The art of paying yourself a compliment.
Gifting the mind with flowers.
The MindFlowers movement started in the summer of 2015 when I was asked by a body positivity movement to tell my story of self-acceptance.
We all succumb to the trap of focusing our attention on the parts of ourselves we view as 'not good enough'. Whether it's statements of being bad at something, too ugly, too fat, too skinny, too this, too that. We've all been there and know our personal narratives well. This is where my story of self-acceptance came in.
I remember being on honeymoon, onboard a catamaran somewhere off a Greek island and feeling not just embarrassed by, but ashamed of my body. A body I'd been working on at the gym for more than a year ahead of our wedding day.
I was convinced I was so fat that no one else on board would want to see me eating. So I didn't eat. All-day. The thought of being in a bikini eating food around 8 strangers made me feel desperately unhappy on a day that should have been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
By coincidence, when the body positivity movement asked if I had something I could share, I had recently come across a photo taken that day at sea and couldn't believe how great I looked. Seriously - if I looked like that now I'd probably walkabout in my undies at the supermarket. Yet I remember the photo being taken so clearly. I was cringing inside and when the photos were developed I insisted it went in a box and didn't see the light of day.
Eleven years later it was a huge wake-up call. Back then I looked at myself through the lens of a young woman who was lacking in every sense of being female. As a 30-something now I would go back and tell myself to eat allll the tzatziki, drink the Ouzo and take a proper look at myself because; FOX.
During my talk, it was clear that we all do this to ourselves. When do we stop and reflect on our best bits? Is it any wonder we feel rubbish about ourselves a lot of the time when all we do is talk negatively to ourselves.
Well, the fact is, no one can build us up but us. We must change the script if we want to achieve great things and that starts with how we treat ourselves.
I know it sounds small but this is massive.
The positive effects of compliments are well documented, so what better way to give yourself a daily boost than by receiving a heartfelt compliment from yourself? It's the small steps daily that have the biggest impact and this is a lovely step to take.
The MindFlowers movement took on a life of its own and over the coming weeks, people all over the world started to pay themselves MindFlowers through daily compliments they wrote in a journal. Some days it feels tough and on those days a MindFlower could be an act of self-care; something you love doing that feels like a treat.
"If the words you speak about yourself appeared on your skin,
would you change what you have to say?"
Our internal chatter that goes on is way more harmful than you can imagine. We carelessly toss around insults, but if we stopped for a moment to consider if we'd say these things to our loved ones, would we even have any friends?
MindFlowers is a way to combat that inner voice of criticism & doubt and highlight each day just one positive thing you love about yourself. “I’m beautiful”, “I’m funny”, “I’m healthy”, “I’m fantastic at…”, “I’m intelligent”. It’s about reversing those insults and silencing the voice of negativity for good.
You are with yourself 24 hours a day. Let’s make sure you're good company.
The philosophy of MindFlowers is to treat your mind as a metaphorical garden. Do you want to cultivate a garden or a scrap heap? Grow flowers or let the weeds run wild?
From time to time we all need a little maintenance to remain in full bloom. We must feed ourselves good food, hydrate well, pluck out any irritating weeds that find their way in and cultivate a space for beautiful free thought. Indulge in big-dreaming and make it a place where we would want to hang out and enjoy our own surroundings.
As with all gardens over time, we want to change so we plant new seeds to replace those missing blooms and get back to full glory. It’s ongoing work, but it’s so worth the time you invest.
How do you do it?
You start today. Grab a journal and write your compliment or act of kindness to yourself. Then write your 3 favourite things from today, or list 3 gratitudes. Whatever resonates with you in the moment, write it down.
Taking 5 minutes to consciously become aware of these things holds more positive power for your mind and wellbeing than you’ll ever realise. Then on days of self-doubt or upset, sit and appreciate a few pages of these love notes to yourself. You’ll be amazed at what a boosting effect it has; because they are things you believe about yourself. It feels amazing.
If you want to know anything about MindFlowers, drop me a note here and I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have.
"I think personal style starts from within because it's a philosophy and an attitude.
If you're honest and true to yourself,
you will have the best sense of personal style."
- Stella McCartney -