Commonly mistaken for a love song, I thought I’d clear up the real meaning of this tune and why it means so much to me. It’s hard to feel good about ourselves all the time in this day and age. I’ve struggled since I was a child to feel confident and to not constantly wish I was someone else. Though, over the years I’ve learned a lot, and recently I’ve made a change in my life, so I want to give my new found holistic secrets to true lasting Leo confidence.
Venus is the planet of love. Leo is the sign of the heart, the sun and the self. Leo’s lesson or most common theme in life, is often self-confidence. This is true as it naturally wants to be in the spotlight being the “performer” of the zodiac. In my birth chart, when I was born, the planet Venus was in the sign of Leo. I feel I embody the traits and energy of Leo when it comes to love. I interpret the purpose of Venus in Leo as the practice of loving myself. In relationship to others, (when self love is present), it then translates as a desire to share the spotlight, encourage or shine a light for everyone to love who they authentically are. Generosity is a popular term when it comes to describing Leo. That generosity and confidence can only emerge for others when self love is there.
This world applauses achievements, discipline, exceptionality, accomplishing difficult things. Teaching all of us that we have to be more, to make something of ourselves. To be productive, talented, or more fit. However, that also includes the risk many of us swallow; that we don’t believe we are innately enough without those things. That at our most natural, still state, we are unworthy or deserving of love, respect or admiration. We hardly ever applaud loving ourselves without having to do something, or to be exceptional. We never pay attention to our own inherent worth. It’s rare that someone is praised for being able to love themselves or feel confident for doing nothing, in a highly conditioned, competitive, appearance and success driven world, that tells us we’re not worthy the way we are. In fact, it’s frowned upon (unless you’re an ambitious outspoken rebel). When really that’s the hardest thing to do now. To be able to sit with yourself, see your worth, be your authentic self, and really truly love your heart and soul without pushing yourself to the 9th degree. It’s something that should be easy, and can be, if we can take our eyes and ears off the world for a moment.
I used to confuse self care with self love. While spa nights, movie nights, treat meals, healthy meals, workouts and such are all important in taking care of our bodies and minds, I’m learning lately that self love goes deeper. Self love is loving your heart and soul. About parenting yourself towards creating a life that you don’t have to constantly escape from with indulgent distractions or upkeep with pamper routines. It goes a step past your desires and tends to your needs. In my blog for Taking Back My Body, I explained that I learned how to love myself through actions. But now I take that back (no pun intended), as I’m seeing that I was heavily reliant on self care to feel confident. Though true self love is actually about inaction. It’s about the layers you can peel back, when you don’t need to prove, show or perform your worth in public or even alone. When you can sit with all parts of yourself and accept them unconditionally. When you can forgive yourself for your human imperfections and acknowledge your pure loving soul. The invisible soul inside our bodies. The part of us that is already flawless, without having to upkeep like our skincare and workout routines. Your soul is the purest form of you, it’s your silhouette of spirit and energy, and energy does no wrong unless disrupted, blocked, imbalanced or neglected. Energy already is pure love. We already are whole. Our challenge in this human world is an ongoing healing process of removing, regenerating, and recycling energy around us and within us that prevents the purity from breathing freely. I’m not saying not to treat ourselves or take care of our human bodies and minds. I’m saying that treating ourselves should be a part of life to enjoy without guilt or stress. It should be an addition to a life we already love, not an escape or a crutch. A secondary bonus to the ongoing practice of independently healing your heart. Pamper or workout routines shouldn’t used be for fixing something believed to be less-than, but an aid to enjoyment for our lives in a human existence, all while knowing your soul value, your spirit, and loving who you are, with or without it.
