This article is a story towards the reclamation of self combined with practices you can use to thrive single, so you can attract the relationship you really want (or improve the one you’re in!)
I love being in a relationship. I love nurturing another human and having a partner in crime. In fact, it was my default place of comfort for most of my teenage to adult life. The problem was… I never learned how to effectively relate. Primarily to myself.
I was using relationships with men as a big fluffy blanket to avoid facing the parts of myself I didn’t want to look at.
The need for this article lies in the need that so many of us desperately want to be loved but have no idea how to function once it arrives. Or for the person that is constantly jumping from one relationship to another that is never completely fulfilled, and/or is terrified of being alone.
I understand, because I was there. Let me tell you my story.
Destroying To Rebuild
To give a bit of context, I grew up with virtually zero modeling of what a healthy relationship looked like. At 6, my parents divorced and basically, everyone else in my family was single. I had a lot of exposure to relational toxicity, negativity, and avoidant behavior.
After (unconsciously) repeating these patterns and attracting in the same type of person that modeled my experience with love in childhood, I realized the art of relationship really lied in the art of relation to myself.
And alas, my journey into studying relationships began. Maybe more appropriately, the art of what it means to be human. And how we interact with each other mostly by projection.
I’m going to teach you how to thrive single through simple practices you can begin using today. Simple doesn’t mean easy, but I guarantee if you commit to following these 4 practices for a month you will notice an improvement in the amount of joy you experience daily.
I wrote this article for females, from a female perspective. As a dude I’m certain you can benefit from these practices as well, however, make changes where it’s practical to do so.
First, I Drank (gallons) Of The Juice
I saw what I didn’t want in order to realize what I did want. Which required shining a light on what wasn’t working. I had to get uncomfortable examining my limiting beliefs, looking at patterns, and getting curious about how to change them.
Hint: It really is all about you.
Many years later, I’ve drank a lot of the relational green juice. I’ve read so many of the books, did all of the healing modalities on myself. Ive been in therapy on and off 5ever (which, I believe everyone should do… mental health being taboo is so 1993)…
I journal everyday. I have a daily meditation practice. And I feel really good about myself. All of these practices helped me discover parts of myself that needed healing. I had to figure out what wasn’t working to rebuild what I wanted to create from a clean slate.
Heck, I even traveled around the world for 4 years, many times just people watching. A lot of the time was spent healing a broken heart, to be completely honest. And in that time I’ve grown into a radically awesome, unrecognizable version of myself.
Most of all, I can finally say I’m 100% happy being single. Which is how I know I’m ready to attract in a relationship.
The Art Of Being Single
We all have a desire to be seen and to be loved. But the truth is, the extent of how we receive love can only be equal to the amount of love that we give ourselves.
I absolutely cringed every time a mentor or a book would remind me of this. I remember one of my first experiences while getting a pedicure in Boston beginning to read “Learning To Love Yourself“ by Gay Hendricks. The title alone made me want to puke.
The truth is, this is really one of the first books we should be required to read in school. Most of us don’t love ourselves. We’re not really taught how to, or recognize it’s importance. And as a result, most of us are in relationships that are unfulfilling on some level.
We pick up false programming from what Disney and the media portray love as and then gain validation from different external sources, mistaking it for love. Running away from ourselves in the process.
The First Part of Believe Is The Lie
Us little girls were programmed to believe our prince charming was going to appear out of thin air in front of us, sweep us off our feet on a magic carpet (or maybe a pink cloud dipped in sparkles), heal all of our traumatic childhood wounds and save us from ourselves.
Then, we are going to live happily ever after with 2.35 kids, a dog, a house, maybe a horse if we’re lucky, and that’s it. That’s the key to happiness. “If only I could find the right guy…”
The first step is debunking the lie. We cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey. I’m not cynical, I love love. And I’m going to teach you how to love yourself so much that you can call in Mr. (or Mrs) Right 4 U.
