Be Responsible for Your Needs

It is good for me to clarify and communicate my desires and needs. Everyone else can feel however they want about those needs. No one has to support my needs, but me. No one else needs to agree or validate my needs , but me. I am responsible for communicating and meeting my own needs.

Selfishness is an Outdated Belief

I can Choose to meet the needs of others AND when I do so out of a feeling of giving and being of service everyone wins. I meet the needs of others because in some way, it also meets one of my own needs~ such as love, consideration of others, tolerance, being of service, or giving unconditionally.

When I try and care for the needs of others, or society and its norms in a way that doesn’t overlap with my own needs, this is when I move into resentment, victimhood, martyrdom, giving conditionally through manipulation, people pleasing, guilt  and disempowerment. We have been taught the belief that to care for our own needs, let alone communicate them, is selfish. Selfishness is an outdated belief meant to keep us searching outside ourselves for our well being.

How I Feel and Act When I Come From a Space of Meeting My Needs vs Other’s Needs

The overlapping portion is where we really feel most fulfilled. This is when we are honestly and deeply connecting to another. The energy flow is equanimous. We are both getting our needs met! The more we give, in this space, the more positivity flows back to us. We feel full. We feel whole. We are giving from a space of surplus because we are already naturally caring for our own needs.

Personal Responsibility Empowers Us All

We are taking responsibility for our Own life. We no longer, either expect others to fill us up nor do we look to them to validate our needs. Our needs, wants and desires are our own. No one has the same exact combination. Not even twins raised in the same household want exactly the same thing.

We really are more like unique snowflakes when examined by a microscope. From the macro view, humans are operating from a similar base of needs. The combination of circumstances & how those base needs are met are different permutations for each and every one of us.

And isn’t that a beautiful thing! We aren’t and don’t have to be exactly the same. As soon as we can accept this reality and stop expecting everyone to be just like us, we can accept personal responsibility for our life. We may then communicate and meet our own needs with the ability to give from a space of overflow.

Loving Ourselves

What if our only life purpose is to remember our true nature and to Love ALL of ourselves?

The old paradigm taught us that we have to love others more than ourselves. Slowly we are coming to realize that we can’t give away something we don’t possess. Only by loving ourselves are we able to truly love and accept others. What does self-love feel like? Contentment with who we are whether we are acting in a healthy or an unhealthy manner. Embracing our anger, our sadness, our ego with open arms and an open heart. Acknowledging and sharing our wisdom, our inner strength, our joy. Understanding that we all have triumphs and challenges, that we are not alone in this human condition. Remembering that we are more than this body and mind, we are an piece of an intricate spiritual construct that needs our talents and unique gifts in order to function efficiently. Some of our greatest talents can be what others may think are our weaknesses. How do we view All of ourselves?

I am currently putting great attention to what I tell myself, about myself. When I speak lovingly to myself, I naturally speak more lovingly to those around me. Taking care of myself by trusting my own inner knowing and letting go of other peoples opinions if a beautiful way to love myself. Sometimes I have to remember the basics of healthy eating, exercise, rest, play and fun are also a part of loving myself. Staying in self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-respect and patience seems like an easy concept and yet I continuously hear self negating thoughts running through my mind. This is where mindful presence is so beneficial as life path. Listening to what my feelings are trying to communicate regarding my self talk gives me the opportunity to practice extra compassion as I release any self flagellation and return to a more positive train of thought.

Until I made a conscious effort to be mindful of my thoughts I didn’t realize the small insipid lies I was constantly running through. Lies like I am not good enough, I am unlovable, I am worthless and have no value. These are old stories forged in a young and sensitive being with every slight and reprimand we all endure as children. I now know, I am not unique in this. The details may be different for each individual but the feeling of not fitting in, of not getting our needs met in the way we wanted, are common amongst us all.

We all too have a common solution to release these old stories, embrace the unique and amazing being we are. Be grateful for our individual talents, as no one else can gift this world with exactly what we can. Have the courage to share all of who we are, our authentic self.


A Whole New Image

What we believe about ourselves is formed by the time we are 6 years old through subtle societal norms, the media that brainwashes us and our family & friends who unwittingly teach by example what to do to fit in. As a certified member of the itty-bitty-titty comittee, as one of the tallest girls in 6th grade, and as the whitest California girl I knew, I have residual body image issues that I didn’t even realize I still had.

I teach Pilates and Zumba, my natural body type is long and lean AND I still have times when I am disgusted with my body. I didn’t think this was an issue for me until watching the video below. I realize all the times I wished I was stronger and had more muscle definition, I wasn’t loving myself exactly as I am.  Every time I’m around younger people and feel bad about my wrinkles, I’m forgetting self-love. When I’m on my period and feel fat, I’m judging myself as not being good enough. I hope to share a new self-image with others while becoming more conscious of how I Love My Body however it looks, at every stage of life.

This past month, I had the blessing to join a group of 20 amazing women to participate in a month long dance camp in Hermosa, Costa Rica. Every single one of these women are beautiful, amazing dancers. Every single one of these women has different body types. There is no one definition of a dancers body and there is no one definition of a beautiful woman’s body. Everyone moves in her own natural grace and we have an opportunity to celebrate ourselves exactly as we are.

photo by Alyssa Keys
photo by Alyssa Keys

We were blessed with an inspiring teacher who believes each one of us can bring our own majik and magnificence to the world as Unstoppable Goddesses when we truly embrace our unique gifts and share them with the world. We can Love our bodies, we can create a whole new image of what beauty means, we can reach our full potential when we are grateful for these sacred vessels that we live in. Our human body is an incredible work of art no matter what its shape, size, height, weight, color or age! It is our bright inner light shining through that people notice. Love yourself, YOU and the world deserves it.

Being Human isn’t Choreographed

As a trained dancer I have come to realize that many times I think that life is a choreographed performance. I really don’t want to show you who I am as I am making my music selection. All those things outside of myself that I have to listen to and interact with while deciding if I like the melody, syncopation, voice and lyrics of what you are telling me or what we are doing or what is crossing my path. I don’t want you to witness my disappointment, my smirk, my raised eyebrow before I come upon the perfect selection that brings a smile to my face and a glow to my being.Jen_Dance_Joy

Then I most definitely don’t want you to see how I fall out of a turn, how my leap barely gets off the ground as I feel sluggish that day, or even worse, I am so out of shape that I have no spring in my step. I don’t want you to see that I have to practice 1,000 times to remember the sequence. I want to work in solitude creating and recreating each 8 count until it flows seamlessly! When I have practiced it in silence, slowly, deliberately. When I have upped the tempo to align with the music. When I have put it all together…the music, the steps, the mood of the story I want to communicate…then and only then am I ready to perform for a few trusted friends. Dancers, creators, who understand my struggle, my process.

I want to keep my process private until I can present the final product. Only when the right stage is chosen, the costume fitted and the seats filled am I ready to share my creation with the world! WHEN is always out ahead, when keeps me protected, when keeps me small.

Life is a dance that is meant to be danced for my inner heart, for the shear joy of the movement! Life is about leaping off the cliff and trusting that I will reach the other side or sprout wings in mid-flight. Life is about falling down and getting back up, to try again. Life can be graceful and chaotic. Dance your life today!