Day 21: Embrace The Journey.

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My heart is heavy with gratitude and unexpected insights about how creating the daily self love challenges over the last 20 days has welcomed me to new spaces within myself. I may never fully understand why I conceded against my rational logic to suspend my other projects to share this experience with all of you. In reality, I don’t know how many people were able to complete the exercises but I thank you for sharing the posts, reading along or just opening up your heart space for more self love to take root. I didn’t have the bird’s eye view of the subtle changes occurring within as I promised myself to take this experience day by day and trust the process of only writing each post the evening before. It would take doing a challenge just for the love of it to seamlessly re-write many limiting beliefs that I tussled with for years. Such as “I don’t finish anything”, “I am easily discouraged” or “It’s hard for me to focus on one thing”. I can appreciate that today actually marks a new beginning of being able to transfer my renewed confidence and trust in my creativity to what awaits me.

1.)Today’s challenge is to consider where in your life you can choose to love yourself during the process of your desired change instead of making your self love conditional on an outcome. What can you begin today to sustain your self love journey.

The daily exercises gave us full control and ownership of how to be our truest essence so that we may not easily surrender our internal gifts to circumstances. By remaining passionate, I know that I can always transform all pain to purpose. Fully embodying your own quality of curiousity amidst confusion will always produce endless possibilities for what’s to come. And for another their compassion can expose wisdom in the greatest disasters. Making true progress in our journeys requires digging a little deeper in ourselves to find meaning and balance in each changing season of our lives. No doubt, we will be able to love ourselves with greater ease when all is blooming in the summer phases of our lives. These are the times when kindness is not a chore and will pour easily from our minds to our bodies. But we will also enter the arid winter periods that bears fewer fruits that readily remind us of who we are. But as the seed does not completely die in the winter, may we remember that our essence is an everlasting part of our being. We will no longer fear inevitable changes as we become masters of our essence.

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Last but not least, if endings are just new beginnings then the journey lies in the process. It was initially intimidating to envision completing 21 consecutive days of inspirations and in the past I would have wrestled with my inner critic, lost sight of my intentions, undermining my vision and purpose for this endeavor. That isn’t too different from our constant desire to have all the details figured out before we begin living in the moment. Which leads to rushing from one outcome to the next, all the while feeling perplexed as to why we can’t find greater meaning in our efforts. There is no doubt that we may still struggle with loving ourselves “unconditionally” but this too is a process that unfolds in stages. Strive to find beauty and purpose in each season and challenge of your self love journey. We must be patient with falling back in love with ourselves as it takes commitment to court long neglected (mind, body or spirit) aspects of our essence. When we’ve had a hard day, may we put in the effort to kiss and make up with our spirits with a practice that ground us from within. Don’t go to bed angry with yourself and above all be ever curious about who you truly are. Stop believing the lies in your head; ask yourself the important questions, learn more about what makes you laugh or cry and adjust your choices accordingly. You should probably know that thing, which leaves you feeling like the most important person in the world; DO IT OFTEN. Pay attention to yourself and be kind with your self rediscovery.

If you make it a priority to love yourself with all of your heart, you too will never forget just how special you are to yourself and life. Finally remembering our own magic is what empowers us to transform any reality into our dreams come true.

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Wishing you the very best of love, joy and health in the remainder of 2018.

Love,

Ini Anana

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Day 20: Love Yourself.

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“Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is Love.” –Eckhardt Tolle