Before we begin, I ask you to commit to yourself. Commit to your own growth in a capacity that is available to your right now. And for a lot of us, we have more time on our hands than ever for self-discovery!
It Really Is All About You
Accepting responsibility is the first step.
You will never be fully happy in a relationship if you’re not happy with who you are as a person. It’s that simple. We can’t band-aid our way out of it.
This isn’t saying you can’t do the work in a relationship. You definitely can, and should. This is about recognizing yourself as a sovereign being and committing to your own growth. Recognizing you can only attract someone who is a vibrational match to you. And that everyone we meet is a mirror in some way, shape or form.
Get comfortable shining a spotlight on your shit that you’ve ignored and repressed because it was too scary to look at.
First, commit to your own healing journey. We’ve all got baggage, and that’s entirely part of being a human being. You’ve got to get brave enough to get curious. It’s liberating.
You’re SO worthy of love, in fact you ARE love, but you can’t experience it fully if you’re criticizing yourself every day and being mean to yourself. Hey, you, don’t be mean to my friend.
The key to experiencing happiness and thriving single is a balanced mind, body, and spirit.
So hush up the negative Nancy and let’s get down to it. Im going to take you through a series of practices you can do to become your own BFF and then call in the relationship of your dreams.
Rule #1: Perfect Your Self Talk
Do you own a mirror? I imagine you do. Now that we’ve got the logistics out of the way, here comes the hard part.
Go up to the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and say I love you. Are you with me still?
Say it until you believe it. You might cry. You might laugh. Yeah, it’s awkward. Or is it? Why do we have such a problem with turning love inward? How can we be seen in the eyes of love by another if we’re uncomfortable expressing it to ourselves?
Now, tell yourself you’re a good person. That you’re doing a great job, that you’re a beautiful human being, a good friend. Tell yourself all the praise you want to hear from another.
Maybe the negative mind takes over. Our innate reaction is to criticise our bodies and let the judgment set in. Be aware of that voice, thank it for being there, and gently choose a more encouraging thought.
It’s challenging to tell that pimple you love it. But it’s most likely there because of stress, so if we can love those parts of ourselves they’ll more than likely stop showing up in undesirable ways.
The more we love and accept ourselves unconditionally the happier we will be every day. Make it a habit to look at yourself in the mirror every single day, and express love and acceptance for yourself.
Write it on your mirror if you need to. I am loveable, I am enough, I am worthy, ect. Write something you totally don’t believe and repeat it until you do. Marisa Peer has some amazing videos on practicing this and cultivating more self-love.
This alone will change your life after a month. Mirror work is the easiest transformational practice we can begin doing, today.
Rule #2: Know Thyself By Knowing Thy Thoughts
If you know anything about me and my journey, you know how much meditation has changed my life. Integrating a daily mediation practice is the single most effective thing I began implementing 5 years ago that has transformed everything for me.
We as humans experience at least 6,200 thoughts daily. And of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repeated.
These thoughts are ruling our lives everyday. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to identify some of them and choose which ones we want to experience on a daily basis?
We can’t do this unless we are able to observe them in the first place. Our brains are very intelligent computers with only so much space on the hard drive. We can’t just exist in an overstimulated society without priming our minds in a way that will support joy and living our best lives.
Begin the first part of your day in silence. Create a ritual in the morning, before you get too busy that sets you up to experience your day in a grounded, calm way. I could write an entire blog post alone about the importance of a morning routine. Oh wait, I already did. You can read about my morning routine here.
Every morning I meditate for 20-30 minutes, then I journal what’s on my mind. After I let it out, I consciously create my day through how I want to feel using gratitude and “I am” statements.
When I look back at my journals from two years ago, I realize I now completely created my life through the practice of written affirmations. Feel, dream, release. Rinse and repeat. Our perception shapes our reality.
Begin a meditation practice today and commit to it everyday. Even if it is only 5 minutes, start so insanely small that there’s nothing that can stand in the way between you and your meditation practice.
