Mojo Monday ~ When I Loved Myself Enough

When I Loved Myself Enough began as one woman’s gift to the world, hand made by Kim McMillen and given to her friends.  As word spread, its heartfelt honesty won it a growing following.
The introduction to When I Loved Myself Enough by Kim McMillen begins this way:
For many years I lived with a guarded heart.  I did not know how to extend love and compassion to myself.  In my fortieth year that began changing.
In April of 2009 I had turned forty.  There were events going on in my life at that particular time that were very difficult.  In May, just weeks after my birthday, I won this book from a web site called Intrinsic. It was mailed to me all the way from Australia, yet in some ways it seemed more like a gift from the Universe, as it contained a message I so desperately needed to hear. 
The author’s introduction continues:
As I grew to love all of who I am, life started changing in beautiful and mysterious ways.  My heart softened and I began to see through very different eyes.  
My commitment to follow this calling grew strong and in the process a divine intelligence came to guide my life.  I believe this ever-present resource is grace, and is available to us all.
For the past twelve years I have been learning to recognize and accept this gift.  Cultivating love and compassion for myself made it possible.
The following steps are uniquely mine.  Yours will look different.  But I do hope mine give voice to a hunger you may share.
I ended up gifting this book to about fifteen women the summer of 2009.  I wanted to share the profoundly simple message it contained within with both friends and family.  
And so it begins…
When I loved myself enough
I quit settling for too little.
And so it continues…
When I loved myself enough
I came to know my own goodness.
When I loved myself enough
I began taking the gift of life seriously and gratefully.
When I loved myself enough
I began to know I was in the right place at the right time and I could relax.
When I loved myself enough
I felt compelled to slow down – way down.  And that has made all the difference.
When I loved myself enough
I bought a feather bed.
When I loved myself enough
I came to love being alone, surrounded by silence, awed by its spell, listening to inner space.
When I loved myself enough
I came to see I am not special but I am unique.
When I loved myself enough
I redefined success and life became simple.  Oh, the pleasure of that.
When I loved myself enough
I came to know I am worthy of knowing God directly.
 When I loved myself enough
I gave up the belief that life is hard.
When I loved myself enough
I came to see emotional pain is a signal I am operating outside truth.
When I loved myself enough
I learned to meet my own needs and not call it selfish.
When I loved myself enough
The parts of me long-ignored, the orphans of my soul, quit vying for attention.  That was the beginning of inner peace.  Then I began seeing clearly.
When I loved myself enough 
I quit ignoring or tolerating my pain.
When I loved myself enough
I started feeling all my feelings, not analyzing them — really feeling them.  When I do, something amazing happens.  Try it.  You will see.
When I loved myself enough
My hear became so tender it could welcome joy and sorrow equally.
When I loved myself enough 
I came to feel like a gift to the world and I collected beautiful ribbons and bows.  They still hang on my wall to remind me. 
Self Love by Rhonda Gray

When I loved myself enough

I learned to ask ‘Who in me is feeling this way?’ when I feel anxious, angry, restless or sad.  If I listen patiently I discover who needs my love.
When I loved myself enough
I no longer needed things or people to make me feel safe.
When I loved myself enough
I quite wishing my life looked some other way and began to see that as it is, my life serves my evolution.
 When I loved myself enough
I began to feel a divine presence in me and hear its guidance.  I am learning to trust this and live from it.  When I loved myself enough
I quit exhausting myself by trying so hard.
When I loved myself enough I began to feel a community within.  This inner team with diverse talents and idiosyncrasies is my strength and my potential.  We hold team meetings.
When I loved myself enough
I began walking and taking the stairs every chance I got, and choosing the scenic route.
When I loved myself enough
I became my own authority by listening to the wisdom of my heart.  This is how God speaks to me.  This is intuition.
When I loved myself enough
I began feeling such relief.
When I loved myself enough
The impulsive part of me learned to wait for the right time.  Then I became clear and unafraid.
When I loved myself enough
I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy.  This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits — anything that kept me small.  My judgement called it disloyal.  Now I see it as self-loving.
When I loved myself enough
I gave up perfectionism – that killer of joy.
When I loved myself enough
Forgiving others became irrelevant.
 When I loved myself enough 
I started writing about my life and views because I knew this was my right and my responsibility.
When I loved myself enough
I began to see my purpose and gently wean myself from distractions.
When I loved myself enough
I learned to say no when I want to and yes when I want to.
When I loved myself enough
I could see how funny life is, how funny I am and how funny you are.
I recognized my courage and fear, my naivety and wisdom, and I make a place for each at my table.
When I loved myself enough
I started treating myself to a massage at least once a month.
When I loved myself enough
I realized I am never alone.
When I loved myself enough
I stopped fearing empty time and quit making plans.  Now I do what feels right and am in step with my own rhythms.  Delicious!
When I loved myself enough
I quit trying to be a savior for others.
When I loved myself enough
I lost my fear of speaking my truth for I have come to see how good it is.
When I loved myself enough I began pouring my feeling into my journals.  These loving companions speak my language.  No translation needed.
When I loved myself enough
I stopped seeking ‘experts’ and started living my life.
 When I loved myself enough
I could be at ease with the comings and goings of judgment and despair.
When I loved myself enough
I quit having to be right which makes being wrong meaningless.
When I loved myself enough 
I learned to grieve for the hurts in life when they happen instead of making my heart heavy from lugging them around.
When I loved myself enough
I forgave myself for all the times I thought I wasn’t good enough.
When I loved myself enough
I began listening to the wisdom of my body.  It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers.
When I loved myself
I quit fearing my fear.
When I loved myself enough I quit rehashing the past and worrying about the future which keeps me in the present where aliveness lives.
When I loved myself enough
I began to taste freedom.
And so it ends…
When I loved myself enough
I found my voice and wrote this little book.
Expressions of Self Love by Rita Loyd

