Self-Love: It Takes Commitment, Vulnerability, Time, and Courage
There is an epidemic in America and beyond: Many women have low self-esteem.
I was one of those women.
I had low self-esteem, especially around my body. I spent decades doing personal development work around manifesting what I wanted in my life, I gave it a lot of energy, and I gained a lot of wisdom. I had a deep frustration that I wasn’t healing my core issues: Low self-esteem and body shame.
While walking along the San Francisco Bay, I asked myself: How can I be so successful in my career, live in such a beautiful place, in a beautiful home, yet still have low self-esteem and body shame? Why can’t I conquer this?
I continued to ask myself this question for the next 20 years!
Our society conditions women to have low self-esteem. In my case, I had some events in my childhood that contributed to this. I also had religion and the patriarchal culture constantly sending me oppressive and sometimes mixed messages about what it means to be a woman. Of course, we all know that the media presents unrealistic expectations of the ideal beautiful woman and magnifies outer beauty as the highest priority. All the advertisements tell us we need this product and that product to look, feel and be perfect. It is rare for a woman to escape childhood not having low self-esteem, including body shame.
A dizzying amount of available advice about self-love makes it seem easy to attain. Articles like “Seven Easy Ways to Love Yourself” or “How to attain self-love in 5 minutes a day” are to the low self-esteem epidemic like the diet industry is to the obesity epidemic: Damaging.
Self-Love is not a surface-level problem. It takes commitment, vulnerability, time, and courage to step out of shame and low self-esteem and into a committed, loving, nurturing relationship with yourself. Once you do, the freedom you will experience is profound, and the journey to get there is worth it!
It took me decades of hard work to get to where I truly love myself. It doesn’t have to take that long for everyone, but it took me a long time to discover what I am sharing in this blog post.
In pursuit of loving myself, I attended many workshops, participated in talk therapy, lost weight, moved across the country, married, and became a mom. I always had the mentality: If only I make ________ change (fill in the blank), I will finally be happy.” I was always willing to take on a new type of personal growth philosophy.
While I grew a lot through all these experiences, I still couldn’t seem to lift the body shame and low self-esteem.
It wasn’t until I focused my awareness on my body that I was able to extract the shame from my body. I started listening to the wisdom of my inner healer and started doing experiential somatic work (connecting the mind and body) combined with sacred ceremony.
My journey started with the mind. A wise woman once said, “You cannot solve a challenge with the same mind that got you into that challenge.” She was so right! First, I had to expose the roots of my shame and recognize the agreements that I made with myself as a child to cope.
Next, I had to go into my body. There are many somatic modalities to choose from, and I decided on “Toltec Sacred Journey Breathwork” because I have several friends that achieved significant healing with this breathwork.
Toltec Sacred Journey Breathwork Ceremony is a highly experiential, somatic, and transformative process that inspired me to remember and reconnect with my soul. With each inhale and exhale, I was invited to participate in an ancient healing ceremony where I began to release what no longer served me, access my healer that lives within, and become the person I was born to be! Using a deep, connected, circular breath and evocative music, the breathwork ceremony invited me to breathe until my soul revealed what it wanted me to know!
Some of the experiences I had in breathwork sessions:
- I exposed the roots of my shame
- I felt the emotions around events that caused shame, releasing the wounds that I had stuffed down in my body
- I received guidance on my path forward from guides and ancestors
- I experienced curiosity and deep emotions: sadness, anger, gratitude, and joy
I participated in sacred ceremonies before and after the breathwork to help me set powerful intentions, be witnessed, fortify and integrate healing, and celebrate. Then I could navigate life moving forward by working with a coach. The coaching helped me integrate the healing and change old habits and patterns that I no longer needed. It was a very successful combination!
Being able to truly love myself has been such a potent change in my life. Everything changed, and I feel like anything is possible now. I am now passionate about coaching women in creating self-love as their core foundation.
If you are interested in learning more about my journey to Self-Love, I wrote about it in the recently published, #1 best-selling book “Shaman Heart — Turning Pain into Passion and Purpose” by Stephanie Urbina Jones (one of my teachers). Chapter 18 is titled “Exposing the Roots of Body Shame — Carving a Path to Self-love, Acceptance, and Freedom”. You can purchase a copy (autographed) on my website or Amazon.com (paperback or e-book).
Aside from my work as a Life Coach, I have several opportunities for you to participate in this powerful work coming up. A monthly women’s New Moon Self Love Circle starting on June 28th (in-person) and a Shaman Heart book reading at Copperfield’s Books in Sebastopol, CA. Feel free to join my email list to receive notifications of future events!
Tina Green is the “Self-Love Queen”, and she is the Founder, Owner, and Life Coach at Exposing The Roots. Through her life coaching, she partners with women to assist them to increase their self-love. She believes that when a woman learns to love herself, everything changes. Tina is a trained Life Coach, Chef, and Author. She also has 20 years of experience as an executive in non-profit and financial services. Tina lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in Northern California, where she is a personal transformation enthusiast, foodie, outdoor adventurer, gardener, and cook.