Somewhere along the line…. and maybe it’s just because I’ve gotten old…. I got kind of burned out on trying to fix myself. I had spent most of my 20’s, all of my 30’s and half of my 40’s trying to get better. To heal old wounds and improve myself so that I could have a happier and healthier life. In many ways it’s been a very worthwhile journey and I’ve made some powerful and much needed changes in my overall existence.
But at a certain point I also began to realize that it was not very much fun to always be scrutinizing myself for what was wrong with me. That I would have a much better and more enjoyable experience if I took my attention off of what was not working and put it onto what was already easy and good instead. It was making the shift away from what I didn’t like or shouldn’t be and moving more in the direction of my hearts desires. It was letting go of “Never Enough” and embracing the question “Where Is My Joy?”
At around the same time as I was starting to seriously explore this issue I came across the fabulous Jennifer Louden’s genius concept, which is Freedom From Self Improvement Day. Jen Louden, for those of you who don’t know who she is, is an author of a number of books geared to helping women become more self loving, more self nurturing and just all around nicer to themselves.
The whole idea around Freedom From Self Improvement is the recognition that so much of what drives us to change is based on fear and shame. We believe that we’re not good enough, we are continually cowering under the shadow of a deep sense of inadequacy, we walk around feeling really bad about who we are and constantly vowing to making ourselves into a new and upgraded version of our old and unacceptable selves. We spend all kinds of time and energy and money polishing up our image, whether it’s physically through trying to lose a few pounds or emotionally by whipping ourselves into a constant state of bright eyed, cheerleader, peppy, positivity .
We THINK that we’re doing a good thing by trying to “improve”. But really it’s a sneaky way for the inner critic to get it’s hooks in us. Every time we are driven to make ourselves “better” we are not allowing ourselves to accept who and what we are, just as we are in this very moment, as completely and utterly perfect.
Freedom From Self Improvement gives us total permission to stop the madness. It says to us that maybe…. just maybe …. we don’t need to fix or change one more darn thing. Maybe we really are OK. In fact maybe we’re already pretty amazing! All we need to do is to get on board with what everyone who loves us already knows. Which is that we are fine and the only reason to ever do anything at all is if it’s going to make us happy. Period. And I don’t know about you, but all of that endless efforting that I engaged in over the years would never come under the category of “What will make Chris happy.”
During the coming week Jennifer will be celebrating the Freedom From Self Improvement manifesto on her blog http://www.comfortqueen.com through videos, audios, contests and just sheer all out wild and wonderful wackiness and inspiration to help you break free of your own “trying too hard” shackles and learning to live a life of greater pleasure, light hearted exuberance and self love.
Do yourself a BIG favor and go and check this out!! And find out how good it feels to practice loving yourself no matter what!