Self-Compassion: the overlooked secret to a healthy life

I am so excited to be featuring Chivon John today as my first guest blogger EVER!  I had the pleasure of meeting this incredible woman a few weeks ago, and let me tell you, she is beautiful inside and out.  Her message about Loving Yourself To Healthy is powerful and is one I believe we all should hear.  Thank you Chivon for sharing your story and for reminding us that loving ourselves first is the greatest gift a woman could give herself. <3

 “In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Did you know that the word health is traced back to the word ‘hale’ meaning “wholeness, being whole, sound or well”?

Somehow, at times it would appear that this definition gets lost in translation when it comes to loving ourselves.

I know this first-hand because for many years I equated my definition of health to ‘getting and looking fit’.

It may sound harmless; except this definition meant doing anything I could to achieve what I believed to be as the ‘perfect body’.  For years, I mentally and physically abused myself all in the name of keeping up appearances to mask my true feelings. I convinced others and myself that I was ok but in reality, I felt like an invisible girl that desperately wanted to be seen.

Years later I would learn that instead of searching for someone to say that they loved me, I should have been telling it to myself.

When it comes to our health and happiness, we often overlook a key secret to success and fulfillment.

Too often we delay our happiness until we do more, look a certain way or feel that we are worthy enough.

But here's the truth. You are enough right now and the key to unlocking fulfillment and releasing yourself from the hustle for worthiness lies in self-compassion.

It won’t matter how many crunches you do, green smoothies that you drink, or how you change your body. If your mind is left unchanged you’ll always be yearning for more.

Remember that the way you treat yourself is the standard that you set for others.

Here are 3 ways that you can show yourself more compassion and love yourself to healthy: 

1.     Affirm your greatness

Two of the most powerful words in the English language are I AM – because what you say after those words will shape your reality. Can you name at least 10 reasons why you are amazing? Grab a sheet of paper and write down 10 qualities about yourself that make you the amazing, unique and beautiful person that you are. Don’t feel bad if you struggle with this exercise. Phone up a friend or family member and have them help you by sharing what they love the most about you.

Allow this list to elevate you when you’re feeling down and also empower you daily to know why you are the master of your life.

2.     Stop Comparing Yourself

You’re not doing yourself any favors by comparing yourself to others, worrying about why you haven’t reached your goals yet or counting yourself out before you start. Don’t fall into “compare and despair’ syndrome by worrying about what other folks are doing.

Re-frame your thoughts from competing with others to competing with yourself. Everyday, challenge yourself to think of ways that you can be a little better than yesterday. Ask yourself how you showed yourself love today or helped others. Create mini challenges for yourself to be a better YOU.

3.     Practice Forgiveness

According to Deepak Chopra, holding on to “resentment is like holding on to your breath; you will suffocate”.

In order to heal from my past struggles with my body image I practiced forgiveness by writing a letter to myself to apologize and re-affirm my love for me exactly who I am by creating a manifesto. In the same way that you would show compassion to a loved one and forgive them, think about how you need to extend the same compassion to yourself and release old wounds.

The strongest relationship in your life should be the one with yourself.  It’s not easy by any means but fight for you. You’re worth the effort! People will come and go in your life but the one constant is that you'll always be with yourself. Love the one that you're with and stand up and own your awesome.

When in doubt remember this:

"If you insist on measuring yourself, place the tape around your heart rather than your head." – Carol Trabelle

 

Over to you:  What does self-compassion mean to you? What is the hardest part about showing yourself compassionate?

 

Chivon John is a Wellness Advocate who is passionate about empowering people to put self-care at the top of their priority list, release limiting beliefs and learn how to be fully engaged in every moment of their lives. She’s also the creator of Lighten your Load, a 21 day course to help women burn their cape and become Superwomen of self-care. You can learn more about her work on her website chivonjohn.com