Self Love — Exercise It

Hey everyone,
On Friday I posted a blog titled Your Relationship — With Yourself Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 10.14.17 AMand I realized how much of an advocate I am for self love. Also the response I got from the article was pretty stellar so I got to thinking, maybe I should do a series of blogs on self love. This would entail diving deeper into the topic of self love as well as present different ways to encourage awareness of it in your life!

As I’ve stated before, I believe building a strong relationship with yourself should be of the utmost importance to a person. But in todays society importance on building a relationship with a partner is ranked higher. You see this in cases where someone will stay with a partner who is abusive physically and/or mentally, or a bad/negative influence, etc. It is because a lot of people don’t want to be alone, or don’t want to be seen as someone who can’t make a relationship work. It is because love is highly romanticized. And with good reason because once you find the good stuff, its game over, you’re mine, I’m yours, this feels like flying! But unfortunately it can make people fight for a love that isn’t the best, a love that actually does more harm then good.

The reason I’m mentioning this stuff is because I think its important to imagine a person that loves themselves, someone that exercises self love, their ability to get themselves out of a dysfunctional relationship is probably greater. In fact they might not even get themselves into one in the first place, because they know they deserve better. Often people are searching for their happiness in someone else and this is where things can start to become a little more harmful for a person. They’ll overlook things that make them upset because they’re with someone that can make them smile and feel special from time to time. But what if they didn’t need that other person. What if they already had themselves to make them smile everyday and make themselves feel special every day?

Come on, this stuff is gold! Imagine finding in yourself something that you thought you could only find in someone else. As I mentioned before, someone you love should be an extension of the already happy you! Imagine how much better your relationship with your partner could be if you already loved the hell out of yourself. There would be less insecurities, less issues of jealousy, less issues with communication, etc. To build a successful relationship with a partner you have to first build a successful relationship with yourself.

So where do you start? Well I’ve got two exercises for you, do them both or pick the one you feel suits you the most.

The first one is – Mirror ImageScreen shot 2013-06-14 at 10.11.11 AM

Find a mirror in a quiet place, i.e your bathroom and make sure you wont be interrupted. Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself. This may feel silly, so have fun with it! Make some faces at yourself, smile, or wink. Whatever! But once you’ve moved past that, really look at yourself. Now think of it this way, the person looking back at you, that is your life partner. Through thick and thin, you’ve made bad choices together and you’ve made good choices together. You will always have that person looking back at you, when all else fails, when you feel alone, you aren’t. You’ve got your life partner, YOU!

Now bare with me, I want you to introduce yourself to you. Say hi. Have an awkward first date with yourself. Discuss your interests, your passions, how you spend your time. This is meant to make you aware of you. Because there is who you are and who you think you are. Dig deeper to find you and invest in those interests and passions. You know when you like someone and all you want to do is impress them and make them feel special? Start impressing yourself. Start making yourself feel special. Go out of your way for you. And don’t worry, I’ve done this exercise so there is at least one other person who has looked as silly as you, if not sillier. And anyway why do you care so much? Life is short, be silly! It’s allowed, I promise.

 

Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 10.10.49 AMThe second one is – Nature Nurture

Find a secluded green space, i.e a nature trail and take a walk. But walk slow! Because this is suppose to be a time to make you aware of yourself, when its quiet and you let your thoughts really catch your attention. We have so many fleeting thoughts throughout the day and we barely have time to sincerely hear what they’re saying to us. What thoughts come to mind the most? Are you stressed about something? Or happy about something? Your thoughts make you into who you are, so its time to start paying attention to them! They can be the difference between you and a better mood or how you see yourself. For me catching my negative thoughts and turning them into a positive thoughts is a great way to exercise self love. During my morning walk is when I set my day up for positivity over negativity.

Feel free the comment below with your experiences during these exercises! Or just your opinions in general.

