It used to be that the pressure to create resolutions and self-betterment plans was most intense around the new year, every year! For most of us, however, the pressure spills over and we live in a chronic state of planning to be better and to look better, and resolving to do better, every day of the year! The pressure rises from within us, fueled by the ancient assumption that there’s something wrong with us and we MUST do something to fix it.
I have good news! There is nothing wrong with you. Your task is not to become a new, improve, or change person by spinning out resolution after resolution or embracing the current self-improvement fad. Rather, your task is much simpler and more joyful. Your task is to return and reclaim your natural and essential self in all its fullness. In the very beginning, you loved yourself.
You came into the world with feelings of omnipotence, not inferiority. You loved your body, expressed its needs, and followed its impulses. You recognized and expressed your feelings. You told the truth. You created plays, musicals, stories, and pictures from your own unique vision of the world. You were full of yourself!
You may doubt that this time ever existed. Allow Monique Wittig’s strong words to remind you of the truth, “There was a time when you walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember. You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.” Imagine a woman…
Each “Imagine a Woman” self-guided retreat/course invites you to embrace your essential-self by discarding the facades and personas of a lifetime. It will inspire you to celebrate your originality and truth by shedding the conformity of many lifetimes. No longer content with self-improvement schemes that merely require the rearrangement of your exterior life, you’ll heal into the present and experience the transformation of your inner world.
Before you make another body-resolution, sign up for an expensive body-fix, register for a juice fast, or look into the mirror yet again with disgust, imagine a woman who is glad to be alive. A woman who has released body-scrutiny and -criticism. Who celebrates her body with reverence and respect. Imagine yourself as this woman. IAW’s transformational self-guided retreat/course “Love Your Body: The Five Pathways to Body-Love” will remind you of the body-loving instincts of the child you once were, and of how to awaken them in every season of your life.
Before you make another life-resolution, sign up for an expensive life overhaul, decide to end it all, or change careers, imagine a woman who authors her own life. A woman who trusts her inner sense of what’s right for her. Who takes responsibility for the design and content of her life. Imagine yourself as this woman. “Author Your Own Life: The Five Choices of Authentic Living” will remind you of the creative intelligence you already possess, and how to access it to author your own life and self-understanding.
Before you make another relationship-resolution, say I DO, scream I DON’T, or sign on with the latest matchmaking outfit, imagine a woman who turns toward herself with interest and attention. A woman who turns inward to listen, remember, and replenish. Whose capacity to be available to others deepens as she is available to herself. Imagine yourself as this woman. IAW’s transformational self-guided retreat/course “Relationships from the Inside Out: The Four Ingredients of Conscious Relationship” will remind you of the essential connection between self-love and the love of others, and how to experience your relationships from the inside out.
Before you make another spiritual-resolution, join an ashram or convent, turn your life over to another god or goddess, or turn away from spirituality altogether, imagine a woman who embodies her spirituality. A woman who honors her body as the sacred temple of the spirit of life. Who breathes deeply as a prayer of gratitude for life itself. Imagine yourself as this woman. “Name Your Own Gods: The Five Paths to Conscious Spirituality” will remind you of your birthright of freedom and courage, and how to use this birthright to inspire and design your own spirituality.
Invest in yourself with renewed self-love and compassion. Invest $27 in one of our woman-affirming retreats and receive these “pillows of support” to accompany you on your self-guided retreat journey:
- “Home Is Always Waiting” Meditation MP3 to prepare for your retreat.
- “Thirty Daily Meds” in your in-box to inspire you throughout your retreat.
- Membership in IAW’s Members-Only Circle on Facebook to share your retreat-insights.
Before you take another step into the winter of 2015, treat yourself to one of our 6 woman-affirming experiences to infuse 2015 with dynamic self-love and purposeful engagement with the world around you. Visit here for more self-guided retreat details.
Patricia Lynn Reilly is the founder of Imagine a Woman International and Open Window Gallery. If you’re ready to author your own life, business, ministry, or self-understanding, visit www.imagineawoman.com for inspiration, opportunities, and support. If you would like to become certified to facilitate our 6 woman-affirming experiences, visit here for certification details.