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How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways! February 15, 2011

Posted by franciecooper in life lessons.
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This past weekend I ran into one of my readers and she commented that last week’s blog, which contained the Virginia Satir essay, Declaration of Self Esteem, moved her to create her own essay which she calls My Personal (Wo)Manifesto of Self Esteem. She gave me permission to reprint it here. Hope you love it as much as I did!

My Personal (Wo)Manifesto of Self Esteem- or How Do I Love Me?-Let Me Count the Ways!

#1. I am creative. I can take nothing and make something of it. I can take ordinary objects- trash even- and make art out of it- woo-hoo!

#2. I am loveable. I love myself and try my best to see the love in others-even when it is most difficult, as it often is. I give and receive love easily.

#3. I am funny- silly sometimes. I have the ability to laugh at myself. I am working on the ability to laugh at my mistakes and go on.

#4. I am an object of desire- I am pretty damn hot for age 55!

#5. I can cuss like a sailor and fart like a boy! (So my husband tells me- and he should know!) This is not something I can or SHOULD easily share, but boy, at times they both come in handy!

#6. I have great hair- I love my hair! It is full, luxurious, pretty, and sexy. It makes me feel good! (I am cracking myself up right now!)

#7. I love how I am comfortable with my age. It doesn’t scare me-if it ever did. I am proud and grateful of/for every year I have been on this planet- maybe not of all my actions, but, looking to the future and working on that!

#8. I am open to learn new things, to experience life in all its glory, to look at the bigger picture, to accept people where they are-for the most part. This is a work in progress-as I am!

#9. I love that I am not on the eternal treadmill to lose weight or maintain a certain body image. Sure, I know I need to lose some lbs. I would feel better, it would improve my health- and I am working on it. But I am not consumed with the idea. Basically, I like (love!) me and fhow I look, not that there is not room for improvement!

#10. I am glad I am an optimist! I know that I have and will ALWAYS be taken care of by the Universe, Great Spirit, Allah, God, Goddess- whatever you choose to call it. I have seen and felt it, time and time again.

#11. I love myself even when I screw up, say and do the wrong things- I can forgive myself and go on!

#12. I love that I am calm most of the time- grounded in my beliefs, my faith, my actions- with my life, my friendships, and love as my foundation.

Not that I don’t have plenty to improve upon! But, I am not beating myself up over these things. Life is a school-not of hard knocks and hard times, but, it is an opportunity to grow and learn and be open to changes and opportunities. It is actually such a gift- a welcome mat laid at our feet.

We choose, not always to our benefit, but I believe no choice is totally wrong. Even a so-called wrong choice can put you on the road to a correct or better one. Who knows what that path may offer or where it will lead – however hard it might seem at the time.

I love my life and I love my friends, and I love this fickle, crazy, scary, magic, beautiful world we live in! Ah, we are but guests- and must act polite and gracious-except when we feel the need to speak out and act!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it was as much fun for you to read as it was for me to write it! Please share if you decide to write your own personal manifesto!

– Francie Cooper

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Three Ways to Fall in Love – With Yourself February 9, 2011

Posted by franciecooper in life coaching, life lessons.
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 Virginia Satir, famed psychotherapist and author, once wrote this beautiful essay entitled: “My Declaration of Self Esteem.”
 
“I am me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it.
 
I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
 
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.
 
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded.
 
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside f me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am okay.”
 
When I first read this piece, I realized I not only didn’t really love myself, I didn’t even know where to start the process.  My mind was so ingrained with self-sabotaging thoughts that loving myself sounded unnatural.  I realize now, however, that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t fully love another.
 
So, if reading Satir’s wise words has inspired you to work on loving yourself, here are three ways I believe will be helpful:
 
1. Forgive Yourself.  If you have made mistakes in the past, you need to forgive yourself now. All of us make mistakes.  It’s just part of the human experience.
 
2. Eliminate negative self-talk.  Do you often berate yourself over the tiniest thing?  Is there a little voice inside your head that often tells you you’re stupid or unworthy?  Be aware when this is happening.  Change your words to the opposite of what you’re saying. For instance, if you find yourself saying, “I am so dumb!”  STOP.  Replace your words with, “I am becoming so smart!”
 
3.  Make positive affirmations everyday.   I know this may sound hokey, but it does work!  Post affirmations on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator and steering wheel, anywhere you will see them frequently.  For instance, write out and say aloud several times a day, “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.”
 
There are many, many other ways to raise your personal love quotient.  If you’d like to work on these and more, shoot me an email or give me a call!  Remember, all clients, new and returning, are entered in my Valentine’s Day Give-Away!
– Francie Cooper