by fear of “doing something wrong” and receiving negative feedback, those who have low self esteem seemingly need to narrow their choices to be safe from erring. Consequently, they grab hold of the notion that there is only one right way to do things—usually the way they were taught. Once the “right” way is recognized, they feel they can then remain safe from ridicule, rejection, disapproval, or from making a mistake in judgment that might have other negative consequences. With only one “right” way every other position is then “wrong,” (black versus white). That means that in order to be right, their partner must always be wrong. Once they are convinced they are right, they become closed to considering a different viewpoints, unable to think objectively that any other way may be acceptable. They become rigid in their thinking and judgmental of others who think, feel, or act differently. They basically don’t develop the ability and freedom to look at issues and consider the varying merits before choosing a side.
  8. Doubting their ability to make good decisions, these low self esteem sufferers are often overly submissive to—and blindly follow others without sizing up the situation on their own. Such blind allegiance without studying or assessing the situation can lead people to give control of their lives to others who don’t have their best interest at heart, whose views are questionable, or whose views are radical in one direction or another. Through recovery, people become stronger and more confident in their own ability to make decisions and develop the freedom to feel they have the right to do so.
  9. People with low self-esteem can be very self-focused, only viewing and thinking of what goes on around them on the basis of their own needs and wants. They find it difficult to put themselves in the shoes of others or to recognize how their behavioraffects others. They are often aloof, appear to be very selfish, even narcissistic,though they are motivated out of feelings of inadequacy, selfishness and grandiosity.

To maintain healthy intimacy in your relationships, you need to establish healthy intellectual, emotional and physical boundaries with your partners.

Characteristics of a Healthy Intimate Relationship

The goal in an intimate relationship is to feel calm, centered and focused. The intimacy needs to be safe, supportive, respectful, nonpunitive and peaceful. You feel taken cared for and nurtured, unconditionally accepted and loved just for existing and being alive. You feel part of something. You are able to forgive and be forgiven without revenge or reminders of past offenses.

You experience being free to be who you are rather than who you think you need to be for the other. This relationship makes you free from “analysis paralysis” where you need to analyze every detail of what goes on in it. Healthy intimate relationships support your individuality and encourage personal growth. This relationship does not result in you or your relationship partner becoming emotionally, physically or intellectually dependent on one another.

You know you are in a healthy, intimate relationship when you have created an environment where:

  1. I can be me.
  2. You can be you.
  3. We can be us.
  4. I can grow.
  5. You can grow.
  6. We can grow together.


A healthy relationship frees you to be yourself while acquiring self-knowledge is a lifelong process. Even if you do not have a strong sense of who you are, you do know when you are NOT being allowed the freedom to be yourself. You know when you are feeling judged or when you are worried about making a mistake. The freedom to be yourself means that your partner will neither interfere with nor judge your process of being and becoming.

In return, you offer your partner the same freedom that you are ask for yourself. And you accept your partner as he is. You do not get caught up in your fantasy of who you want him to be. You focus on who that person really is.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Confident Women Do 10 Things Differently

Healthy self-esteem is a prerequisite for healthy relationships. From my personal experiences, and my years spent writing about relationships, I’ve learned that poor self-esteem is the number one cause of unhealthy relationships, as well as the top relationship killer.

Self-esteem isn’t an essential need like food or water, but it’s a supplement that can either dramatically improve your life, or keep you stunted and unfulfilled. The fact is, you can only let in as much love from the outside as you feel on the inside. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you will never truly believe that someone else can love you and you will constantly be on the lookout for the other shoe to drop, for the guy you care about to leave, thus validating the fact that you are unworthy of love.

Poor self-worth is what traps us in bad relationships, what sabotages new relationships, and what causes us to feel so devastated and broken when a relationship ends.

Self-esteem doesn’t come from blowing kisses to your reflection in the mirror or repeating “I love myself” over and over. It takes time and it takes work and it isn’t always easy. Everyone’s path will be different, but no matter what, having a picture of what high self-esteem looks like, and how it can play out in relationships, is helpful and can help reveal the areas you may need to work on.