Intentionally growing into the person that we were born to be emancipates us from seeking her/him in people, places or things. If you accepted yesterday’s growth challenge then you my friend will be on a lifelong journey of self love. In which case, I hope that the insights offered during this experience remains the cocoon of self love that you can immerse yourself in as you continually emerge into more beautiful aspects of yourself. The truth is, the moments that precede the most meaningful growth can feel dark and uncomfortable because we are detaching from accustomed ways of being. Shedding the armor of expectations that prevented us from loving ourselves may leave us feeling vulnerable about stepping forth as our authentic selves. These are the occasions when that old voice of doubt may want to keep confining us in the name of logic by questioning “who do you think you are to shine so bright”. These become the opportunities to stand up as our own savior and choose to keep growing. As one’s allegiance to inner peace and growth expands, they will recognize that we only have two choices in life. Which is finding meaning in the lifestyle that bolsters our personal freedom or appeasing other people’s version of happiness. Many of you established early in this challenge that true happiness stems from being true to ourselves. Therefore, our ultimate purpose in life is to especially love ourselves when we confront the fear of being unloved or unapproved. This offers us the clarity to hear our own intuition and make choices that support our growth. The relief of no longer proving our worth frees us to discover passion, deepening our purpose in life.
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Discovering that the only love we truly need lies within gives us the courage to envision a more liberating and fulfilling dream for our lives. Feeling connected to the love that is always within helps us to differentiate ourselves from our circumstances. It leads to opening up our hearts to others knowing that our love cannot be lost. Loving ourselves pulls the shroud from our fears, revealing it as an illusion that cheats our joy and potential. Self love gives us the guts to always question whether each decision satisfies our happiness. The road to a purposeful and fulfilling life is paved with choices that honor our personal freedom. Self love is the compass, that keeps us from straying from this path. If we can love ourselves when we are up or down then we will never have anything to lose. Rather, we will gain the confidence to live the life that we can feel in our hearts instead settling into the lifestyle that is expected of us.

1.) On a scale of 1-10, how grounded do you feel in yourself and life? If you aren’t satisfied with your score, consider the expectations that would need to change for you to feel more at peace.
–Personally embracing greater focus and presence in my choices during this challenge is revealing that I need to enjoy the process of my expansion to be effective, passionate and fulfilled. It has enabled me to redefine a vision of success that compliments my values and authenticity.

2.) Think of a person whom you love greatly and imagine how you can transfer this type of love to yourself.
–how do you think, feel and act towards them and can you practice being this way with yourself.

I discovered that we need self love to ground us in our desired sense of certainty and safety within our spirit, after previously running through life as a race without a finish line in sight. The past twenty days have been preparing us to value our happiness so that we can find beauty and purpose in following our hearts. May loving ourselves wholly give us the strength to choose the joy that we deserve, to be gentle with our humanity, to have hope in the future and the courage to choose the path leads to our own dreams.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Ini Anana

Day 19: Grow into yourself.

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Believing in ourselves as we navigate the uncertainties of life takes us to the places that we never imagined was possible. It’s this marveled exhilaration that I continually witness in our toddler’s demeanor when she suddenly surprises herself in accomplishing something that seemed impossible just days before. Stepping out of our emotional comfort zone helps us to narrow the gap between our presiding conditions and the person we truly aspire to be on the inside. Discovering new possibilities in ourselves reveals that we were always enough and only needed to unfold the uncharted aspects of essence by fully loving ourselves. Self love is a type of internal collateral, giving us the security that we desire so that we can take risks that reveal ‘how’ to have what we desire. In many ways, growth marks a point of no return where we have fallen head over heels in love with the freedom that our soul is craving. Our desperation to experience greater joy and peace subsequently weakens our stubbornness against change and demands that we step beyond familiar ways of being.

My hope is that this challenge has highlighted the magnitude of personal responsibility that one must assume in order to truly love themselves and live an abundant, fulfilling life. This truth is so beautifully articulated in this following quote that @enlightcounselling shared on Instagram:

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“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”–Bob Moawad

Perhaps you have now accepted new insights about self love that you cannot “unknow”. In which case, reaching your desired self love target will depend your willingness to act upon this awareness. Yet, once upon a time the notion of personal growth was so mystified that I didn’t fully understand exactly what to do in order to “grow”. I’ve since learned that growth begins with defining what we want by establishing the desired vision that we wish to experience in life. The process of growth is quite simply when our actions are loyal to our vision of ourselves. . Your commitment to make choices that support the self love vision that you created on the second day of this challenge encompasses your growth. Such choices will reveal the wisdom of ‘how’ to have whatever we desire. Consider this metaphor of being ‘gifted’ the most beautiful plant that I adored. I likely wouldn’t ‘have’ it for long without knowing how to care for it. If we desire peace then we will encounter a lack of peace in our circumstances in order for us to learn “how” to create and ‘have’ the peace we seek. If my soul seeks deeper connections then I may frequently confront feelings of isolation to discover ‘how’ to nurture connection. Therefore, I invite you to recognize that the current circumstances in your life reflects the universe granting you the opportunities to discover “how” to have what you seek. It will take self love to become curious and interested in discovering how to transform these conditions to create the very ideals that you are hoping for.

