So What Does Self-Care Actually Mean? (And Other Reads)

Self-care has been the focus of my week. From learning how to let go of things I can’t control, to finding peace when I can’t possibly complete every item on my to-do list, I’m learning that self-care is about appreciating who I am and pushing myself (in a healthy way!!) to do more.

This week’s reads are about self-care and other essential topics. Hopefully they can make you think, move, and be inspired.

And if you’re looking for more, here’s the other weeks’ reads. Continue reading

The Value Of Practicing Mindfulness

I’ve never considered myself a ‘yogi,’ though I’ve always loved the practice. To me, the act of slowing down, paying attention to my breath, and releasing present stress is beautiful. In terms of exercise, though, I’ve always found myself drawn to open roads, shoes slapping on pavement, and weights in my palms. I love the rush of a good run, a good lift. And though yoga has always tapped into an inner side of me, I was never pulled to fully commit. This morning, though, I was invited by a friend and found myself falling into that comfortable rhythm again.

From the moment I stepped into the room, wiggled off my shoes, unfolded my mat still covered with last month’s beach yoga sand, and took my first breath, I was reminded of how it feels to re-ground, re-center with myself. This is a practice and state of mind I’m always striving for.

As the class started, I promised myself I would commit. I would be in the now. I would stop worrying about the next thing and just listen to my heartbeat, feel the muscles pull and twist. And as sweat dripped from my face, my hips ached with a deep stretch, and my fears melted away, I was reminded of the art of mindfulness and how truly valuable it is. Continue reading

This Breakup Is Not Your Identity

I know exactly where you are right now, caught in the painful web of lies, distrust, anger, and fear. You’re stuck, rooted in place, terrified because for the first time you’re looking at the rest of your life without that person in it. Who are you without him, without her? This question leaves a resounding, lonely echo in your mind. You never thought you’d be here, never thought you’d watch the person you love walk away. You never thought that everything you poured into your relationship would crumble beneath you like dust.

You loved, and you loved hard. You gave this person your heart, your soul, your happiness. You interwove your life around theirs, did everything you could to make them stay. Maybe you foolishly changed yourself a time or two, so caught up in what you thought you two would be.

But now it’s over. And even reading those words re-breaks your heart all over again. How could this happen? Why me? These questions swim in your mind. You can’t focus, can’t listen, can’t regain your balance enough to take a step. You’re broken. And it feels like you’ll be this way forever.

But the truth is, you won’t. The truth is, you’re bruised, but not destroyed.

You have a shattered heart, but even the most fragmented pieces can be put back together. Even the deepest wounds can be bandaged. Even the heaviest aches can be soothed with tenderness and self-love. Continue reading

Fight For The Freedom Of Your Own Heart

When we think of love we think of relationships. We think of falling into the arms of someone who understands us or being with someone whose heart sings of forever. We think about dates and sunset walks, hand in hand across moonlit beaches. We think about two pairs of shoes by the front door or two toothbrushes in the cup by the sink. We think about crossed paths and intertwined dreams. We think of love as this answer to everything we’ve been missing.

And yes, love is absolutely and without a doubt beautiful. But when was the last time the word ‘love’ crossed our mind and we thought of ourselves? Continue reading

Just As You Are, You Are Enough

You are enough. Enough for the beautiful things of this world. Enough for the laughter, for the love that you deserve. Enough for the blessings that will come to you, sometimes when you least expect. Enough, even in the hardest moments, because who you are is filled with the strength and resilience to overcome.

You are enough—enough power, enough love, enough spirit, enough passion, enough of everything you so often convince yourself you lack. Continue reading

All That You Have The Potential To Be Is Inherently Within You

If you believe, you can achieve anything. Let those words sink in for a moment. How many times have you seen that phrase and read it quickly, never giving it a second thought? How many moments have you nodded your head, then moved on to the next thing, never once pausing to reconsider the weight of that affirmation in your own life?

The power of our minds is strong beyond measure. Continue reading

Do Not Let Yourself Walk Around With An Orphaned Heart

Do not let yourself walk around with an orphaned heart, with a soul that feels empty or alone. Do not let yourself wander through your days without purpose or direction, bumping into people and things without a sliver of hope for what lies ahead. Do not let yourself feel the aches of yesterday, the people who left creating a hole in your chest.

You are not an orphan.
You are not alone.
You are not defeated.

Even in the shadows, even with the most painful memories dragging like dead weight behind you—there is a place for you here on this earth. Continue reading

18 Body Image Quotes To Empower You

Regardless of where you’ve been, the story you’ve lived, or the path you’ve traveled, at some point you’ve probably dealt with body image issues, self-doubt, or comparison—this is human. It’s human to measure ourselves to others around us, human to feel inadequate at times, human to believe we are unworthy.

But the truth, we are so damn worthy. We are so damn unique. We are so damn beautiful.

Regardless of where you are on your self-love journey, these quotes are from real people sharing their real struggles (in books + interviews, etc.) Whether you’re in desperate need of encouragement, or just wanting to know you’re not alone, these body image quotes will inspire and empower you to keep going, and keep your focus on who you are, not what you look like.

1.

“Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given, the place where love and joy and grief happen, where happiness unfolds. Do you really want to keep believing that it’s a horrible, ugly, lumpy thing? Do you really want to keep punching yourself like that?”

—Geneen Roth, This Messy Magnificent Life

2.

“Worthiness does not have prerequisites.”

—Brené Brown, The Gift of Imperfection

3.

“I’ve finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come.”

—Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

Continue reading

9 Body Positive Sentences To Repeat When Speaking To Yourself

We are a culture constantly caught up in comparison, in judgment, in measuring our happiness by appearance and numbers on a scale. So often we put on clothing with an aim to be desirable over comfortable, to be accepted rather than confident in who we are.

When we look in the mirror, we note our flaws before our features, we see what we wish to fix before what makes us beautiful, and unique. When we compliment one another, we focus on physical attributes over descriptions of our inner selves, our souls.

But who we are as people is far more than societal standards, than numbers, than judgements we make to photos we’ve scrolled through online.

Whether you are struggling with body positivity and self-celebration, or just needing a reminder that beauty goes beyond physical—here is a list of affirmations to say to yourself, to build yourself, to learn to love yourself a little more today. Continue reading

I Hope You Forgive Yourself For Every Doubting Your Strength

This is a letter to the man who didn’t believe he was ever good enough, to the woman who listened to the negative voices in her head and let her fear win. This is for the guy who let heartbreak determine his path, for the girl who looked at her failures and allowed them to define who she’d become.

This is for the person who’s been lost, the one who couldn’t find a direction, and was so dizzy he or she simply stood still. This a reminder for each and every one of us—in the moments we’ve forgotten how absolutely powerful we were, and how, despite the circumstances of this life, we still have the ability to stand, to continue, to grow. Continue reading