The Secret to Loving Your Life

Live the Life you LoveDo you love your life? 

I was feeling a little out of sorts the other morning, so I grabbed my journal to look over my list of self-care tools and reflect on what was off in my life. Then I heard the news of an unexpected death.

Joel Cornette, a beloved former Butler player, coach and current agent, had died in his sleep. His life was gone in an instant. Unexpected and over, just like that. At age 35.

My husband joined the coaching staff at Butler just as Joel left, so I didn’t know him very well. But, he was one of those people who you didn’t have to know well to love. His personality was infectious.  You wanted to be around him.

His loss and the message on my journal, “Live the Life You Love,” brought life quickly into perspective. It was also a beautiful reminder.

You see, I haven’t always lived a life I love.

In fact, I’ve gone through phases of my life when I felt completely miserable. Several years ago, my 4-year old started saying, “I hate my life,” when she felt frustrated and “I hate myself” when she messed up. At that point I knew I needed to pull it together! What am I teaching her?

The ironic thing was I didn’t really hate my life.  I had a great life. In fact, I was happy and positive a good chunk of the time. But, there were enough pieces missing (like consistent self-care, self-compassion & feeling fulfilled) that the unhappiness overshadowed the positive.

The times when I didn’t feel complete…

I was taking care of everyone around me, except myself and was left exhausted.

I was spending time with people who drained my energy, not lifted me up.

I was unfulfilled because I was letting my passions and interests go to the back-burner.

I was anxious because I was fretting about the past or worrying about the future.

I knew I needed to exercise for my mind and body, but I didn’t find a way to incorporate it into my schedule.

I was striving for perfection and then beating myself up for my mistakes.

I was focusing on the negatives and challenging parts of my life, instead of being grateful for all that I had.

Basically self-love was lost, self-care was forgotten and positivity was no where around.

Fortunately, learning to love myself unconditionally allowed me to prioritize self-care, make time for the things that bring me joy, incorporate mindfulness, remember gratitude and find the positives in tough situations.

The simple act of self-love allowed for an entire new outlook on life.

It included happiness and a sense of inner peace that I didn’t know could exist. But, this didn’t mean a life of pure bliss and perfection.

Because life isn’t perfect or void of painful situations. As I was reminded with Joel’s death and during the two other tough loses for the Butler family this year.

But, self-love allows you get through those tough situations in an authentic, yet positive way. It allows you to notice how you are feeling, give yourself permission to grieve, pay attention to your needs, treat yourself and others with love and compassion and allow yourself to be cared for in a way that makes you love and appreciate your life despite the heartache.

I still have times when a milder version of “I hate my life” comes to fruition, but instead of beating myself up over it, I make note. I use it as a wake-up call that something is off, I go back to my list of self-care tools and figure out what I need to do to prioritize myself.

Do you need a reminder to prioritize yourself?

Positivity, inner peace and happiness are in your control! It starts with loving yourself enough to create a life you love.

Are you living a life you love? And more importantly, do you love yourself unconditionally? 

Or do you feel stressed, overwhelmed and miserable? Do you feel like you are just going through the motions and not enjoying life? Do you beat yourself up, hate the way you look, fret about the past or dream so much about the future you forget to live in the present?

Are you still waiting to take the leap to take care of yourself, pursue your dreams, start running, try that class, do things that bring you joy, plan a trip or schedule that date night or night out with friends?

Are your self-destructive patterns keeping you from reaching your full potential?

If so, what are you waiting for?!  You never know what life has in store for you. Another day is not a guarantee.

So just start with a small dose of self-love (the secret to living a life you love!) Do at least one positive thing for yourself today.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” ~ Lao Tzu

That quote always feels cliché, but you can’t deny its truth.

It’s just doing something different, maybe even out of your comfort zone. Signing up for a class you have been thinking about. Trying out a green smoothie or writing in a gratitude journal. Ditching the soda and drinking more water. Or maybe it’s getting off the electronics and into nature. Or trying yoga, essential oils or a new book. Maybe it is just noticing how you feel or being a little kinder to yourself ? Or trying one thing from this list of ways to foster self-love.

It really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is something positive that resonates with you. Because one positive will lead to two will lead to three and before you know it, you will have created an amazing life you love.

Whatever it is, just do it. Do it in honor of those who no longer have the opportunity to live life. Do it for your friends, family and colleagues who deserve to be surrounded by your love, positivity and happiness.

Do it for yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!