how to self love

What to do with Worry

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Are you a worrier? 

Do you find yourself posing hypothetical situations of doom and gloom in your head all day long? 

Maybe you’re not that extreme, but you find yourself thinking about the future in a way that takes away from your present tense experience and brings down your overall “vibe” more often than you’d like?

I teach classes about health and wellness all over the world and the most common thing people tell me they suffer from is…. anxiety, which is really just another name for worry. 


Sometimes we feel like worrying is a necessary part of life. If we didn’t worry, how would we prepare ourselves for all the possible terrible outcomes of any given situation? 

If we didn’t worry, we might get caught “off guard”.. which would be the worst, right?

I’ll let you in on a little secret, worrying steals our joy. In fact, I am going to argue that worry is actually a form of self harm.

We worry when something good is happening. We worry when something bad is happening. We worry when nothing is happening. We take on other people’s worry. And without intentionally choosing to focus on what is going well, over and over again, we are literally putting ourselves in a position where we could spend our lives not enjoying anything to its fullest, which would be a complete and utter shame. 

Research has found we tend to think “good” things happening to us will make us happier than they actually do and that “bad” things happening to us will make us sadder than they actually do. This is to say; it truly is all about our perspective and how we see the world. Not about what actually happens to us.


Ok, so are you ready to intentionally choose a new perspective the next time you worry or experience anxiety? 

Are you willing to make your feelings of worry or anxiety be the alert in your own mind that it is time to choose a new thought? 

Here’s a practice that I find very useful when I’m dealing with worry or anxiety: 

  • Notice yourself worrying about something. 

  • Let go of the worry-thoughts, shifting your focus away from them

  • Wonder: What positive new thing is trying to come into being? 

  • Notice a body feeling (not a thought or an idea) of where that positive new thing is trying to come through. 

  • Open your focus to feel that body feeling deeply.

  • Let yourself feel it deeply for as long as you possibly can

  • Later, you will get an actual idea of how this new positive thing is trying to come through.

How this works in practice: 

  • I’m walking down the street on a Saturday afternoon. I pass a clothing store where I have bought some fabulous pieces of clothing over the years. About fifteen seconds later I notice some worrying thoughts about money. Specifically, the worry-thoughts are about whether we have enough money to do all the marketing for business I’m planning on doing. 

  • I notice the worry-thoughts and let them go, just dropping them mid-thought without pursuing them. (Meditation helps with this aspect, as it trains you to see your thoughts but not following them.)

  • I wonder what positive thought is trying to come through. 

  • I feel a pleasant sensation in my throat. 

  • As I walk along, I let myself feel it thoroughly, savoring the pleasant sensation. 

  • A few minutes later, getting into my car, the insight occurs to me that seeing the clothes in the window triggered a wave of guilt about the level of abundance my husband and I enjoy, compared with other members of our family. Seeing the clothing also sparked a feeling of how much I love and appreciate my husband, and how much he doesn’t balk or give me criticism for my love of beautiful material things. I sit in my car for a few moments before turning on the engine, letting myself enjoy the feelings of how much I love and appreciate my husband, and how much I enjoy the prosperity we’ve created in our lives. I realize there is not physical object that could express those feelings. They exist in the nonmaterial world, in the feeling of flowing connection between us. 

  • I pick up my phone and call Sean. He’s out doing errands too, and it turns out he’s two blocks away from where I’m sitting in the car. I tell him the sequence I just experienced from the glance in the window to the worry-thoughts to the delicious moment of letting myself feel the overflow of love and appreciation for him. I say, “Let’s make sure we take more time to celebrate what we have.” 

  • He agrees and I head home.

  • I create more good feelings, feelings of overflow, abundance, and gratitude, RIGHT NOW, and not only that, I created these feelings because of the worry-thoughts. Because they were the perfect impetus to remind myself how much I have. I used the worry-thoughts as a jumping off point.

