The Inviting Shift Podcast

S2 Episode 15: Unlocking Self-Love: Cultivating Courage and Making Conscious Choices

October 24, 2023 Christina Smith Season 2 Episode 15
The Inviting Shift Podcast
S2 Episode 15: Unlocking Self-Love: Cultivating Courage and Making Conscious Choices
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you ready to become your own biggest cheerleader? Get set to revolutionize your relationship with yourself as we delve into the final keys of self-love: courage and choice. We explore the power of stepping out of our comfort zone and how nurturing our individuality, armed with a clear understanding of our unique gifts, can stoke the fires of courage. 

Moving to the second act, we underline how courage and choice play pivotal roles in breathing life into our dreams and aspirations. Discover the relief of forgiving yourself for past choices and the stark realization that inaction is a choice too. We talk about trusting the timing of the universe and making decisions that resonate with our intentions. So join us as we learn to bring joy into our everyday lives, dream big, and align our choices to how we want to feel. Immerse yourself in this journey of self-love and self-discovery with us. Live consciously and love unconditionally.

Join us in the Modern Midlife Mentorship.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome back shifters, to our month of self-love. So I just want to review really quickly about what it is that we've already talked about this month. The first episode was around nine and we talked about what is self-love. So many of us are like what is that? Like, what does that mean? Do I already have self-love? How does that manifest? And so you want to review that episode.

Speaker 1:

Then we had episode 11, which was about compassion and curiosity, which is the first two keys of unlocking our own self-love. So in order to move forward, we need to have really big compassion and really big curiosity for what it is that we, who we are and what we want, and how we really start giving ourselves permission to dive into that. Then episode 13 was all about clarity, and clarity is so essential as self-love If we are zeroed in on the worst parts of ourselves and we are not seeing the whole big picture and in the modern midlife mentorship. This month we are talking about the inner critic. We talked a lot about that in episode 11 and 13, because that's what's preventing us from really falling in love with ourselves. It's almost as if that inner critic doesn't want to give us permission. And yet, as I want to remind you that I've said in every episode so far self-love is a practice. It's not a warm, fuzzy feeling that one day we wake up and we're like, oh, I really like me, although that's happened to me. It is a practice. I got there by practicing self-love. So these are all tools to help you practice self-love. So I want you to keep that in mind. Today we're going to talk about the last two keys to unlocking self-love, and that is courage and choice. These are two essential qualities, two characteristics, two skills that we're going to need to develop in order to have full self-love, because, as much as we want to stay in our warm, comfy fuzzies, curiosity, compassion and clarity often require us to be courageous and make choices that we haven't made before. So let's break these down and talk about them a little bit more.

Speaker 1:

The thing about self-love is it's not thinking that we do everything perfect. It's having that trust and self-worth in ourselves that we can do hard things and our life has probably been full of hard things. But as we move into midlife, we start setting this comfort zone around us, if you will, and this comfort zone means that we kind of confuse that safety with discomfort, and what that means is the things that we're afraid of are usually not unsafe. The things that we're afraid of are really uncomfortable I'll give you that really Uncomfortable. That could be failing. It could be a fear of doing something new. It could be a fear of leaving our comfort zone, even though it's not that comfortable. I've talked to a lot of women lately where they're in relationships because they've settled or they just feel like, well, this is good enough and it really isn't. And when we do that, what happens is we get stuck in this cycle of going well, this is good enough, this is comfortable enough, but mainly because we have the fear of what would it be like if it wasn't like this, right? So we want to step out of that comfort because that comfort is keeping us from growth.

Speaker 1:

Discomfort often equals growth. When we get uncomfortable, we learn a lot about ourselves. We're really proud of ourselves. When we do hard things, we celebrate. We have something to celebrate about ourselves when we do hard things and these hard things might be a lot of things moving through feelings rather than avoiding them, right, and finding the wisdom in all of those feelings that we're having. What are my feelings trying to tell me about myself?

Speaker 1:

It's also hard things could be managing fear, moving through fear, moving walking with fear. Right, and that's how Susan David, dr. Susan David, describes courage. It's fear walking, okay, so that's why we're gonna talk about fear today. The hard things could also be pulling apart our stories and telling ourselves the truth for the first time, and this could be. I've always told myself that I'm not graceful, and so is that just a story that I'm making up? Where is the evidence that I'm graceful? And these things can be hard, sometimes uncovering our gifts and strengths. It feels a lot harder than pointing out all of our faults. We are really good at that. Hard things could be asking for help. It could be making loving boundaries for myself, and it can be asking for what we want from our partners, from our friends, from our family. Those can be hard conversations, but courage is that fear walking.

Speaker 1:

So, even though we feel the fear, we can move through it because we trust ourselves to show up in the best way we can. We can't control all the outside things, like other people or circumstances or acts of God, but we can control how we show up to it and when we show up to it in a way that we feel really good about. We feel really good about ourselves. So self-love and confidence come from having courage in life. It does not come from being in our comfort zone. So I want to just mention a few things about courage and how it shows up.