1.) Today, I encourage you to simply reflect on expanding the ways that you can make choices that support your self love goals and vision of your life. What are ready to let go of as well adopt in every moment to stay true to your essence.

Loving ourselves enables us to believe that our lives is unfolding FOR us at every moment. Growth is making choices that reduce the gap between what is occurring now and the person we long to become. During even the smallest of moments today, strive to respond through the essence of the highest version of yourself and before you know it, she/he will emerge because you would have intentionally grown into her/ him.

Much love,

Ini Anana

Day 18: Believe in yourself.

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Trusting our intuition reveals that we are all on a hero’s journey, where every phase of uncertainty is an invitation to cross the threshold of our ordinariness to uncover the hidden greatness of our human potential. For those of you who trust your instincts, do you subsequently follow your intuition? Following our hearts in the absence of what we desire is the essence of believing in ourselves. I was personally able to make that leap of faith once I decided how I deserved to feel towards myself regardless of my circumstances. Doing so taught me that believing in ourselves is essentially a promise we make to our future self to bargain the best choices on their behalf today. Believing in ourself is the commitment to act in a manner that honors what we deserve to experience in life. It is the culminative act of self love and I personally believe that transgressing the wisdom in our hearts is the only obstacle to believing in ourselves. Therefore, believing in ourselves is an intention to embrace our potential for growth. We must humble ourselves to truth that it’s only during the absence of what we desire that we can genuinely learn “how” to create it. And we owe it to our future self to go through the unknown in this present moment to acquire this wisdom for our future self to continue creating the fulfillment that we seek.

So as we are winding down with only 3 more days remaining in this challenge, I encourage you to ponder where you want your self love journey to take you. Where do you wish to end up in a month from now, a year and many years from now? The challenge has been an opportunity to value what we have to offer ourselves so that we can believe in our own capacity to ‘lead’ the beautiful life that we desire. Your ability to step into the unknown and follow your heart depends on the promises that you are going to make to the person that you wish to become. Think back to your self love aspirations at the beginning of this challenge and reflect on how you can ensure that those hopes will be passed on to your future self. How has your view on self love changed over the last eighteen days?

“The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize; is the portrait of your soul.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

1.) Today’s exercise is to write a self love journey letter addressed to your future self that you are free to read whenever you need encouragement in believing in yourself.

Dear (Your name) Future Self,
I am writing this letter to say thank you for being on this self love journey.
Where I have grown the most is—
Where I want to continue growing is —
Today I love that you are —-
I have decided that you deserve to—
Because—- (explain why you feel deserving of the above)
And I will support you in attaining this by—
No matter what happens, I promise to love you by —

*Include anything else that you wish to promise or express to your future self to inspire the vision you have of yourself *

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Creating this challenge has been one of the most transforming self love experience for me. It has led to promising myself that no matter what I deserve to be heard and to share my ideas. A conviction that sustains believing in the beauty of new inspirations for this platform, which unfolded as I showed up to my blank screen each night to type up the upcoming daily challenge. The hero that we have been waiting for is the version of ourselves that is willing love our ourselves unconditionally so that we can continue growing into the truest expression of ourselves.

Much love until tomorrow,

Ini Anana

Day 17: Trust Yourself.

Forgoing our default choices in yesterday’s challenge typically conjures the ultimate limitation to our creativity, which is doubt. Self trust is that missing piece of our inner confidence and courage that we often don’t realize was missing until we find it. Prior to embracing greater self love, I didn’t value my own wisdom enough to recognize that I didn’t trust myself, let alone gauge the broader consequences of not doing so. In hindsight, I can admit that all of my prior fears was the result of not trusting my own instincts. Not trusting ourselves leads to judging ourselves and depreciating the magnitude of happiness that we deserve. Truly the most frightening loneliness is ignoring the natural instincts in our heart that originates from our soul to protect and guide us as a cat’s whiskers becomes their eyes in the dark. Not trusting myself rendered me a sitting duck, just biting time as I gambled my happiness in flimsy people and prospects. It was nearly impossible to be in the moment from constantly seconding my opposing mind. Living a full abundant life begs that we trust ourselves lest we remain in fear from internal turmoil.

