I’ve been splurging a lot lately. I’ve spent money on acupuncture, flotation therapy, foods I believe will heal my ailments, and most recently, flowers.
Being sick helped. It was dire I was forced to uplevel my self-care practices to get better.
I’m practicing embodying the “pleasure-seeker” avatar. Turns out I’m good at restricting myself from indulgence, pleasure, and relaxation. In the past, I always called it saving and efficiency. I thought I had a good work ethic. I see now that really I’ve spent my adult years trying to prove my worth.
I’ve worked jobs that pay little and demand much. I’ve given my heart out and taken it back. Recently in my own business I’ve launched my own line of fearless self-love services and then spent hours a day anxious that I still don’t cut it.
The good Lord invests in those who invest in themselves some say. I agree that our free will ought to be put to sensible use, and that includes how we treat ourselves. After all I’ve gone through my motto has become, “Self-love is the most selfless thing one can practice.”
It’s tough, though. It’s not so easy.
I’m here to report. I’ve gotten good in some areas:
- I buy good quality food — I choose organic, locally grown & delicious. It’s my most common splurge. I shop in small locally-owned stores with limited fluorescent lighting, where I’m bound to run into like-minded friends with a smile.
- As a solo-prenuer, this is new territory. For a few years, I’ve let my work creep into my rest time, an email here or there, a workshop most weekends, never feeling rested on Monday morning. Now, I close my computer for 24 hours or more these days. I soak in Hot Springs or in a float tank. I hike a mountain. I believe the world of work will be there to when I open my Macbook the next day.
- I’ve learned to have an orgasm — For the lucky women out there, perhaps this happened for you at 13, but for me, I was 30 before I actually fully experienced this physical pleasure. There were many reasons for the resistance, but let’s just say, it wasn’t easy to let go of my ego, until it was. And now, this part of my life is pretty amazing!
There are other places I could still use some help. I tie my personal worth to things outside of myself:
- The networth of my business
- My lover’s passion to love me as I desire
- What others are willing to invest in themselves when and if they pay for my services
This feels vulnerable. So vulnerable, I’m hesitant to share it.
It’s been my habit to let my anxiety swell when the numbers fall — when loved ones prioritize their own needs over mine, and when clients aren’t ready to invest their time or money to transform their lives into the lives of their dreams.
It’s ironic, because I facilitate the cultivation of self-love. We talk about accepting who we are, acting with love toward ourselves, practicing self-empathy, investing our time in practices that will nourish us, and enable us to better love others.
It’s ironic to me that I teach others to know their worth internally, and yet I have trouble:
- Separating my intrinsic value from the pennies (ok, maybe quarters, but not yet dolla dolla bills, y’all!) I shuffle from one bank account to another.
- Being patient with the self-prioritization of another if it leads to me not getting my way.
- Accepting that those new to the idea of self-love may need more time observing their guides/teachers/facilitators practicing the concept before buying in themselves.
Invest In Yourself
My own journey of self-worthiness continues. Lately, it’s challenged in a course I am enrolled in, Grace Edison’s Yoga of Money. I’ve been encouraged to believe that what I invest in myself will come back to me 3-fold. So I book a self-care afternoon, spend a little more on the food I really want, buy a plane ticket to see my folks. But after those investments, I recoil:
- After my massage and flotation therapy, I received a text about a problem that I couldn’t fix. It sent me into a downward spiral anxiety spin. My boyfriend thought someone had died by the way I told him I’d had a really stressful evening, when really I’d made a common mistake that I was worried had terribly upset others, a totally forgivable mistake– I’d lost a set of keys. I sabotaged by my ease as quickly as I’d acquired it!
- After indulgent grocery shopping, I notice myself shoving aside worry about my credit card statements–neither resting in the joy these healing items will bring me, nor spending the afternoon judging myself– I turn off any emotion that could lead me toward regret or celebration and focus my energy on cooking.
- After the plane ticket purchase, I simply notice that I can reason this purchase away, because it involves a few weddings and time with my parents. Buying a plane ticket purely to go on vacation. Well, I haven’t done that…
Investing in myself is not easy. Emotionally, I steer away from a life of wealth for fear I’ll no longer have compassion for the impoverished. All the while, the financial insecurity of focusing on launching my own work frequently leaves me anxious and searching for another job.
I desire knowing all sides of an experience — feeling flush, feeling poor, working hard, resting, soaring above expectations, and living with the consequences of commiting a royale F*** Up — I do this so I remain relatable to others. Unfortunately, I also remain in a struggle between potential thrive and certain self-sabotage.
Say Good-Bye & Thank You
There is something within me that has always craved the knowing. I like this part of me, but…
I’m ready to bid good riddance to the part of that craving that says I deserve the bad with the good, the part of me that says I need to know what it feels like, to be continually undervalued, namely by myself (yours truly)in order to relate to the masses.
I’ve been afraid to let go of that I must struggle severely to have an amazing life. My own small piggy bank needs to break open if I am going to facilitate an empire of fearless self-love.
I will say here, that I am well aware of my fiscal wealth as it compares to most of the world. I have above and beyond what I need — clean water and plenty of it, people who love me, heat when I need it, nourishing food, and access to health care. What I realize now, though, is that I do not have to live on the poverty line to live a life of service. I do not have to struggle to get by in order to prove I care.
Love Is Tied To Money
So, it’s clear. Love is tied to money. This doesn’t mean that the content of my soul will always reflect my pocket book. But I believe it does mean, that until I believe my pocket book can reflect the content of my soul, it won’t.
I am clear about what I want in this life, for myself. I also want some really specific things for the world — namely for everyone to practice courageous self-love, but this post is about the individual. It starts here. I want to:
- Choose freely how to spend my time
- Regularly connect with loved ones around real good, homemade, locally sourced, creatively prepared food
- Visit my family and take a vacation with ample time to feel connected, deeply rested, and motivated to return to work
So, what I am worth? Well, darling, I’m priceless. So are you. I won’t put a number on my heart, but I will start entertaining the belief that my intrinsic value has a place on the self-love market, that my personal zone of genius to cultivate communities of fearless self-love via empathic listening, strategic coaching, and telling it like it is are qualities that folks need and desire.
It’s about time I step out of my fear that I have to prove it to the right people, and into the love I believe makes all of us whole, and trust that my offerings need only be nurtured to thrive, not forced into the right hands.
So, What Are You Worth?
You might start with what asking yourself:
- What makes me bound with endless energy? Spreads a soft grin across my face for hours?
- What quality have others affirmed about me that has made me swell with joy that I am alive and have the ability to offer?
- How do I yearn to spend my life (without taking into account financial restrictions)?
And then, when the answers to those questions are clear, practice doing the things that showed up in your answers. For me–I value cooking, hiking, hanging out with kids, listening, coaching.
Do the things on your list, and you’ll be on your way to self-love. You’ll hit a few bumps in the road. You’ll topple over several times. You’ll talk yourself in and out of your beliefs. And if your tireless, you’ll start to believe you’re onto something, that you’ve got it going on, that you have something to give, and you’ll go for it.
And Ask Yourself Again
Then, when you doubt yourself again, when you’re ready to give up on your greatest gifts to work for “the man” because you doubt this solo-prenuer gig can be pulled off (by you, at least), ask them again.
Then, put your mouth where your money is, and start talking yourself up, dear. Bring your best stuff. Offer your talents as if they’ll be rewarded endlessly. Buy yourself flowers, float in a tank of 1000 lbs of epsom salt, invest in that class you know will change your life.