31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge 2015!

Writing is a window into your soul. Writing has a magic that bypasses grammatical rules and punctuation. I distinctly remember the first time I wrote because I desperately wanted to eat, but knew I wasn’t physically hungry.

I was an intern counselor and was leading a support group for emotional eaters. I took my own advice that night and started writing. I didn’t know what would flow from my pen, but I started anyway.

My inner wisdom presented itself on the lined paper. It told me, “You’re not hungry, you’re tired. Those bowls of cereal are not satisfying because what you really want right now is to go to bed and be held in your husband’s arms. You are seeking love and comfort.”

Being a Love Warrior is not necessarily going to be easy. It may well be the most important thing you do. It takes the heart of a warrior to love yourself when you are feeling down. It takes the courage of a warrior to look into aspects of yourself that you may want to turn away from.

Writing is one way to discover the many aspects of you. Embrace all of yourself, those parts you love easily, and those parts you don’t.

I’ve continued to use writing as one aspect of my Self-Love Diet practice. In 2010, I started writing self-love posts on the Love Warrior Community. Every month, my daughter, Emelina, and I host self-love writing prompts, and each January, for the past five years, we have been hosting the annual 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge.

Last year, 100 people participated, submitting over 500 self-love writing posts during the month of January, coming in from Australia, the UK, Costa Rica, Egypt and the US. People shared their writing on our blog, as well as on our Facebook event page.

Last year was the first time we created a Facebook event page, and it turned into a forum and a safe space. People created conversations, supported one another and shared their self-love journeys with each other. The emotional honesty, support, love and healing was not only tangible, but moving, as well as exciting. We saw firsthand how self-love can spread around the world.

This year, our New Year’s resolution and challenge is the same: Write a self-love post every day throughout January.

31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge Facebook Event Image

31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge Breakdown

Every day throughout January, we will have a Self-Love Diet writing prompt focused on a Self-Love Diet Tip you can take action on.

Daily Writing Prompts
To see the full list of Self-Love Diet writing prompts, (all prompts will be live by January 1) click here.

Daily Email Reminder
To have the daily prompts sent to your email, subscribe to our form below. Once the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge ends, you won’t receive anymore emails.

Share Your Writing
You can write in your own Self-Love Diet journal, share your self-love writing on the Facebook event page or publish your self-love writing on the Love Warrior Community.

If you want to contribute regularly to the Love Warrior Community, email Emelina at emelinaminero@gmail.com, and we’ll create you login information so you can input your writing directly into the Love Warrior Community website.

Facebook Event
Join the January 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge Facebook event. It’s a great resource and a great way to connect with other people on their self-love journey.

We are offering the daily Self-Love Diet writing prompts as guidance and inspiration, but you don’t have to follow them. Whatever you are inspired to write to help you focus on your self-love journey, please do! If you want further guidance and prompt ideas, check out our Self-Love Writing Guidelines. If you don’t write daily, be kind to yourself. If you write one self-love post during January, that is one more than you usually write, and that is cause for celebration.

I’m thrilled to start the new year and see how your self-love practice unfolds this January!

Blessings on your Self-Love Diet journey,

Michelle E. Minero, MFT

Looking Ahead!!

My first semester towards a music degree has been a success. I wrote my first song and people seem to like to it. It has been quite the semester. I had to leave behind a lot this semester. I had to leave the girl who was deep into her surroundings, familiarity, parents and venture to Arizona. I had to leave behind the girl I was last semester. Towards the end of last semester, before I transferred to my new school, I entered recovery for my eating disorder.

Last Semester Vs. This Semester

Last Semester: I finally decided that my life was worth more than my ED.

This Semester: I’m thriving in recovery.

Last Semester: I could barely get out of bed, let alone go to class.

This Semester: I not only passed with flying colors, but I only missed 2 classes, and one was due to weather conditions.

These are only a few things that I have accomplished this semester.

At one point in the semester, I thought I was going to lose all my hard work and that my career would slowly fade away. I lacked some important funding to continue with my education. I had to fight like I did when I decided to go on this journey and freedom from my ED. Self-love is very important in these moments.

keep-calm-and-advocate-for-yourself

I had to advocate for myself, but remain in self-love and in my truth that all my hard work would not be nothing. After a huge pity party for a moment, my mother reminded me how resourceful I am. So I reached out to others, applied for scholarships and received two of the dozen I applied for, and most important, I was cleared to continue my education.

I never realized how strong I really was until being strong is all I could afford to do. It is better to have tried everything, than to give in at the first sign of failure. Really looking forward to what lies ahead. All I can say is that this feeling is amazing.