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In yesterday’s Facebook poll, a stunning 100% of you said you trust your instincts, suggesting that at the core, you believe in yourself. Thus far, the daily self love exercises and reflections have been designed to create the most welcoming and positive internal environment within yourself to gain your own self trust. It was difficult to trust myself when I didn’t treat myself well, which is similar to how I approach other relationships. But most importantly, I didn’t explicitly have any agreements with myself to define the boundaries of self trust. As the adage goes, ‘if there’s no law then there’s no crime’; having intentional contracts with ourselves helps to define the scope of self honoring choices. I have since made clear promises to myself that override prior people pleasing choices to protect my authentic self expression. I have promised myself to never choose being liked over speaking my heart. Continually honoring this promise enables me trust my own creativity and remain passionate about my purpose. If you wish to nurture greater inner peace that will empower you to grow beyond your comfort zone then consider how you can deepen your self trust.

1.) Make a small promise to yourself aimed at meeting one of your self love goals from day 1. For the next 7 days create a daily action/ routine to fulfill this promise.
–Trust is built on consistency. You would likely find it difficult to trust someone who only occasionally kept their word but let you down the most the time. Therefore, consistently keeping our word to ourself fosters trust and confidence in ourselves.
–My personal promise going forward is to “package” mine and my daughter’s lunches the night before. On day 1 I noted that being intentional and focused with my time was essential and I’ve since discovered that “presence” is a non negotiable aspect of my creative inspiration. Any sort of rushing, striving into the next moments undermines my energy so starting out my morning in a relaxed state of mind is an important tone to set for the day.

2.) For the next 5 days, challenge yourself not seek external opinions on personal matters/issues that only impact you.
–So this may be one the most challenging exercises so far if you are accustomed to always seeking external input. But I invite you to consider why we ask people’s opinions in the first place? We typically end up proceeding with our own preferences but unknowingly undermine our inner confidence by second guessing ourselves. You already know that you want to do, so just follow your heart, knowing that the remedy to whatever happens is self love.
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Trusting ourselves feels like plopping into the coziest bedding at the end of a long day. Self trust relieves us to feel safe in our choices and at peace in our minds. It liberates us to build the most welcoming castle within ourselves such that we can never feel estranged wherever we go. The wisdom in your heart is there just FOR you, trust it so that you truly have your own back.

Have a beautiful day.

Ini Anana

Day 16: Be Creative with self love.

Yesterday, I proposed that self acceptance is more about focusing on what makes us great than simply attempting to accept our perceived deficiencies. I wasted years trying to ‘love’ my imperfections not realizing that focusing on those so called ‘imperfections’ only fueled a perception of inadequacy. Rather, I should have been adoring what I liked about myself, thus minimizing my concern about any so called flaws. As very young children, we were effortlessly in tuned with what makes us special but as ‘grown ups’ it now requires creativity. It just so happens that ‘creativity’ was arguably the most intimidating word as an adult even as I would naturally consider myself a creative person. But of course creativity felt daunting when I was not consciously grounded in an awareness of my unique self abundance.

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Feeling connected to what makes us special enables us to creatively express our self abundance. The good news is that simply taking the opposite approach from our conditioned expectations will naturally channel our creativity. Merely challenging yourself to interrupt and contradict your default strategies to life will immediately allow your innate creative outlook to emerge. So today’s challenge essentially invites us to step out of our norms and embrace an alternate way of being with ourselves. Exploring novel ways of relating with ourselves broadens the context and situations in which we can choose to accept ourselves. Thus incorporating creativity into self love is a means for overcoming our perceived self scarcity or lack and fostering greater self abundance.

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1.) How can you inorporate creativity into your self love and care?. For example consider implementing creativity in expressing yourself physically by stepping out of your typical mode of presentation.
–Why not pull out that bright skirt you have been shy to wear, style your hair differently, wear those fancy shoes that’s reserved for special occasions.
–In many ways we may be afraid of standing out for “no reason” but how about the fact that being you is all the reason you need to stand out.
–In the past, I only painted my nails in “nude” colors, convincing myself that I preferred “classic simple shades. However, with much self reflection, I now realize that I didn’t want to look unprofessional aka not good enough by my definition. Therefore, I will be choosing a bolder nail polish when I paint my nails later today.

