You might assume that I’m about to discuss some vitamin or mineral that you are lacking in your diet, but I’m here to talk about something I believe is even more important…
In her book, “Love 2.0,” Dr. Barbara Fredrickson asserts that love is the essential nutrient for every cell of our body. Rather than a romantic experience, she defines love as a moment-to-moment experience of warm, mutual caring that we can feel with any person—even strangers—in everyday interactions.
Today, I had the privilege of being showered with love by those nearest and dearest to me in celebration of baby Ginny arriving earth side soon. I am blessed to have a circle of women that show up for me consistently and remind me that I am worthy. They are generous with support and praise and they accept me unconditionally.
Yesterday, I lead a yoga session with teen girls all about love. One student candidly shared that she has a hard time being kind to herself because she’s “not that great.” She explained that she feels undeserving of people doing nice things for her, and feels “conceited” if she makes herself a priority.
Can you relate?
I know I have wrestled with the same questions. It has taken me over a decade to come to a place where it genuinely feels good to welcome the attention and kindness that comes my way. I consciously open myself up to receive and gladly soak up the warmth of love without any reservations.
I believe that we are only able to love others to the extent that we are able to love ourselves. Part of loving ourselves is letting love in. When we resist love from others we deprive ourselves of the essential nutrient for every cell of our body.
Here’s the other thing about love: it’s free and abundant! Regardless of what you may be conditioned to believe, you do not need to earn love. You do not need to wait until you achieve some particular goal, look a certain way, change your behavior, or (fill in the blank).
Let that soak in.
If you struggle to believe this today, you can borrow some faith from me.
In a society where celebrity, wealth, and exceptional physique are idolized, I choose to go another way. I am inspired by grit, sincerity, and compassion.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I want to take the time to publicly praise a small handful of women that genuinely make me proud to be female and encourage me to continue to pursue a vibrant life!
These women are particularly noteworthy because they are just like you and me — they are average women who have chosen to do extraordinary things!
Zabie is the epitome of soft and fierce coexisting. As a survivor of sexual violence and the mother of angel baby, Grayson, Zabie uses even her most painful experiences to bring love into the world. From the depths of her pure heart, Zabie created a Yoga as Healing program that provides a safe space for survivors to reconnect with their body and voice in their own time and way. Her approach is so gentle and effective that it has been implemented throughout the entire UC system and continues to spread. Zabie’s impact grows exponentially each year as she trains countless fellow yoga teachers each year on the strategies for teaching trauma informed classes that honor each individual’s unique process. Zabie is an advocate for all women. Our collective experience is better because of her courage.
Connect with Zabie:
Ashley is a vibrant and soft hearted spirit that is on a mission to share her passion for natural and healthy ways to treat our bodies. She fell in love with essential oils and began using them as her medicine, skin care and in her work as a yoga teacher and reiki healer. Noticing that using essential oils could be confusing, she created her own business, Penn & Olive, as a way to share these healing oils with the people she loves in the simplest ways possible. Ashley personally formulates her oil blends, and creates new products based on her own lived experiences. Her approach to self care is as authentic as she is, and that is the kind of beauty product I can get behind!
Connect with Ashley:
Erica is a shining example of stepping out on faith. She chooses to allow the tragic loss of her older brother, Joey, to serve as a catalyst for creating positive change. In an effort to prevent alcohol and drug related tragedies, Erica traveled the country speaking on college campuses, sharing her story and educating students on the reality of drug and alcohol abuse. Erica later shifted her focus to where the research pointed: teens. She brilliantly paired the tools of Yoga & Mindfulness together to create a program specifically for teenage girls to learn how to connect to their inner guide, see their beauty, and own their power. Erica continues to devote herself to her mission of improving the lives of young people, all while raising two precious little ones of her own. Lucky kiddos!
Connect with Erica:
Katie & Allison are nothing short of trailblazers in the world of Yoga. They recognize the power of this ancient practice to change lives, and they dreamed of providing a space where Yoga tools were available to all — so they created it! In the heart of Orange County, where the focus is often on acquisition of wealth and status, these brave women built a community based on accessibility, inclusivity, and heart-centered living. Be the Change Yoga is the first donation based studio in Orange County, and since opening its doors in 2013 has become a leader in the health and wellness world. Together, Allison and Katie have created a space where individuals from all walks of life can come together to heal, to learn, to grow and to find a true sense of belonging. What more do our hearts desire?
Connect with Allison & Katie:
Katie is a master motivator that lives what she preaches. She believes that power and passion are our natural state, and teaches her students how to live from this space more often. Katie offers courses around the world, teaches yoga and fitness throughout San Diego, and leads by example in her weekly b_inspired mantras on social media. She pulls from her own personal experiences of loss and hard ships, and challenges herself and other to ask bigger questions and discover answers from within. If you are looking for a woman to look to for inspiration, someone who embodies beauty in the most real sense, than look no further!
Connect with Katie B:
These women remind me that we all have within us the power to do great things. When you find yourself doubting your ability to ignite change or be a force in this big world, remember the wise words of Marianne Williamson