Inspiration for the Heart, Mind and Soul
For a long time, I found it difficult to love myself. Partly because I was never taught to love myself and partly because the concept of love for me was always about being a relationship. It was about being accepted by someone else. Being wanted by someone else! Society never taught me the true meaning of love. I was one who saw love as something to give way rather than something to keep close to my breast.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Its day of love, affection, gifts, candlelit dinners, passion, romance and all that good stuff that we were told were true expressions of love. It’s this concept that keeps toxic relationships together, binds many unions of marriages and feeds our pride. Carelessly we were taught that love had to be given away to mean anything. It has to be shared before it reached its full potential
It took many years for me to covet love and learn to guard my happiness jealously. I love being alone just as much as I love being with my significant other and I thank God I don’t have to fight him for my space because he understands that ‘Me’ is more important than ‘We’. Learning to be comfortable with me was painful, it was hard but it was necessary. Embracing myself, learning to love myself, burying all of my insecurities was a battle I had to fight alone. Someone can say to you “I Love You” a hundred times, it will mean nothing until you first learn to Love You!
But how many people can honestly say that they love themself? Falling in love with yourself is scary but necessary. Necessary because you need that foundation. You need to fall in love with yourself to discover who you are. You need to fall in love with yourself mostly because it’s the only way to open the door to true happiness. The kind of happiness that will be there long after your relationship has ended.
If you’re still struggling with the image staring back at you, here 4 changes that can you help learn to love yourself
Learn to make yourself happy
Learn to enjoy being in your own company. stealing days off for yourself is never a bad thing. Leaving the children with grandparents or the babysitters doesn’t make you a bad parent. Don’t guilt-trip yourself for having a bit of ‘ME’ time. It’s always good to have a few days set by for yourself. Self-Care is the Best Care!
You know what’s best for you, trust your instincts, your gut, your intuition or whatever you want to call it. You are the only person who knows what’s best for you. Trust is a lot like love, you can’t truly trust someone unless you’ve built a trust relationship with yourself. Trusting yourself will always bring clarity to every situation.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Travel, travel, travel! I love exploring on my own. You don’t have to travel to another continent to get the experience of being away from it all. Your trip could be as near or far away as you choose. I find that I’m more adventurous when I’m alone than when I’m with someone else. Stepping outside your comfort zone also opens you up to self-awareness and help break up the regular programming that keeps you stuck in a rut.
By challenging yourself, you will build the self-confidence to do all the things you’ve been afraid to do. Keep setting new goals for yourself, keep pushing yourself to be better. Take up a new hobby, try something new!
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I just opened a group Facebook that offers a safe space to ‘ the dreamers and doers’ who are looking for that daily dose of motivation to keep you going while working your way to that next level.
Please feel free to join my new group! If you’re still unable to access the group, let me know in your comment or drop me an email.
©Etta D. Richards
What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange, it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”
Every parent wants the same outcome for their children, just as their parent before them and their parent’s parent did before that. If you asked a dozen parents, what they wanted for your child. They’re most likely to say they want their children to be successful. For me, I want my daughters to be smart, not just book smart but also street smart. I want them to be successful, mindful and kind to others. I also want them to make decisions that will give them a happy life, decisions based on the values instilled in them.
Bringing up a child is more than providing food, clothing and shelter. Raising a child calls for character building that involves more than being polite and having manners. It calls for creating a habit of positive mental wellbeing, indulging in good thoughts about themselves. Parents can teach character by promoting values like honesty, respect, responsibility and kindness. As a parent putting these values in practice demonstrates a commitment to good character so our children will no doubt want to follow.
Like my mother and grandmother before me, I’ve taught my daughters that they are responsible for their own actions, they can’t blame others for their misfortunes or mistakes because every decision they make dictates the life they will live. I’ve also taught them that it didn’t matter their stations in life or the circumstance they were born into or the challenges that may arise before them if they stood firm and relentlessly pursued your goals they will most definitely succeed. In the grand scheme of things, my goal was not to raise perfect children, my goal is and always have been was to raise better citizens and help them find their defining moments.
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©Etta D. Richards
The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren’t always protracted, heavy with meaning.
Earlier this year I had a job interview, it was one I had tirelessly for. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. During that interview I was asked the question, “what would you say is your greatest accomplishment.” I asked the gentlemen to repeat the question, however, when he repeated the question it was rephrased. Instead, he asked me, “Name a defining moment in your life.” I thought long and hard about this question, it was not on any of my flashcards because it wasn’t a question that’s been included in interviews I’d had in the past and certainly not one I had prepared for.
Continue reading “Phenomenal Friday: Identifying Moments That Define You”
“And now she knows, beautiful things take time.” ~ Anonymous
This time of year it’s almost impossible for me to not be greeted with photos of proud parents, including myself, showing off pictures of their graduates. As well as some proud parents who are also celebrating the end of their own journey into continuing Education. It makes me reminiscent of my own High School and College Graduations. If I want to be honest, back then in high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I don’t remember much of my high school graduation, except for looking down on my audience and my classmates and thinking, this is it. This the last time we will all gather as classmates. In college my path, yet blurred, my visions of the future, my future begin to take shape my second year. After it was all done, there was so much I wanted to do, places I wanted to see, some of which I have done, many places I have seen. But there is still much to do and see.
Continue reading “Phenomenal Friday- Spend Every Waking Moment On The Things That Matter”
I’ve made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I’ve seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who’s not very cute – her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn’t grow right, and she’s got on thick glasses – but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she’s a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women – to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake – all of those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us.
My father died three years ago. On that day and the many days that followed I was inundated with messages of condolences and the one thing I knew my family was anticipating. My return home. Everyone assumed I would drop everything and fly out for the funeral. The day he died was the day we had submitted our documents to the Home Office, though it may have been possible to apply for emergency travel documents it was not an option for me because I didn’t think it had worth the delaying everything we had started here to make the journey back home, he was gone and one more body sitting in the front pew was not going to change that.
This is my submission to Debbie’s Forgiving Friday series, where she writes about and invite others to share their thoughts on Forgiveness, Self-Love and Personal Growth.
It’s the last Friday of the year! It snowed heavily in my neighbourhood this morning and it was a challenge to roll out of bed because I was a bit melancholy that Christmas came and went without a kiss goodbye to its favourite fan! It disappeared gently into the good night at the stroke of Mid-Night December 25th and now the wait begins. Continue reading “Phenomenal Friday-The Chicken And The Eagle!”
It’s true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul. ~Caroline Kennedy
I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful Christmas, mine was extra special because I had both of my girls at home for the Holidays, the first in 2 years. We cooked, watched movies, ate, drank and was Merry. As we gathered around the table there was an overwhelming feeling of happiness with a mixture of apprehension that the day would soon be over we’d all be headed our separate ways, I would be back to work and my daughters back to respective schools.
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