2.) Consider how you can take a different approach to thinking about routine challenges.
–Can you slow down if you are used to rushing, be more flexible if you are typically insist on control, or be more decisive is you’re used to allowing others to set the tone.
–Responding to life differently enables us to step outside of expectations that may subconsciously limit our self love.

3.) Set an intention to finally complete something that you have been putting off in previous weeks.

Ultimately, our souls is seeking the internal freedom to evolve into the truest expression of ourselves. It’s a journey that begins with interrupting conditioned ways of being in exchange for greater creativity to emerge. Self love is an excavating process of peeling away limitations to embrace our natural greatness.

Much love until tomorrow,

Ini Anana

Day 15: Accept Yourself.

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What are your aspirations for yourself as we enter the last week of the self love challenge? My vision for this experience was to foster a sense of self liberation from beliefs that prevent us from truly knowing our worth and value. As you demonstrated in day 1’s exercises, our true essence is love. Therefore, a person will undoubtedly love themselves upon re-discovering the truth about who they are. Thus far, we have been encouraged to remain intentional and purposeful with our self choices in order to regain power over the beliefs that we are ascribing to ourselves. Today’s challenge urges us to become more convicted about who we are through self acceptance. Have you ever pondered that all important question: who am I? It takes a lifetime to fully awaken to our authentic selves as we continually evolve into more conscious versions of ourselves. Still, we must begin with a blue print vision of who we desire to be to guide that journey. This is an in-depth topic that I would typically explore more extensively in a coaching dynamic but I will endeavor to offer preliminary insights that can be valuable in the context of this self love challenge.
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My own personal growth journey reveals that we do not necessarily need to “discover” ourselves but must simply choose to fully accept ourselves. We cannot erase whatever we reject about ourselves, whereby our resistance to this aspect of ourselves keeps us internally unhappy with ourselves. Let’s take for example a person who rejects themselves for not being “successful” enough and strives to validate their worth by pursuing their chosen means of success. They will likely overlook what innately makes them successful, making it difficult for external accomplishments to offer them the internal sense of success that is necessary to overcome their original limiting belief. Rather, self acceptance would entail such a person choosing to recognize and value what naturally makes them successful in their own unique nature. Doing so empowers them to conciously remain focused on an abundant aspect of their essence that would otherwise be neglected in their awareness. Such self awareness of ‘how’ they are innately successful subsequently enables believing in their potential during their pursuits. Therefore, the correct answer to who am I is : you are exactly everything that you wish to be by choosing to recognize your unique intrinsic self abundance in your desired ideals. In this example, self acceptance required letting go of a conditioned and limited definition or expectation of “success” that otherwise elicited one’s perceived sense of inadequacy. Thus, accepting yourself is choosing self abundance by recognizing the innate value that is always present in your natural talents and gifts. Interestingly, embracing the unique manner in which each person possesses whatever they deemed as lacking frees them feel like themselves. This explains why we can still remain unfulfilled after attaining a conditioned version of what we assumed would make us happy.
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1.) Take inventory of the qualities that you still find difficult attributing to yourself. What expectation of yourself do you believe that you are not meeting to warrant your reluctance?

2.) Do you believe that it’s possible to ever fully meet those expectations and finally experience relieve in this aspect of your life? If so, how? If not, what would it look like to feel relieve and at peace in this aspect of your life?.

3.) Sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed, envision what it would feel like to accept yourself unconditionally. And repeat either of the three affirmations 5 times depending on comfort level:
–I love myself unconditionally
–I am beginning to love myself unconditionally
–I am open to accepting myself unconditionally.

Self acceptance is akin to the surrender of a thrashing swimmer finally choosing calmness in the waters and relenting on their forceful struggle to stay afloat. Much of what we resist in ourselves originated from a desire for social survival when we assumed that the approval of others was necessary to feel safe and belong. However, self acceptance relieves us from internal inadequacy in the same ironic manner that the swimmer does not anticipate remaining afloat when they cease resistance. The expectations we have of ourselves are actually not missing within us but remain undiscovered if we try to validate them externally. Self acceptance frees us to focus on our true value and rediscover the wholeness we felt was missing.

Cheers until tomorrow,

Ini Anana

Day 14: Create An Impact.

