A dear, dear friend (cough Pinterest cough) once told me,
In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.
Doesn’t that make you want to go and love the $!@# out of yourself, just to piss off the world? Anyone? Just me? I love getting to be a lil’ rebel. (Probably because 90% of time I’m the biggest rule follower…)
When you get to be a rebel and it’s good for you… I’m a fan. Committing to liking myself, at the very least just to make society suck it, has been empowering for me. Here are five simple and sneaky ways I’ve been trying to rebel against what is assumed of us, what others consider normal, or what the world wants us to do. In 2017, let’s resolve to be rebels.
- Love Your Body (without needing to change it) I, for one, am such a fan of the body positivity movement that has (slowly) been gaining traction. Refinery29’s #seethe67 is one of the coolest examples of this. And yeeeet, the new year brought me a newsfeed of diets that promise to help you love your body, work out plans that will bring you body confidence, and gym memberships that will help you be body positive. I am all for working out, eating healthy, and taking care of your body – I am NOT for the belief that in order to love your body, you have to change it. Why don’t we work on having confidence in the bodies we have at this very moment? Pre-diet, pre-work out, pre-all-these-changes-I’m-supposed-to-make. We only get one body. Let’s work on a healthy relationships with it like we would any friend: loving without conditions of change.
- Stop Talking Politics… But Start Listening I think we all are over-joyed election season is behind us – even if we all don’t have the same feelings about the election results. But with a, uh, interesting president-elect about to take over, I hate to break it to you: the politics discussions aren’t going anywhere. BUT, what if we changed how we interacted with it? What if we stopped talking politics with friends, family, and Facebook? When we are expected to agree with a friend because they voted the same, when we are assumed to pick a fight with that person we never see eye to eye with, when we really, really want to unload on that person who always posts the worst articles – what if we simply listen instead? Ask questions. Ask for their reasoning and their beliefs and their view point. Ask and ask and ask and maybe keep your mouth shut about your own ideas for a second. When we view someone as having a different opinion than us, our brains don’t believe any of their logic. Seriously. So maybe let’s focus on finding some middle ground for once, and take the tic tic tic of the bomb that’s about to go off out of politics.
- Stop Saying “Sorry” (Please note, I’m NOT SAYING stop apologizing) I know this is a women epidemic, but I also think it’s a people-pleaser’s disease. We apologize when people run into us, we apologize when other people are wrong, we apologize for having ideas, we apologize for speaking. After a while, we start to apologize for being. What if we start thanking people? “Thanks for understanding!” when we’re 10 minutes late. “Thanks for letting me voice my opinion,” after speaking up. “Thanks for stepping to the side as I walk by!” (…or a smile will just do) We are allowed to take up space in the world. Stop apologizing for doing so.
- Start Apologizing (…please note, I AM saying start apologizing) Have you ever noticed how life giving it is to be around people who own their mistakes? Even when it’s little ones. Those people make me want to be around them more, and they live life with more freedom than most. What if we start apologizing for things we messed up on? Even those little things no one apologizes for these days. “I’m sorry for forgetting that, and putting more work on your plate.” “I’m sorry I focused too much on me tonight, and didn’t check in to see how you were doing.” “I’m sorry I said that in front of another person, and broke your trust.” I recently texted a friend an apology for something minor, that she didn’t even know had happened. “That made me feel very loved by you,” she texted back. Isn’t that how we want all our friends to feel??
- Spend Less Time on your Phone Did you know our smart phones are actually designed to make us addicted to them? The layout, the color schemes, the apps themselves – they are created to keep you on it as much as possible. I’m not advocating for a tech-free world by any means, but what if we were more intentional about the ways we use it? Social media to connect with people, not to compare ourselves to strangers. Texting to contact friends, not for a source of affirmation, entertainment, or worth. Technology to enhance our lives – not to replace it. Put the phone face down – on silent! – when we meet with friends. An hour a day with your phone in the other room. Having a screen-time-bed-time (I try to not use my phone after 9pm).
So, let’s love ourselves this year and be a little more rebellious where it matters most.