Wellness

What it Really Means to Self-Love

Self-love is more than just a day at the spa...Though it just so happens I did spend a day at the spa last week with a couple of very dear friends. We listened to each other’s stories, and connected deeply on a level of understanding about how the work we do for our clients and ourselves takes a very strong commitment to self-care and self-love. It was that very experience at the spa, where I realized that one day of healing waters isn't enough to sustain me day-to-day in the practice of self-loving. In order for us to serve others the way we desire, with love and our highest integrity, we’ve recognized that offering ourselves self-care looks like many different actions and takes on many different forms on a daily basis. 

Let’s start by listing some of the ways we typically hear of how we should include self-love in our lives: 

— Spa day with your friends

— Quit your job and go travel the world

— Buy yourself a fancy new dress

— Splurge on cosmetics 

— etc. etc

(This is not to say that all of the aforementioned ways aren't absolutely incredible, and I that I do think you should incorporate as many of them as your heart and soul desires!)

However, I’m all about remembering to be grounded and actively participating in this exquisite human life. This exquisite human life, that sometimes demands we do very mundane, human life tasks. 

 

I want to make it clear that self-love is not about finding ways to escape your everyday problems. 

Self-love is about alchemizing your everyday problems, into magical and incredible everyday experiences. 

 

I also want to highlight how, with the right attitude, these very basic human life tasks we have to do all add up, surmounting to a very incredible amount of self-care and self-love even though they can be boring, tedious, or mundane. Let’s take a look at some of the things that might seem monotonous daily practices, but that are also pieces of your daily self-love and care regime. 

— Household chores: washing the dishes, sweeping, cleaning, organizing, purging

— Home improvement: renos, decorating, fixing

— Cosmetic: nail filing, moisturizing, shaving, waxing, scrubbing (whatever floats your fancy)

— Finances: Accounting, taxes, filing

— Creating: writing, singing, dancing, playing, photographing, filming, acting, painting

Now, you may think that the daily chores of dishes, mending clothes, or cooking meals are not the incredible trip to Bali that all your friends are going on for their holiday getaways, however, on a daily basis we are caring for ourselves by getting our chores done. For instance, take accounting; we can do our taxes with the appreciation that we were able to buy many things over the last year, and with the understanding that abundance in monetary form is a blessing. Acting as such allows you to receive and care for yourself more in the future. It can be a source of empowerment if you let it be, rather than a means of discouragement and irritation.

After a very plain old Sunday spent at home, one of my housemates mentioned that she often thinks about how almost everything we do on a daily basis is done with the intention of self-sustenance. We go to work so that we can make money to feed ourselves. We mend our clothes so we can wear them again. We sleep so that we have the energy to wash, rinse and repeat. This may sound pretty dull to you, but I want you to know that isn’t dull at all when you change your perspective from, ‘I have to do this just to survive’ to, ‘I am doing this because I care about myself enough to create and live another day.’

Because here is the truth; when I don’t do my laundry, or sweep the floors, or finish my taxes, I feel like I’m living in a mess…that mess trickles into how I experience my life on all fronts. When I do my laundry and sweep the floors, I have a clean space to work, I get things done, I’m more creative, I invite friends over (I’m more social), I feel good, and I definitely love myself more. 

Even when I go to the gym and lift weights, I feel better.

I just spent a month waking up 2-3 times a week really early to get my ass to a circuit class at my place of work. I unofficially took part in my own ‘November challenge.’ 

Being a dancer and a full time entrepreneur/freelance artist is a very tricky thing to balance, so I wanted to show myself that I could stay strong, healthy, and feel good without having to take dance class everyday. (Because the truth is, I can’t afford to take dance class every single day right now.) Throughout the month I had moments of “I hate this, I’m going to throw up, and I can’t do it,” but by the end of the month I’m feeling healthier and I’ve learned so much from my co-workers about fitness through their new challenges. 

I also discovered that I really do like lifting weights. I find it so empowering to feel strong as a woman! 

 

The most clarity I’ve received from a steady workout regime where I’m constantly being challenged is that being physically stronger allows me to open up to being more vulnerable in other facets of my life.

I feel I’ve made quite a shift, not only physically but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

 

Now that’s just one example (my most recent and personal example), of what self-love can look like and what it can create and make space for in your life. 

 

Ultimately, self-love means a deeply rooted commitment to yourself. It means doing what you know you truly want to do always, and sticking to it long enough so that you can reap the incredible benefits, from the mundane to the marvelous. 

 

It means not being a people-pleaser in the plainest terms. The only exception should be that you aim to please yourself.

It means taking responsibility for your emotions, your thoughts, and your current creations. It means loving yourself just enough so that you can show up and get things done. It means loving yourself enough so that you can serve others, once you’ve served yourself. 

