The Choice to Appreciate and Self-Nourish

I recently attended an Esoteric ‘Well-being for Women’ group. These groups run worldwide and are designed to support women to re-connect to what we know to be true and to live from this quality in everyday life. We discussed something that is often considered the ‘norm’: the thoughts we allow, that can become an inner conversation. 

Does this support or hinder us and why do we allow it?

At times I can hear words in my head that would have me believe I am lacking in some way. These words can be harsh, belittling and critical. If I were to hear a child talk about themselves in the same way, I would consider it untrue and completely unnecessary. If I hear a friend talk in this way, I gently remind them of all they are and all they bring to our world. I am learning to do this more and more with myself. It can be easy to concentrate on all that appears not enough, when in fact we are enough! We have everything we need with us in every moment.

Denying ourselves and our magnificence serves no purpose.

At times I choose to connect to my innate knowing and appreciation of myself. These moments help to hold me steady in my day, they confirm deep down what I already know, that it is not about what we look like or what we achieve, it is about how we are with ourselves and others.

Why then, as women, do we allow the negative commentary?

It can provide an issue, a distraction, and perhaps even makes us fit into what the ‘norm’ can be. It is often a part of everyday life to hear people make throwaway comments about themselves and others that negate the truth of who we are. 

What does it feel like when we don’t negate who we are, but accept and appreciate in full instead?

Michelle Harford - credit-Dave Hudson
Michelle (credit: Dave Hudson)

In the moments where I deeply appreciate myself it feels like a self-sustaining feedback system that replenishes me, and leaves me feeling more of myself, more able to get on with life and more able to support others. The self-bashing leaves me feeling the opposite: drained, tired and like I need to escape, or to shut myself away from people.

What I know today is that we are able to choose and be honest with ourselves when the thoughts pop in. We can say ‘those thoughts do not support me’ and come back to the appreciation of all that we are. We can share openly when we feel amazing and this can inspire others to do the same.

Is there more on offer, more to connect to within ourselves?

What if the things we criticise are areas that we feel we could bring more to? What if, when we criticise the way we look, it’s because who we see or how we feel in that moment isn’t a true representation of all we know ourselves to be? 

What if our body shows us an end result of a multitude of choices, and what if instead of continuing the cycle of self-critique, we appreciate that we can choose differently from that moment forwards? 

Every breath we take and every next step can be one of appreciation to build from or one of reducing ourselves back into an issue that we may not truly have.

As women let’s celebrate who we are, celebrate what each of us brings and continue to build a foundation of self worth, deep knowing and appreciating in full, all of our qualities.

By Michelle, Cornwall, UK 

You may also enjoy …

Is there a way to deepen our appreciation of ourselves, by building a connection to our body and what we’re feeling? Cherise’s blog on celebrating the woman within.

Where does true self-worth come from? ’If we want to reconnect to our intrinsic worth, we must start by making space to observe and listen to our own feelings, reconnecting to our own inner voice..’

253 thoughts on “The Choice to Appreciate and Self-Nourish

  1. Of all the choices we can make in life, appreciation of ourselves and others is the most powerful and yet has been the most minimised and trivialised by people for a very long time. You have to wonder why that is.

  2. Our body is very honest and even though it may not show us immediately the consequence of our choice (or perhaps we have numbed the conversation so proficiently that we don’t hear it) it doesn’t meant that it won’t have an impact. The danger of that is it may be many years later and we then find it hard to relate the two events and truly understand that everything we do, say and think has an impact.

  3. To appreciate ourselves is so underrated and under sold, dismissed even as frivolous – yet it is so powerful. We can all try it and see for ourselves – go for it and be amazed.

  4. I love the description of how appreciation is like a self-sustaining feedback system. When we confirm and appreciate all of who we are we are connecting with our divine source which is very much self-sustaining.

  5. We cannot remain content at the level we are at, today I was talking to somebody about that I can feel I can go deeper with my tenderness as a woman. The person said that they think i am very tender and shouldn’t really worry about it and in that moment I realised how if we listen to the opinion of others all of the time, we may never grow, we may never change and our life will remain the same, with the same ills and worries. However if we follow the feelings running through our body, we can be enriched and see huge changes day to day.