I share this with you because sometimes we forget to advocate for ourselves sometimes. Sometimes we forget that with self-love, determination, and that roar in hearts, we will prevail. We will look ahead at our futures and know we are fighting the good fight. Looking ahead, dreaming dreams I never thought would be in my grasp that are becoming a reality for me each and everyday. I have great friends beside me, wonderful family behind me and a bright future before me. The possibilities are endless!

So look ahead. If it’s your dream, advocate for yourself, be determined, persevere and never give up on the idea of self-love. It is a vital piece to the equation. Hold on to that. Cherish that. Live that. Be that.

WILL YOU CONTINUE TO PRACTICE SELF-LOVE DAILY AND CONTINUE WITH ME TO FURTHER THE SELF-LOVE REVOLUTION!! 

Radically Love,

-Lila

Music: Frozen’s Let It Go by Idina Menzel

This song was submitted by Lisa Springer. Read below why Lisa added “Let It Go” to the Love Warrior Community. Thank you Lisa.

A song of self-empowerment, inspiring people to be courageous, move on and be strong!

Lyrics

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I’m free!

Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go.
You’ll never see me cry.
Here I’ll stand, and here I’ll stay.
Let the storm rage on.

My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back; the past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go.
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.

Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway…

What do you want to release from your life?

Leave your comment below.

Submit your favorite song or your own song here: Submit a song.

Listen to other songs submitted to the Love Warrior Community. Browse here.

Preparing for a New and Better Year

As I sit down to write this entry (and eventually convince myself to have the confidence to submit it), it comes to mind that around this time, for the past two years or so, I begin my reflection with the same thought:

“This year sucked a whole lot.” 2014 was no exception.

In years past, I would sit down and make an entry on one of my various blogs, outlining month by month what big things happened. While it was painful at times to revisit the negative experiences and live in the “shoulda-woulda-coulda,” I was surprised to see my growth, whether it was spiritually, mentally, or even financially. However, this year, I’m not sure I can bring myself to do so. In fact, it doesn’t feel like I’ve even sustained a high plateau of stability at all; it seems more like I’ve devolved. I look back at pictures of me with my loved ones around this time last year, at the beginning of this year and throughout, and there’s a girl there, in my body, who was funny, smart, confident, even in the face of obstacles, and so determined to make a better life for her family and herself. With my current living situation, it is difficult to find that girl, and at times, painfully impossible. It makes me not want to look back at this year at all, and instead, withdraw from any human contact, listen to music and sleep all day.

There’s a quote that I stumbled upon the other day: “The past is like using your rear-view mirror in the car. It’s good to glance back and see how far you’ve come, but if you stare too long you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.” A similar one that I’ve heard is, “You’re never going to move ahead by looking backward” (paraphrased). I realize now that in focusing so much on what I had at the beginning of the year, who I was and where I was headed will only serve to continue that feeling of devolution in myself, and quite frankly, I don’t want to feel that way anymore. Simultaneously, it is necessary to glance back and use those past experiences to prevent future tragedies, which is something that I have always had a difficult time with (i.e., “Remember what happened last time..?” “Yeah, but whatever, let’s do that again!”).

Obviously, correcting the above behavior is on my Self-Love Diet to-do list. If I had to place each resolution in order of importance, it would most likely be number one. In fact, here’s what my working list looks like:

-Reflect healthily and take learning experiences seriously.

-Only buy books that I intend to read, and finish my current books before investing in more of them. (I love that my library has grown exponentially over the years, but really, it’s starting to get a little ridiculous.)

-Give myself three days waiting time before making any big decision. My mother has a quote that she frequents: “Never make a decision on an uphill.” Allow enough time to weigh pros and cons of every decision, and do NOT do so while tired, angry/upset, or intoxicated.

-Be more upfront and honest when something is bothering me, and not being afraid to say “enough” or “no.” If I had been more assertive in the past year or so, a good portion of the consequences would not have occurred. (There’s that shoulda-woulda-coulda) Basically, stand my ground.

-Recover what I lost over the past two years: get a full-time job, either in quality assurance or data entry – go back to school and focus on getting my associate’s – get my own place again – be more present in my daughter’s life and hopefully have her live with me again.

-Get back into writing, whether it be poetry, prose or blogging. Pretty straightforward there.

This is my “working list,” because I hope that upon further reflection, I’ll be able to add to or change it. Because that’s what growth is: evolving and adapting to changes that life throws at us, and possessing the resolve to take those learning experiences and climb to that plateau – not only of stability, but happiness and self-love.

Cheers to 2015.

– Stephanie Millholland

Submit your Self-Love Diet writing posts to be published here on the Love Warrior Community. Read the Self-Love Diet Writing Guidelines here. Look through the monthly prompts and an archive of all past posts here.

