Dig Your Self
CEO/Founder Amber Lewis on loving yourself as the basis for overall health and wellness.
Last week was a little surreal – nothing super fancy… just what seemed to be some cool little milestones in our company. And, to top it all off I was asked to be part of a panel at Bank of America and went to the Natural Product Expo in Baltimore. Both were amazing, but something especially struck me with the B of A panel. Typically, these panels would be filled with your typical, highly-decorated healthcare folks. But the organizers of this panel were very diligent in curating a specific panel to send a message.
We want something different for our wellness. We deserve it and we’re looking outside of traditional medicine. I applaud LEAD for Women Charlotte 6th Annual "LEAD the Change" Symposium for taking this chance during this wellness ("Beyond the Gym") breakout session. When you think of corporate America, you think of a corporate approach to healthcare. And recycled air, stuffy cubicles, uncomfortable suits and unhealthy lunches. Well, except on Monday, because that’s the day you have salad to make up for the weekend shenanigans (!). But this was different.
I didn’t realize how different this panel was until I was sitting on stage. I mean, we had a pre-meeting meeting to discuss the actual event… because that’s what you do in corporate America :). But it wasn’t until about 5 minutes in that I realized, I was with "my people." I wasn’t the odd (wo)man out, like so many times before. I was, although, waaaaaaay less formally educated than any of my cohorts… BUT, we were all saying the same BEAUTIFUL thing. It wasn’t just about how many steps you are walking or calories you’re consuming… hell, it’s not just about the sleep you’re getting. Don’t even get me started on the expectations we put on parents these days. And, our kiddos? Gah. All that aside, the common theme that really rose to the top was taking a moment to stop. Just stop. And love yourself. That’s right, loving and accepting yourself! That’s the first step to living a healthy lifestyle. Stop beating yourself up, stop living to whatever the status quo is at the moment… Give yourself a break, some breathing room. Sit with yourself. Quietly, without a cell phone. Even if it’s for 30 seconds. Breathe into your belly – more than once. Like really fill your belly with air. Allow time for self love without feeling guilty. Hug yourself. Seriously. And if that seems weird, put your hands over your heart and say (even if it’s to yourself) "I love you."
Be your greatest advocate – even when you feel like everyone is against you. Because that’s when you need it the most. Look yourself in the eye and accept yourself. Even if you don’t fully believe it at first. Walk away and say "I love you." Self love is the path to everything else falling into place. I know it seems "woo-woo." Trust me… I am as a skeptical as they come. I need proof. I don’t trust. I don’t just believe. But, I’ve experienced the beauty in self love. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. But if you can get to the other side of the ridge and accept it’s necessity, it will change your world. It’s really that simple. Promise! I’ll even give you a pinky swear on this one!