I hope that yesterday’s exercises was a good reminder about why you are so deserving of your love. Looking back, I can now appreciate that the only reason that I ever struggled to fully accept myself was not actually ‘being’ myself. Yet, I was so identified with the expectations that I thought I needed to be that I honestly would not have been able to clearly discern how I wasn’t being true to my essence. Many insights later and I now understand that a significant litmus test for our authenticity is one’s effect or impact on others. Just as the roar epitomizes the lion and it’s sweet songs typifies the nightingale, I believe that the impact that we create on others reveals the effect that we are internally experiencing within ourselves. Thus, it easier to accept and love ourselves when the impact that we leave on others reflect our true essence. Essentially, one of the easiest ways to substantiate the love that we have for ourselves is to extend the same impact onto others. In essence, our positive impact reflects being true to our essence and is not limited to what we are doing. We can create a positive impact without any material exchange. Similarly, the Bible cautions that the act of giving away all of one’s possessions lacks meaning if it’s not done in the spirit of love.

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“Impact is the product of our being and reveals what’s unconditionally available within us from not having any expectations of others in return “–I. Anana

The last couple weeks have been dedicated to intentionally adding love and value to ourselves and today invites us to gauge what is in our cup by enabling it to overflow onto others. The magnitude of compassion that I show to myself is all that I can ‘authentically’ offer to others. Hence, true impact and service is based on generosity, whereby we must already possess for ourselves the ideals that we wish to extend towards others so we do not become limited by demanding the same gesture(s) in return. On the other hand, we can instantly become self abundant in any quality that we choose to freely extend towards others. I have a profound believe that we often do not recognize our magnificence until we seize the opportunity to create a positive impact on others. Such moments remind us of who we are at our core because not expecting any gestures back in return symbolizes our inherent wholeness. The impact that we create on others subsequently fuels our self love, enhancing our capacity to sustain the same impact on ourselves.

1.) How would you describe your impact on others using one word. Explain your answer?

2.) As you go through your day, remain aware of the impact that your choices and actions has on others. Does it reflect the overflow of a full cup of self love? What needs to be adjusted to align with your true essence?

3.) Extend an act of generosity to five individuals this upcoming week without any expectations.
–I encourage you to draw on the qualities that you love about your essence (from day 1) to create your desired impact. It’s good to note that we don’t need always need to expend money to show kindness towards others. I recently offered an extended back massage to my mother who watches my daughter while I’m at work and she still assures that it was better than anything money could buy.

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It’s important to start focusing on the impact that we wish to create in the world as we approach the final week of the challenge. This is the phase where we will begin shaping the vision that we wish to impart on our future selves. As we fill our own cup with love, the overflow becomes the impact we leave on others. Because impact is not conditional, the effect we have on others also reveals how we are towards ourselves. Being intentional to be of positive service to others is the best way to confirm that we are also extending the same care to ourselves.

Much love till tomorrow,

Ini Anana

Day 13: Acknowledge Yourself.

Consistently hitting the pause button to relax as we did yesterday amidst our busy schedules gradually leads to trusting our ability to manage whatever life throws at us. I was often reluctant to temporarily switch off the constant “go” mode because I subconciously feared that I wouldn’t be able to regain lost momentum. In essence, not being fully present in my circumstances prevented me from fully appreciating the personal skills at my disposal that I was employing in those instances. So much of our self defeating dialogue stems from a fear of dropping the ball when the stakes seem high, otherwise known as “failure”. Could it be that we are afraid to fail because we don’t fully trust our capacity to recover? If one had greater confidence in their comeback game then perhaps they would be less worried about confronting challenges or set backs in the first place? Trusting in our own innate resilience is one of the many differences between very young children and adults. What else could explain why our seventeen months old daughter persisted in trying to climb a particular chair in our living room after falling many times. She likely trusted that her own determination was more decisive to her success than the difficulty of the skill she had to learn.
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On the day 1 of this self love challenge, you independently recognized five qualities about your essence that I believe is your constant leverage for overcoming any challenge in life. We may erroneously disregard the importance of those personal assets if we are not fully embodying them in our thoughts and choices. Renown spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson reiterated a similar ideal that we always have everything that we need to thrive in a podcast I recently listened to. She said something along the lines:

“the acorn does not have to work to become a spruce tree nor the embryo wonder how it will become a fetus”

What is your interpretation of the above statement? I believe it implies that simply being true to our essence offers us the constant wisdom and insights to evolve through all the changing seasons in our lives. It suggests that loving ourselves under all circumstances frees us to have greater faith in ourselves instead of insisting that things must unfold in a particular manner. Whereby, being self critical during life’s challenges leads to focusing on what we believe is lacking within us instead of noting the self abundance that we always possess.