      1. We also learn, and grow. Our perception changes and we begin to see ourselves in a whole different light.

  6. The world is set up in such a way so as to not only keep us away from our bodies but to ensure that we treat our bodies harshly. We are fed ideas about how to be in the world that ensure that we disrespect our bodies. One example of this is the belief that we have to ‘work hard and play hard’, which leads, understandably to a hardening of the body. Our body is the medium through which we can feel the true value of something. Basically if it jeopardises the body in any way then that’s a red flag to take a deeper look at what’s going on.

    1. Yes, we can convinced ourselves of anything, our brain has the capacity to do that, but our body is more in tune with the cycles of the Universe and therefore has a level of honesty that can challenge what we deem to be a known truth.

      1. Lucy your response has really underlined the importance and significance of allowing the body to lead. The body is an integral part of truth, it has a place within the truth of the whole and equally within the whole of the truth. However the mind (as we’ve come to know it) has no resting place in truth, it is a total misfit, inhabiting and perpetuating the what is not truth in order to validate itself and keep itself alive.

  7. “As women let’s celebrate who we are, celebrate what each of us brings” – yes we can do this and it feels great. All the self bashing of feeling we are not good enough – that is so not who we are.

  8. Every moment of negative self talk distracts us away from the appreciation and confirmation of the beauty that lies within each and every one of us. This is not to say that we cannot and should not take note of something that we have said or done that may have been inappropriate – for there is no perfection here being asked and so we will make mistakes, but it is about clocking the so called ‘mistakes’ we have made, understanding how this does not support oneself and others, and then instantly we should come back to appreciation and confirmation of our beauty knowing that this is truly what we are living from. This leaves no space for that internal negative self talk.

    1. Henrietta I am wondering if the fact that we label mistakes as ‘mistakes’ causes us to automatically assume that these moments ‘do not support oneself and others’. If we changed our description of these points in time to ‘opportunities’ then perhaps we would also see that they can be incredibly supportive of all those involved.

  9. The self critical talk that we can give ourselves is actually really unhealthy. In fact if, as Michelle has shared in the blog, we were to hear a child talk like this or hear an adult talk to someone else like this, it could easily be seen for the abuse it is. It is thus time to start catching when we do this, and change the way we communicate with ourselves to be loving and nurturing and supportive in nature.

  10. “At times I choose to connect to my innate knowing and appreciation of myself. These moments help to hold me steady in my day, they confirm deep down what I already know”
    Love this it is so true, we just need to build on these moments and acknowledge them when they are there that way we start to build a foundation of true success.

  11. If can take a while to change our way of thinking especially if it has been ingrained from an early age, but so worth the time and effort to make that change. Having high regard for our own self has the potential to bring mounds of healing, to ourselves and others.

  12. Honestly the mind doesn’t care about the body at all, it just wants to control in whatever way it can to get its own way, which is often at the expense of the body. When we reengage back with our bodies we become steadier and less swayed by the mind as we deepen our relationship with ourselves the mind has no power over us anymore and has to fall in line with the body because the body is actually far more powerful than our minds.

  13. Everyday I feel I am growing in my ability to nourish and appreciate myself, developing these qualities have changed my life.

  14. Making a mistake- if that is what we feel we have done- is one thing but to make ourselves wrong and try and make it right does not work…any judging of ourselves or others in this way cannot help anyone when, in truth, there is no righter wrong in the first place. We know what is true or not, we just have to be willing to go there.

  15. When I am present with myself and how lovely I am there’s no negative thoughts. When I’m not present is when those thoughts can come in and then I move differently. Heavier or less gentle or more likely to swear as an example. The thoughts are linked to my level of presence.

  16. Not only is it great medicine to appreciate who we are but it really is essential if we are to consider the true health that it brings.

  17. “As women let’s celebrate who we are” – yes, and some – this does not sit so well with the world and it’s ways, but hey, we do not need to listen to what we are not, just hone in on the truth of what we are and go for it.

