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Do you want to share a time in life that surprised you?  Share your detour here, fellow Detourists!

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I love featuring updates from my Detourists. You can check out some past stories here.  A Detourist not only travels that path that didn’t go exactly like they planned, they embrace it – bumps and all.  Let’s check out what one Detourist has been up to on her bumpy path…Take it away, Reba!

My name is Reba, and I’m a Detourist.

ISL Cover 2 for Kindle

Last time I was guest ‘detourist’ I described how life was, in its essence, a detour, carrying us from the open innocence of our infancy, to learning covering up that innocence with protective layers over the soul, and then finding our way ‘back home’ again. You can read about it here.

Now, I’d like to share a bit about my personal journey as a ‘detourist.’ Long story short, I went from being insecure, depressed and defeated (behind a confident-ish façade) to the deep knowledge and assumption of my own power.

What a difference a day makes – or a few decades, actually!

Luckily, despite childhood lessons that my feelings, thoughts and needs did not matter, I held onto a glimmer of the light that is my essential being, and a distant memory of the pure innocence and beauty that I once felt. My ‘detour’ has taken many years of rediscovering what was lost, reclaiming what was mine, and re-learning a whole new way of being that accepts and honors my feelings, thoughts and needs.

I spent 30 years studying with a spiritual master, yet I now see that period as the caterpillar and cocoon stage, absorbing knowledge, and processing information on a deep level; the unfolding picked up extreme velocity only recently, when I wrote my first book, Follow the Yarn. As I wrote, I started to speak my truth (in a knitting book, of all places – the universe has a great sense of humor!). It took me that long to have the strength and the tools to face my trauma without being crushed by it. I began to do the work of incorporating what I knew intellectually into my life as a reality, and in the process, I began to realize what a gift I had to share with others. The process of transformation is really taking wing now in my work as a coach and author, and it is glorious.

It’s funny, but during that time I also took a detour from being a dancer and dance studio owner, to a realization that all those experiences were, in a sense, only the playground in which I had to learn the lessons about the self. The inner work was the more important journey.

Self-love has become a huge concept for me personally, and in my teaching. Self-love is not the ego, comparing itself to others. Self-love is forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-trust, self-tolerance, patience, kindness, compassion and generosity toward the self. (Self-criticism, self-judgment, self-deprecation, self-condemnation, etc. are its opposite.)

Now, I try to honor my needs and desires as much as possible, whether that means taking a good long soak in a tub, or standing up for myself and speaking my truth. I no longer think of these things as petty, as I once did, but realize that they are needs that emanate from the soul, and I try to honor them as such.

I have had to un-learn and re-learn my way of being in the world, so my self-love practice is the continued exercise of allowance and acceptance. This is the foundation of self-love, and it works in the face of whatever is happening. I accept my feelings and allow them to flow through me.

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Mixed Media Art by Amy

This is not always easy, especially when a desire may come into conflict with someone else’s needs or desires. In relationship, I used to always back down and defer to the other person. This only built up resentment and anger in me, which I did not know what to do with. Now, I honor my needs. Most often, I see fantastic results, both in terms of happiness about the thing itself (whatever it is), and also in terms of achieving a healthy balance in my relationships.

I love myself enough to be ‘for me.’ As the ancient sage, Hillel, said: “If I am not for me, who will be?” Every child instinctively knows this lesson, yet this is something that I had to re-learn as an adult after being taught that I was meant to be there for everyone but me. I know, first hand, the consequences of lack of self-love and I know the path back from that place, and that is a tremendous gift, for I can share what I know, and lead others out of sadness and self-doubt, and into the majesty of their own innate power and beauty. I want anyone who is suffering right now to know that there is so much love and light on the other side of their suffering as well.

My journey has been all about learning anew to love myself, and that is a gift I want to share with others. When I wrote Imagine Self-Love, I realized that perhaps the most important gift of the book is the invitation to the reader to practice an attitude of self-love as they walk the path of the journal. More than any specific exercise in the book, the reader’s self-loving approach to the journal as a whole is, by far, the most powerfully transformative exercise of all, for when you begin to practice self-love in one area, it becomes easier, and eventually natural to apply the same principles in other areas of your life. And this is how we overcome our negative conditioning.

And this is so much more powerfully available in my new e-course, where the participant has recordings as well as an exclusive online forum in which they can interact with me directly. Sometimes we don’t realize when we are being self-critical (it can feel so normal to us!) and it can help so much to have an outside voice to say “ease up on yourself, you just made a fantastic effort and that’s what counts!”

All my books – whether about manifesting, or self-love, or even knitting – are all about giving you the knowledge to live your best and happiest life NOW, in this very moment. It’s all about releasing limiting beliefs that do not serve your happiness, finding the courage to be your authentic self, and knowing how to move past obstacles to keep your life moving in a joyous and abundant flow.

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Go ahead, make your detour, and travel back to where you started – to the incredible beauty, power and joy of your authentic self!  That’s why I #LoveMyDetour!

Thanks Reba!  It’s so wonderful to see how Detourists not only follow their “twisted” path, but keep going down that detour and get to reap the endless rewards that come from living a life you didn’t expect, right? You can learn all about her new e-course here, join in her Leaders in Self-Love group, and check out even more gifts from her beautiful detour on her own website.

Detourists Are Not Perfect – Me Especially.

Maybe you haven’t discovered what your detour is leading to. That’s okay.  Right now, just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  That’s all it takes to travel.  Baby, teeny-tiny micro-steps.

Detours can be awful.  They can be terrifying and overwhelming.  We may not even want to get up and keep going at all.  Sometimes, I feel like that too.  Thankfully, all you out there in the blogosphere don’t have to hear my moaning, screaming and complaining. But that’s okay too.  Tell me what your detour’s been like on the #LoveMyDetour Facebook Page.

If you’re not ready to put one foot in front of the other, just start by showing up.  And when you do, be sure to really praise yourself. Because that’s a huge deal.

How will you show up?  Comment below, or send me a note.  Sometimes, it’s good for me to hear some encouragement too! 🙂

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