1.) List 10 accomplishments and/or challenges that you have achieved or overcome.
–How does reflecting on how far you have come make you feel about yourself?
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2.) Describe the common personal skills, qualities and traits that served you in those successes.
–Consider adopting a routine of affirming this quality about yourself in one of your daily habits from day 10 to continually internalize this incredibly invaluable aspect of yourself.

3.) List 5 things that you believe you are doing well at in your life right now. Consider how you can employ (or trust in your eventual capacity to utilize) the dominant qualities that you demonstrated in the above successes to an area of your life where you may be feeling overwhelmed or stuck.

Continual personal growth is the ultimate aim of self love because it affords us a sense of purpose in life. Not fully appreciating my own resiliency in the past led to unnecessarily holding myself back in certain areas of my life. We each have our own unique blend of personal assets that will always enable to overcome uncertainty or difficulty. Acknowledge yourself and trust that just like everything else in nature, being true to who you are is the key to your fulfillment and abundance.

Have a beautiful weekend everyone,

Much love,

Ini A.

Day 12: Relax.

“If you are not enjoying the ride, then you’re not really on it”–Ini Anana

If you have had a busy week then you probably won’t need much persuasion to accept today’s self love challenge. So I promise to keep today’s entry short and sweet, so you can get to the important business of relaxing. Do you find it easy to genuinely relax? Without being mindful, I would easily have a tendency to be a “busy relaxer” with my mind still perusing what has to be done while I appear to be unwinding. Deepening our spiritual practice from yesterday’s challenge gradually fosters an increased capacity to relax as we begin to trust that you aren’t responsible for everything beyond our control. Allowing ourselves to pause and relax keeps us in the natural flow of our true essence, bolstering our sense of self appreciation. So why do most of us generally feel guilty about doing nothing while relaxing? I believe it stems from attaching more value to an outcome instead of the process. This creates the mentality that whatever is happening now is less valuable than what’s to come, which keeps us anxious, not fully present and unsatisfied with ourselves. Therefore, relaxing is a form of self acceptance, whereby freeing ourselves from the need to prove our worth enables us to simply BE ourselves. Releasing the constant pressure of ‘doing’ gives us the impetus to enjoy ourselves in our most authentic state, enhancing our self esteem and awareness. Without consciously switching our minds from the doing mode, we may remain perpetually distracted and tense, making it hard to enjoy even our desired rewards. Thus, by enabling us to detach our worth from external happenings, relaxing may offer the self awareness necessary to implement many of the prior self love principles.

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Believing that we always need to “do” or accomplish something in order to feel productive may create a viscous cycle of perceived inadequacy and temporary validation that keeps us internally insecure. More so, busy does not necessarily yield productivity if we are running on diminished inspiration and energy. Feeling good enough (within ourselves) in our relaxed state gives us clarity about what truly makes us happy and liberates us from simply doing what is expected of us. If we are waiting until the work is complete to rest then we may never fully appreciate our innate human value.

1.) Today focus on just “being” present instead of only striving to prove yourself by getting things done.
–Focusing on “how” we are doing things instead of being tunneled visioned in merely “what” we do allows us to remain true to our essence and values, making it possible to love ourselves. It will become hard to ‘enjoy’ our accomplishments if are anxious, impatient or unkind during their pursuit.

2.) Engage in an activity that allows you to relax your mind and restore your energy.

–Even after the self love challenge is over, it will be important to recognize and embrace periodic opportunities to relax. Perhaps you can schedule in appropriate daily, weekly, bi-weekly or mostly activities that allow you to take a time out and unwind.

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Don Miguel Ruiz highlights an ironic truth in his book “The Four Agreements”, stating that in simply taking action to gain a reward most people don’t enjoy their efforts and don’t do their best in life. Relaxing challenges us to seek worth within ourselves instead deriving our value from our external expectations. When we are mentally and emotionally open, present and unattached to an outcome then we become available to truly notice life around us and learn.

Have a wonderful day,

Till tomorrow,

Ini