I left my advertising job at a corporation three years ago to do what I loved best — writing. Besides my job, I put depression, bad eating habits, drug addictions and dramatic romances behind me. However, moving from such a safe environment to self-employment was extremely unnerving and created a huge black hole in my life, starting a constant game of “what if.” The unknown became a daily dance of anxiety and excitement, and I began to gain weight. I recognized my need to feel protection, and the weight added a physical barrier, shielding me from my fears. Self-love remained as elusive as ever. If I could just lose enough weight to fit into a smaller pair of jeans, I’d be happy.
As a self-help author, I’ve always felt the need to “practice what I preach.” This meant the only real way to lose the weight would be to lose the fear. As the fear and the insecurities surrounding it became clearer to me, I succeeded in healing myself compassionately. Through daily yoga, eating more healthily and repeated mantras, I could move through the unknown much more smoothly. I had to retrain myself to shift from fear and regret to love and compassion.
One moment and day at a time, I had the choice of love over fear. When reaching for junk food, I consciously asked myself what I really needed — and it was always love, to feel connection, security and attention. Nobody else could give it to me, and my bad dietary habits were hindering me.
As I began to shift my conscious thinking, practicing self-love and compassion, my world opened up and my business grew. I began asking myself how to meet my needs without turning to substances for satisfaction. Whenever craving security, I closed my eyes and repeated mantras.
We all feel insecure, getting lost in the shuffle of life. These five mantras have helped me through tough times; perhaps they’ll help you.
1) “I believe in myself and know I’m worthy of everything I truly desire. I accept my true self and live it fully.”
2) “Playing small does not serve the world. I have the courage to live life beyond my wildest dreams.”
3) “My dreams are important and are coming true.”
4) “I have courage to step into my future gracefully.”
5) “I feel excited about the possibilities I’m creating.”
The core problem was that I’d been avoiding my feelings. The instant I began tapping into the essence of each situation, my world transformed. I had a more playful, loving, kind relationship with food and felt more connected and appreciative of my body. My weight naturally decreased.
If you feel out of alignment with yourself, try repeating the mantras. They returned me to safety and inner peace. I also practiced the three F’s — feel your feelings, forgive and focus on gratitude.
Today, I love myself more than ever, and my body is gracefully returning to its natural shape. I realize, too, that life is a series of beginnings, middles and ends. Bad habits and fears need not define us; they can help us grow into self-love and self-acceptance.