Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Healthy Self Esteem

So far this blog has mostly focused on physical health and wellness, but since I take a holistic approach to my life, I thought it was time to include a post about spiritual wellness.

Without digging more deeply into my "issues" and opening myself up spiritually, I don't think I would have lost 40 lbs since September, improved my fitness, and upped my happiness level.

Opening myself up spiritually and dealing with "buried stuff"--or maybe it's really buried treasure--is what reassures me that this time I really will keep the weight off and finally live the life of my dreams. I've been thin before, and being thin just didn't do it.

It takes more.

Awhile back I got an email newsletter from Louise Kaelin, a life coach in Pennsylvania. I have been getting her newsletters for several years now, and always like what she had to say. The recent issue on "Components of Self-Esteem" really resonated with me.

I did the exercise I am about to share (it's all about exercise one way or another, isn't it?) over a period of weeks, and it helped me tremendously. I spent years dwelling in a state of self-loathing, not forgiving myself for things of the past, and for not being perfect. It feels great to be liberated from that prison! In fact, Louse uses a jail analogy in Step 1, Forgiveness. It was a huge clarifying moment for me when I realized that if I had served jail time for anything in my past, it would have been over long ago and the debt forgiven. Duh! I never thought of it that way before, just kept dragging old garbage around and piling on the pounds of self-loathing.

So here the exercise, with Louise's copyright and contact info at the end.

"Becoming your best self involves a positive healty regard for oneself. Most of us are aware of the extremes of too much self regard (arrogance) or too little (self loathing). A healthy self-regard (like Goldilocks and the Three Bears!) is just right. It's a positive, blaanced, and healthy self-regard and is essential to become spiritually and emotionally evolved.

Self Esteem can be broken down into the following four components. The lower your self esteem, the more important it is to work on these elements individually, and in this order:

1. Forgiveness. So much of what we believe about ourselves is dependent on actions taken years previously. While almost never as bad as we think, these "unforgivable" actions cause us to feel underserving and unworthy of anything good. The odd part is, if it had been an event for which jail time was given, you would have paid your debt and been released years ago. Instead, it's a dirty secret thatyou carry around with you, hoping against hope that no one will find out how bad you really are.

To facilitate forgiveness, complete the following sentence, after taking three long, slow breaths: 'The thing I am most ashamed (or guilty) of is ________' Go with the firs tthing that enters your mind and then use the following clarifying statement: 'I forgive myself for x' until you begin to actually feel yourself forgiven.

2. Acceptance. Once we've forgiven ourselves, the next step is accepting ourselves for who we are right now. Starting with three long, slow deep breaths, use this clarifying statement: 'I accept myself, just the way I am.' Again, repeat this until there is no question of doubting your acceptance.

3. Trust. The third step of improving self-esteem is trusting yourself. Trust your thoughts, your instincts, your gut reaction to things. After the three long slow deep breaths, use the following clarifying statement: 'I trust myself and others'. Repeat until there is no question of doubting yourself.

4. Love. The final and possibly most important component of positive self esteem is self love. Unfortunately, with a sense of self racked by guilt, rejection, and mistrust, it is near impossible to love oneself enough to maintain a healthy level of self esteem. To work on this finally step, use the following clarifying statement, after the three long, slow deep breaths: 'I love myself in a healthy, balanced way'.

Once you've followed these four steps an are beginning to feel good about yourself, start taking actions that support this new self view. Watch the words you use and how you interact with others. Keep it up and you'll have a very healthy and balanced self esteem in no time!

(c) Copyright - Louise Morganti Kaelin, All rights reserved worldwide.
Louise is a Life Success Coach who partners with individuals who are READY (to live their best life), WILLING (to explore all options) and ABLE (to accept total support). She specializes in helping those who know what they want to do and how to do it but still can't seem to get it done by breaking through the blocks and barriers to their success. For many free resources, including Louise's free newsletter of insightful, practical suggestions for creating your best life, visit her website at

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