Having high self-esteem doesn’t guarantee a happy relationship, but it does equip you with the skills to identify what you want and realize you deserve to get it, and the strength to walk away if something falls short. Here are ten things people with high self-esteem do differently in their relationships:

1. Confident women don’t analyze if he likes them – they assume he does.
People with high self-esteem believe they are worthy of love and don’t question how someone feels about them. They know that they are good, competent, and lovable and trust that the right person for them will see this. They don’t attach their worth to what a guy thinks and, as a result, don’t feel stressed and anxious when a guy’s feelings are unclear. Instead, they assume he likes them and are able to be present in the relationship and enjoy it without being weighed down by fears and doubts.

2. Confident people realize if a relationship falls apart it’s because it wasn’t right, not because they did something wrong.
confidence-tips-1-useNot everyone is a match and sometimes, two people are just incompatible. This doesn’t make either of them flawed or bad – sometimes it’s just not there. Confident women don’t take it personally when a guy doesn’t want a romantic relationship. They realize that it must not be the right match and they move on, with their sense of self firmly intact.

When a girl is insecure, however, and a guy leaves, she spirals. She may obsess, analyze, and replay every interaction in an attempt to uncover what she did wrong. She may know on a conscious level that it simply wasn’t a match, but deep down she holds on to the destructive belief that she was the problem…and that she is unlovable and the guys she wants will never want her back.

3.  Confident women set healthy boundaries.
Healthy personal boundaries and high self-esteem go hand in hand. Having strong boundaries means you prioritize your needs and your emotions and do not assume responsibility for someone else’s needs and emotions.

Confident women know what they will and will not accept and don’t allow themselves to be pressured or guilted into doing things they don’t want to do. They act in accordance with who they are and what they believe and don’t cater their behavior for a guy, or do things solely to keep him interested and happy. When you have weak boundaries, you may sell yourself out in a relationship and put up with treatment that you know is objectively unacceptable. Confident people don’t abandon parts of themselves in order to have a relationship. They bring their fully formed self into the relationship and if the guy wants something else, or something more, they leave.

A woman with healthy boundaries will not lose herself in a relationship, and will not allow her identity to be entirely contingent upon how he sees her. She will continue to maintain her own life outside of the relationship without giving up her friends, hobbies, or alone time. She won’t abandon important parts of herself or her life for the sake of the relationship and if a guy wants something else or something more than she’s willing to give, she’ll leave.

4. Confident women trust themselves and the decisions they make.
A key component of having high self-esteem is trusting yourself to make the right choices while also realizing you are well equipped to cope should things go awry. People with high self-esteem don’t constantly question their actions and feel conflicted about the right thing to say or do. They act on how they feel and are comfortable being their true, authentic selves.

People with low self-esteem don’t trust their judgment, don’t trust their gut instincts, and are afraid of being wrong. As a result, they either live their lives in a constant state of anxiety, or they look to others to guide them along the right path. This obviously does not do much to help one’s sense of autonomy, which is also a key element of healthy self-esteem.

Love Yourself Into Feeling Good in Your Skin

Self-judgment is one of the least effective tools we have for changing our bodies (or our lives) and yet it is often the first place our minds go when we realize our current situation is not quite how we’d like it to be.

We start blaming ourselves. The endless list of all the things we think we’ve done wrong starts to run like a ticker tape in our heads. “If only I wasn’t so lazy,” or “if I hadn’t indulged in that birthday cake or drank so much with friends the other night,” or “if I’d just work out more I would be better/thinner/sexier/have more dates.” We let the critical voice run amok, guilting and criticizing us left and right for how clearly we’ve screwed up for not keeping ourselves and our bodies in check.

Oddly enough, we try to use guilt and criticism as a way to motivate ourselves into different behavior, a different body or different habits; only to find a short time later that shame-based motivation has worn out and we are back on the same roller coaster of judgment/guilt/blame. Ever wonder why 98 percent of diets fail? It’s because you can’t change something from a place of not liking it to begin with. Beating yourself up never changes anything in the long run.

In a culture overrun with messages of how to diet, lose weight or change your body from a place of restriction, deprivation and the belief that “something’s wrong with me,” how do you do it differently? How can you begin to love something you’ve been taught to judge your entire life?

Take it on faith if you have to, but you can love yourself into a fitter body or a smaller number on the scale. You can love yourself into feeling good in your skin. Or you can love yourself just as you are and through that love realize that nothing really has to change.

Whatever you want, it begins with accepting yourself as you are now.

Acceptance is about having choice; when we don’t accept something, we don’t have choices, we only have opposition. But when we accept whatever is before us, then the we are fighting against anything and the options are wide open.

