So far I have been able to introduce you all to some amazing people on Team INSPIRE. But today is a different story.
I cannot express how excited I am to introduce you to Ashleigh Maynor. I came across Ashleigh via Instagram on her page Intentional_U. She is a brilliant professional who is constantly posting positive, uplifting, God-honoring content but no sugar coating. She has a great balance truth and love and has been an inspiration to me as I have been starting my journey with Jillian Redefining Wellness. You will surely enjoy her post today as it gets to the “heart” of Valentine’s Day.
I could not have addressed this topic more perfectly. Valentine’s Day comes with a full spectrum of emotions for people and Ashleigh has beautifully addressed this topic with sensitivity and hope; all grounded in God’s truth!
Do Valentine’s Day Your Way!
Pat yourself on the back for making it through the holiday season. You seamlessly dodged the “are you dating someone yet?” questions. You’ve spent hours of channeling your inner ‘Where is Waldo’ hiding from friends and family members so that you’re not reminded of how you aren’t getting any younger – I actually had a family member ask me if I thought about freezing my eggs…thanks mom!! You’ve politely told others that you’re just living life and enjoying your portion, while deep inside you just want to go to another room and get some much needed alone time.
Well ladies, today I encourage you to finally sigh a breath of relief! Unbuckle societies heavy chain of a timeline off of your wrist, that’s right take it off!! You will feel so much better. I know what you’re thinking, and I am very aware of what month it is. Who said you had to celebrate this with someone special? Why not celebrate you? Celebrate V-Day your way. Whether single, married, divorced, widowed, whatever your circumstance you are special and it is important that you show yourself that. Self-care and self-love are essential to making sure you are at your best. You can’t pour into others until you start pouring into yourself first. So this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to think about doing something out of the ordinary.
I can admit that this was something I had to learn how to do myself after ending a 9 year relationship. It was my first Valentine’s Day, solo dolo, and I was not thrilled about seeing everyone else bask in their lovey doveyness. I refused to sit at home with a pint of my favorite amaretto cherry ice cream…on the couch…watching P.S. I Love you for the 4th weekend in a row. The tightness of my yoga pants around my hips were begging me to change my Saturday night ritual. So, I did exactly what I am encouraging you to do – I used this day to do something for myself. It may cause you to feel uncomfortable and stretch you to a new place.
My first challenge was to take myself to the movies. I chose one Sunday after church to catch a matinee. I was so unbelievably uncomfortable. I felt like everyone was looking at me out of pity – a lonely woman with no friends. I’ll tell you this, I enjoyed that movie and popcorn with me, myself and I. I enjoyed it so much I put another fun challenge on my calendar for the following week to take myself out to the museum – why, because I wanted to go! The next weekend I got a Groupon to go to a glass blowing class where I made a cheese plate out of broken wine glasses and I had so much fun!
With each fun challenge I gave myself I realized how much I was able to enjoy my own company. I felt liberated. I was learning how to be intentional in living my life for me instead of waiting on anyone else to live it for me. I was growing content in my season! Today I hope you are ready to become more intentional in your own life. Here are 4 things to try that will help you to find satisfaction not only during this Valentine’s Day, but also for the rest of your 2016!
Show Love to Others
John 13:34 tells us to love one another as God loves us. On this particular day think about how you can show love to others so that they can see the God in you. God has blessed you with another day to make an impact on someone else’s life. Make today a day of generosity. Volunteer your time to bring some happiness to someone else – I guarantee you’ll get the feels too.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”
Psalm 139:13-15 tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He made us to be uniquely special to do good for the Kingdom. Yet, so often we tend to be our own worst critics. We think the worst of ourselves and our situations. Negative thinking manifests itself in how we end up treating ourselves. God said you are awesome so treat yourself as such! In continuing to think of this day as a day of generosity, be generous to yourself and do something for you. Spend the day at the spa, get your hair done, go to the movies, get some amazing take-out and have a night in with good friends. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something that will warm your soul and re-energize you.
Life is too short to wait for someone to go exploring with. I can honestly say that traveling by myself is something I do a lot for work, but I have yet to take a real vacation somewhere with just myself. Solo vacations may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, face you fears and gain some independence. Whether you go to London, Paris or even Chicago, solo vacations are a great way to meet new people and learn new things. Besides, you never know who you’ll meet along the way.
Learn something new
You don’t have to travel to become your best self! You could enroll in golf lessons, take a cooking class, or read a book that will allow you to start the process of getting your finances in order – use this time to add tools to your tool box. I always tell myself I don’t want to be in the same place next year as I am today. You should always want to be better! Growth… it can be mental, emotional, physical or spiritual – whichever it may be for you know that it requires you to put things into action right now.
Even if you don’t decide to do any of these, I hope you challenge yourself to do something fun and out of the ordinary today, this month and this year. Don’t spend one more day feeling sad about your situation or feeling like you’re just existing.Use this day to start writing your story the way you want it. You don’t need anyone else to begin intentionally living YOUR LIFE for you.
Ashleigh Maynor brief bio: Ashleigh currently resides in Canton, Michigan. She loves to bake, salsa dance, attempt any Pinterest DIY project and serve God through singing in her church choir. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who enjoys helping others cultivate healthy relationships and discover their career passions in order to live their life intentionally.
IG: https://instagram.com/intentional_u/ @intentional_u