I learned recently after so many years, that if you heal your heart first, the mind will follow. Changing thought patterns and behaviors through the mind can get you somewhere, but can get wordy and complicated (at least for me). Overthinking and logical correction gets stressful and still neglects the soul as you are trying to generate a change in energy from the mind without tapping into the energy within your body. For example, countless times when I’ve worked on singing technique with some kind of goal in mind, I’ll keep trying it with different approaches through words of direction in my mind (“sing it louder, softer, more emotion, breathier, fuller”), it never works…it’s only when I engage my body with movement or shake out my physical tension without thinking and just doing, do I accomplish my singing goal or challenge. When I get out of my head and into my body (aka the present moment). I believe we can heal our minds and behavior all we want, but if our heart and soul are not also addressed, self love and confidence remains wavering. Energy and emotion can have more power and stability over our thoughts. Self love is not about thought or logically affirming you’re worthy of love, it’s a feeling… and feeling is the present moment. If we can anchor to that, we can always trust we can have access to love, self love and self confidence as that’s what the core of earth really is. It’s where we all originate from as energetic beings.
So how do you get there? How do you sit with yourself, love yourself, love your heart and soul, feel it, believe it, and feel worthy without doing anything? How do we feel confident without needing to make changes or improvements?
Like I said, I used to think self love was just pampering routines. Washing my face, doing my nails, working out, eating well, taking baths and showers, doing my hair etc. things to make my body look and feel better. Up keeping my appearance. And sure, sometimes they happened to spill over into my spirituality, my mind, heart and mood, unintentionally helping my soul just through the quiet time. It made me feel good for a bit until it wore off and I had to upkeep again. (“Good” as in worthy when it comes down to it). Routine was something I would do as I was not accepting myself the way I was. Pamper routines were somewhat to relax but more so to change myself to fit a standard. To makeover and become someone else I thought was better. Denying my own qualities and worth as an individual. Distracting myself from things I didn’t want to think about or accept happened. There’s nothing wrong with “spa nights”, which can be meditative as well, but our bodies are our vessels, not all of ourselves. “Loving” ourselves from the outside in is a nice thing to do, but technically it isn’t self love. At least, it won’t permanently guarantee it, which left my feelings of confidence dependent and temporary.
Recently I have learned that giving and feeding love to your soul is where real sustainable self love lies. Listening to not the words in your mind, or even from others, but the feeling in your heart, chest, and stomach area. Other areas of tension, comfort or discomfort while tending to, or recycling that energy. My secrets to share: rest, meditation, yoga, self trust, self expression, spiritual practice, are all things I have experienced that lead towards recognizing my worth. To seeing and loving the innocence of my soul (that we all have) at even my lowest point in the material world. I am no spiritual guru, but I truly believe after many years of banging my head against the wall, trying everything, that this is the best way to create lasting self love, confidence, generosity and compassion from the inside out, which is far more firm and powerful. It can be done whether you know you’re doing it or not, because which ever angle you approach it from, it’s all about that feeling.
Self care from the outside in has the potential to actually be harmful, as these are things we think we should do out of conditioned thinking to be acceptable by others as we are born into these beliefs. Though, acceptable standards or trends are unreliable and ever changing from place to place, person to person, and time to time. There really is no right or wrong anyways because it might be considered right in this place in time, but wrong or unacceptable the next. Feeding from the inside soul however, is about you loving you, the conscious parts loving or simply just acknowledging the unconscious parts. Your physical body feeding your spiritual soul, our inner parent feeding our inner child. Learning how to generate, spread, balance and recycle good or bad energy from your body, through yourself and through the earth. Paying attention to your needs before your wants. Not living up to a bar that you yourself never made on your own anyways. When I say you “loving you”, I don’t just mean choosing and deciding to love you like you decide to switch on a light switch. I mean giving, feeding yourself with things (or rather eliminating things) that will fill your inside soul and emotions with love as a result. Or lifting the suppression or limitation, to let the love that’s already there, expand, flow and thrive in the space. It’s through action of inaction, are we able achieve real self love. Inaction as in doing less, letting go, or unlearning or believing ideas or negative stories our minds tell us, to allow for our pure beings of love to emerge, and to actually be and feel like a pure being of love. Resting and meditating, getting in tune with energy and sensation wherever you are, or having that quiet time with yourself to trust what your soul and gut are telling you it needs, without worrying about outer world standards, pressures or someone else’s perceived expectations, is self love and lasting confidence. Not pushing, not building, not your achievements, not your fleeting accomplishments.
