How much attention do you place on self-love? Is it your number one priority in your day-to-day? Even as a full-time mom and entrepreneur, with many balls up in the air at all times, self-lovin’ is still numero uno for me. I am a list maker, I have lists in my journal, post-it notes, whiteboards, even spoken lists into my phone. I call these my “Leslie stays sane” lists, and in making them, I allow myself reprieve from the hundreds of things that are always in my head.
Recently, I tried an A-Z list. I included the idea in my most recent book, “Mom’s Essential Oil Evolution” for two reasons, it was a lot of fun, and it worked great! It takes work, but I have compiled an A-Z list for you and incorporated a few tips along the way.
A. Ask for help
If you are anything like me, a strong, confident and very stubborn woman, you may find yourself thinking, “I’ve got this. I do not need any help.” Or possibly you do ask for help, and then it does not get done the way you would have done it, and you say to yourself, “Nothing gets done right around here unless I do it myself!” Perfectionist anyone? I am saying this from my own life experience. This was me, big-time!
Ask for help! It could be as simple as calling a friend and asking him or her to make a meal, pick up take-out, or take the baby for a walk so you can take a bath! You are human, so let the notion of, “I can do it all by myself,” go. I will not argue the fact that you can, in fact, do it all by yourself, but at what expense is the question.
B. Be you!
C. Comparison be gone!
I do not compare myself to others. I may analyze marketing of other entrepreneurs, admire someone’s work ethic, or honor someone’s amazing energy..but I never compare myself to someone else in looks, accomplishments or goals, ever.
Why is this? I believe that comparing can be a real energy sucker. It breeds jealousy and envy. The only person I compare myself to is the person I was yesterday, always looking for self-improvement.
Comparison is the thief of joy!
D. Drop old beliefs
E. Embrace your strengths
There is no better way that I know to embrace your strengths than reminding yourself of them, often. But I think it is equally important to try new things, discover more. Know that you can push yourself. I do not think that we should allow ourselves to become stagnant, so to speak. Cultivate your strengths, find new ones, challenge yourself.
F. Forget the negative
G. Get out in nature
Nothing brings my spirit more peace than nature. Water is the best for me, being a water sign. But I love very simple things like watching the clouds float by, sitting in complete silence and watching the stars, as well as a vigorous hike in the mountains. I have been blessed to hike mountains all over the world, some of the best moments of my life. Get out in nature, let your bare feet make contact with the earth, feel the sand in your toes, or even the snow! Brrr….
I. Invest in your growth
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” Andy Rooney
Some people are perfectly happy with what they have and who they are, and while I have great appreciation for loving yourself, all of yourself, there still has to be growth. I think this is different from change. Everyone has places to improve whether internally, in business, in friendships, in love, etc.
Growth should never stop, what are you focusing on today?
J. Journal the good, the bad and the ugly
K. Keep your chin up
Everyone at some point in their lives will find themselves in tough times. It is important to embrace the feelings, acknowledge them and keep moving forward. Do not allow yourself to sit in the negative moments for too long. Try to remember that even hard times pass.
Keep in mind too, that as everyone goes through hard times, some harder than others…always practice kindness with everyone you meet. This is so incredibly important.
L. Love, laugh, live!
M. Maintain your healthy boundaries
Create, honor and follow through with clear boundaries! Boundaries are created to protect your energy. Honor what is yours and what is not. Do not allow others to cross the boundaries you have set for yourself.
A book I recommend you purchase and study if you have not already done so, is “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book has quite literally changed my life. Ruiz’s lessons are paramount to understanding our boundaries. The four agreements are as follows:
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take anything personally
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best 
Are you clear on your boundaries? If not take some time to write them down. Be true to them.
“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.”-Doreen Virtue
N. Never give up, but learn how to say no
O. Only positive self-talk
What does your self-talk sound like? Positive? If not, this takes some work, but it can be changed…and I encourage you to work on it. Every cell in your body listens to what you say, and your mind absolutely believes it. So care for yourself, even when you are not talking out loud. Love you!
P. Practice saying NO
Q. Be quiet
What do I mean when I say be quiet? Practice mindfulness. How many times a day are you doing one thing but thinking about something else? I will pause while you laugh. This likely explains much of your day-to-day, right? How many times have your children stood in front of you asking a question or telling you a story of something that just happened, and you shake your head and say, “I’m sorry, what?”
The beginning of mindfulness is breath. This is what brings you back to the present moment. This does not need to be meditation in the form of sitting atop a meditation cushion, in silence, eyes closed, the world stops… Mindfulness is purposefully focusing your intention on the current moment and nothing else and accepting it exactly as it is. This should be cultivated in everything you do, in every moment of the day.
If you would like to cultivate this practice, I recommend the book Peace Is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh .
R. Reminder lists
S. Speak your truth
Speak your truth. Not only in your relationship with your partner but with friends and family too. By far, the number one person you need to be truthful with is yourself. It is ok to admit that you do not have all you’re shit together. It is ok to admit you’re overwhelmed. It is ok to admit that you’re angry and resentful. It is ok to not be ok. Whatever it is, communicate it as calmly and lovingly as you can. Yes, even negative feelings need to be expressed when you are in a good place to do so. Holding in feelings of any kind is completely toxic to one person in particular, you. Forget the notion of being afraid to rock the boat. Create a tidal wave!
T. Take time to reflect
U. Unwind. This is a BIG word, isn’t it.
This is all about self-care. Not watching TV or scrolling Facebook. Take some time for yourself. Really treat yourself, each and every day.
V. Visualization, aka guided imagery
W. Celebrate the WINS!
As women, we often get hung up on the to-do list and thoughts of the future. What needs to be done tomorrow, next week, what will next year look like, how will you make it all come together? Although, all of those things are important, as we are often the glue that holds everything and everyone together, it is really important to always celebrate growth and success.
Any kind of celebration does a couple of things to your body and your mind. Your endorphins flow and you are left feeling exhilarated, confident, and ready to take on the world. Even the small things are worthy of celebration. Was the to-do list long and you managed to get a couple of things checked off, and you did them really well? Were you able to help a friend through something and left them feeling loved and supported? Were you able to do something special to pamper yourself today? All of those are worthy moments! Celebrations reinforce future success, so go for it!
X. Examine your feelings
Y. It is all about YOU
Here is one of my favorite inhaler synergies, just for you!
Z. Zero tolerance for those who seek to violate your boundaries
 Ruiz, D. M. (1997). The Four Agreements: Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, U.S.
 Hạnh, N. (2013). Peace is Every Step. Bantam/AJP.
Hoffmann, D. (2003).
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