Yours Truly: 5 Languages of Self-Love

To fully love another, you have to love yourself. As we step into February, the quintessential month of love, we are constantly reminded of all of the ways we “should” want to be loved by others. Gifts, dates, cards, candies - constant expressions of affection. There is a misconception around February that part of our worth is dependent on the expressions of love we receive. This month, I am challenging you to channel some of your love inward, and love yourself in the same way you enjoy being loved by others. 

At the beginning of the year, I took Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages quiz, to discover how I prefer to be loved by others. As it is, this quiz is impressively enlightening, and provides actionable ways to help both you and your significant other understand how and why you respond to certain expressions of affection. I have taken the quiz before, a few years ago, but this time around, I shifted my perception of the results. Instead of thinking of my Love Languages as a guide for my husband, I considered them as a guide for myself - 5 Languages of Self-Love.

The Original 5 Love Languages
Words of Affirmation: Unsolicited compliments & verbal expressions of love
Acts of Service: Personal favors and nurturing actions
Receiving Gifts: Tangible tokens of thoughtfulness and affection
Quality Time: Undivided attention and one-on-one time
Physical Touch: Connectivity through physical displays of affection

The Reimagined 5 Languages of Self-Love
Positive Inner Dialogue: Self-talk centered on positive attributes and kindness
Acts of Independence: Getting things done how and when you want to
Personal Value-Adds: Making purchases that truly increase quality of life
Quality Alone Time: Dedicated moments of solitude or reflection
Physical Wellness: Body awareness through fitness, nutrition and personal care

I've spent the last few weeks applying this simple tool of reimagined Love Languages to harness my independence in nurturing a happy and healthy heart. Using my new, self-care focused Love Languages as a framework, I have made a significant effort to spend quality time alone with my thoughts while independently doing and accomplishing things I enjoy, connect deeply to my physical presence and wellness, and remind myself of all of the reasons I am grateful to be exactly who I am.

When I first set out on this little self-love experiment, I couldn't help but think it might be selfish. I was actually worried about carving out quality time with myself, and wondered if all of this self care might get a little overwhelming, and a little expensive. But what I realized is that self-love is so much more about perception and mindset than it is about doing things or buying material items to find happiness. By simply deciding that you are going to be kind to yourself, your whole outlook can change. Being aware and conscious of negative self talk helps you shut it down. Making an effort to see the small moments in life as “quality time” helps you appreciate those moments more - even just grabbing a coffee from my favorite cafe has felt special to me over the last few weeks, simply because I decided it is. And of course, getting out there and doing things that are good for your body and mind does have an incredible impact on your mood and overall happiness. I finally scheduled the facial that I'd been “too busy” to find time for, and finally booked a hair appointment at a salon I've been dying to visit (thank you Calm Skincare Studio and bex+Co.!). I slowed down my routine and stopped making excuses to put off doing things that make me feel good.

At Moderna Muse, we’re in the business of personal growth, achievement, and development. We take this view not only for our clients, but also for ourselves. When a huge part of your life is focusing on all of the ways you can improve, it is easy to lose sight of all of the amazing things that you have already accomplished. It becomes natural to be hard on yourself, tear yourself down, and constantly tune into your failures and how you can fix them. When you're trying to go up and up and up, self-love and self-care often take a backseat. This is absolutely detrimental to your journey toward success. If you are not operating with love for yourself at your core, all of that work and every struggle, big and small, will wear you down. Tony Robbins said it best: “Push will wear you out. When you’re pushing to do something, you only got so much willpower. But when you’re pulled, when there’s something larger than yourself that you’re here to serve and that you believe you’re made for, that brings energy.” The key here is the part about belief - honestly buying into the idea that you were made for a specific purpose. That belief in your power opens you up to self-love and respect. If you're going to push yourself, you also need to address and nurture the things that pull you toward your inspiration, and balance out the pressure with a foundation of positivity and love for yourself. 