Speaker 1:

First off, courage includes asking for help. Courage doesn't mean that we have to do it alone. It means that we're going to muscle up and move through it, but it doesn't mean that we have to do it alone. There's also quiet courage of being patient while we're waiting for something rather than trying to force something. So asking for help is also courage. Individuality or independence does not impact our courage. Courage brings authenticity and empowerment, because doing the hard things does not mean that we have to do the hard things how everybody else does it. We could also be doing the hard things our own way. When we're clear about our gifts which was last week's episode we can use our gifts to move through courage. We can use the things that we really try to get through the discomfort.

Speaker 1:

I also want you to hear that what I was just saying before is discomfort is the key to deep joy. So many people say this because our lives aren't always joyful just because we stay in our comfort zone. That can keep us really, really small. And what we really get proud of ourselves is when we grow, when we do the hard things, when we put ourselves out there. It is risky, but we can. Also. We have something to celebrate then as well. The joy comes from riding through that discomfort.

Speaker 1:

I mean, if you ever think about any big project or a big goal that you had, I'm sure that there was some discomfort. Like me going through college. There was some discomfort. I was working, I was doing a lot of things and it was uncomfortable and there was some sacrifice that I made in order to get through that. But when I graduated I felt really so many of our goals are not going to be in our comfort zone. So we have to do hard things and I know that you're courageous. You've gotten through a lot of things so far in your life and so courage is going to help you move through it.

Speaker 1:

And remember what I said it's fear walking is how Dr Susan David in Emotional Agility describes it fear walking. So when we come up to that inner conflict of fear within ourselves, we have to pull apart those stories. We have to be our own cheerleader. We get to have the opportunity to trust ourselves that we can show up the way that we want to. So one thing that we can do for our courageous side, to remind ourselves how courageous we are, is we can write a letter to ourselves. This is such a good act of ritual of self-care is writing a letter. Include all the things that you've accomplished, and it doesn't have to be huge things. If you've been depressed and getting out of bed is the most courageous thing you've done, that's courage. You get to decide what is courage right. You get to decide what is courage. It might be staying, it might be leaving, whether that's a partner, a job, a friend, a family. You get to decide what is courageous. In this letter, I want you to write about all these accomplishments. I also want you to think about how did these accomplishments improve your life or your self-love? How did you really see yourself in a better light after doing these hard things? I also want you to have gratitude for your courage in this letter. So thank your courage for showing up.

Speaker 1:

Often we associate courage with the warrior archetype, but it could also be in our queen archetype of putting my foot down and deciding what is right for me, even though it may not be right for other people, those are all things that take courage. So I want you to write about your courage and you get to decide what is courageous. So it could be big things, it could be small things. I hope that it's a combination of both, because I want you to give yourself a reason to celebrate your courage, and the more that we celebrate our courage, the more courageous we're going to be Fair. So that's courage.

Speaker 1:

We were talking about courage. Courage can be things that other people find are easy, but they're hard for us and we do them anyway. So I'd love to hear about what courageous things you've done, what you're writing in your letters or what courageous thing you're yet to do that you're really muscling up for. My husband would say steal yourself in order to get there right. Using that grit. Courage is essential to self-love. It takes courage to give ourselves permission to stop, to slow down, to speed up, to move on those big goals that we've never done before. That can feel really scary. You're gonna need some courage for self-love because, remember, self-love is a practice and it's not always soft and fluffy. Sometimes it takes real grit for us to move through the hard stuff and that'll take your courage.

Speaker 1:

The second key that I want to talk about for unlocking self-love is choice. Choice is so essential. Choice is a practice, right? I mean that's the practice-y part of this whole thing is that we have to decide how we want to choose, how we want to show up and then also make all the little choices that align with that in a day. So if I say sacred body is one of my intentions these days and it's probably the hardest one for me because I am not great at discipline, but I don't need to be good at discipline, I need to be good at making little, tiny choices all day long. So when am I going for my walk? How am I drinking my water? What time do I go to bed so I can get enough sleep, really honoring my body, and if I show up that way and all those little choices, suddenly I do have sacred body. I do have that feeling because I've been making all the choices. You could be like well, what's scary about that? It's not scary for me, it's the part of me that has to stay focused on what I say is important. So if I say that my body is important, I need to make choices all day long that prove that and that could take some courage as well. So I want to talk a little bit about choice.

Speaker 1:

First off, we want to forgive ourselves for past choices. There's nothing we can do about them now. I know that regret can stay, but we want to forgive ourselves, take the lesson and leave the vitriol that we have for ourselves. So forgiving ourselves for past choices is so essential. I hope that maybe you'll even do like a little burn ritual where you write them all down and then burn them or throw them or toss them somewhere. You know sacredly is to forgive yourself for all these past choices that you can't do anything about them now. All you can do is learn, take the lesson, leave the criticism. I also want you to know that not making a choice is a choice.