Read our December prompt: Preparing for the New Year.

Self-Love Diet December Writing Prompt: Preparing For The New Year

How are you preparing for the new year? Have you been creating to-do lists or muling over New Year’s resolutions you want to get an early start on?

With the near year approaching, instead of setting New Years’s resolutions, I like to look back on the past year and reflect on what I want to let go of and reflect on what intentions I want to affirm for the new year. Before the new year arrives, I want to start shifting my intentions and my awareness in my Self-Love Diet practice.

With the arrival of 2015, you may be making lists filled with your New Year’s resolutions. While the majority of people will be making resolutions to lose weight and exercise more, perhaps you will focus on getting more organized, spending more time with your family or enjoying life to the fullest.

If you broaden your perspective outside of New Year’s resolutions, and instead focus it on self-love, you will notice dramatic changes.

A colleague of mine, Cat Carcelo, offers an annual Descansos workshop where she invites participants to use imagery and the creative process to reflect on the past year and to release it, and then to focus on what they want to welcome into the new year. On a deeper level, through creating a Descansos map, participants are able to let go of those parts of themselves that no longer serve them and to invoke those behaviors or qualities that they want to nurture.

This is the type of preparation we will focus on for the month of December. What characteristics do you want to nurture, what characteristics do you want to diminish, change or redirect?

In place of creating a traditional list of New Year’s resolutions, I invite you to create a Self-Love Diet to-do list to help you affirm your Self-Love Diet intentions.

For example, I want to nurture my ability to have down time, enjoying my own company. Slowing down and living in the present moment are things that I continue to redirect my focus to. I tend to overwork myself and feel a need to constantly do, do, do. I want to diminish my desire to constantly be doing, and redirect that energy to be able to enjoy just being. This will help me to nurture my ability to have down time.

My Self-Love Diet to do list might look like this:

  • Leave lunch time free of appointments
  • Say no to new projects until March
  • Meditate each morning
  • Be mindful of gratitude
  • Stay off the computer once my husband and I get home from work

During my lunch time, I’ll often schedule work on the Love Warrior Community or the Self-Love Diet e-course with my daughter, or I’ll fit in errands to run, check my email or make work phone calls. Instead, I will be conscious of choosing not to work, and make that time “me” time. I can really enjoy the tastes and textures of my meals. If I finish eating and still have free time, I can go for a walk outside, stretch in my office or read a book. I can do things that I enjoy and save my lunch time for down time.

For meditating in the morning, I have a bench in my backyard that’s surrounded by an archway of flowers and trees on either sides, and I use that bench as my meditation bench. I can set the intention to go out their each morning to meditate, and when it’s raining, I can light a candle at my alter at my at-home office.

To focus on being mindful of gratitude, I can start using my gratitude jar again, and write down what I’m grateful for each day and put it in my gratitude jar. Practicing Qigong in the mornings also helps align my mind in a space more open to gratitude.

Saying no to new projects until March will likely be the most difficult for me. To help me with that, I can note at the top of my planner that I am not adding any new projects until March as a daily reminder whenever I look to fill in activities or check my schedule.

To stay off the computer once my husband and I get home, I’ll make sure to schedule my work earlier in the day, and I’ll share this goal with my husband so he can help me be accountable and we can use that time to be with each other instead.

To help me focus on each intention of my Self-Love Diet list, I can share my intentions with my husband, my children and my friends, which will help give me accountability and more support. Also, writing about my intentions here and sharing them with you and the Love Warrior Community will help me to further affirm my intentions.

I invite you to create a Self-Love Diet list, setting your intentions for the rest of the year and for the new year. You can write out your list on a piece of paper or canvas and turn it into a collage or piece of artwork. I also encourage you to create a support network. Share your list with your friends, your family, your colleagues, with anyone you feel comfortable sharing it with. Invite your support network to also create a Self-Love Diet to-do list and you can help support each other. If you have a blog, you can write about your experience and journey in setting your Self-Love Diet intentions. As always, you can leave a comment on this blog post, submit your own self-love writing blog post to the Love Warrior Community or share your experience on the Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works Facebook page.

When we focus on improving the quality of our lives instead of the shape or size of our bodies, we are living the Self-Love Diet. Remember that we’ve redefined diet to mean “things regularly offered.” What will you regularly offer yourself this month as you prepare to change those behaviors or characteristics that no longer serve you and develop and nurture those behaviors and qualities you want to enhance?

Blessings on your Self-Love Diet journey,

Michelle E. Minero, MFT

Submit your Self-Love Diet writing posts to be published here on the Love Warrior Community. Read the Self-Love Diet Writing Guidelines here. Look through the monthly prompts and an archive of all past posts here.