If I were to have a book that has really carved out my year of 2014, it would be Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith. I have embraced my own hippie side and let myself out of the spiritual closet more and more this year, as you will recall from my post, Blank Spaces:
Excerpt: Let me tell you, my eleven year old self wearing huge Nintendo brand glasses, bangs, and a braid down to just the top of her butt crack, feeling so awkward and sporty spice at the same time, had no clue this was coming. My sixteen year old self listening to Country music blasting from my 1996 Red Ford Mustang, that I had to start twice (every time), on my way to rock the praise with my God Squad crew had no idea this was coming. To be even more real, my twenty-two year old self sitting behind that Hollywood assistant desk with a pair of slacks from Express and a Mormon boyfriend really had no clue. This mala bead loving, coconut oil everything, goal coaching, chakra learning and even engaged human being, I didn't know you were possible. I did not see you coming, Jacki Carr version 8.7.
So back to the book, it explores the chakra systems in a beautifully profound way and this past week I finally embarked on the Fourth Chakra, the heart chakra. So many resounding themes I could share with you, including the magnetic forces of the dark and the light within, the necessity of self-love, disconnection to the World due to un-relatedness amongst human beings, and the unraveling in devotion. The list truly goes on and on.
However, I keep reading and re-reading the section on self-love. Judith says, "self-love is the foundation for loving others" and that there is an immense amount of people who don't have a relationship with the person within.
And I remember. I remember when I started to get to know myself. When I started to take myself on solo dates and truly be okay being alone. When I started to know myself on a soul level, which was beyond what everyone thought or already knew about me, which for a long time what really drove my actions (and my ego), I truly began to evolve, express, open up and love myself.
My first solo date I took myself on was a matinée movie at 11am at The Grove in West LA. It felt really safe, no one would be there and even if someone I knew was there, the theater was really dark. Meaning, I could hide. I show up and grab my discount ticket, purchase an entire bucket of popcorn (add butter) and a blue ICEE. Obviously, I am going to treat myself. As I entered the theater, I was surrounded by senior citizens. It was at first a lonely energy in the space, yet it began to ebb into a very, very empowering one.
So naturally, I asked my dear friends how they take time to get to know themselves, love themselves and truly date themselves. Below are some radical ideas for taking yourself out and getting to know you:
1) Shopping, I take myself to the mall. Grab a coffee. Hit the stores. Browse slowly. Buy one thing for myself.
2) I take myself on a hike. Do a strenuous hike and then find a bench or rock at the top and sit with myself for a while.
3) I love a good coffee date. Even better if there was a solo stroll followed by a cute coffee shop. It's as good as it gets if I get to lose myself in a book while I'm there.
4) I buy expensive bath stuff and candles. Then I usually cry. It rocks.
5) Well I take myself to movies and usually the nearest Urban Outfitters to check out the clearance rack. When I lived in Sydney I'd take myself for long walks and then buy myself a book in my favorite bookstore and read in the park! I'm pretty awesome on dates. I always hold the door open for myself and I always buy!
6) My favorite self date is a beach day with a new book and no phone.
7) I pick out a new recipe to try. I open a nice bottle of wine and eat my taste test with a chick flick on.
8) I went to a comedy show once by myself and had a giant beer and laughed my ass off - that was awesome!
9) Take the dogs camping with a 6pack of beer and country music.