It means breaking down the foundations and restrictions that hold you back, so that you can be revealed and unleashed in the most pivotal ways. 

It means remembering who you are and what you love. Remembering to always ask yourself — What makes you happy? What do you desire?

It means refining and creating more of that in your life, right now. 

Self-love means committing to new levels of health. For me, it means more acupuncture. For others, it means less late-night partying. 

For you, maybe self-love means a new supplement to your diet, or cutting out that extra cup of coffee.
It may mean more water, or a new herbal tea. 

It may mean setting up 20 minutes of meditation or spiritual practice each day, and less tv. 

It may mean swaying away from things that are violent.

It may mean letting go of connections that are collecting dust.

It may mean listening to your heart and traveling across the world alone on Christmas when everyone else is with their families. 

It may mean signing up to work with a mentor, or spiritual guide and energy worker. 

It may mean quitting your job and starting your own business. 

It may mean that you pick up that pencil again and start writing. 

It may mean you start to sing down the street and care not what anyone thinks. 

It may mean you no longer need to shop at high priced trendy stores, and you become best fiends with the treasures of thrift.

It may mean you make your own superfood hot chocolate as opposed to drinking the crappy store-bought version.

 

It may mean you start a savings account.
It may mean you move out.
It may mean you break up. 

It may mean you surrender and let them win. 

 

Whatever it is for you, it will be different for someone else. Self-love takes on many forms. 

Only you know best what you need to feel fully and completely loved within yourself. 

 

The problem is we’re often not quiet enough to hear, and we don’t feel capable enough to listen and act accordingly. Let me tell you at the very least that, you do deserve it

You do deserve to listen to your heart. You do deserve happiness in all its forms and manifestations. You do deserve to move through all the difficult things and come out on top, shining and feeling forever-free.

 

And the only reason I can fully say that, is because I deserve it too…

and I have, and I will. 

If I can do it, if I can look fear in the face every single day of my adult life and tell it that I love it so much, I want it to rest and play right near me, all while I keep moving forward no matter what — then, so can you

If I can listen to my heart when my mind wants to abandon, sabotage and drop everything, then so can you

If I deserve to move through all the shittiest, crappiest feelings that spiral out of control for no reason other than to teach me some badass and bold lessons — 

then my darlings…so can you.

And you have, and you will.

 

With love, 

Vanessa

Edited by: Moriah Stendel

Building Self-Trust through Heart-centered Solo Practices

Daily individual practice enables you to trust the personal courage that lies within you.

Your body has an intelligence that is clear and precise in its own needs, integrity and desires. When you are in the middle of your yoga practice and your body whispers, “Move slow,” it is literally seducing you with your own internal desire. How often are you open and quiet enough to hear that part of you? When was the last time you listened and honoured that whisper by slowing down your movements? 

Maybe you are working all day at your desk computer and your body starts to stiffen with tension — your shoulders are rising in an effort to communicate that you need to relax, let go, take a break and move around. Its contractions are physical ways of screaming,“You’re choking me!” 

When was the last time you walked away from your desk for ten minutes to stretch and take a few deep breaths so that you could truly feel more grounded and at ease within your body while you work? 

When I am practicing in any space alone, I am forced to quiet all of the distractions. My emotions, my body, my mind, my spirit, and my soul are all ecstatic to have a chance to finally share with me through clear and direct influence. The way I slide on the ground and shift my weight from my legs to my hands with careful placement, or the way I slosh and roll on the floor in order to feel closer to the earth takes me on a courageous journey. Each movement gives me feedback. Each time I listen to where my body wants me to go, I am nurturing a deeper sense of self-trust. 

I open myself to trust. 

I am trusting my body to guide me. 

My highest heart leads me towards divinity. 

When I practice trusting my movements and my impulses exploring through the creation of physical shapes, I awaken and enliven certain sensations or feelings that I never knew I could stand tall in. I release unwanted pain by spending time lovingly creating space for it to dissolve. This let’s me walk closer to the place of ease and freedom that comes from letting my highest self lead the way. 

Many of us have a hard time trusting anything or anyone, and so it’s really no surprise that we lack the trust required to bring our own selves to harmony. We are so hardwired to ignore our physical sensations and numb out our emotions that we jump straight into our heads and analyze every little piece of information before our true guidance gets to speak its wisdom. Before our true guidance gets a chance to lead us into light. 

When we find ourselves overwhelmed with thoughts, possible stories or outcomes, we experience more fear, more anxiety, more confusion and more discomfort in all aspects of our lives. We begin to second guess every single feeling, thought, creation, or sensation and we mistake everything for a “logical” decision. Logic is wonderful, and at times necessary but your logic will not be in integrity and truth if you are not grounded, connected to your heart and trusting your inner wisdom. 