I also thought that to achieve feelings of self love, I needed intense self-discipline. That I needed to practice music rigorously, have a strict schedule, workout really hard at least five days a week, chase more success and fame. That I should strike all my business moves right, be an impressive musician or performer and really just get my life together…get it perfect. All while looking and acting perfect on top of all that. Largely just to please and impress the wrong crowd of judgmental, conditioned, low energy people. These spouts of self discipline, when I’d go for weeks pushing myself and working really hard, it was the same result as the self care… it wore off. I would burn out and rely on the next thing I did or accomplished, or the next person I impressed to feel confident again.
We do not have to vibrate high all the time. We cannot vibrate high all the time. I’ve learned these last few months that finding your baseline vibration is just as much an act of self love as being high vibration and energy. Setting an expectation that high for ourselves to feel or be a certain way will take away from what we feel or actually need in the moment and make us feel like we’re chasing an impossible feeling, or state of being, or make us feel less than, when that’s just a made up idea. For months after moving home to Chicago after my apartments fire in LA, I felt a huge swing in my spiritual pendulum. I was expecting myself to feel as great, light and free as I did when I lived in LA. (Which I know now was a major swing up spiritually. Unsustainable). Like a new blood vampire in those shows during their first few weeks when they have so much energy, hunger and “high vibration”. As I wrote about in my last single and blog for “Burn it Down”, I thought the universe gave me a signal to take the healing I did in that apartment, and carry it with me everywhere I went for the rest of my life… But when I came back home to Chicago, after a while, I lost my footing, and my routine… which I now realize I relied heavily upon to feel good.
In LA, I had the opportunity to just focus on my music… I had so much time to practice “self care” and to “fix” myself. I would workout, go for runs, pilates, make a giant smoothie every morning, practice, write, meditate every day, binge watch shows, treat myself shopping, clean my apartment so it looked perfect all the time, to do my morning and night “spa” routines for skin care, teeth, hair, nails etc., which were all great things, but I remember thinking things like this a lot: “I’m getting better, I’m getting hotter, I’m looking skinnier, my skin is almost clear, my teeth are getting whiter, I’m almost ready, I’m almost there, I’m almost ready for the camera, I’m almost ready for dating, I’m almost ready to emerge into the normal world after I’m done, I’m loving myself because I’m doing this, I’m more worthy of love from others because I’m doing this, I’m almost the full package, I’m almost complete”.… no wonder I felt so good, too good. I was doing all good things all the time! I literally had all day to treat and indulge yet also punish myself with strict routine because I was so reliant on all of this to feel good, high energy and “healed”. I was only feeling so good because I felt I was living up to and beyond my own and societal standards of other people (the wrong people), and because yes, I enjoyed treating and indulging in things I really liked. Maybe I did need this stage as well. I was excited to get to do them every day. I knew I was lucky. I experienced gratitude (but mostly for my material life). I didn’t feel I needed anyone else, I never felt lonely; a sign of healing. It was my first step towards learning how to love myself, my needs and preferences. Though, I also noticed I would be super anxious if for one day I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted. For example, I wouldn’t be able to shift my focus towards my friends when we went out unless my living space was perfectly clean.
It wasn’t till I came back home to Chicago and lost all of these things, lost my energy, did I realize I didn’t love myself without them. I felt lonely and wanted someone else to love me for me. Because I didn’t have the energy anymore to keep up with all my upkeep. Thats when I realized that self care doesn’t mean self love. If I had true self love, I would have been able to enjoy myself, my life and still find confidence and happiness without my routines or self improvements or immaculately clean living space… even if I sometimes felt tired, low energy or even unattractive. I wouldn’t need that constant confirmation of these “self care” habits to know I was still a worthy, valuable person.
So now I was home, sick with bronchitis for months after the fire, back in my parents house, treading water trying to get that good LA feeling back and just couldn’t. Then I’d get mad at myself, and constantly be fighting with myself in my head for not keeping up enough with my self care, which I thought was self love. Battling between wanting to be lazy and pushing myself harder to do my self care, to practice more, to write more, to get more talented at skilled at music dancing producing performing, to push myself to the point of exhaustion for more career and repetitional success and approval from others, and to push myself to do things my soul and gut didn’t actually want to do. Things I thought would make me better, things that my mind (ego) wanted, but not my soul. When self love is not about that at all. I wasn’t listening to my soul, which needed to REST, which is why I “just couldn’t”. My soul was starving and dying for more love from me, or to be let out, and it wasn’t the self care routines that were going to save it this time.