Love and acceptance are the only things that ever truly move, inspire or change people in the long run.

Even when most of our cultural messages are full of criticism and ways we should be embarassed of our body, you can take it upon yourself to stop the judgment and begin to use love and acceptance as the primary motivations with your body and life.

Here are five beginning steps you can take to change the conversation from one of judgment to one of love and acceptance.

1. Start by accepting yourself as you are now. All of you — your food choices, your habits, your physical body, your exercise routine, your mindset. This can be challenging when all you hear is the ticker tape of what you’ve done wrong or should be doing different. Accept your current situation. Accept that you made choices in the past that no longer serve you. Remember that everything is always changeable and acceptance is the first step to real choice about who you want to be. Anything else is just reactionary.

2. Take an inventory of where you are and what you’ve got right now.
– Do you exercise regularly?
– Do you drink enough water, spend time in nature, have screen free time as part of everyday?
– Do you listen to your body and make choices based on what will nourish it?
– Do you eat food that brings you pleasure and nourishes you?
– Do you do things to honor and nurture all of you, mind body and spirit?

Remember: This inventory isn’t about judgment, it’s simply taking stock of where you are at. Imagine if a store owner judged themselves and their sales the entire time they took inventory of their store. The point of an inventory is to take stock of what you have to work with. This isn’t a place for judgment or self-criticism, so don’t do it to yourself!

3. Write a desire list.
Desire is difficult to feel good about when we keep beating ourselves up and thinking less of ourselves. But getting into a feeling state where you are excited, hopeful and dreaming (i.e desiring) is the best state from which inspired change happens. A few questions you could use to get started:

– How do you want your body to be?
– How do you want to take care of it?
– WHO do you want to show up as in the world?

Desires are our hopes and dreams for ourselves. No judgment or editing here. Whatever lives in your heart, write it down. No one else has to see it, this is just between you and the divine voices that listen to our dreams and desires.

Be specific. The more specific you are, the easier it will be in receiving that desire.

4. Give thanks.
Before we can receive more of what we want, we have to digest what we already have. The best tool for digestion is gratitude. Include the simple to the extravagant. “I am grateful for the cool weather and changing leaves” and “I am grateful for the strength in my body and how much it allows me to accomplish everyday.” Do at least 10 gratitudes, daily is best. It’s amazing how it resets and focuses each day.

5. Remember that change takes time. Be patient. Be kind. Talk to yourself the way you would someone you love. Anytime you hear the judgment and critical voice creep in ask “what would I say to my friend if they were feeling this way?” And then say that to yourself.

This list of five steps may seem completely unrelated to what you’ve been told about weight loss or changing your body. This is merely a starting place, no list is ever going to hold all the answers for lasting change, that comes from within.

So go easy on yourself. If the judgment and criticism haven’t brought you want you want, why not try something new?

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Self-Love or Narcissism: Am I Being Selfish?

What does it mean to love yourself?

In our fast paced world, it can be easy to neglect the thing that matters most–ourselves. Between family, work, school, bills, appointments, and a million other things, our focus is divided among a lot of stressors. To call attention back to what’s important, I recently wrote an article called The One Nutrient That Is Missing in Nearly Every Diet. That magical nutrient I described in the article was self-love.

As soon as the article was posted, I found my words being disputed by a frenzy of naysayers. A lot of people claimed that good health does not include self-love and others said that there is already too much self-love in our society. Worst of all though, many people believe this supposed abundance of self-love has led society to become narcissistic.

In pursuit of the truth, I decided to explore these concepts more deeply and get the lowdown on the differences between narcissism and self-love, and whether or not self-love is a crucial part of health.

To get some clarification about the psychological development of narcissism, I sought out the professional insight of Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic is CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems and a Professor of Business Psychology at both University College, London and Columbia University. He defines a narcissist as “someone who is self-obsessed, holds unrealistically high self-views, and craves others’ attention and admiration.” The doctor went on to explain to me how narcissism deprives people of their emotional health. “They typically have a high need for approval and are entitled and self-centered. And while they may seem superficially charming, they are actually very cold and lack empathy.”

In a culture that places so much meaning and value on physical appearance and wealth, it’s easy to mistaken self-love for narcissism. But by definition, narcissism is an excess and that excess leads to an unhealthy self-absorption. It leads people on a never-ending quest for fulfillment which can’t be found through vanity or greed. Rather, fulfillment should come from a place of peace and gratitude. The same place in which self-love comes from.