I have included much of the book in this post, but not all.  There are more nuggets of wisdom in the book that you may wish to explore on your own.

Do you find yourself connecting with some of the author’s statements?  Which ones?
Try writing some of your own declarations by starting with When I loved myself enough…The author shares at the very end when she loved herself enough she found her voice and wrote this little book. What would you do if you loved yourself enough? 
If you were going to write a book what would you call it?
 A message from the author’s daughter Alison McMillen ~ January 2001:
My mother died in September of 1996, at he age of 52, only a few short months after writing this book.  She was not ill and did not know that she was going to die.  Her death was sudden and it deeply shocked everyone who knew her.  It has been very difficult for me, as well as her friends and family, to cope with life without her.  She died too young, and I am aware of her absence every waking moment.
One thing that has made grieving for her more tolerable has been this book.  Following her lead, I continued to publish it out of my home.  It has been extremely rewarding work.  I have received countless letters and phone calls from people all over the world who have been touched by the wisdom of my mom’s words.  They tell me that they feel as though, through the book, they have come to know Kim McMillen.  I could not agree more.
This book is my mother.  It’s message is what she spent years meditating on, reading and writing about, and experiencing.  It is everything she believed in, and everything she brought me up to believe in.  It is her autobiography, her declaration, her soul.
Even though she didn’t know she was nearing the end of her life, she knew on some level that she had to express the things that she had learned to be true.  After many years filled with self-doubt and self-criticism, she decided to devote herself to finding self-compassion.  When she did, and was able to write her findings down for others to read, her life was complete, and sadly came to an end.   
I have a constant ache in my heart, a longing to see her again in this world.  She was an amazing mother, friend, writer, business consultant, chaplain, river runner, dog lover, neighbor and woman.  Although I miss her terribly, I am comforted by the knowledge that, as this book is the truest expression of who my mom was, in its continued existence what she had to offer to the world will live on.

Mojo Monday ~ Do You See Your Essence?

We Are Quote

Yesterday I drove east for an hour, up a highway that takes me into tall trees and near to Lassen Volcanic National Park which is home to smoking fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes.  I listened the whole time to the cd These Changing Skies by the band Elephant Revival.


My destination was Dos Aguas,  the home of friends and my spirit guide who I am journeying and vision questing with for 13 months.  The journey includes reading month by month the book The 13 Original Clan Mothers by Jamie Sams, creating an art piece/shield each month, fasting on the full moon day, ceremonies, and additional exercises/assignments.  I arrived and was greeted warmly by my friends and all their fur-kids (four cats and seven dogs) who all clamor, wiggle, purr, lick, jump for some pets, scratches and hugs. My guide and I spent two hours together, part of the time in conversation and then in a very grounding ceremony barefoot, under the canopy of trees over a hundred feet tall, with the water from Battle Creek rippling and babbling by us.

I had been feeling overwhelmed with the demands of my day job for a few weeks and I had been under a tight deadline to complete a special project the week before too.  Prospects of potential opportunities and change also had me attempting to keep anxiety at bay. A grounding ceremony, bare feet touching the ground, time spent in that beautiful environment and reminders about what really matters most and who I am were things my soul were in extra need of on this day.

