Even as I wrote the title for this Bliss Blog entry, I could feel the little twitches of “What will people think if I declare that statement?” That’s what tells me that Christine Arylo wrote this book for me and everyone else who has ever doubted their love-ability or felt a need to earn love from others. This writer, teacher, love scatterer and co-creator of The Inner Mean Girl Reform School (with her friend Amy Ahlers) has penned her challenge. I, for one, have chosen to accept it. I have no problem looking in the mirror and saying those three words to myself that most long to hear from others. I have no hesitation teaching others how to do that. It’s when I step outside my comfort zone of the facade that I am self loving, that I feel ‘less than’. I watch women who are bodacious and brilliantly shining, and wonder what inner force allows them to step into the spotlight without being concerned that others will judge them as being arrogant or too outrageous. Think Madonna. She has been through so many image incarnations and re-creations that I gotta wonder how much of it is her own inner prompting or a reaction to audience/fan input. I desire to be so supremely self confident that it doesn’t matter what other people think, the numbers of attendees at my workshops, the book sales or digits in my bank account. Such is the flow and content of Arylo’s book.
She begins with the idea that somewhere along the line, we absorbed the idea that we aren’t enough as is. For some it was being told that outright and for others it was an assumed belief based on societal and cultural standards. She invites the reader to imagine how many girls and women would be spared eating disorders and toxic and abusive relationships if they accepted their enough-ness. Arylo ponders how many of us would speak to dear friends, younger women or girls in the ways we speak to ourselves either out loud or in our heads. I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who would say the disparaging things I say to myself!
Throughout this pocket sized Valentine, in vibrant red, pink and white, Arylo sprinkles what she calls Self Love Pulse Check in which she asks values clarification questions that measure the readers perception of herself and her value. Examples include: “I feel nourished, replenished and fulfilled.” “I am supported and well taken care of.” “I am overwhelmed and exhausted.” “I feel like the world is on my shoulders.”
Fun and playful exercises abound that she calls Daring Acts of Love running the gamut from: Smother and Mother Yourself With Compassion which offers maternal loving compassion and the words “You are doing the best you can and that is enough.” to Sleep With Your Inner Wisdom For A Week which looks like writing to the wise woman within.
Anecdotes from her personal experience and those she knows, add an air of practicality to what otherwise might seem to some to be jargon and jive, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have used many of these ideas prior to reading the book and will continue to engage in them as a result of reading this refresher. I felt a particular kinship, with Arylo, since we have friends and inspiration Muses in common, including Karen Drucker whose song ( Gentle With Myself) she quotes “I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go.” It has long been one of my self-love mantras, that I pull out in emergencies as well.
The cherry on the top of this scrumptious sundae is the reminder to be a Love Ambassador, sharing what you have learned, being a role model and example. She sends the reader off into the world with the words “You are a beacon of love. Keep shining!” and so I shall~
http://youtu.be/ihWYx-QJ95I Gentle With Myself by Karen Drucker