Happy Walking,
Tori J Wilcox

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Your Relationship — With Yourself

Hey everyone,
The other morning on my walk I was thinking about relationships. And even though I could talk about break-ups or how to be a good partner I’m actually going to put more focus on your personal relationship with yourself. Throughout life we are conditioned to want a successful relationship with another person. Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.48.10 AMBut where does the self love fit in? I am a firm believer in self love and building a successful relationship with yourself before having one with someone outside of you.
Why is it that we idealize a relationship with a dream partner but we don’t idealize a relationship with our dream selves? That seems backwards to me. Everything we dream of saying to our partner we should be saying to ourselves first. Why wouldn’t you dote on yourself? At the end of the day you are the one person you’re with for your whole entire life, why wouldn’t you invest in your relationship with yourself? Self love is so seriously overlooked in our society. And we’re conditioned to look for it in someone else. We’ve got to learn how to become our most precious support system. I’m not talking looking out for only yourself and being as selfish as hell, I’m talking about looking within for love and not looking outwards for love or fulfillment. I mean how do you expect to have a strong healthy relationship with someone when you don’t have one with yourself?

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 10.48.24 AMI had a thought once, after a break-up, when a love song came on my iPod. I thought, “Well this is sad, I have no one to think about while I listen to this song.” And just like that the universe responded to me with “Sure you do, you have you.” and I was overjoyed. Why hadn’t I seen this before? Why couldn’t I be giddy and excited about myself? Yes this may sound a little silly but it only sounds silly because its not the norm. But what if we made it that way? What if self love was one of our greatest desires, just like finding our dream partner? (and I don’t mean being full of yourself, that is a whole other story)

Its all about filling yourself up with love so that you can have love pouring over into another person. I wrote a Facebook status about a month ago that says, “It’s not about finding the person that completes you, its about finding an extension of you. Someone that adds to your happy, not someone that is your happy.” And I truly believe that. Realizing that and putting an emphasis on self love has opened me up to greater happiness. Hopefully it will do the same for you!

Happy walking,

Tori J Wilcox

Here is The Limit — Now Pass it!

Hey everyone,
As I left my house this morning I asked the universe to throw me a topic to ponder on my walk. And the answer I got back was,
“Why limit yourself to just one?” Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 8.26.09 PMThis made me smile and I instantly got to thinking about the word limit and what it means. On my walk I got to thinking about how so many people around me, including myself, limit themselves. Go ahead and think of your wildest dream. Do you have it? Good! Now did it come with the thought but it’ll never actually happen? Why in the world do you think you can’t achieve it? Is it because others who achieved it did it a different way than you ever could? Are you too old, too young, too uneducated, too whatever? You’re never too anything to live your dream, trust me. (OK, unless it is to fly to outer space with your pet gorilla, but even then I bet that could happen if you put your mind to it!) The reason people are living their dreams today is because they’re a unique individual who at some point believed enough in themselves that others started to notice and joined in. 

Now take my cat for example, his name is Bear, he is relentless968777_4450448273187_1743877403_n when he wants something and he makes sure you know it! He has pure animal drive and if he wants to wake you up in the middle of the night for some cuddles, he’ll make it happen! My point is why can’t we, once we’ve figured out our dream and our passion, go after it with pure, focused, animal drive? It’s because we limit ourselves. I’m reading an amazing book right now called 9780307986931_p0_v1_s260x420May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein and in it she helps you shift your life from one full of fear to one full of love. We limit ourselves because of fear, you can deny it all you want, but you do it and I do it. I can’t be an actor because there are a x number of other people out there who are better than I am and who look better for the role than I do. I can’t be a lifestyle coach because I’m too young and my whole life people have blown me off because of my age and because they don’t think I’m credible. These are fears that I have and I’m aware of them. But screw it! I am an actor and I am a lifestyle coach and I will continue to be those things and grow within them as time goes on, in my own way.

