When you fall in love with yourself, everything else falls into place, personally and professionally. When love transforms your relationship with yourself, it transforms your personal life, your work, and the world.
Picking up where we left off at the end of part 1 of this article, I had my next life-transforming realization forty pounds into my eighty-pound weight lossâhigh on healthy fuel, cardio-induced beta-endorphins, and the thrill of, once again, being able to do something I set my mind to. While a healthy diet and significant daily exercise were necessary factors, they were only the price of admission to attaining the life of deep peace, lasting joy, and meaningful relationships I desired.
Once I understood that excess physical weight is often just a symbol for excess spiritual weight, I realized finding wholeness is not primarily about losing body fat. It involves caring enough about myself to create an environment in which I nurture and cherish all aspects of myself.
With this realization, the universe tapped me on the shoulder once again: âThe key to living a life you love is to feed all of your senses in a balanced way, so no one sense will take over, trying to fill voids it can never hope to fill.â Sensory balance doesnât just apply to the five outer senses through which we celebrate our external world but also to the four inner senses of creativity, vitality, spirituality, and belonging, through which we imbue our experience with meaning.
As one who suffered anorexia at age 19 and obesity at age 50, I believe both have their roots in an unhealthy relationship with foodâtrying to use food to fill un-food needs. For me, both were ways of coping with anxietyâmisguided attempts to feel safe by creating the illusion of control over a life spinning madly out of control.
The major reason many of us canât sustain the positive results of diet and exercise is that most programs do not get to the root issueâan imbalance in the care and feeding of our souls. I learned to pay attention to how I am feeding all of my sensesâcontent and frequencyâand whether each is being starved, smothered, or healthily sustained. While my weight loss certainly involved more mindful and nutritious eating as well as regular exercise, the degree of success and ability to sustain a healthier, happier, more harmonious lifestyle was much more dependent on balanced feeding of all nine senses.
As I lived my new commitment to loving myself, I discovered that my sense of equanimity and fulfillment were greatest when I fueled my core energy in constructive and loving waysâphysically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But as I worked more deeply with the concept of love, I found the term to be nebulous, tricky, and easy to misunderstand. With experience, I was able to increase the clarity of my intention to love myself by adding the attributes of respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude. I discovered the following:
- Approaching myself and my lifeâevery being, encounter, and experienceâwith love, respect, curiosity, and compassion always reveals and advances the highest good. Moment by moment, I know where, how, and when to invest my energy to move myself forward on my Journey to Wholeness.
- Maintaining a belief in abundance and an attitude of gratitude anchors each moment in a sense of generous, effortless, gracious flowâa life of freedom centered in being, not doing, filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy.
- Most surprising, important, and delightful of all, when I fall in love with myself again and again, everything else in my life really does just fall into place.
Where did these insights take me? Over a period of two years, I shifted from taking good care of myself to falling in love with myself. When I fell in love with myself, everything else in my life finally fell into place. No longer a hamster trapped on a wheel but a vibrant, joyful, fully engaged woman. I said good-bye to obesity, along with a ten-year bout of debilitating chronic depression, and said hello to a fulfilling life guiding others on their journeys to wholeness.
I discovered my purpose gradually by committing myself to unwavering self-awareness grounded in cherishing myself unconditionally. The journey that began with transforming my own life shifted naturally into meaningful work as a life coach and Reiki master, through which I help others discover that health, peace, and joy are possible for them as well. If itâs possible for me, itâs possible for anyone. If any of us is worthy of such a life, we all are.
I close this chapter of my story where I began: mine is a story of hope; yours can be too. Fall in love with yourself and live the life you dream of. You are worth the effort.
When you fall in love with yourself,
everything else finally falls into place,
with beauty, power, and grace.
When you release the illusion of fear
and embrace the truth of love,
you will know in each moment
who you are and Whose you are.
That, my dear friends,
is more than enough.Â Â Â Â Â
It is everything.
âDeborah Jane Wells
Â© Copyright 2013 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
What’s love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything, according to empowerment coach and inspirational speaker Deborah Jane Wells, author of Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! During her 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, Deborah served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, she took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. Her recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding her purpose guiding others on their journeys. Through healing and self-exploration, she discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work, and the world. Deborahâs books, blog, radio show, and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative power of love to step into their greatness. Learn more at Deborah Jane WellsÂ website.