Speaker 1:

So so often we don't like the choices we're given and so we just decide to kind of sit on it. But not making a choice is a choice. It may not be a very actionable choice, but it is a choice just to continue on in your little comfort zone, even if it's not really comfortable. So keep that in mind. Also, when we come to choice, people are like well, what? I just need to know more, and we can procrastinate by doing over research. I'm not against doing research when we're making a choice.

Speaker 1:

However, some of us use it as a way to avoid making a choice. We don't want to move forward, we're afraid to move forward, and sometimes you can only know what you know, and then you have to move forward. We can learn all the things we want from a YouTube video or from online research, but at some point we're going to have to go and do the thing, try the thing, and it might mean that we fail. It might mean that we have to start over, but again, those things are uncomfortable. They're not unsafe. The important part is that you can pat yourself on the back and say thank you for doing that, for just trying. It's okay, it's a practice, right, so it's okay. If we fail, we can keep moving on. So sometimes we have to trust that we know as much as we can and then just start.

Speaker 1:

Choice also requires us to trust that the universe is in our favor, that if we stay focused on what we say is important to us, that the universe will just work things out. However you look at that, divine energy is just going to work things out for us, and what I think is most important is we want to choose for what we want. So every time we make a choice during the day, we want to be thinking about what is it that I say is important? And this is where my intentional and aligned method comes up. An intentional, aligned is really a method of if I want to be happy when I get there, I have to choose happiness now on the way.

Speaker 1:

So if we have these big goals and I don't know, maybe this is just me, but I was always told you'll be happy when you get there I was always told you'll be happy when you'll be happy when you get into college, when you graduate college, when you get your job, when you have a husband, when you have children, when you have the house, when you have the. When you check these boxes, you are going to be happy. Well, gotta tell you, I checked all those boxes and in my mid 30s I just thought I am the most miserable I've ever been. So checking the boxes didn't make me happy, and you know why? Because I didn't bring happy with me. If we want to be happy when we get there, we have to practice happy now. Whatever that looks like Now.

Speaker 1:

I don't think that you should choose the word happy or the thought of happy. I think you should get something that's like more visceral to you. So, like I mentioned earlier, sacred body is one of my intentions. I also have intentional connection as one of them, and divine love is one of them. So these are my intentions, and if I say that divine love, sacred body and intentional connection is the most important, then I have to make my choices align with that. So what I'd love you to do, you know, after you're done writing that letter of courage start dreaming.

Speaker 1:

Dream big too, because sometimes we don't dream big enough. We often dream to get to the shoreline, which means survival. Right, I have all these problems. I don't want these problems. What I want is a life that doesn't have these problems. But I want you to go, dream bigger than the shoreline, find the castle, the highest mountain, and I want you to dream all the way up there. This does not mean that everything we dream about is going to come true, or we even want it to come true. You can dream about flying elephants for all I care, but I want you to start feeling into your body as you're dreaming.

Speaker 1:

What is it that you're hoping to feel when you have the things that you want, because that is your inner wisdom telling you, that's how you wanna feel. That is the ultimate goal is to feel that way. And when we feel that way, right, like one of mine is sacred body. When I feel into my body about, I want it to feel sacred, like I take really good care of it, like it's really important, it's essential to me. Sacred, right, and it is above all else, and so that's the feeling that I want. Well, that means during the day, I have to make choices that get me more of that feeling, and probably having coffee and donuts for breakfast isn't going to help me feel that way. So if I really wanna feel that way, what do I eat for breakfast? Where do I eat breakfast? That's why I eat breakfast outside sometimes, because I wanna feel like that sacred body, and so my choices start aligning with how I wanna feel.

Speaker 1:

You know, for the general, the happy I start choosing happy, I start inserting happy into my life, sacred body into my life, so that my choices are aligning with what I want, and that's really how we practically manifest anything. It's also how we stay committed to what we say is important, and when we have self-trust, self-love can be right around the corner. So I want you to have this beautiful feeling of yourself, that you're really proud of yourself, that, yes, not everything works out but you show up to it anyway. That is, to me, the best way that we can really stay focused on this practice of self-love. So today is courage and choice. I hope you write that courageous letter to yourself and I hope that you start making choices that align with who you are. In December we'll be doing the intentional and aligned method. Come join us. And that's all I have for this episode. I hope that, if you haven't already, you go back and you listen to 11 and 13.

Speaker 1:

There's some really great ways that you can start this practice of self-love with these five keys. So just to review them really quickly we had compassion. We must start being kinder to ourselves, seeing that little girl in ourselves that we would never berate the way that we berate ourselves. Second is curiosity, and curiosity is how we stop the judgment train. When we're curious, we can't be judgmental at the same time. One wants to zero in and decide what the answer is, and the other one wants to explore. So curiosity is so important. The third one we talked about in episode 13 was clarity how we get clear on ourselves who we are, what we want, and then in this episode we talked about courage and choice. So those are your five unlocking self-love keys. I hope that that's been helpful. I'd love to hear from you if you do any of these exercises, or just feedback from what I've been sharing with you, and we'll see you next week.

Unlocking Self-Love
Forgiving and Making Aligned Decisions
Keys to Unlocking Self-Love