Hello and hi my beautiful readers! Thank you soymuch for clicking this link today and taking the time to read about (a fraction of) what has been whirling around in my head as of the lately.
LOL how extra is this picture?! I love it.
I’m sure that I’ll take a good few days to re-read, chop, add, and change (A.K.A edit) this post a gazillion times like I always do, but starting this post today feels coincidental (and also really not because I truly believe that nothing is coincidental but we can talk about that at a later time) because today happens to mark exactly 1 month since my boyfriend left New York for his job. In other words, it is my 1-month anniversary of #soloilana time in terms of living my best LDR life (lol, fml, if you know the struggle you know the realness).
I didn’t consciously choose to write this post on the exact day, 4 weeks later (*Spongebob narrator voice*), that Alvaro left NYC, but I kind of love that it worked out that way because I’ve been feeling called to write about something that becomes truer and truer to my heart each day and it is this;
Showing up for your damn SELF! ♥
Y’all I am so excited to talk about this today because not only have I been experiencing it more and more as the time goes by, but I also feel like many others I know have been going through the same thing lately.
Showing up for ourselves is one of the most important and responsible things we can do as human beings because there is no possible way we can be there –genuinely be there- for others, unless we are there for ourselves. And the reason is this: if we are feeling drained emotionally/mentally/physically/spiritually/yougetit, we won’t be able to give to others without expecting something in return. I see it happen all the time. Even the dear ones in my life will say things like, “I’m so exhausted from constantly being there for others and doing things for others before myself.”
Here’s where I’ll get a bit brutally honest.
The problem with this statement is, well, a few things. First of all, it’s a “positive negative.” In other words, it’s a “good” attribute disguised as a flaw. To me, it’s like saying, “I’m so tired from being a good person all the time.” And this is sadly so, so incorrect because secondly, when we are genuinely and authentically there for someone else, when we are truly selfless, the act of giving makes us feel whole. There’s no exhaustion, drainage, or depletion involved. When we are really there for someone, we are fully present and we give to them without expecting a reward because the giving is the reward. The saddest thing about this all is that most people who make these kinds of statements don’t even realize they are expecting anything in return, so they end up in a vicious cycle of exhaustion, confusion, and repetition.
The ego’s a liar and the subconscious is an honest bitch, right?
So. This brings me back to the beginning. How on earth can we be there for other people (without feeling drained, resentful, and all the other complicated crap) when we’re not there for ourselves? We just can’t.
So what does showing up for yourself look like?
Well, it can look like a lot of things. I can only speak from my personal experiences from my own day-to-day life, but trust me; when you show up for yourself, you’ll feel it.
For me, showing up for myself looks something like this:
- Starting each day by Future Self Journaling (look up The Holistic Psychologist on instagram or online if you haven’t). In a nutshell, this is about manifesting what I want for myself through the act of writing. It entails journaling about what kinds of qualities I want to embody, what I’m grateful for, what habits I want to break and how I can go about that, etc. I do this right when I wake up, ideally before checking my phone.
- Making my bed before I leave my bedroom. I love this habit, and I encourage everyone to make it theirs! There’s just something about setting something up for you to come home to, that’s just for you. I guess it can be about accomplishment, but to me it’s more about showing respect to ourselves.
- Going to the gym or taking a class in my field. Walking to the gym instead of taking the subway. Using the stairs instead of the elevator. Showing appreciation toward my ~vehicle~ and setting it up for success down the road for when squat jumps and grand jetes and floor work and age start betraying my body lol.
- Reading on the subway instead of scrolling on my phone. We all contribute to the numbing act of the latter (after all, we are only conditioned more and more to restlessness and immediate gratification as technology advances) but oh my god when I look up and scan the subway car and see the other 70-or-so people glued to their screens I can’t help but think of how Charlie Brooker will always have new ideas for Black Mirror episodes and how they will all turn into reality if we don’t wake the f*ck up.
- Cooking for myself. This one may seem like a given to some of you, but as a person who doesn’t particularly enjoy cooking, it is a big thing for me. When we order takeout or go out for food, it can be a lovely experience, but it’s just not the same as cooking for ourselves. When we cook for ourselves, there’s a certain effect that it takes on our presence. We physically touch the food we are about to eat and we actively use the utensils needed in order to prepare it. We plate it with our own hands, to present to ourselves, for our own delicious consumption. Wow lol, that got deep, but hopefully you’re still with me.
- Asking for what I want. Every single day. Whether it’s ordering my bagel just the way I like it without apologizing or asking about the choreography in dance class even though it makes me feel vulnerable and slow or asking a friend if they have time to catch up without worrying if I’m bothering them (*side note: you’re never bothering them because there is not one person in this world who doesn’t like feeling wanted or needed!*). Asking for what you want builds empowerment and makes you realize that you are worth whatever the hell it is you are asking for (even if it is just an everything bagel, toasted, with scallion cream cheese, tomato, and bacon).
Those are just a few ways I show up for myself on the daily, but there are so many others and it will look different for everyone. What I can say is that when you are doing something for yourself that brings out the best in you, I can almost guarantee that you’ll feel it in your core.
Showing up for ourselves makes way for the flow of goodness because when we do things for ourselves with intention, we establish a certain kind of respect, dignity, and integrity. To us, from us- no others necessary. And something in me has to believe that when we are good to ourselves, wonderful things and other people that treat us right will start showing up as well. It’s about raising our frequency from within, baby.
Another thing I want to talk about before I send you all off on your gorgeous lives is the subtle difference between self care and showing up for yourself.
I admit this one is tricky. Even though this is a blog post as oppose to a forum, I do want to present this as more of an idea/discussion rather than a me-telling-it-like-it-is sorta thing (I think my posts may reek of that enough as it is 😂). Although I think that self-care and showing up for yourself are equally necessary, I also think both have their own intentions.
To me, self care is a Lush bubble bath or spending the weekend camping Upstate or taking a sick leave from work (and trying not to feel guilty about it). Self care is re-reading your favorite chick-lit book for the third time even when you know there are billions of other, more mind-expanding ones you could be reading (what? who.. me? Gone Girl?) Those examples do have a more indulgent feel to them- but that’s not a bad thing! However, to me, showing up for yourself is more active than that; it’s taking action because you know it’ll better your character in the long run.
To me, self care is the feeling of surrendering into the warm embrace of someone you love when you’re a second away from crying. And showing up for yourself is like hearing that inner boss who always has her nails done and her calendar booked for months, who sips on espresso and lives in your solar plexus, say confusingly loving things like, “Come on bitch, we can do better; the time is now.”
In a nutshell, self-care is more like taking a quick minute to be still and show yourself some good TLC, while showing up for yourself is more along the lines of creating habits that propel you forward. And the thing is- both are “right.” The comforting hug and the tough-love cheerleader.
That’s all for now sweet ones. Enjoy your day, push yourself to do what will make you level up, and remember to show up for yourselves before you even try showing up for others. We can only give from the overflow. ♥
Love you all & Stay like water.