As women, we face constant scrutiny and comparison, leading us to doubt our self-worth and overlook the extraordinary beauty that resides within us...especially as we age. But today, we're embarking on a journey to change that narrative and discover the power of self-love.
Join me as we delve into ten transformative self-love practices that will help you embrace your body, celebrate your individuality, and ignite radiant confidence from within.
It's time to break free from the chains of societal expectations and unlock the beauty that has always been yours to claim. Are you ready to embark on this liberating path of self-discovery? Let's dive in together and unleash the true essence of your being.
To foster body positivity and embrace our inherent beauty, here are ten self-love practices that can help us appreciate and accept ourselves just the way we are:
It wasn't the clean air or the clear starry sky nights that were the most nourishing. It wasn't the fact that I got to spend 5 days camping with my best friend or that I hiked on smooth flat rock with gorgeous views that made me feel alive.
All of those things made my heart sparkle and glow.
But what surprised me the most was the quiet. The stillness.
It was startling in a way to be in complete soundlessness. I had forgotten about being out in the middle of nowhere how quiet life can be.
I realized that living in a city or town, the sounds from the freeway are running in the background, even though for me, my house is nowhere near the freeway.
It was the stillness and deep quiet without the background noise that soothed me the most.
Canyonlands with Dear Friends
We started in Canyonlands, Utah, with 5 other couples. Now a delightful annual affair, we hiked, ate together, talked and laughed, did yoga up on a...
May is Mental Health Month and we all know it's crucial to prioritize our mental well-being, especially as we age. Yet setting boundaries and saying no are things that we may not think of as essential parts of self-care and it can be challenging to know where to start.
In this post, I’ve created a fictitious woman who like so many of us knew instinctively that she needed some practical self-care ideas to help her prioritize her mental health.
I’ve named her Effie who has the same name as my beloved maternal grandmother who never stopped giving to others. A woman whose way of living took a huge toll on her as she ended up with cancer.
Grab a cup of tea, take a deep breath, and let's get started.
Once upon a time, Effie realized she needed to take better care of her mental health. She knew that setting boundaries and saying no were important pieces of taking care of herself but she wasn't sure where to start.
She heard about...
“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this." Nayyirah Waheed
As women, we’re taught from a young age to be dissatisfied with our bodies. We’re expected to fit into an ideal of beauty that is impossible to achieve and have so much pressure placed upon us in today’s society because of it.
This constant battle can leave us feeling emotionally drained and exhausted…as I know all too well. But instead of continuing this vicious cycle, it's time to put down the weapons, stop fighting, and start listening to what your body has been trying to tell you all along.
My story is not that different than many of you reading this.
I think about the times I’ve been so hard on my body and how I’ve fought to stay thin because, I too, bought into the cultural expectation that thin is...
The new year is a time of new beginnings when the slate is clean and we get to start over. It's the time when people are making goals, going on fitness programs, and deciding to start the year in a blaze of activity.
It may not be that way for all of us.
If you're like me, you don't want to do anything except take a nap, lie down, be quiet, and read a book. Raise your hand if you feel like this.
It’s stormy and rainy in northern California right now and all I want to do is go slow and not think about what I "need" to do.
Normally I have loads of energy and I'm ready to start the new year full-on with goals for what I want to achieve and do. I've usually figured out my word for the year to remind me to stay on track.
I decided to ask my future self (something I do every morning) about why I feel so slow and she said, "well, think about it, Jo."
Recently I talked to my 8-year-old granddaughter, Ella, and told her that I had a dream that she would lead a retreat with me one day when she's older.
I explained to her what a retreat was and she said, “I'd love to do that.”
And then I said, "what part would you lead?"
She said “I dunno.”
And I said, “well, maybe you could remind women how to play.”
She looked at me in disbelief and said “what”?
I told her that sometimes adults forget how to play.
She looked at me as if I was from another planet.
In her little mind, not knowing how to play was incomprehensible.
That day, I realized that I, too, had forgotten how to play.
It began raining that same afternoon. Both Ella and her sister Katie ran out fully dressed and they did what kids do…relished in playing in the rain, laughing, yelling, and having the time of their lives.
For once, I...
Why do we forget that self-care is the most important thing we can do for ourselves, for our sanity, our well-being, and our health?
If it’s so important, then why aren’t we all doing everything in our power to relax, chill out, and set aside time no matter what happens?
Years ago when I was in the midst of parenting my teenage sons, I remember my coach asking me, what do you do for self-care?
It took me a few seconds to blurt out, "uh, what do you mean exactly"?
She patiently replied, "you know, how do you take care of yourself? What do you do just for yourself?"
I was totally blank.
I could not identify one thing. Because I was so busy running a household, working in a mental health clinic as well as starting my own private practice, and trying my best to be a good mom and wife.
It was a lot.
And in the process...I forgot about me.
So I began my journey of focusing on myself after that time....
Recently when I was in Hawaii, I talked to my friend, Emily Emmons, who is one of the most get-things-done kind of women I know.
She started a nonprofit called Hoʻōla Farms in 2015 to teach military veterans, first responders, their families, caregivers, and the community how to grow healthy food. With her guidance and drive, it's now grown into a farm, and a commercial kitchen, and also provides an array of training and hands-on experiences.
She has done all of this in hopes of creating a more sustainable future and well-being for all. If you're looking for a worthwhile organization to support this would be it! You can read about this amazing organization here.
Emily has been scrappy with finding money to fund all of these programs as she started with nothing back in 2015.
She knows that climate change is affecting our food supply so she's finding a way to make a difference because she cares. She knows that the...
Summer is the sweetest time for self-care. If we really listen to ourselves, we know intuitively that summer is the best time to slow down. So let's create the best self-care summer ever for ourselves.
The summer invites us all to do everything at a slower pace. It's ok to relax and be lazy sometimes.
It's a time to get away…it’s vacation time.
And…it’s the summer solstice on June 21st...the longest day of the year. We have more light to be outside, play, and watch the setting sun while it's warm.
When we take this time to take care of ourselves by letting our brains rest, our bodies relax, we create balance and we become more creative. When we slow everything down, then we can see what needs to be changed in our lives.
Last summer I took a personal self-care retreat. It was transformative.
Before leaving, I was exhausted and burned...
Imagine this scenario: you're overwhelmed, the to-do list is a mile high and you wish someone would come to you and say “how can I help”?
But you don't really say anything. You just keep it to yourself, sometimes seething, sometimes saying it doesn’t really matter, or it’s easier and quicker to do it yourself. And you stuff your feelings. Or blow up and say things you don’t really mean.
You might hear yourself say sarcastically, "it would be nice if the people around me (spouse, kids, coworkers) would just pitch in and help."
Can you relate?
Do you even know what kind of help you need?
There are tons of people, especially women, who aren’t asking for what they want or need.
Let’s see if you can relate.
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.