Loving yourself means appreciating yourself for who you are as a person. It’s the ability to see yourself from an internal place rather than basing your worth on exterior value. Self-love is about knowing the deep depths of yourself, being grateful for exactly who you are and who you aren’t. Self-love is also being able to take criticism constructively and use it to better yourself rather than blame your shortcomings on others. When you love yourself, it is easy to take responsibility for yourself.

Licensed therapist and coach Melody Wilding says that “having a sense of self-esteem is important and critical. It means you honor your own emotional and physical needs and that you take care of yourself, and through doing that develop a capacity to practice an ability to love others. Narcissists, on the other hand, never develop that capability. They may have not had their emotions validated as a child or were emotionally abandoned in some way, so they don’t develop the capacity to sense the emotions of others.”

Narcissism steals a person’s ability to love themselves. Although you might assume that entitled and selfish people love themselves too much, a narcissistic person is an unfulfilled person. A person who feels like they need to take everything for themselves doesn’t have what they actually need. But a person who is full of self-love is satisfied and content. Not greedy. They can give love because they have love.

To get a deeper understanding of how narcissism can affect a person’s daily life, I went to Robert Weiss, senior Vice President of clinical development at Elements Behavioral Health. Mr. Weiss illustrated to me that “a typical narcissist can, and will, spend hours upon hours perfecting and toiling over a work project to get it just right. The narcissist’s ultimate goal is to impress and win admiration from others, meaning that all their hard work isn’t really related to doing a good job and feeling good about it, but more connected to their fantasy of all the kudos they will get when the work ultimately gets turned in. People who practice self-love simply recognize their need to take a break, relax, refuel, maybe exercise or rest and most importantly, to foster the deeper connections in their life. Thus, healthy people automatically self-nurture while also keeping a close eye toward maintaining and fostering important relationships and connections. Narcissists, on the other hand, lack a healthy sense of self-love and will work themselves to the bone for external validation, while actively dismissing anyone and anything that gets in the way of their achieving the desired reward.”

Self-love allows people to more deeply connect with others and the world around them. It fosters emotional, psychological, and physical health. If we cannot appreciate the depths of ourselves through self-love, we certainly cannot appreciate the depth of beauty of in the people or world around us. Self-love, unlike narcissism, is not about vanity. Instead, it’s about vitality. Loving yourself is getting to the internal core of your human existence and finding that sweet spot where you can be yourself and be happy with who you are. Self-love is a constant journey towards fulfillment while narcissism hollows you out.

Just like on an airplane when the attendants say you must put your own oxygen mask on before you help others, it’s kind of the same thing with self-love. The more you embrace self-love and carry the empathy that comes along with it, the more aware you become of both yourself and others. The more comfortable you become within yourself, the less it is about you and more about the good of everyone around you. When we love ourselves, we naturally build an environment of love. When we love ourselves, we build harmony.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Who Really Is Teaching You About LOVE Everyday?

Self love forms the foundation of your single, most important relationship – that with yourself.

The strength of all your other relationships is exactly equal to the strength of that foundation. To love yourself is not just a self-esteem boosting piece of advice. It is the prerequisite to truly loving others. The Golden Rule tells us to “love your neighbour as you love yourself”. You are likely to have heard it many times, expressed in different ways, thinking it is about loving others. Look a little closer though, and you will find that at its very centre is the command to love yourself.

The Mistaken Identity of Self Love: First, let us dispel some myths about what it means to love yourself. Self love is not about being arrogant or egotistical. It is not about comparing yourself to others to determine if you are good enough. It is not about always putting yourself first at the expense of others. It is not about always getting your way. It is not about always winning. It is not about “only looking after number one”.

Will the Real Self Love Please Stand Up?

To love yourself is to be in awe of the miracle of your existence. It is to accept yourself as you are – the “light” parts and the “dark”, the “good” and the “bad” – while knowing that the real you is above the perceived dualities of the physical realm. It is to be willing to receive as much as you are willing to give and do both equally. It is about knowing your values and your boundaries and honouring them. It is about teaching others how to treat you by showing them how you treat yourself. It is about being kind to yourself. It is about looking after your mind, your body and your spirit; all three. It is about knowing you are worth it, not because of what you have achieved or what you look like or what others think of you, but because love is your birthright no matter what.

