Happy birthday to my favorite blogger, Gala Darling. From the day I laid eyes on her SXSW panel in 2009, she has inspired me and my own website a billion times over. She gave form to my newly-coalescing web-trepreneur dreams.
Gala’s style and voice have the power to transform my perspective 180º. The way she writes is just so intoxicating! She makes the reader feel unique and loved, a talent that transforms the mundane to magical.
While Gala’s articles are addictive and enthralling, it’s her very existence that I am celebrating today. Never before has someone helped me see so many of my own weaknesses!
You see, I suffer from comparing-myself-itis.
Her life is so glamourous! She’s so skinny! Her writing style is out of this world! She’s so young! She’s so put together!
My life involves very little glamour. I am not skinny. My writing style is academic. I am older than Gala! I feel my world falling apart on a daily basis!
Comparing myself is stupid, I know that. We’re all unique, blah blah blah. But my feeling-like-I-suck-in-comparison made me skip two opportunities to meet my blogging hero in person (once when I was in NY and recently when she did the Blogcademy in Austin).
That’s really not like me. I tend to be pretty confident. But something about Ms. Gala Darling makes me feel so fat and lazy!
So the pioneer of the Radical Self Love movement makes me feel fat and lazy. What does that mean? It means that even when she is not directly speaking about it, Gala is helping me on my own self-love journey.
I am clearly not accepting parts of myself that need to be loved. I have deemed myself unworthy and unlovable by comparison to someone I’ve never even met. But now I am bringing light to those things I don’t like about myself. With a little patience, I am transforming those things into my greatest assets.
If not glamourous, I am a lot of fun. If not skinny, I’m muscular and fit. If not out-of-this-world, my writing style is flowing and evolving. So what if I’m a little older, I look young and I know I’m hella wise! And every time my world falls apart, I put it back together in a way that makes me cackle with delight.
And just like that, I feel my confidence growing. The questions Gala makes me ask about myself yield entirely new ways to love and appreciate the life I have.
Gala helps me dream bigger for myself. She helps me be a better person. She has helped me turn shameful insecurities into positive aspects. She helped me look my jealousy in the eye and turn it into love.
Thank you Gala! You are changing the world! Happy birthday!
For most of my life, relationships have come very easily to me. I had my first boyfriend in 6th grade and my first kiss in 8th. My second boyfriend and I were together for over two years, my fourth boyfriend for over four years. Kelly and I have been together for six years.
But I went through a very rocky period towards the end of college. I fell in love with a boy with a girlfriend, and insanity ensued.
I remember sitting at home alone waiting for him to call. I always answered on the first ring, down to get drunk at any bar of his choice. The more we drank, the better, because that meant I would get to stay at his place.
I was way too into him. And I was way not into myself. The drunken nights got sloppier and sloppier until one night I chased him around Champaign, Illinois, screaming “I LOVE YOU! WHY CAN’T YOU LOVE ME?!”
Luckily I got distracted and moved away shortly thereafter. I lived alone in Chicago, started my first day job, and attempted to get back into dating. I definitely did not meet anyone cool for many, many months.
I started exploring the city by myself. I wrote all the time. Slowly but surely, I was becoming cool again—to myself. I was starting to like myself again! I was having fun by myself. I felt so free. My confidence was climbing and I didn’t need anyone else. I was on an adventure.
Sure enough, I met a boy at a Halloween party. We hit it off right away. I played my cards right—I waited for him to call me and didn’t get obsessed or disappointed if he didn’t. We were together for almost two years.
What all my romps through relationships have taught me is this: never, ever, EVER try to get someone to like you. It will repel the person like the most effective bug spray in the world.
Instead, learn to like yourself. Whatever you are looking for in another person, become that person. Become self-sufficient and independent. Savor your time alone to yourself. Learn to love being alone so much that when someone calls you up for a date, you’re practically disappointed!
Anything we want in life, we want because we think it will make us feel good. We want money because we think it will make us feel good. We want drugs because we think they will make us feel good. And on and on and on.
You can only attract things that you think will make you feel good when you are already feeling good. You have to be a vibrational match. You have to be ready for them to come.
The guided meditation above is a three-minute preview of the full 15 minute session. The session covers letting go and loving yourself, and also provides a technique for entering a delicious relationship with yourself. It’s so simple, I can’t believe everyone isn’t doing it already!
You can read a little more on the School of Life Design site, or click the button below to purchase.
When I wrote about my coming out story, I was writing from fear. I was focusing on something I felt guilty about. I was trying to escape shame. And it worked! It made me feel supported and loved and relieved to write that.
Now I see how I needed that at the time, but it is no longer prudent to write about factual mortal physical reality.
If I cannot at this moment write my vision, I can at least write about what I love in my life. I can create out of love instead of using writing to fearfully pop the zits of my consciousness, digging and digging trying to eradicate the dark spots for a moment of relief. When the mark takes days to heal, I inevitably remember, “I should never touch them! They always disappear when I’m not focused on them.”
It’s exactly the same for the rest of our lives. The problems disappear when we’re not focused on them. They literally fade away. When you stop thinking about your problems, you’ll find you no longer have them.
Here are three routes to stop thinking about your problems.
#1 Focus on bringing more of what you like in.
Don’t make goals to stop doing things like:
- eating meat
- doing drugs
Instead set intentions to fill your life more with things you enjoy. Allow these things to come to you naturally, instead of taking action to make them happen. For example:
- I intend to meditate a little bit every day.
- I intend to write.
- I intend to make art.
- I intend to practice hooping.
I have meditated every day since my “rehab” began. I’ve made more art and created more. I did a shitload of worksheets that helped keep me focused in times of extreme contrast.
But I’ve also drank, smoked, eaten meat, etc. Everything I wanted to stop was like “HELL NO! WE AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE!” The restrictions made me feel guilty while the additions made me feel joy and success.
#2: Use a mantra and seriously, for real, stick to thinking it all day.
GET CONTROL OF YOUR MIND. Tame the beast! It’s outta control in there!
Send a vibration of love. Meditate. Think in mantras. Count. Do whatever you have to do to maintain a meditative state of focus, all day. Say “I love myself” most of the time and “I love you” when interacting with other beings.
#3: Make Love Art
The third way to stop thinking about your problems is to actively create about what you already have that you like. What I’d like to be doing on my site, instead of lamenting financial acne, is creating content about all the things I love and would love more of:
- flow toys
- homecooked vegan food
- good music
That list was a little hard to generate. I haven’t done this in a long time. I became so quickly habituated to the good things in my life that I forgot to feel grateful until they started slipping away.
I intend to spend time focusing on what I love that I already have!
So simple. It’s always so simple.