Art by Stephen Cade
I grew up with parents who loved me unconditionally. However, I can't say that they approve of me or my actions unconditionally.
When I was in high school I didn't give a flying fuck about their approval. I knew they loved me, but they were really strict. I rebelled as hard as I could. I always approved of myself because I was having, pursuing and being fun.
Once I made it through a couple rough years of undergrad, I started wanting to get along with my parents better. It was great, but I realize now I started approving of my desires and actions less and less. I was using their approval scale--grades, weight, job. In high school I didn't care about those things at all.
I've been practicing self love using mantras like, "Jessica I love and accept you exactly the way you are," and it's felt a little off. Deep down, I know I love myself. I think I'm pretty great, and when I step back to watch the story of my life, I think it's a pretty cool story. I do love myself.
But then I read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. The first affirmation she suggests using is "I approve of myself." I didn't quite get it until this morning, when I heard myself thinking, "I just want some approval!"
Immediately I started saying "I approve of myself" over and over. I began to feel better and better. When I said, "Jessica I love and accept you exactly the way you are," I felt guilty. Like, "I love you and accept you even though you are bad in the following ways." But when I say, "I approve of myself," I feel like I own my desires and am proud of myself. "I love myself the way I am" feels like I am flawed. "I approve of myself" feels like I'm kicking ass and don't need anyone else's approval.
What is your approval-to-love ratio? Do you find yourself feeling fundamentally unloved, or just needing a little approval? Give "I approve of myself" a shot and see if it makes more sense than focusing on the notion of self love.
This week the tips are all about cultivating self-discipline and awareness. My ego is trying to brag to you that I practice all these tips, but the truth is that it's hard to practice presence every moment of our lives. However you're living your life is perfect, and you don't need to change a thing. The thing is, once you become aware of a thought pattern that's creating unwanted manifestations in your reality, you can take control to create a more desirable reality. Allow yourself to just be aware of your thought patterns and the ones you want will flourish while the ones you don't desire, dissolve.
2. Donate one item from your home every day.
There's this clothing collection box on our way to the grocery store, so lately we've been cleaning out our drawers and taking one item with us to drop off every time we shop. It helps us project a vibration of "abundant and prosperous with more than enough to share."
3. If you're coming off a junk food bender, let yourself eat as much healthy food as you want.
When I'm counting calories and go off the rails with a pepperoni pizza and a chocolate pie, it can be hard to get motivated to get back on track the next day. Usually I just want to go to McDonalds and continue my downward spiral. But if you can force yourself to eat healthy food when you feel this way, you'll be too full to care about getting junk food, and when you wake up the next day you'll feel healthier. Try bananas with peanut butter when you want sweets, and vegetarian chili when you want a cheeseburger.
4. Pick out some memes to grow.
Kelly and I love finding little phrases that train us to look for what we want. Sometimes we'll get hooked on yelling "Upgrade!" at every opportunity. "Flawless victory" and "It's working!" are also tricks in our bag. Take advantage of every miniscule opportunity to blow up your keywords and you'll snowball into bigger and better manifestations over time.
5. Don't tell on yourself!
Every word that comes out of your mouth is an explicit map to your inner workings. What are you focusing on? What do you complain about? What do you joke about? What does your conversation give away about you?
6. When you want to eat or drink out of boredom, read a book, meditate or go to sleep.
You're only bored because you're thinking too much. You need to stop thinking, stat! Clean slate your mind and you'll be so happy you didn't reach for something outside of you to feel good. YOU are your reason for feeling good!
7. Don't get involved!
The world doesn't need your mind solving problems! Your mind CREATES the problems! Every time you face a question you don't know the answer to, just say, "I'm not getting involved." Don't know if you should text that girl? Don't get involved. Don't know how to help someone? Don't get involved. Keep your attention focused on the present, not thinking about future possibilities or pondering the meaning of someone else's actions.
8. Take control.
If you feel shitty, it's because you're thinking. Take control of your reality by stopping your thoughts for a few minutes. Then write about what you want and what you want more of. You're in the driver's seat.
9. If you don't feel that great, whatever you do, don't reach for something outside of you to feel good!
I always want someone to come over and help me feel better. But if I reach out to someone when I'm not feeling my best, I'm only going to attract people feeling as crappy as I do. I'll only receive what I'm a match to. If I try to take drugs or drink or socialize to feel better, I won't get any satisfaction from it. Those things are only fun when I'm already feeling great, so I try to do the work to feel good on my own before grabbing my phone or the vodka bottle.
10. Dream bigger!
We all want things like weight loss and more money and rough sex. But what if you imagined a future for yourself beyond the usual "President and CEO" or "rock star" labels? What's out of this world? See your big picture self! Think about it from Suzanne Lie's perspective:
You are simultaneously three of the myriad expressions of your Multidimensional SELF. You are the fifth dimensional Galactic Being who is trying to gain your attention. You are your fourth-dimensional astral body of your dream state, and you are your third-dimensional physical body that is asleep and having a 'dream.'
11. Imagine every moment is a performance.
You are on stage, right now. What would you do if every part of your reality had eyes and was watching you? What if all your favorite people were watching you on Facetime? It's all consciousness. It's all you. It's your movie. Shine on!
YOUR MIND DOESN'T WANT TO HEAR THIS. YOU PROBABLY DON'T FEEL LIKE READING THIS. IT'S NOT YOU--IT'S YOUR MIND RESISTING ANNIHILATION.
The answer to every problem, every bad mood, every injury, every heartbreak is this: stop thinking.
Your thoughts are the only thing that's preventing resolution of the circumstance. Your thoughts are the only thing bringing you down. Release your resistant thoughts, and you return to your natural state of well being.
Stop thinking resistant thoughts (e.g., worrying, blaming, criticizing) and the universe can bring you what you want. Your thoughts are the ONLY thing standing in the way! Your thoughts, which become beliefs, which become expectations, which become reality, are the only roadblocks in living the life you want.
Without the chatter of the mind, you have access to infinite intelligence. It's like you're trying to listen to garbled directions from an out-of-date GPS but if you just turn the thing off you realize you already know the neighborhood inside and out. Use that GPS as a pedometer or something.