Mental hygiene is just as important as showering, friends. If we don’t rinse ourselves frequently we’ll begin to get a little smelly. And if we don’t like the way we smell, we’re going to call in the strays 😉
Rule #3: Fill Your Life With Female Friendships & Community
Even if it’s virtual. There is nothing that can replace the necessity of supportive female friendships. Without these, it’s easy to look to a relationship to fill all of your needs. And one of the biggest mistakes I made in relationships was forgetting to cultivate and keep my female friends.
When we look to one person to fill ALL our emotional needs, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Females are really great at a lot of things, such as showing up for each other with compassion and support.
We grow up programmed with toxic femininity, learning to reject each other through cattiness and judgment. When we decide to re-learn how to be in female platonic relationships, we heal some really deep wounds and can integrate our femininity.
Rejecting and judging other women is really rejecting unloved parts of ourselves. Every time you judge another woman I want you to get curious about where it’s coming from, and perhaps if it’s something you wish you had or don’t yet accept in yourself.
When we congregate with other females in a positive way, MAGIC happens. So, make time for connection. Pick up the phone, or the Zoom, whatever. If you’re able to meet in person for a coffee or meal, please do. Depression stems from isolation, we need relationship and connection more than ever right now.
There are so many online communities forming around shared values right now. Join one! Maybe join a 30-day intro to meditation and support one another on your journies.
Show up with love and support in your female friendships, and see how much love and support you receive. Our relationships are the foundation to satisfaction in our lives.
Rule #4: Connect To Pleasure, Connect To Your Radiance
We as women do a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s great to give. But how much can you really give from an empty glass?
Pleasure is directly connected to femininity. This was a part of myself I rejected as a teenager. I was always extremely proud of my rejection of all things feminine. Anyone remember when I wore only black for like 4 years?
The masculine energy controls, directs, and plans. The feminine energy receives, nurtures, and creates. When I became more in touch with my feminine energy, everything shifted. I started showing up differently in the world. And embodying a more radiant version of myself.
When we cultivate self-love practices and do things for the sake of pleasure, we experience joy. When we experience joy, we can sprinkle the fairy dust on other people and become magnetic human beings connected to our own power.
Journal prompt: What brings me joy?
Write it all down. Write down the things you used to love but abandoned as life happened. Revisit those old joys that you once set aside in the sake of responsibility.
My list looks a little like this:
- being in / near water
- taking walks
- singing (to myself in the shower)
- physical activity
- connecting with others
- yoga & meditation
- trying new foods
- making coffee
- bird watching
- playing with animals
- drinking tea
We are meant to live lives filled with pleasure. It’s so easy to forget as we grow older, but at our very essence is PLAY. We begin as playful, joyful beings, and let the conditioning strip us away from joy. We forget who we really are at our core. Life and hardship make us bitter and disconnected from what lights up our spirit.
I invite you to begin integrating things into your life to do just for the sake of pleasure. Every single woman should read the book Pussy: A Reclamation. It’s a handbook to life. Seriously, every woman should read this book despite the title. The reason we blush at the title is part of the problem.
So, beautiful sisters. I hope you begin to integrate self care and self-love into your lives in even a small way, starting today. What do you have to lose? Be patient with yourself. The key to a beautiful fulfilling life is small, consistent daily practices.
How you speak to yourself shapes your entire reality. How you care for yourself affects how you show up and care for others. Let’s rewrite the narrative that we need a partner to be happy.
Being single is a superpower and utilize the time spent solo as an opportunity for radical growth so we can spot the dude when he comes.
If you are happy alone, you will be less likely to accept bad treatment from another for the sake of being in a relationship. Your standards will increase as you will have self-respect and enough love to choose yourself first.
And then the magic really happens. When two integrated people come together committed to their own growth. Committed to a conscious partnership rooted in awareness and communication. Because we all know, as hard as it is to accept sometimes, that you can’t change another human being.
Your growth will inspire others. And sometimes you will grow out of people’s lives, and that is a beautiful thing.
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