Follow the Urge

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As I’m writing this I am sitting by a stream in a camping area about an hour from my rural Montana home. No phone service. No internet. No sounds but the wind through the trees, a few birds chatting back and forth, and the stream rushing by.

I have come to crave this solitude; this feeling of nowhere to be and nothing to do. This feeling of total detachment from the buzz and hmmm of the electric world. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a “go-getter.” I’m ambitious and direct. I know what I want. Clarity has never been something I struggled to find. I’m a black and white thinker. I know what’s right and wrong. Most of my adult life so far as revolved around traveling the world or working to travel or working while traveling. 

Yet.. all of the sudden I feel the need to STOP. Be still. Just be. To be completely honest, it’s foreign. Sure, I love meditation. I truly believe that if all people took more time to contemplate and watch our thoughts, the world would be a much happier and healthier place. 

But this desire for stillness, is more than just a routine morning quiet time. It’s like a part of me that was always there, but in the shadows has come out into the light and is all the sudden driving and all the other parts of me are getting motion sickness. The constant movement to stillness. The raw ambition to the relative apathy. The pure clarity to the grey area. This new driving force of stillness is making me feel like I don’t quite know myself.

None of this is bad. It’s a form of growth. I can tell, a deeper awakening to myself and my power is imminent. My body and higher self are calling on me to SLOW DOWN. 

Listen. 

Take rest. 

“You’ll need your energy for what’s to come.”

A time of potential building and ripening. 

So all this is to say.. if you feel the urge to slow down too, follow it. If you feel a little “stuck” “lost” or “uninspired”, there isn’t anything wrong with it. It’s part of our cyclical nature. We will always come back to the action. We will always come back to the desire to do. We contract and we expand. We have periods in our lives (sometimes very long periods) of creation and manifesting and periods of recuperating and stillness. 

We all live and we all die. 

The circle or the wave of life.

The struggle against this inevitable waning of life is what makes this aspect of life miserable.

When you go into a period of stillness, and instead of letting it offer you its insight, you fight and rally against it, you deny it and try to keep pushing, is when you elongate that period or make it more painful than it has to be. 

When you build the story of “failure” or “lazy” around a simple need for stillness, you rob yourself of the lessons it’s trying to teach you and elongate the whole process. 

 

If I have learned anything from my relatively short, but very full life it’s that the more we’re able to listen to our internal urges, those little nagging feelings, the “pings” of intuition, the more we’re following the path of least resistance. The path that will easily and fully lead us to where we need to go, what we need to learn, and who we need to be.

Sometimes those nagging feelings aren’t easy to follow. I can tell you firsthand, that my ego DOES NOT WANT to slow down. It wants to go. It wants to accomplish. It wants to MAKE IT HAPPEN. It wants to check the things off the list. It wants to get recognition and praise. So for me to follow this urge to come out to this place in nature with all distractions and connections severed, took a lot of higher-self-worth and trust. It’s a muscle you build over time and with practice. 

You start listening to the little nudges first. You take a different road on your drive home from work because you get the urge. You call that friend that keeps popping into your mind. You sit at the base of the tree in the park because it keeps grabbing your attention.

Then the smaller things turn into bigger things. You get the clear urge to go to Italy, so you plan a trip there. You get the clear urge to talk to your partner about that thing you’ve been hiding from him or her.

This is the way to start to tap into this path of living our lives in the path of the least resistance.  A flip to following “my will” to “the higher will.” The greater good. The higher purpose. Getting our directions from the thing that makes our hearts beat and tells the flowers when to open. The great mystery. 

Mystery doesn’t give you a play by play. A step by step process. It gives you an urge. It gives you a ping. It gives you a nagging feeling.

Go ahead, play the mystery game.

I’m with you. 

 

 

 

I Don't Play That Game

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This week I’ve had a lot of self doubt appear.

If you’re an entrepreneur you probably know this feeling well. That little voice that says, “what if you’re crazy?” “what if you don’t have what it takes to do what you’re doing?” “You’re not as good as everyone else,” and on and on. 