What Do You Most Need to Hear? Take a moment to think of those things you most need to hear from others. Whether it be that they love you, admire you, accept you just as you are, appreciate you, forgive you or anything else. Take a piece of paper and write them down. Make sure to exhaust your list. You will find that what you most want to hear from others is what you most need to tell yourself. You should now have a list of positive affirmations tailor made for you. Repeat them every day, morning and night and include them in your creative visualization sessions. You will soon enjoy a sense of self love and inner peace that you never had before.

How Breaking Bad Taught Me Self Love

I realized that the way I viewed entertainment changed drastically after I discovered self-love. I’m glad I discovered self-love and now have the ability to allow myself to enjoy things.

Recently, I was watching Breaking Bad for the second time, and I was blown away by how much more immensely I enjoyed the show upon rewatching it. I viewed the characters with more well-roundedness and empathy than I originally had. Consequently, I realized that the way I viewed entertainment changed drastically after I discovered self-love.

My therapist told me that when you’re rewatching a TV show/movie or rereading a book, the way you feel about the work will largely depend on your state of mind and worldview at the time. When I was an overly negative person, I disliked everything–books, movies, video games–and always found a way to undercut an artist’s attempts to create content. In fact, if I saw any artist trying at all, I would scoff at them for actually caring about something.

In hindsight, since I was so full of self-hate, there was a subconscious part of me that wouldn’t allow myself to appreciate great art because I didn’t feel like I deserved to experience joy. I hated everything because I hated myself. I was depriving myself and didn’t even realize it.

I believe that the way we perceive fictional characters can actually reflect the way we view real-life. For instance, when I first watched Breaking Bad, I hated the protagonist’s wife, Skyler White. I disliked how she was always meddling in Walter White’s affairs when all he was trying to do was cook meth and commit murder to make money for his family. I hated how she would always complain about how her husband was putting their family in danger because I kept thinking, “He’s got it under control, leave him alone.” I couldn’t give her character any empathy because I had no empathy to give anybody.

On my second viewing, I see her as an extremely tragic and sympathetic character. The reason why she’s so resistant to her husband’s dealings is because he is constantly putting their family in grave danger. Several known murderers threaten to kill him and his entire family if he does not comply to their wishes. Even when he’s given opportunities to stop cooking meth, he refuses purely due to his own ego. Everything he says to his wife is a lie and she knows it, so on top of being a danger to her, he is insulting her intelligence.

Even though it’s just a TV show and the events are fictional, I feel fortunate that I’m now able to extrapolate real emotions and empathy from watching the program. I feel a deeper appreciation for the art, and I no longer dismiss a piece of work as “stupid” due to feeling internally miserable.

I also have very different tastes in comedy now. When I was angry and depressed and constantly lashing out on the world, I was a huge fan of shock jock radio where they would regularly spew out the most vitriolic hate they can for laughs. As a pastime, they would run down anybody they can with pure nastiness. They would make jokes about people’s miscarriages, would routinely spout racist ideas, and would encourage their listeners to engage in mean-spirited behavior with anybody who disagreed with their ways of expressing themselves.

The days of listening to that program as part of my lifestyle are long gone. There was a time in my life when I needed comedy to be that mean-spirited because it reflected the internal anger I felt, but I no longer admire pure nastiness in order to legitimately hurt people’s feelings. I still enjoy very dark comedy, especially comedy that illuminates, but that’s much different from seeking out to purposely destroy someone for a laugh.

The Married Millennial – Are We Too Young?

A mistake is only a failure if you don’t learn from it. Marriage and divorce shouldn’t be any different.

I got married at 21. By today’s standards, that makes me a unicorn.

When I show up with a new tattoo, nobody bats an eye. But the second I say I’m married? I might as well have joined a cult.

“How old are you, again?” my yoga teacher asked.

I answered honestly. “I’m 21.”

Her face must have gone through fifty shades of pity. “Are you sure?”

In our early twenties, we are expected to make adult decisions. Finishing college, choosing our careers, voting in elections – these are not tasks for children. As an adult, I’m allowed to make choices for myself. I’m allowed to make mistakes.

If we can smoke cigarettes in our twenties (risking cancer), own a credit card (and a lifetime of student loan debt), or joining the military (at 18, mind you) – why is marriage such a scary concept to us?

Traditional marriage goes against what many of us have come to know.

