I wanted to title this post “Some lessons don’t land the first (or tenth time) around” but who knew that my lack of self care over the holidays would result in me discovering my anthem (and love song) for 2014.

The past month had me completely sucked into the cliché of holiday chaos. On several moments I heard myself saying “I’d like to slow down and just take a moment to breathe” or in other words, practicing what I preach. Self love, self care, self anything! But did I? Not really. Whenever I tried to ‘check in’ with me, I felt this sense of anxiousness and frustrated that my peace wasn’t coming fast enough so I didn’t want to stay too long in those quiet places to let whatever was in me come up and out (feelings, thoughts, writing) – so, I rushed myself to just get back to real life and get through it. You’d think I’d see the signs to stop and pay attention but apparently I thought I had it handled. Nope.

The price I paid was my peace, feeling ungrounded and not experiencing my life however it was showing up.  My husband (God love him) paid the price of having to watch me melt down a few days before Christmas and then after when the feelings were still lingering, instead of just being with my ‘stuff’ and giving it some time to figure it out, I chose to ignore, get my head down and keep going.

What resulted was I felt edgy, more emotional, reactive and definitely less grateful and loving.  As much as I ‘tried’, I struggled to feel present and found myself doing my way through it all because it felt easier (aka more comfortable). By the grace of all things holy, there were ‘peak-a-boo’ moments where I witnessed the magic in my kids faces as they lit up, felt the love exchanged between me and those around me, but before I knew it, the decorations were down and the New Year has come and gone.  Like I said, some lessons take a few times around until they stick.

After a very late night ringing in the New Year with our kids, I woke up today from a much needed nap with the John Legend song All of Me playing in my head with a thought that I couldn’t shake and had to write down – It’s how we’re in relationship with our self that creates our reality (our happiness, suffering, joy etc). I pulled this song up on YouTube, listening with this message in mind and the tears fell hard and fast.  In this moment, I found my new perspective and platform for 2014. That it all begins within and to LOVE ME– NO MATTER WHAT. I say these words to my husband and boys all the time but what if I said it to myself and really meant it?

What would it be like to love all my “curves and edges” and my “perfect imperfections”, my crazy emotions and thoughts – and to stick by me when things get uncomfortable, be loving and have my back even when I’m acting or feeling like an jerk? What happens when I give my all, to me?

“You are my end and my beginning, even when I lose I’m winning.”

More tears. This is a song about unconditional love and I’m claiming it for myself, to myself. It will be my structure and reminder when I’m abandoning my own truth, my feelings and instincts to slow down and experience my life instead of plowing through it.

I’ve been drawn to beautiful self-love messages like the one below lately and now I understand why. THIS is my new work and today, I REALLY got it. The student has arrived and is ready to learn and share along the way if ya’ll are ready.

If you realized how beautiful you are,

In the spirit of daring myself to stretch into discomfort for the sake of living a fulfilling life, my next steps (and posts) will explore the answers to the question “How can I love myself more?” in the hopes you will join me in honoring and nurturing the most important relationship we have – the one with our self.

Imagine if the one resolution for 2014 you made was to love yourself more? What would that mean for you? Where have you judged, name called or let yourself down? Are you selective on where and how you praise yourself? If you sat face to face with you, how would you feel about the quality of your relationship? What’s working? What’s not? Are there areas you don’t or won’t accept?

I’m challenging us to love ourselves, warts and all. I know there is a new way for me – one with compassion, love and understanding. I’m committed to finding my way and would love to hear about your journey in the comments below or emails.

Feeling humbled by unexpected inspirations and opening my heart to whatever is to come in the year ahead ~ Happy New Year and Good Luck to us all x Keri-Anne.