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May 24, 2012

this is how you love yourself.

i will show myself kindness and love.
i will show myself kindness and love.
i will try, try, try to do this every day of my life.

i will go to yoga on the days it's the last thing i want to do, the days i'm running late because i left work late and the train is late and the bus is late and i show up to class five minutes late and have to sit in front which makes me more stressed. the days i'm so tired i just want to use my navy blue mat to sleep. i will go to class and keep my eyes closed to keep from judging others. and myself. i will keep my eyes closed until i learn to use them with more kindness and patience towards everything i see, especially myself. i will focus and breathe and bring myself down when it's been the kind of day that takes deliberate effort to shake from my bones. this is how you love yourself.

i will buy myself boxing gloves. and use the crap out of them. this is how you love yourself.

i will take a different walk to work, a long walk down busy streets that early in the morning afford me the luxury of being the only person on a sidewalk for an entire block. this is a tiny gift. i will look and see what is in front of me: men planting bright and colorful flowers, happy dogs chewing their leashes, construction workers, people smoking while waiting for their accordion-style buses and how all of these smells mixed with flowers and freshly-watered sidewalks make me smile. this city, my city. my home. this is how you love yourself.

i will stop looking in mirrors and windows. i will stop standing on scales. time-i can't get any of it back, so i'm going to stop throwing so much of it away. numbers do not determine your worth. they are one part of this great big puzzle. this is how you love yourself.

i will make a conscious effort to eat like i did in italy. healthy, indulgent, light. everything in moderation. i never felt guilt eating a meal during those five weeks. i didn't stuff myself. i ate ravioli and bread and roasted chicken and coffee gelato and savored all of it. i will recreate this in chicago. this is how you love yourself.

when i wait for an elevator next to a man who looks exactly like someone i dated a long time ago and he smiles at me i'll wonder why the universe thinks it's so damn funny. when this man looks at me and i look away we'll make eye contact again. both of us will smile. when he lets me on the elevator first and holds the door open so i can leave first i will say thank you. when i see the same man outside that same elevator the next day he will look at me and smile. i will look down and up and all around and finally return the gesture. it will feel good. i will remember that people look at things they are drawn to. i will try very, very, very hard to give myself more credit. this is how you love yourself.

when i sit with myself and take the time to ask, "rhiannon lenore, what do you want?" not just for lunch or how to spend my evening, but tomorrow, next month, five years from now. asking questions means i acknowledge that i am worth the effort the answers will require. i will remember that it's okay if my list has dozens of things on it. this is a good thing. wanting a beautiful life with adventure and romance and travel and reading and writing and cooking dinners for one and talking to strangers and forgiveness is not selfish. ask yourself questions. take a breath and start walking. fortune favors the bold. recite this as often as necessary. be bold, brave girl. be bold. it's your right. this is how you love yourself.


  1. I am trying to do a better job of thanking people who are so honest with themselves and feel okay with sharing their raw moments with outer world; thank you.