I just returned from Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts Mastery Course in New York with nine hundred other women all ages, all races, all sizes, all professions. Talk about powerful! Wow. And today I want to share one of the most powerful takeaways – the importance, as women, to celebrate ourselves and each other. We do not do enough of this! In fact, most of us were trained early on NOT to brag about ourselves. We were trained to keep it dialed down. Wouldn’t want to shine too brightly; wouldn’t want anyone to think we are full of ourselves. So we downplay our wins or we don’t share them at all. Instead, we ended up complaining about our lives, our partners, money problems, the struggles of life. This became how we connect with the women we are closest to. Or maybe we put on a pretty face and share how well things are going well when we don’t really feel that way. We pretend it’s all good, when it isn’t!
But when you celebrate yourself, you are owning your life and claiming your power. And when you do that for yourself, you become a beacon of light that ignites your life and everyone around you. When you celebrate YOU, you’re basically tuning in to all the goodness life has to offer! Your body responds by releasing all the feel-good hormones and endorphins that keep your body healthy, happy and feeling good.
The trap of complaining is so easy to fall into. Even if you keep it all in your own head, it’s still complaining and it doesn’t feel good. Complaining doesn’t make your life better, doesn’t amplify your world, doesn’t inspire you to go out and do great things, doesn’t make you want to jump up in the morning and sing or seduce your lover. As a matter of fact, complaining puts a dimmer on everything, making feeling inspired harder and harder. No wonder life becomes a grind and a struggle. You end up feeling drained at the end of your day, instead of charged. You just want to collapse with a glass of wine or a show because you are exhausted.
Living that way doesn’t tend to draw the kind of uplifting and exciting relationships into your life either. Nope, those people are hanging out in completely different circles where they are getting ignited and inspired. They’ve discovered another way. And you can too!
As women, we want to be celebrated for who we are and all we do, whether or not we are willing to admit it. And we deserve to be celebrated! Because we are truly amazing creatures. The truth is, most of us don’t even realize how amazing we really are. I know for myself, I spent my last marriage of almost 10 years trying to get some recognition from my husband. I remember feeling so resentful. I felt taken advantage of because he wasn’t appreciating all that I was doing. I was looking to HIM for MY worth. It feels like a lifetime ago, but looking back I can see how crazy that was because my worth was never in him, it was inside of me the whole time. When I put my focus on desperately needing his approval, I was giving all of my power away.
That is the definition of co-dependency, really. “Tell me I am okay so that I can be okay. Tell me I did good. Tell me I am worthy. Tell me I am pretty. Tell me that I am amazing so that I can feel amazing.” But it doesn’t really work, does it? Because you need to keep hearing it to keep it alive. This is not a sustainable pattern. Even if he tells you are amazing a dozen times, he is speaking of his experience of you. You can only draw power from your own experience and celebration of yourself.
Your worthiness lives inside of you. Let’s cut out the middle man and celebrate your awesomeness. You don’t need anyone else to see how awesome you are, you need YOU to see how awesome you are. Time to ignite your own flame. You will actually become a magnet for appreciation. When you acknowledge yourself, you get acknowledged. But you celebrating you has to be authentic. Your purpose can’t be to receive acknowledgement from others for how well or how much you’re celebrating yourself. Nope! That’s just manipulation and it’s a dead end. You have to do this for your own sake. You are filling your own well so you don’t actually need others to fill it.
Then an amazing thing happens, the appreciation just comes flooding in! When you are no longer needing acknowledgement and appreciation, it cannot help but come your way. Cats are a wonderful example of this principle. When you really want to cuddle them, they couldn’t care less about you. When you don’t need them, they are all over you. I happen to be allergic to cats, so they absolutely love me. They want to be all over me! It’s hilarious. They are wonderful teachers on self-love. Love yourself and you become irresistible.
Listen, the more you need approval or love from others, the harder your life becomes because you have to work so freaking hard for it…. and you never feel you’re getting enough! When you turn your attention to acknowledging yourself, you amplify everything about your life. You feel more fulfilled, you feel super charged, appreciated, acknowledged, excited, and you are teaching others how to appreciate you by being an example for others to do this for themselves. The more you do it for you, the more you want to authentically amplify and appreciate and celebrate others. You feel so jazzed and energized by celebrating your own bad-assery, you are overflowing with excitement for others to feel the same. This radical shift in loving myself has led me on this path to elevating this same quality in other women. I want all women to fall madly in love with themselves. I believe this will make the world a better place.
I want to encourage you to get a buddy that you can celebrate your wins with. This is something I learned from Mama Gena. Even just once a week you can encourage each other to brag about something. It can be something big or something small. And after your friend has shared, I want you to amplify whatever she shared with a loud “whoo hoo!” Or “Right on! You go girl! Oh yeah!” Or as we do in my mastery course, “Well bragged, sister!”
We have been hard on ourselves for far too long, it’s time to turn the tables. If we want to see women showing up bigger in the world, we have got to put a stop to the self-criticism and judgements and dependence on appreciation from others and start celebrating ourselves and each other.
Here is my challenge for you. Every time you walk past a mirror, give yourself a wink and say something encouraging. “Hello Gorgeous! You are rocking it!” Start sending random text messages to women in your life that you love and tell them how awesome they are and why!
Come with me my friend. Let’s do this together. The world needs us to come out of hiding. You are beautiful! Feel it. Know it. Celebrate it.