Thursday, February 21, 2019

Reflections on My Year of Self-Love

Today marks the completion of my Year of Self-Love. Today I reflect on my intention to establish positive life habits that promote the well-being and happiness of my mind, body, and soul.

"Roots hold me close; wings set me free."
This drawing, which I made many moons ago,
represents my embodiment of self-love.

One month before embarking on my Year of Self-Love, I had an ultrasound to monitor the physical manifestation of a disease I've had for more than fifteen years. For the first time in those fifteen years, the ultrasound revealed numerous nodules of a concerning size and questionable constitution. I was certain this disease was attributable to unhealthy coping habits I had developed early on in my life. Given the ultrasound and awareness of my coping habits, I established the motivation for my forthcoming Year of Self-Love: to create healthier habits and to heal my body.

Six days after embarking on my Year of Self-Love, I met with a surgeon. His professional opinion was that I should undergo surgery to remove the diseased part of my body. According to the surgeon, too much damage had been done; my body part no longer functioned and healing would not be plausible. We scheduled the surgery for the end of April, two days after I returned from my trip to India. This would give me just enough time to recover before I set off for the summer on my various bicycle adventures.

Two days after I met with the surgeon, I boarded the plane for India.

My trip to India was life-changing in so many ways. With the upcoming surgery looming, I devoted my time to learning about and practicing various eastern forms of medicine. I learned about yoga, chakras, and meditation. I learned about how the body can heal itself -- without surgery. I was inspired to attempt to restore my health before resorting to surgery. With the encouraging and loving support of various individuals I met on my trip, I dug deep into my past and uncovered the source of my unhealthy habits.

This self-discovery was a ginormous act of self-love. Unearthing my past and making peace with my open wounds paved the path for a noticeable improvement in my health. While still in India, I contacted my surgeon to share my newfound hesitations regarding the surgery.

Upon returning from India, I repeated my ultrasound and had my blood drawn. All tests confirmed significant improvement in my health. My work in India had clearly guided me along a path towards healing -- something my experience with western medicine neither supported nor thought possible. It no longer made sense to remove a part from my body; I called off the surgery.

Since returning from India, I've continued along my journey of healing and self-love. I've made a habit of incorporating yoga and meditation into my regular routine. I've learned to give myself the space and solitude I need to recharge my batteries. I've learned the importance of choosing environments and relationships that are conducive to my well-being. I've learned to make decisions by listening to my body. As I've deepened my self-love, I have become healthier -- mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Awhile back, I composed vows commemorating my Year of Self-Love. Regularly reviewing these vows helps me to remain grounded, especially in moments when I catch myself leading astray.

I VOW...

To live my life as my own.
To remain true to who I am.

To love myself first and foremost.
To uphold always the integrity of my heart, soul, and individuality.

To trust my intuition and my dreams.
To be a prisoner of nothing.

To balance the physical, mental, and spiritual.
To practice compassion in all that I do.

To listen to my body.
To give myself the space and solitude I need to thrive in health and happiness.

To connect regularly with nature.
To open wide my mind and heart to possibility.

To explore my curiosities.
To seek continually opportunities for learning, growth, and evolution.

To develop my weaknesses and stretch my strengths.
To take the necessary risks to pursue my way.

To find beauty and joy in simplicity.
To exhibit gratitude and acknowledge purpose.

To express my vulnerabilities and share my gifts.
To see the wisdom in my wounds and failures.

To keep everything in perspective.
To remember that which is important.

To surround myself with people who think higher and feel deeper.
To enrich the lives of those who cross my path by affirming their worth.

To recognize that every choice shapes my life.
To respect the finite resources of time, energy, and emotion.

To live fully awake, aware, and in-the-moment.
To be mindful of silence and breathe pause between stimulus and response.

To embrace fate.
To let be.

To understand and be understood.
To love and be loved.

Though my Year of Self-Love is over, my journey of self-love has only just begun. I do not claim to be a master at any learnings I have acquired over the last year. The only learnings I have internalized for certain are that self-love is powerful and self-love is a life-long journey.

♥ Many thanks to Vanessa, Megan, and Maria, my "Dream Team," who gifted me a ridiculously-scrumptiously-gargantuan amount of support while in India.
♥ Many thanks to my Mom, who has always loved me, despite how my independence made me a not-so-easy daughter to raise.
Many thanks to Steedman, who has been my steadfast advocate during my year-long journey of self-love. 


  1. Just what I needed to read today. Much love!

    1. Glad to hear it, darling. Hope your travels are going well. Love back atcha! 😘

  2. Fantastic ! You are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing!❤

  3. I loved reading your story and your vows, Sarah! I'm glad you've found some healing and are firmly planted on the self-love journey.

    1. Thank you, Melissa. It's been an incredibly rewarding journey!

  4. I Love this!!! Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. You're most welcome, Kate. 😁 I very much appreciate our friendship and the wisdom and generosity that you share with me. Hugs~~


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