If you’re not an entrepreneur I’m willing to bet a million bucks you’ve experienced self-doubt in some other form. Self-doubt always rears it’s ugly head when we’re trying to change something or do something out of the ordinary. Maybe you’ve questioned whether or not you’re ever going to find a partner after a breakup or the 100th bad date. “You’re going to end up alone.” Maybe you’ve heard the voice when you wanted to reach a certain health or lifestyle goal. “You’re not thin and bendy enough to do yoga!” 

I think you get the point. It’s ain’t pretty. 

So.. that’s what’s been happening to me this week and I want to share a new practice that has helped me to disengage from the self doubt, make myself feel better, and move forward.

This practice is very simple. Here it is, when you hear that voice of self-doubt, state to yourself, “No, I don’t play that game.” 

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When the voice says, “Your thighs are so big you’re never going to be taken seriously as a health and wellness coach.” You say right back, “No, I don’t play that game.” I don’t play the game where the way my body looks gets to make me feel bad or unworthy of what I want. I play the game where my body is precious, sacred, and beautiful, and also where I am SO much more than my body.

When the voice says, “You’re crazy to think that you could make $12,000 a month passively. Maybe some people can do it, but YOU never could.” I say right back, “I don’t play that game.” I play the game where the world is abundant, amazing, and earning a beautiful living is possible, easy, and simple.

When the voice says, “This is too hard. You better quit.” You say, “Nope. I don’t play that game.” I play the game that allows what is to be the way it is. I don’t resist any experience that is placed in front of me because I know life is always happening for me, not to me. I always can find a thought that feels good. I’m always preparing myself to be ready for the best possible thing to happen to me.

I play the games that I want to play. Not the ones that society sometimes seems to have forced upon me. 

When we disengage from the “game”, we simply refuse to engage with the thought patterns that hold us back from whatever we want to do; and we’ll see we never had to play those games in the first place. 

This doesn’t mean that the voice or the fears completely go away forever. It just means they become background noise instead of the main chorus. And with practice you’ll be able to unhook from ‘the games’ faster and with more ease.

Freedom is yours. It’s a choice in each moment. Don’t forget that. Using this mantra allows us to remember we can choose to disengage and get on with our awesomeness. 

 

 

The Difference Between Selfishness & Self-Love

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This week I had an email exchange with a client of mine that I worked with back in the “old days” when I was just offering nutrition advice and food-as-medicine coaching. She had reached out to send me a little Christmas update on her health and life, but also to see how my travels were going. 

(I LOVE my clients, they are seriously the best). 

In this email she wrote, “How is the theme for your book starting to take shape? I hope that it has something to do with foods, cultures, and/or longevity of life in certain environments.  I would be disappointed in a self-love book though since I have to say that I try to keep myself focused on doing for others. Getting all wrapped up in myself is never good for me.“ 

I’m not sure everyone knows this, but my book is absolutely about self-love practice. I did for awhile think I was going to write a type of cookbook, but as my own healing and thoughts progressed I shifted my perspective. I have consistently experienced that healing isn’t as much about food as it is about our attitude toward life. Having a heavy dose of self-respect and compassion as an aspect of that attitude is the MOST important part of True Healing. 

That being said, I think there is an idea (although I believe this idea is dying out) that self-love and selfishness are the same thing. There could be nothing further from the truth. Through this email exchange, however, I’ve realized I need to address the difference between these two concepts clearly and concisely if I’m going to continue to proselytize Self-Love. 

So here are the definitions of “selfishness” and “Self-Love”, as defined by google. 

Selfishness: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

Self-Love: regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

Ok, those give us some idea of the difference, but let me tease them out a bit. 

My belief, is that true Self-Love is a form of Universal Love. It’s tapping into that Love that is bigger and broader than anything we can imagine and allowing ourselves to be a conduit for that Love. I believe that we can never truly serve others unless we live from a place of an overflowing heart. We will never be in a state of overflow if our focus is outwards all the time. All outward energy and no inward energy makes us tends towards people-pleasing, indulging, lack of boundaries, and general disharmony within ourselves. 

