Girl-scouts-with-cookies

Step Into Your Power

Irresistibly sweet Girl Scouts, parked at tables outside of grocery store entrances, walking door-to-door, with their irresistibly sweet voices, luring you to buy their irresistibly sweet cookies.

Except that…irresistibly sweet I am not. It takes everything in me not to snap, “No, thank you! I DON’T want your stinkin’ cookies!”

First, I don’t like the thought of being responsible for turning once smiling eyes into pools of disconsolate tears. But underneath my more human side—because hey, I am a mom and I know the pain I feel when my own children cry—underneath the human-mom-me, is the self-sabotaging woman, the woman who knows this simple fact:

I DO want their stinkin’ cookies. Bottom line: Thin Mints Have Power Over Me.

Thin Mints, Cheetos, McDonald’s French fries, movie theatre popcorn, Twilight (book series, not movies), Breaking Bad…and most recently, Stranger Things. 

All items above, at one point in my life, had power over me. Items, that once I started, picked up in my hands—no, even before that—once my mind latched on to the feeling it gave me, I’d find myself diving in with a sense of devouring urgency. There simply was no turning back. 

What, or who, makes up your list? Do you have a food, or is it an activity, or maybe a person you just seem to rollover and say, “Okay. I’m yours. All yours.” …and I’m not talking about in a “good” way. You know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about that feeling of being so far gone, like there’s no way to stop the freight-train before it runs off the detached and mangled tracks. The hopeless, desperate feeling, that when you come to the surface you know: _________ has power over me.

It’s okay if at this point you find yourself thinking, How did this article go from some cheeky talk about Thin Mints, to nailing my current relationship? Or a relationship that’s not so far in my past that I can easily conjure the sting of power it (he/she) had over me? 

Cheeky, true, false, depressing, or whatever your case may be, here’s the good news:

Anything that holds power over you, teaches you how to step into yours.

You step into your power by living to tell the tale of the person or thing that once-upon-a-time held power over you.

How?

Well, isn’t that always the million dollar question?!

Here’s the million dollar, straight-up, no BS answer: In order to step into your power, you must learn to love and accept yourself first.

Someone once asked me, “So what does it even look like to love myself? Does it mean I give myself hugs all day long, or what?”

Very cute, but not exactly….

You will see what loving yourself looks like (or doesn’t look like), in the choices you make.

Let’s take the Thin Mints. Do they have power over you, too? Or is it potato chips? Ice cream? Shopping? CrossFit? Fill in your blank. Then it’s time for the demanding, often arduous part: connecting your mind with your body.

Having to connect mind with body implies that the two are somehow disconnected. That’s exactly what I’m saying here…that in order to love and accept myself enough not to self-sabotage, I realize that what my body needs does not always equal what my mind wants. Often they are not the same at all, at least not on the surface.

It goes like this: I’m sitting on the couch. I remember there are Thin Mints in the freezer (because they are even more irresistible cold!). Without much more thought than that, I’m up and off, digging in the box in the freezer, downing my typical serving size (an entire sleeve)…the whole time running on auto-pilot. My mind has not connected with my body for one single second! And unfortunately, when they finally do connect, it’s through feelings of either guilt or shame, or a horrible stomachache. 

And that’s just cookies I’m talking about (for simplicity sake); it becomes much deeper and more complicated when the example turns to a current or ex-lover.   

No matter the situation, it’s when I firmly connect my mind with my body as I make choices that support my higher good, that I feel the POWER in loving and accepting myself.

This is not about soothing or numbing myself with _________, or about self-control or impulsivity issues, it’s about choosing what my body needs, not what my mind wants…and eventually connecting the two until they are in sync, performing an irresistibly sweet dance together for my higher good.

This connecting of mind and body, like anything else—learning to ride a bike, play the piano, public speaking—anything that’s worth your effort, takes practice.

Learning to love and accept yourself is a mind/body practice, with a heavy dose of balance.

After reading this article, you may choose to immediately click elsewhere, close the tab, get back to work, start another load of laundry.  Or…you just might make a cuppa tea, sit quietly, and contemplate whether or not your choices reflect someone who loves and accepts themselves. You might ask yourself what you can do to start the practice of connecting your mind and your body.

Power Practice

Here’s a suggestion: Keep it simple. Start small. But start! Simple and small might be saying a mantra each time you look in the mirror for one week. The mantra might sound something like this, “All I choose comes from self-love.  All I choose comes from self-acceptance.” 

The following week, you may choose to keep the mantra, and add a two minute morning meditation. For two solid minutes, while sipping your cuppa tea or coffee, you sit quietly, noticing the actual heat of the liquid each time you swallow, allowing your mind and body to get acquainted with one other.

Keep it simple. Start small. But start!  

Anything that holds power over you, teaches you how to step into yours. Step into your power, the power that comes from loving and accepting yourself.