All I needed to do was stop for a minute. A few long minutes…months. To unblock what was disrupting the loving energy flow from my soul. I had to accept that I wasn’t high vibration anymore, and change my perception from looking at myself in being in a “low vibration” as a negative label, but rather finding my baseline…Without “self care”. I needed to give myself some time off, self compassion, silence from the world and others, and forgiveness for not “keeping up”. To tell myself that it was okay and to listen to my heart and soul, which were very tired. Reminding myself that if I didn’t do that workout, learn that new song I should’ve practiced, or wash my face that night, that didn’t mean I didn’t love myself at all, that someone else won’t love me, or that I shouldn’t love myself because of that. It didn’t mean that I didn’t have my life together, or that I’m less worthy of love and respect…I was only resting a weak soul. And in doing so, it was like charging my phone. Within a few months I had more energy and positivity to radiate again… but now this time, I know when to come back to my baseline so that I don’t swing up too high, get carried away and crash when I can’t maintain it.
It wasn’t building myself back up to feel good, it was letting myself be. Taking weight off. It wasn’t until I took my own mountains down, that all the good energy naturally flowed through, allowing me to see my soul, that it’s worth loving because it is pure love itself, that I actually felt some real long-term (not fake short-term) confidence again. It’s an energy not based or dependent on things in the material world. Now it’s not exclusive positive radiant energy that’s preserved for just myself to show or perform. It’s more genuine, compassionate and loving towards others. Available and desiring to share, help, love, and connect with other meaningful relationships that will last in life. And if not last, at least hold far more meaning, benefit and enriching emotion, rather than finally getting to be the perfect, most talented, best looking person who finally got or accomplished that “thing” whatever it may be. I am now at the point where if I feel like I can’t give or be available physically or emotionally, or if I feel too energized or overstimulated, it’s time to check in with me again and come back to baseline. I won’t do something or work overly hard at something unless it’s because my soul response with joy from it. My soul will show me, guide me towards my purpose and destiny through feelings of joy, relief and contentment, when I listen and allow by letting go of thoughts or beliefs in my mind. That’s what self trust and confidence is. The same is true for the opposite; listening to those feelings of tension, anxiety, depression, they are warnings from the soul of where not to go and what not to do.
Confidence and self love can be really simple. It’s about finding your baseline energy. Its self trust. Paying attention to your intuition to guide you to the right places and people in your life. Self trust is a huge secret to true lasting confidence. When you don’t need to rely on anyone else’s guidance or opinions because you know and recognize those good feelings and energy within your self that are indicating right and wrong for you. When you know you still have divine worth without fitting into standards. It’s meditation; asking yourself who you are. But not as in what you do, not your job, what family member you are, what kind of person you are in the friend group, not your talents or abilities, not even your personality, but your soul, your energy, your spirit. Being able to see this and know this, and you’ll find its just a feeling. It has no words. No labels. That is moving into your spirituality and out of the ego world. The effort of being effortless. The action of inaction. Letting go. Learning to lift mountains off your own shoulders. Changing your perception of feeling less than and getting in tune with your natural vibration and energy. Seeing thoughts or feelings of insignificance or low self esteem as merely just indicators of the wrong path. There are no mistakes. Learning that you are whole and full of beauty without anything. No layers, no labels, no possessions, no people, no achievements. Just you. Your soul, how it’s alive in this form, time and dimension right now. How could you not love such a pure innocent thing? It’s like loving your dog or cat, they are pure love. There is nothing not to love about you. No reason to not be confident as feelings of inferiority are just ideas we were taught. No matter who you are or what your differences are, we are all supposed to be here as the energy of the universe creates us to balance itself . We all contribute (in known and unknown ways) to the function of energy in our world and to elevating life. There is no other you. You get to explore every beautiful crevice of yourself as you wish. No one else including me can truly tell you how to love you, that is the beauty of our lives. Life is an inside job. As we fully accept ourselves, we accept each other with ease, and we can collectively raise the vibration of love and enjoyment in this life a little bit more.