Self-Love isn't getting wrapped up in ourselves, our “problems” or our egoic achievements, this is what I would call “selfishness.” Developing Self-Love means developing an unconditional love for ourselves so that we see, each moment, that we are a divine and holy channel for a Bigger Love. 

If we live our lives thinking that we don’t deserve our own Love, we are denying that we are Divine Love and we restrict our ability to channel it. By looking only outward for opportunities to “serve” and denying our opportunity to serve our Highest Self, we constrict the channel within us that brings Divine Love to the world through us

When we run ourselves ragged, and live from a place of lack and overwhelm, we will never be able to feel completely WHOLE and HOLY. I’ve seen it over and over again with my clients and very dramatically in myself, that when we focus on loving ourselves unconditionally, we heal ourselves AND the others around us, without effort. I'm being healed by offering these perspectives into the world, and in this way, my Self-Love, is feeding Bigger Love. 

 

What to Do When You Feel Out of Control

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I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’m feeling a little lost, a little out of control. I've been traveling for so long and now that I've finally got a significant amount of time in one place everything feels like it's going slow motion. Personally, there's been a slowing down. A refocusing. It's the feeling of a season change. Turning inward. It's melancholy, in a comforting way. 

In the greater world, there are so many things happening right now that feel out of control too. The flooding in Texas and the path of hurricane Irma. The earthquake centered in Mexico, of which the aftershocks woke me up in my bed in Guatemala last night (the date I’m writing this is 9/8/2017, just in case you're reading this later). The last two weeks I was visiting family in Montana and the wild fires left my clothes and hair smelling like a campfire for days. The smoke burning my lungs and darkening the sky.

To say all this in a way that lacks description but also encompasses the entirety I'm feeling is: It's a lot. A very easy time to fall into fear and depression. And when we feel like this, lost, overwhelmed and hopeless it can be really easy and comfortable to fall into the known mindsets of worry, scarcity, distrust, and lack. 

But, I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to live a life from the other side of those constricting thought patterns.

I live a life that leaves room for the melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness but isn’t defined by them. I made a decision to be a person who Trusts. Even when it feels like I’m floating off into space without any anchor, I Trust that it’s what I need. To feel alone. To feel sad. All feelings are gifts, little guides, brining me home. 

Even when I feel like I’m spinning out of control, I am committed to releasing my grip even further, because who says spinning is bad anyway? Self-love is allowing the feelings, no judgment because we respect ourselves enough to know have feelings for a reason, to guide us towards what we need.  

I want to live in a world where qualities like trust, acceptance, joy, space, allowance, are the default. Where challenges are seen as learning experiences that sharpen our minds, strengthen our characters, and stretch our hearts. Where we see difficult emotions as a sign that we need to do the difficult work of slowing down, turning inward, and giving ourselves space. And how to do we make changes in the world? We “be the change we would like to see,” as Ghandi says.  

So in the midst of a challenge of feeling out of control, let’s not harden our shells, or tighten our grip, but let the change come. Let’s focus on what we CAN do, not what feels impossible. Let’s focus on what is being washed away and let go. Let’s realize that for all new seeds to germinate and bloom there must a period of sowing. 

So let the change come. 

Let the falling away happen. 

Hold the change that's happening like a delicate flower in the palm of your hand, with tenderness, with respect, with love, until it's ready to be released. 

You are always more than enough. I believe you. You can let whatever difficult change is happening to you right now, happen. You can let the world hold you. Soften into it. Blur around the edges. Be swept away. 

As we meet our challenges with love, allowance, and tenderness, we meet ourselves with the same qualities, and self-love changes our lives and we change the world. 