On the drive home, listening to more Elephant Revivial music I reflected and let my mind wander, all while keeping a watchful eye for deer along the sides of the road.  I contemplated what to share with you all in this Mojo Monday.  My thoughts traveled to one of the more recent newsletters I received from Dr. Margaret Paul, therapist and co-creator of a program called Inner Bonding.  I enjoy her insightful and thoughtful newsletters and her approach regarding such subjects as healing, wellness and healthy relationships.  She had shared a more personal story in her newsletter entitled Do You See Your Essence?  Here is her very insightful commentary about loving ourselves and recognizing our true essence.

Do You See Your Essence?

By Dr. Margaret Paul
September 16, 2013

I grew up with parents who had no idea they even had an essence. They believed they were their wounded selves, and that they were not good enough. Because they could not see their essence, they could not see mine, so I also grew up believing I was not good enough.

Everything changed for me when I finally saw my true essence.

Since my wounded self was programmed to believe that I was not good enough, I could not see my essence through the eyes of my wounded self. In fact, my wounded self was so convinced that I was not good enough that she spent a lot of energy hiding my essence. I could not see my essence until I started to practice Inner Bonding and began developing my spiritual connection.

Through my consistent Inner Bonding practice, my connection with my spiritual Guidance became stronger and stronger. By testing out, many times, what my Guidance told me, I finally learned to trust her.

So when she showed me the magnificence and beauty of my true essence, I believed her. That’s when I stopped needing others’ approval. That’s when I started to be able to fully manifest my life.

My Guidance not only showed me how incredible my essence is, she showed me how incredible everyone’s essence is. She helped me develop the ability to see and relate to people as their essence rather than as their wounded self.

Now I know, as Anita Moorjani states in “Dying to be Me,” that the essence of all of us is love – an individualized expression of the love that is God. Not only are we love, but each of us has been given unique gifts and talents to enable us to express our love in unique and individual ways.

Inner Bonding is about learning to love yourself – but you cannot fully love yourself until you know who you really are.

Right now, take a deep breath. Put your focus into your heart and move into an intent to learn with your Guidance about who you are. Use your imagination to envision your Guidance – whatever that is for you.

Now imagine that you can see your soul essence – your true self – through the eyes of your Guidance. What do you see? You need to get beyond your wounded inner child to the child you were before you became afraid, and learned to protect. You might even need to go all the way back to before you were born, since if your mother didn’t want you, or there was a lot of conflict in your environment, you might have already been afraid – even before birth.

See if you can FEEL the love that you are, and all the other unique and wonderful qualities that you are as a soul. You might want to write down what you see.

One of the habits I’ve developed is the exact opposite of self-judgment: I acknowledge out loud to my little girl whenever I behave in a way that truly expresses my soul essence. I tell her how grateful I am that she is within me and that I get to take loving care of her. I marvel at her creativity, her kindness, the joy she receives from giving to others. I praise her for her love of learning, her joy and laughter, her connection with people and animals, her playfulness and her aliveness. I let her know how much I value her deep sense of integrity and honesty.

In other words, I do what good parents consistently do – I mirror to her, throughout the day, who she really is.

Yet even this isn’t enough. In order for her to believe me, I then need to treat her as a cherished being. I need to love her by taking loving action in her behalf. Seeing her is only the beginning. Taking consistent loving action in her behalf lets her know that I truly love and cherish her. This is what Inner Bonding is all about.


For more thoughts about
embracing yourself as your own beloved
come read my most recent article called
The Embodiment of I AM
in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.

Here is also a taste of the music of the band Elephant Revival as they perform their song called Go On.


Go On Lyrics

Go on, go on,
Go on and find your life now.
Go on. It’s alright.
We all feel something similar
Sometimes. Oh, oh.
Oh, sometimes. Oh, oh.

Don’t wait, don’t fear,
And don’t work too hard.
Don’t worry ’cause you’re here.
You’re here, through ever-shifting shades,
And now somehow. Oh, oh.
Oh, somehow. Oh, oh.

It’s love, it’s love.
It’s love that keeps me high enough
And the drugs and sex,
Or the lost respect and sacredness.
And it’s sad, and true,
‘Cause most things can hurt or help.
It’s up to us. Oh, oh.
It’s up to us. Oh, oh.

I know, I know.
We’re here to sow some words
And hope they’ll grow, they’ll grow
In moundless fertile hearts and endless fields,
We’ll know, cause most things can hurt or help.
It’s up to us. Oh, oh.
Oh, up to us.

Oh, oh.
All up to us.

Go on, go on.
Go do those things you’ve always wanted to.
My friend,
When the morning comes our dreams
Don’t have to end.
It’s true,
I’ll be there when I can for you, my friend.
Oh, I’ll be there when I can.