I can’t make a decision for the life of me.

I would spend 3 hours in the grocery store if my shopping buddy didn’t drag me outta there before sneaking back to the egg isle for the 3rd time to swap out the cage free eggs for the affordable ones.

Today, however, I have decided.

It’s been a year and 6 months since I wrote my last blog. Which means there are SO many possible topics of conversation, but for once I know exactly what I want to discuss:

Self Love, the verb.

It is simple. It is trendy. It has taken me 24 years to prioritize. And I believe every single person in the world needs to as well. For myself, 2017 was a whirlwind of transformation; a revolution of learning hard lessons, taking risks, getting to know myself, and walking this path of life that isn’t always clear or rewarding. Some people might call it growing up! And as this year of growth has come to a close, I can’t seem to ignore this reoccurring mantra:

Our health and wellbeing must be a TOP priority.

I know what you might be thinking…

Sure, maybe in a perfect world. Right now my kids come first. My career comes first. My house comes first. My college fund comes first. I’ll show myself love when my kids are grown. When I can afford it. When I’m not worried about my never ending to-do list! 

All of these things are important – don’t get me wrong – but how can we honor these things to their fullest capacity without first honoring the person who is honoring them?

Boom! Self love has now moved to #1 on your list, right?

Don’t worry it falls on and off my list on the reg. But here I am, 100% sure that this is the most important thing to consider right now.

We’ve heard it before: “You must first love yourself before you can love another.” It is nothing new, but for me, this obstacle seemed to solely be a mental one. My brain would say, Ok let me think… do I love myself? Yeah! I’m pretty cool, so…CHECK! Who’s ready for love?

What I was missing until recently was how miraculous self love can be when turned into action. Remember how you showed your first car love by regularly washing it, waxing it, and checking it’s oil? We need to treat our mind, body and soul with the same care so we can be a well-oiled machine for a longer period of time.

I subconsciously hopped on this gravy train through this little thing called Yoga. There are almost 3 million people in my Yoga class. Adriene Mishler guides us all through sweet sweet stretching, breathing, self massaging, meditating, and strength building on her Youtube channel called Yoga with Adriene .

I was lucky enough to attend one of Adriene’s classes live and in person, and I walked away with this pin.

My first practice with Adriene was called “Yoga for when you’re sick”, which I did because I Google’d those exact words when I was, you guessed it, sick and desperate for a cure. Little did I know this free resource would change how I live life. What a beautiful thing it is to simply listen to your body and tend to it. Yoga with Adriene is so wonderful that I don’t want to ruin it with explanation. Instead, go do this practice. Even if you’re the last thing from a Yogi, just give it a try and play all out. I promise it will not be a waste of your time, and I would even bet at least 75% of you will enjoy it.

While being on this love train is a radical ride, staying on it definitely requires conscious effort.

Remember when I mentioned my egg debacle earlier?

I fall off the train the most when any kind of shopping is involved, because I’m a cheap mutha fu**er, plain and simple. At the same time, however, I love healthy food and gravitate toward the grass-fed beef and the eggs that come from normal sized chickens who get to roam around in the sun. Sometimes I splurge and purchase them, but most of the time, I convince myself that I can wait until I’m rich to indulge in the finer protein. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, so what if we looked at grocery shopping as a way to squeeze in some extra love to thyself? What we put in our mouths has MAJOR affects on our body, mind and spirit. So, if I buy the organic meat, the activated almonds, the anti-inflammatory turmeric and the vegetable I can only find at the farmer’s market NOW, I will feel more energized, focused, and healthier, sooner. Meaning my output will be greater, and I will be able to take advantage of more opportunities, sooner. If I keep eating the foods that merely satisfy my hunger just because they fit in the budget better, I will keep progressing at my average rate, and have to wait longer to get rich so I can buy the fancy eggs.

Are you still with me?

No one said it would be easy, but life does seem to fall into place with ease when my health is at the forefront of my actions. When I am proactive versus reactive. If you’re still mad at me for saying your family and career are less important… understand that putting the well-being of your body, mind and soul first means that you are taking better care of all those other things. Because if you can play with your kids longer and do meaningful work better when the self love is thrivin’, then you’ve got nothin’ to lose! Like good ol’ Abe said:

Ways we can love ourselves a little more this year:

  • Making sleep a priority – I understand that having children might hinder this, but just consciously making sleep as important as eating will make a difference.
  • Being mindful of what nourishes our bodies and brains.
  • Doing something for you your health every day – going on a walk, getting fresh air, stretching, meditating, working out, doing breathing exercises, reading, Etc.
  • Loving others.
  • Using our incredible human-ness to create awesome-ness – As long as it’s something that gets your juices flowin’ / something that makes you feel good / something you love. 
  • Practicing gratitude for all of the above + more.

It took me a year and half to write again. After feeling like I was being pulled in too many different directions, I finally did it. I finally listened to and tended to the part of me that uses writing as a medicine. And boy does that medicine feel gooooood. That was a breathing out, shoulders dropping, corners of the mouth creeping up kinda good.

So whatta ya say… go love yo’ self, yo!

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Glad your back! Appreciate the love / self love. Preach!

  2. Oh, how I’ve missed your blogs! And what a great re-start! Ofcourse, I felt you talking directly to me as I am a prime example of putting my self-love on the shelf. Your sister and I were just speaking of this and how I need to make this my 2018 priority. Thank you for the affirmation!

    1. That’s right, mom!! Love you mucho mucho so you should too 😉

  3. Maddy!! What a great read to start my day and a great blog post after a long break. You are incredible and I just signed up for your Yoga class haha 😉

    Thanks for the simple reminder to love myself and being mindful of my health. Prioritizing mental health can be challenging but it’s definitely something I’m going to work on!

    I am so proud of you and Picnic Grounds. Keep working hard and making people smile. You’re doing an amazing job!

    1. Pach! You are the best! Thank you for your kind words and endless support, and plz let me know how you like the yoga! Also, I’ve decided to cut out dairy for a month to see how I feel after… inspired by your lated FB post <3

  4. Self love is a tough one for me to remember to Practice. Your words chime on so many levels. Keep writing as I love the motivation I’m feeling?

    1. You deserve nothing less Julee! Thank you <3

  5. Maddy, I along with many missed your writing!!!! Loved this article! ❤️ As women, our “self love” is those we care and love about -come first. 🙁
    We cannot be there for others if we don’t spend time on us! Wishing beautiful things for your 2018 sweetie! Love ya??

  6. Hi, Maddy. Your mom told me you were speaking directly to me as well. So true. Now to put this into practice. Hugs!

  7. Maddy Santos…. you are amazing!! what a ray of sunshine you are! Loved reading your blog and looking forward to upcoming ones!! ?Xo

    1. Thank you so much Linda!! I hope you are doing great ☺️☺️

  8. Maddy Santos…. you are amazing!! what a ray of sunshine you are! Loved reading your blog and looking forward to upcoming ones!! ?Xo

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