If you are not fully present to your body and its intelligence sharing of what it truly needs and desires, then your logical mind will confuse you or possibly even lead you astray. It is the feeling of internal torment that keeps you up at night, or keeps you from jumping out of bed in the morning for fear of failure. It’s what happens when you’re in the midst of creating something wonderful but you’ll second-guess yourself until you’ve quit. The conflict between body, heart, soul and your mind will be tormenting and debilitating for a long time if you don’t make space to coax your mental chatter into quieting and trusting the other loving parts of you. 

When you’re practicing solo here are a few ways to nurture and awaken your self-trust:

  1. Close your eyes and ground in your current state. Wherever you’ve just been, whatever you’ve just done — recognize where it lingers in the body. Allow the emotion or the thought to receive the acknowledgement it seeks from you, and then let it fade. Transition into the focus of physical sensations, and any time your mind starts to take you backwards or forwards in time, remind yourself of where you are and what you are presently doing (moving through yoga poses in your room, dancing to music in a studio, sitting at a coffee shop writing out your feelings.) Let that again become the focus and immerse yourself in the doing; in the expansion of expression.
  2. Use your breath to steady your mental rhythm. Breathing is something we all do naturally. But you will find once you start to incorporate a practice that focuses on observing or steadying your breath that there are places where you hold your breath, or where you breathe a little shallow. You might find that all of your breaths are quick and sharp, or maybe they are long and lethargic. You can let your physical actions or movements be moved by breath, or you can let your breath initiate your movements. Let yourself play, allowing your body to move with the inspiration and exhalation of your breathing.
  3. Use your body like an instrument. Movement is an expression of what is inside of you, and using your body as though you are creating music is a great way of understanding what is within. An incredible ballet teacher of mine, Christine Wright, always says to me, “Use your body as if you are singing a song. Tell me a story.” This helped me truly connect to what my body was feeling and how it wanted to express itself through movement. As you move your body, pretend that you are singing beautiful melodies. There are no wrong notes. Your body is the perfect instrument and the movement that you make, is the music. You can even sing aloud or hum softly to create a vibration from your vocal chords, making it really easy to listen to your most genuine sounds.
  4. Have a loving conversation with yourself. In the moments of your practice when you’re feeling tense, or stuck and you want to ditch the practice altogether to go eat a slice of pizza or just take a nap instead… tell yourself that you want to work together. Let your higher self know that you don’t want to fight, ditch or resist. Remind yourself why you’re there, fully present and wanting to trust what it has to share. Tell yourself you’re willing to try and be quiet enough to listen, to move in the directions and follow the paths that your heart is desiring. Speak words of kindness in your mind, or out loud and let yourself truly resonate with the vibrations of those love-affirming words. 
  5. Be consistent and practice daily. A consistent practice where you get to become fully present and connect to your whole self is an absolute necessity to developing a strong and loving sense of self-trust. Do this over and over again, with very a humble and receptive heart until you wake up in the morning feeling fully ready and open for what’s to come each day. Continue developing trust for what you know to be true inside of your highest heart, committing each day to doing the best you can.

There will be moments of this practice where it feels off, where it feels strained or fake. You may encounter discomfort in places that represent feeling stuck and broken, pained and lost. Let yourself work through what arises, and be there for yourself in times of resistance. The only person who can fully support you in building self-trust is yourself.

Work with yourself setting the intention that brings you the ability to listen, to discern, to create; to guide, to follow and to lead.

Do these practices consistently for at least five days and you will notice that when you’re walking down the street you feel more trusting of your balance, or that your mind, body, and spirit are now starting to play, communing together. You’ll see how they start to more frequently offer you exciting and daring opportunities than usual because they know that you will trust them enough to take the leap! Allow your heart to fully open in your practices, coax yourself into letting go of the internal rigidity that keeps you from living fully. There is no better time than right now for nurturing your own self-trust. 

If you desire more guidance and support in your journey through self-trust please contact vanessa@vanessa-faria.com for your complimentary 20 minute Soul Therapist consultation. 


Edited by: Moriah Stendel

Women Who Rise

{women who rise}

 

let it be that our wilderness becomes less of a 'thing' and more of a being

that we start to love ourselves so fiercely, the ‘wild’ appears only to evaporate

into ultimate divinity

 

we are wild and we are one

we are wilding 

but our wildness never left us, never gone

 

all we need to do is rise

 

in our essence, in our truth

in how we love ourselves

and how we share our love of self with the world

 

rising from our pitfalls

from the things that keep us stagnant and stuck

resting in our feminine energy, balancing the masculine urgency

 

this 'wilding' we all speak of 

how do we want it to reveal itself?

 

on the daily

consistently 

truthfully

lovingly 

in integrity, with authenticity

 

we need not to ‘re-wild’ ourselves

but only to celebrate, commemorate where we’ve been

and who we are now

where we’re going

and what’s unfolding for the holding

 

what are we creating now?