How long have you been together? Because when I was in my twenties…”

This is a trick question. It doesn’t matter how long we have been together – her mind is made up that I am too young. Her conclusion is probably drawn from her own experiences at 21 – and that’s not a bad thing.

A year before, I would have agreed with her. I’ve had every reason to not believe in marriage. My experiences with long-term relationships began much younger than most, and nearly all of them ended in heartbreak. I know what it’s like to think you’ll spend forever with someone, only to leave – or be left. My own parents divorced. My friends’ parents divorced. I’ve been to more divorce dinners than actual weddings…and that’s because I don’t like weddings.

Before my husband came along, I swore off the possibility of long-term relationships completely. Monogamy was a lie. Marriage was an outdated system. Why would a strong, career-minded feminist like myself willingly give herself legally to another person?

I argued this point whenever marriage was mentioned. I questioning my friends’ life choices and cut my own relationships short when things got too serious. I was content to spend the rest of my life as a happily single woman. Now, here I am, with a ring on my finger.

Is it scary? Yes. Do I question my decision? No.

A mistake is only a failure if you don’t learn from it. Marriage and divorce shouldn’t be any different. I can’t predict the next ten, twenty, thirty years. But no matter how my life turns out, I will be grateful for having shared it with him.

Nobody can predict the future, and that’s what makes marriage so huge.

I know a couple that dated for ten years before getting married. They divorced after one year. I also know a couple that got married six months after they met. They’ve been married for thirty years, and counting.

There is no guarantee that any relationship will survive. Our generation has been raised to value reward over risk. We want results, now. To many of us, marriage just sounds like a really expensive mistake. It’s easier to live together and have children together, without the hassle of expensive paperwork.

“Why invest in a marriage when you can have all the perks without it?” asked basically everyone.

As soon as our engagement announcement went live on social media, my inbox overflowed with congratulations…and concern.

“Have you been with him long enough to be sure?”

“Does this mean you giving up your career?”

“Are you pregnant?”

“I know it’s not my business, but…”

Sixty years ago, getting married in your twenties was totally normal. But then again, more of us had stable jobs in those days. People weren’t as afraid of the future then as we are now.

Nobody knows where – or who – we’ll be in five, ten, or twenty years. For many, this is why being “tied down” to any one person is terrifying. But for some, this is all the more reason to commit to something – or someone.

We’ve now been married for one year. So far, so good. We know that marriage is hard work. And it’s more than likely that we won’t be the same people in ten years. That’s not a bad thing. It means we’re growing – and hopefully, we’ll grow together.

Maybe you are also in your twenties, and you were hoping this article might help you decide whether to get married or not. My question for you, is – why?

Do your life choices reflect what you want, or what other people want? This applies to everything, not just marriage. Self-sabotage occurs by comparing ourselves to others and waiting for outer validation.

When my lover got down on one knee, he didn’t say, “Hey, friends and family, should she marry me?”

And I didn’t say, “Hold on a second,” and then get out my phone to Google national divorce statistics.

He simply asked, “Will you marry me?”

And I said, “Yes.”

Marriage is a choice between two people, to be made every day for the rest of life. I feel ready, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Love is all that matters. Embrace the way it lives for you.

Are we TOO young?

When Was the Last Time You Really Played With Yourself?

Okay, so how many of you had sexual thoughts from this post title?  Gotcha.  No, this isn’t about sex.  But it is about playing with yourself.

Why is it that we work so hard to encourage and inspire young children’s imaginations only to later allow  society to painfully and methodically sever their connections and access to them?

If you want to reconnect and remember who you really are, spend as much time as you can in the presence of children. And if you can, play with them, laugh with them, be silly with them.  It is there that you will remember the truth of your own heart.

And when you remember that part of you, probably so long ago abandoned, you may feel sad.   If that sadness comes, embrace it with gratitude for being given the opportunity to reclaim that freedom you lost, because it is  STILL attainable.

Simply stop being a “grown up” and remember.  Turn off all the media.   Put down your phone.  Go outside. Allow your own mind to be self-generative, and to have ideas come from within you , rather than having all of your imagination and creativity shut down because you’ve become just a receiver of external ideas, instead of the generator of your own.

Other people’s thoughts and ideas in this age of information are constantly permeating our  being, our minds, and our hearts; movies, the Internet, TV, billboards, magazines, podcasts, webcasts.  The list is endless.  And while some of it can be beneficial, I feel so much of it is heart-numbing and overly stimulating our minds in unhealthy ways.