Opportunities for Growth
Before you can begin to do the work and make real changes, you need to find out where you are. While you probably have some inkling about whether you are stressed or unhappy, it is hard to see the whole picture. Brene Brown, a highly-regarded expert, and professor in self-love and self-compassion, has created a diagnostic tool to get you started.
“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude, and grace.” – Brené Brown.
The Wholehearted Inventory walks you through a series of questions about how you handle everyday life. At the end of the assessment, you are presented with feedback that shows you where your inclinations lie. These assessments can serve as a starting point for your meditations and journaling on your path to self-discovery and growth.
To achieve growth, we need to be willing to stay in the pain and work through the tough stuff. Every unloveable action is a cry for help. It is often in our worst behavior that we need the most love; ironically, our behavior in those moments also makes us more difficult to love. Recognizing our own points of pain and digging in where it hurts helps begin the healing process.
Feminine Self Love
Self-love is a hard concept for all, but especially for women who have conflicting gender role identities in modern societies. Women of all ages seem to be uniquely affected by struggles with body image.
Loving Your Body/Appearance
Societies, present-day and historically, have always emphasized the attractiveness of females. These expectations are perpetuated through mainstream media, sending a constant message to all women that weight matters, beauty matters, and sex appeal matters.
This creates a constant struggle for many women to accept their appearances and learn to love themselves despite their imperfections. Unhealthy behaviors like yo-yo dieting, eating disorders, and a deep-rooted need to change appearance with beauty products, hair dyes, and cosmetic procedures stem from body image and a lack of self-love.
But women are so much more than an object to be desired or a child-bearing, maternal figure. Women are more than a wife and a mother; they are feminine beings who may have lost their connection to their true self-identity.
Wild Woman Archetype
Long before modern societies told her who to be, the Wild Woman archetype is a free-bodied vibration that lives within us. She is passionate and unrelenting. She is fiercely devoted to her family and a healer for her people. She is not unlike modern women of today who tediously care for their families. But she knows no boundaries, no rules to make her conform, and for that, she is a powerful force.
“A healthy woman is much like a wolf, strong life force, life-giving, territorily aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful. The wild nature carries the medicine for all things. She carries stories, dreams, words, and songs. She carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She is the essence of the female soul… with the wild nature as ally and teacher, we see not through two eyes only, but through the many eyes of intuition. With intuition we are like the starry night, we gaze at the world through a thousand eyes.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES: MYTHS AND STORIES OF THE WILD WOMAN ARCHETYPE
The modern woman seeks to reconnect with her inner wild woman to reconnect with her sense of adventure, her unbridled passion, and her unwavering confidence. Making this connection in spiritual meditations can improve your confidence in everyday life and allow females with body image issues to accept and love themselves more.