 

women of the wild, 

how do we want to rise?

— vanessa faria

RELEASE & RESTORE with Vanessa Faria & Darren Austin Hall

RELEASE & RESTORE 

with Vanessa Faria & Darren Austin Hall 

Our signature class of active myo-fascial RELEASE and trigger point therapy with an incredible addition of crystal bowl sound healing to RESTORE your inner radiance. 

Join Vanessa & Darren as they guide and lead a unique healing journey using tools of movement, active&passive release, shaking&rolling, sound healing and meditation. In this special evening, Vanessa will guide a restful restorative class and offer hands-on healing through the means of reiki and cranial sacral therapy, while Darren fills the magical church in his blissful sound bath and chakra toning to harmonize our centres. 

We’ll explore and venture into a land of swimmingly deep para-sympathetics and vibrational realignment to boost your summer body, mind and spirits! #mysticmisfits 

 

When: Wednesday August 19th from 7:45pm - 9:45pm

Where: MISFITSTUDIO

Investment: EARLY BIRDS before August 5th - $35 

GENERAL after August 5th - $45

Space is LIMITED

Please pre-register to secure your space on our Eventbrite >>> http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/release-restore-with-vanessa-faria-and-darren-austin-hall-tickets-17735066060

or email: thelowdown@misfitstudio.com

Both spiritual healers and guides, Darren & Vanessa are passionate about sharing their love for deep, slow and juicy moving practices such as yoga, pilates and dance in a playful way. They love to find the integrative and collaborative bridges between physical and spiritual praxis that allow us to feel our best selves and bring that feeling out into the world. 

 

Let them share an evening with you! This is an event meant to offer boundless inspiration and rejuvenation to your entire being - from ethers to toes!

quiet desperation

About a month ago, a few days I spent in New York City had me in a constant seek of

quiet desperation. 

After a long day out on a tour bus and sight seeing with colleagues and students I was so eager to find means of solitary refuge. I had skipped going to the Rock observatory which is something I would have liked, no doubt. But instead I scurried away to find myself at the hotel almost ready to burst in tears if I didn’t do exactly what my soul and body was asking for. Granted I was on my moon time and I body was super sensitive with the full moon that had just occurred a day or two prior. I unravelled myself from my bags and extra clothes and quickly plopped myself on the bed for a brief moment.  

Looking around the room, I was lucky enough to find a candle that my room-mate had brought and I lit it to accompany what I decided would be a thirty minute yoga practice. I had my computer and turned on my friend Darren Austin Hall’s sacred sound healing album The Tantra of Truth in in honour of his concert that was taking place that same night in Toronto. His concert was set to begin just as my practice was to complete. Knowing this, and feeling a sense of purpose and connection I was determined to carry out my intention. So in the dark hotel room on the tiniest floor, I began. 

Breathing deeply, arms opening and torso folding. Moving slowly and fully so as to make the most of the select poses I had time for, I felt myself start to chant and speak from the inside. 

quiet desperation. 

after a while all I could really hear and feel was a quiet desperation

I was so desperate to feel this, exactly this. Every moment of this practice was so precious. My body wanted so desperately to slow down, to sit and to sink into all of the bliss that comes from taking time to relax and taking time to breathe. To shift within a position - within a pose. 

I obliged. Then I sent love to my friend from a far and tuned into his concert and the beautiful vibrations of his music and grounded myself into that energy so that I could bring it with me on my next little journey. When the thirty minutes quickly came to an end, I felt ready to tackle the city streets at night once more. I thanked the practice, I thanked Darren, and I thanked myself and the quiet desperation for showing up and allowing myself to go into it. 

I set out walking through the beaming lights to meet a friend for dinner. All of a sudden that quiet desperation started to feel good. It started to feel better. It may have started to lift, but I think the real reason that it began to feel better was because I owned it. I liked the sounds it forced in my head - silence. And I liked that when I just surrendered and gave in I expanded. I expanded into the feelings and my whole self filled with space, and love and strength. And my body relaxed more and more into the feelings of this desperation that became more and and more beautiful, with less and less pain. 

We all have times when this is quiet desperation shows up and demands us to be present to it. Sometimes it’s in the way your body anxiously longs for stillness and long slow movement. Sometimes it’s that your body desperately needs to be in motion. There is a longing that creeps in and sits at the base of your pelvis for relaxation, peace and tranquility. Or a vivacious desperation for energy, speed and vibrancy. Whatever the call is, answer it. Surrender and be present a little longer to it. Let it show you the feels. Let the feelings and sensations take you on a journey. It could be for 5 minutes, or an hour, or two days or a month. If you can, go with it. 

light a small candle in a room full of darkness and take the time to discover what that little bit of quiet desperation wants to bring you.