“I want to look as put-together as you when I grow up,” I tell my friend. Her sincere response warms my self-doubting heart. “You are you and that is enough,” she says. This time, I get it! I am enough just as I am.
Some women have a natural sense of fashion and flair. Their make-up, hair and accessories accentuate their inner beauty. That would not be me. My minimalist style and natural sense of laziness require my inner beauty to stand on its own. But, I get it! I am enough! I feel nurtured, nourished and mothered by the exchange with my friend. I smile and allow the feeling of “being enough” to penetrate my layers of resistance.
Words of affirmation resonate with me as a tool of self-love and self-mothering. We are not always so fortunate to hear words of affirmation from another person when we need it. All too often, the words we say to ourselves sting and prickle – words that we would never say to another person we say to ourselves. Sometimes, allowing ourselves to receive kind words from another person expresses self-love and self-nurturing. Other times we need to nurture ourselves with kind words like wrapping loving arms around yourself in a self-nurturing embrace of self-mothering.
Last weekend, I presented two workshops on Mothering Yourself at the 35th Annual Women & Spirituality Conference in Mankato, Minnesota. Workshop participants spent 90 minutes in a blissful state of self-nurturing using the 5 Love Languages as a framework. The 5 Love Languages, from work by marriage and family therapist Gary Chapman, codify people’s preferences to receive love in five ways: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch. Typically, a person prefers one or two of the five ways to show love and appreciation for another. If you pay attention to another person’s loving behaviors, you can often guess how to best show love and appreciation for them.
My workshop participants first identified their own love language of preference, then explored mothering themselves in all five love languages. Each participant basked in love coming from the Divine Source of unconditional love through a guided meditation. Everyone gave herself a foot massage with particular attention to reflexology points. Then, she wrote meaningful words of affirmation to warm her own heart.
Comments I heard included: “This was just what I needed today!” “I never think about massaging my own feet. It feels great!” “I didn’t know how good this would feel!” “I feel all filled up!” “I am so glad I came to this today!”
Good News! You didn’t miss out on this self-nurturing opportunity. The Mothering Yourself workshop is available for your group, too. Organize a group of friends, co-workers, or church members and I will set up 90 minutes of pampering your soul to leave you feeling nourished and replenished. Set up a session for your group now and stay refreshed during the busy holiday season approaching quickly. Click here for details. When your cup runneth over, you have more to give your loved ones and more to give to the rest of your life.