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Feels "Not Enough"

I got a message from a tribe member of mine recently talking about how she was just so tired of hating her body, of that feeling of guilt every time she ate. She was so tired of constantly thinking she should be working out more, or less, or differently. She was tired of not feeling comfortable in her own skin. In it, she said how she knew, deep down, that she shouldn't feel this way, that there had to be a better way, but it seemed just out of reach. It came up over and over again just how exhausted she was with it all. How incredibly draining it all is. The constant worrying. The constant needing to be different. The constant anxiety around who she is. 

Women who are struggling with this exact issue are who I am talking to every time I write a post for social media. They are who I am thinking of every time I write a blog post. The constant aching that results from worrying so fucking much about what other people think about us is what I hope my words can be a soothing balm for. 

So… in the interest of extending hope, I thought I’d write a letter to anyone who feels this way. To anyone is feeling beyond exhausted by the incessant pull to be different than they are, the never-ending compulsion to do more, know more, be more: this letter is for you. 

I hope it lets you breathe a little bit deeper. 
I hope it reignites something that has been buried in the embers of your soul. 
I hope it brings you comfort. 
I hope it acts as a tonic for the part of you that’s been sick. 

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Dear powerful, amazing, incredible woman, 

I know you’re more than tired. 
I know you’re hurting. 
I know it seems like this grind of needing more things, smaller or more muscular thighs, a more toned stomach or arms, a straighter nose, bigger lips, more “will power”, and on and on, will never end. 

I have been there. 
I know exactly what that feels like. 
My bones are still vibrating with the reverberations of that frequency of compulsiveness. 
My eyes recognize your struggle. 
My ears hear to your pain. 
My heart hurts with yours. 

But… 

I’ve also seen the Light. 
I’ve seen the Truth. 

And the Truth is that you are worthy beyond your WILDEST DREAMS. 
The Truth is that you are Pure Love. 
The Truth is that this form, this body you so intensely think makes you unworthy is simply and beautifully the thought of Love in form. 
It’s the content of these heartbreakingly lovely forms (our bodies) that matter. 
This body, this form, that brings us so much strife, is an incredible and incomprehensibly intelligent communication device. 

I have been in the depths of perceived unworthiness
I have been in the space that feels like the self-loathing could never turn into self-love
And I am grateful for it
Because finally, it broke me open
I finally cracked and when I did, the pathway to the Light was opened. 

You won’t always look at your body and think, “You are so fucking sexy!” 
That’s not the point. 
But, you can get to a place where you look at your body and feel nothing but awe and gratitude. 
The self-negating Voice in your head won’t totally disappear or be replaced by only nice words. 
That’s also not the point. 
But, you can get to a place where that voice has no power. 
As one of my clients said, “The Voice is like a drunk bum on the street, yelling obscenities at you. You would never take what he says seriously. You know he’s mentally ill and belligerently drunk.” 


In other words, you can get to place where Love is what dwells in authority in your life, not Fear. 
You can get to a place where you have such a solid base of self-respect and self-compassion that nothing could ever topple you. 
Nothing could ever take away your own authority, your sovereignty, your self-respect. 
Not men. 
Not mean comments. 
Not food. 
Not exercise or lack of exercise. 
Not money. 
Not online comments. 
Not even a whole society that’s revolved around making you think you need to be smaller or need more or different things to be loved. 
When you re-member the love that lives inside of you, you are uncrushable, unshakable, unbreakable. 

The not-so-secret-secret is that this power to return to Love is already inside of you. 
You only have to re-member it. 

Don't ever forget that I am right there with you. 

Only Love, 

Clara


If this resonates with you and you are ready to re-member that Love inside of you, come join me in a journey back to yourself, a journey back home: an awakening of Love's authority. Revolutionize Your Life: twenty-one weeks to Self Love, is an online course I have birthed after taking the lessons learned from my deeply personal journey of healing and recreating and systematizing that process for hundreds of one on one clients. This online program is literally a twenty-one week journey back to yourself, to awaken that inner self-respect that is unshakeable.