So, why is this foundation of self-love so important? For most of us, when we hear the word “love”, we immediately think of our feelings towards others and the affection we receive from them. But the one thing in this world that you can 100%, without a doubt count on - with a little practice and patience - is yourself. You can’t run away from yourself. You can’t take a break from yourself, or go off on a journey and leave yourself behind. You are stuck with yourself, whether you like it or not - so you might as well learn to love you! Life is full of curveballs, and unfortunately, we often have to receive those curveballs from people we care about. This is not to suggest that you build up walls or distance yourself from love out of the fear of heartbreak, but it’s important that you develop personal strength and love for yourself to survive those surprises that life may throw your way. It all comes down to planning, out of respect for your own heart. There’s no need to sit around worrying about the worst things that could happen to you or the idea of being alone, but there’s strength in being prepared with an arsenal of independence. If you’ve only ever relied on others to provide love for you, then the symptoms of withdrawal will be at their absolute worst when you inevitably have to experience solitude. This isn’t limited to breakups - being alone is part of everyday life, no matter what kind of relationship you are currently in. From work to carting kids around to juggling finances and workouts and friendships and personal aspirations, life gets crazy, and you won’t always be able to sync with a significant other. You’ve got to be comfortable with just doing you when you have to and find the joy and love in simply being with yourself.

Easier said than done, right? Loving yourself is hard. So take the 5 Languages of Self Love challenge! I have felt everything in my life get a little easier by consciously placing self-love at my core. It has helped me move past setbacks faster, learn lessons quickly, and move forward with more energy and light in my everyday life. Take the quiz. Reimagine your Love Languages. Remind yourself how you want to be loved. Then make it your goal for the next month to give yourself that love and #liveyourmuse.

Shannon Pike
COO & Executive Brand Curator
Moderna Muse

My Languages of Self-Love: 1) Quality Alone Time 2) Acts of Independence 3) Positive Inner Dialogue 4) Physical Wellness 5) Personal Value-Adds

My Languages of Self-Love: 1) Quality Alone Time 2) Acts of Independence 3) Positive Inner Dialogue 4) Physical Wellness 5) Personal Value-Adds

Source: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Breaking Basic

New Year, new goals, clean slate, a sense of renewal and leaving the past behind...again and again and again! If you take a peek at your goals from last year, you likely reached some of them. Some you will copy and paste into the upcoming new year.  If we pay close attention and take an honest inventory, we are copying and pasting more than we probably should. Yes, it’s important to be gentle with oneself and adjust timing of our goals as needed, but we often let the copy and paste happen because of our lack of a breakthrough, and attachment to a perceived payoff. Let’s explore this more closely.

If you’ve ever been through a goal-setting session, you’ve likely heard of “SMART Goals” a million times over:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based.  This is a great foundation for goal-setting and simple to apply, yet it is simultaneously basic. When you are living your muse, you aren’t basic. Your path can’t be planned through a “one size fits all” plan. Life will likely require that you experience a unique, major breakthrough to get to your muse and live beyond the ordinary. This breakthrough might be so personal to you that it can’t be considered “measurable”.  It might be a state of mind, a perception, or an emotional experience. And in no way, shape or form can you become extraordinary with ordinary tools.  You must be willing to do the things that don’t look perfect, polite, accommodating or acceptable in order to reach your breakthrough.

Start by looking back at where you came from. Your family, hometown, childhood friends & activities, etc.  It’s your foundation, and an integral part of who you are. Throughout life, you have been and will be exposed to different opportunities that broaden your scope beyond where you come from. This is actually pretty common for most of us. It usually starts with college or other post-high school experiences, where we leave home to pursue a higher level education or new experiences. Some of us may return home and others do not. For some it is only the start of many journeys that exacerbate the gap between where you come from and where you are going. This gap quickly becomes evident in the relationships in your life. Any time that you move, elevate to a new position or make a major life change, you run the risk of leaving people behind. There’s a deeply personal and often negative connotation that comes with this. You are pursuing your dreams and your calling in life, but it comes at the cost of changing your relationships. And boy, can some people put a guilt trip on you!  “You left me”, “I never see you”, “You’re too good for us now”. Those comments cut like a knife. It’s not that you don’t care about your friends and family; you are simply following your calling.  And isn’t that what life is all about?  Living your muse to fulfill your soul’s purpose? Hearing that your loved ones feel left behind is hard and it hurts. You have no intention of causing pain, but the risk of misrepresenting yourself to others is one of the many costs of propelling yourself forward. Everyone is responsible for themselves, including those that may feel left in your past. Find new ways to connect and create bonds through distance and change, but never make yourself responsible for those in your life that inflict guilt trips, make you responsible for their happiness or project their lack of growth on your success. Is the payoff of being close, accommodating others, and putting their needs first worth the cost of your dream?