  18. “What if the things we criticise are areas that we feel we could bring more too?” Great point Michelle. Instead of bashing ourselves when we have these self-criticising comments we have the choice to see them as opportunities to grow and expand. I have found that when I do this my ‘self-sustaining feedback system’ keeps replenishing.

    1. And it is free to give it a go. Realising that our inner dialogue is often unsupportive and has an impact on our relationship with life means exploring and experimenting with different approaches is the obvious next step, yes?

  19. The more I appreciate myself the more I am discovering about myself, more aware I am of others and the more I am discovering I am capable of that I did not realise before.

  20. Beautiful to re-read today January 1 – the start of a new year. “In the moments where I deeply appreciate myself it feels like a self-sustaining feedback system that replenishes me, and leaves me feeling more of myself, more able to get on with life and more able to support others.” All so true,

  21. I love taking the option of confirming oneself with each step and movement rather than going back over old ground to rehash an issue and beat myself up.

  22. Appreciate or don’t appreciate – the outcome is a totally different quality of life, as you have discovered Michelle.

  23. This is such an awesome reminder that we always have the choice to appreciate or denigrate ourselves and if we choose the former we automatically nourish ourselves and support ourselves in our path of return to the glorious women that we are whilst sharing a loving reflection for all who come into contact with us.

    1. The battle between appreciation or denigration becomes intense when we have identified so strongly with everything we are not but get increasingly frustrated with that identification. Except that, as you point out Helen, it is a choice. The battle simply comes from knowing you are making unloving choices that you are beginning to hate because you know they are not true. Once we begin to make the choice to bypass all of this stagnation for a moment to connect with and appreciate our innate qualities we begin to redress that balance. The more we realise how self supporting it it to nourish ourselves in this way the more we want to renounce the other way of being.

    2. Yes, we always have a choice – to appreciate or denigrate , as you say Helen. The question is why do I so often choose the latter? And what movements have I made prior to that choice?

      1. Sue that’s the key question isn’t it ‘and what movements have I made prior to that choice?’. Because our movements lead to our movements and appreciation and self denigration are both movements. Therefore if I have berated myself my entire life then the option to appreciate myself will be so remote that it simply won’t be a viable option.

  24. “Denying ourselves and our magnificence serves no purpose.” It sure doesn’t, history is littered with mighty beings playing small, no wonder humanity as a whole is in such a mess – when we don’t claim ourselves and the divinity we are from we all suffer.

  25. With appreciation there is an expansion and warmth that permeates the body and with negative thoughts it feels like a spiral downwards and very constricting in the body. I have found that appreciation negates all negative thoughts and it then becomes a choice whether we want to appreciate or fall back into a cycle of feeding the negative thoughts

    1. Spot on Alison – the feeling in the body is distinct where appreciation is opening and expanding. Knowing this means that we can actually feel if the appreciation is genuine or if we are just saying it in an attempt to do the ‘right thing’ – no different to saying to another woman how the dress she is wearing becomes her – we can tell in an instant if this ‘compliment’ is genuine or if it is said in a way to put another down. Feeling it in the body is the key for the body is the marker of truth.

  26. I love this choice you leave us with, Michelle…..’Every breath we take and every next step can be one of appreciation to build from or one of reducing ourselves back into an issue that we may not truly have.’ There is indeed always a choice.

  27. To consider the element of choice in our day – having a choice in this moments to self love and appreciate more than ever before.

  28. Michelle I love that very simple comment about negative thoughts. “Those thoughts don’t support me” How totally simple and very true and a great way to put a stop to the damaging effect of the quality of those thoughts on our body and being. Its not about making them stop, for we can’t stop our thought, but it brings an awareness to their quality and that through something about how we have lived this has allowed them to take hold. But we can choose not to be owned by our thoughts, which is an important place to reach.

  29. Often the most incessant abuse comes through our own self negating thoughts. Wonderful reminder that we can always clock that ‘those thoughts do not support me’ and simply choose to not get caught in that slippery downward spiral.

  30. I love the ‘what if’ questions you pose here Michelle, especially…’what if instead of continuing the cycle of self-critique, we appreciate that we can choose differently from that moment forwards?’ This is very empowering, to choose to make a different choice right now.

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