Never limit yourself, you’re much too special and your dream is much too special, you have it for a reason. We all have dreams because if we achieve them we’re our true selves and there is nothing better to give to the world than your true self. So stop limiting yourself right now! Quit it! Be you, be your dream! Work hard and make yourself happy. We’ve all been conditioned to stunt our dreams because they aren’t as financially sound, or aren’t the norm, or aren’t this or aren’t that. This is your life, take control of it. Because out of all those possibilities it was you that was born that day, however many years ago, and it was for a reason. 

Happy walking,
Tori J Wilcox

Life Changes — Make it Yours!

Hey everyone,
I woke up today excited for my morning walk. I took my usual route so that I would end up at my favourite morning check point  — two small bodies of water surrounded by (mostly) trees. Screen shot 2013-05-31 at 11.51.02 AM I found this place a few years back and hadn’t seen it for quite some time until recently and it became a morning staple during my walks.
This morning I came down the trail and I was in awe, the storm we had the other day had flooded it. The usual rock path was submerged underwater and I was stunned. 
This familiar place that I had visited nearly every morning had changed.
As I walked away I reflected on what I had seen and how it represented a topic that came up recently, making life changes. We all face them, small changes day to day, bigger changes month to month, massive changes year to year and some of these changes life throws at us while the others we decide on.
I’ve noticed lately that many of the people around me, including myself are going through pretty big life changes, deciding what to do once they graduate, deciding whether to go back to school, deciding if they want to continue on their chosen path or pave a new one. Its scary, its stressful and its unknown, but its also so exciting!
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I’ve posted numerous posts that voice my opinion on taking control of your own life. Its your life, you’re living it, at the end of the day you’re the one that gets to live with the decisions, so why not make the ones that make you happy! My point is, you can’t run, you can’t hide, life will always catch up to you and probably surpass you, so its important to make the changes that make you the happiest person that you can be! And this is important when it comes to big, even little, changes in your life, especially when you’re in control of the changes coming your way.

My point is its all what you make it. Seriously, even if life throws you a change, its up to you to make it a productive one that works for you. You didn’t get that job you wanted? There is something out there that is even better and more exciting for you. You didn’t get accepted into the program you wanted? There are endless possibilities staring you in the face, but its up to you to really look at them. Find what you like to do–scratch that, find out what you love to do and do it! Right now! And if you don’t know what it is you want to do, then just start small. Whats your favourite kind of morning look like, how about afternoon, and evening? Throw in some hobbies and practices that you like and after a while you’ll be happier and more passionate about life. Its my experience that the happier and more passionate you are, the more fun, exciting opportunities come your way. So start being happy today! Start making those changes for you.

And sometimes, like my favourite morning check point, its just about changing something you always thought would stay the same. Surprise yourself!

Happy walking,
Tori J Wilcox

Morning Walks with Tori

Hey everyone!
I’m back after a pretty hectic year. And my new hobby, if you can call it that, is taking morning walks. At first it started as a way to get up and get my body moving first thing in the am, you know to be a healthy Tori. But then it started to form into a time of reflection and awareness.

I’ve recently become friends with a new co-worker named Morgan, she writes a blog called Life After Bagels, check it out! Especially if you’re looking for some healthy inspiration. Needless to say she has inspired me to hit the ground walking…

The summertime is usually when I am most inspired to eat healthy andScreen shot 2013-05-27 at 10.36.40 AM live an active lifestyle, mostly because I have such a set schedule with work and I have the time. So I was already gearing up to get into healthy Tori mode when Morgan came along.

The last two summers I’ve met influential people, hell probably each season I meet inspirational people but this summer Morgan is one of them. She gives me that extra push and the best part is all she has to do is be herself. Her interests and her passions are enough, just being around them gives me that extra kick.

Surrounding yourself with positive influences is so important. Especially when those positive influences are people who like the same things as you. I’ve said for a long time now and I will continue to say you have to surround yourself with people you are willing to support and people who are willing to support you. Just know that you deserve this and ask the universe for those kinds of people, don’t dwell on the people you don’t want in your life, just be grateful for the keepers and ask for more of them!

Happy walking,
Tori J Wilcox