Payoffs are hard to see. They are usually a blind spot that we, and our friends and families, can’t even identify at the surface. The easiest way to explore them is to start with your fears. If I ______________, I’m scared that _____________ will happen. Our interpretations of simple cause and effect. Over years of conditioning, experiences, abuse, lost loves, failures, successes, we establish a set of rigid ideas that make up our template for a solid, responsible “plan”. In actuality, we have developed mental and emotional limitations that block our willingness to incorporate taking risks and conquering fears into our plan.  We equate “safe” to “responsible”, and “comfortable” to “right”. But when you are truly breaking through thresholds, you’ll see that those principles go straight out the window. You face your fear dead on and overcome your complacency and the payoff you’ve been leaning on.

When I was doing heavy self work during the process of my divorce, I was reading Conscious Loving by Gay Hendricks, where I came face to face with this concept. Hendricks poses the question “What are you Getting out of Staying Stuck?” In the book, a story is shared about a man and woman suffering from their attachment to a payoff. “Larry and Ruth realized that their main payoff was in maintaining their belief that the other person was wrong. When they fought they could strengthen their belief that ‘no matter what I do, I can’t win with this person.’ Their other big payoff was limiting positive energy. By fighting all the time they kept themselves from acknowledging something very important and real; neither was satisfied with what they were accomplishing in the world. They felt they were not living up to their potential as individuals or as a couple.  Fighting and blaming were ways of avoiding looking at and doing something about this painful awareness.” It’s amazing what we discover when we peel back the layers and face the depths of what’s actually holding us back.  With my own realization of being stuck, I had to face what ever labels, blame, judgments and opinions that would come with divorce.  But with my fear of being alone and starting over, I gave myself the opportunity to live my muse and disprove my fears.

Many of you have stepped out in courageous ways and have started to influence your communities with your life’s work.  This is a tremendous step and you deserve a round of applause.  We are in a new era of both self-promotion and brand-promotion, and sometimes the line between the two feels blurred. It’s a different way of commercialization, but the tools within social media alone have changed the game. Often times, when we have influence, we become too humble about our platform. The more people you know, and the more good work that you do, you are talked about more, have more people to socialize with, more obligations and events...the list goes on and on. It’s exhausting and you can quickly become sick of yourself.  As a result, humility can lead you to pull back on your visibility; you don’t want to bother people with too much “you”. But when you are doing good work and you believe in your work, the world needs more of you. Stand as that example of courage, strength, good, positivity, encouragement, beauty, creativity, and inspiration. Yes, it comes with the price of some people thinking that you are narcissistic, conceited, cocky or egotistical - but guess what... your message isn’t for them! Might I remind you that Oprah’s show was called “Oprah” and her entire brand is “Oprah”. You too have the right to own who you are and rise into your muse unapologetically.  

Beloved musa, all this is said to encourage you to do what YOU need to do this year.  Despite what people might think and how they might feel, despite the fears that flow through your blood, you were put on this earth to do great things. The payoffs of holding back aren’t worth it, and even when it feels like they are, challenge yourself to expand the lens on your scope and find creative ways to maintain the things that are important to you.  Become comfortable with the temporary pain of change and growth, knowing that you are shedding and making room for more goodness in your life.  In 2017, copy and paste that lofty, crazy, dreamy goal for the last time in your life.  Know that this is your year, this is your breakthrough, and there’s no going back to basic.  Live your muse!

Rashanna Moss
CEO & Executive Visionary
Moderna Muse

 

Hendricks, Gay, and Kathlyn Hendricks. Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-commitment. New York: Bantam, 1990. 158-59. Print.