4 Signs You’re Not Embracing Your Inner You
Sustainable Living in a Crazy World

by Veronica


lur® apparel knows sustainable fashion. That is, fashion that’s good for people and kind to the earth. Fashion that, through wise manufacturing choices and charitable contributions, creates positive change.

As the new spokesdiva for lur®, I’m going to focus on sustainable living, at least as I define it (that’s the good part about being a spokesdiva, I get to call the shots). Sustainable living is the art of staying sane in the course of a hectic day. It’s about staying afloat on a lozenge-sized raft while flesh-eating piranhas circle. It’s about chocolate. Lots of it.

As ironic as it sounds, the key to handling our external pressures is mastering what’s going on in our internal self.

There’s been a lot of hype about the "inner self." Experts like to tell us how to find it, coax it out, put it under a magnifying glass and read its DNA. After all, it’s us we’re delving into, why wouldn’t we want to know what we’re all about?

Because we don’t always have the confidence to listen to ourselves, nor do we respect ourselves enough to honor who we are.

Signs You’re Not Embracing Your Inner You

#1 Solitude isn’t your bag
Do you cringe at the thought of sitting quietly for 5 minutes without craving something to occupy yourself? Think about it. No phone, no computer, no people, no physical activity. Just you. By yourself.

Solitude is key to getting to know yourself, but many of us fear it. Holistic health guru Deepak Chopra said, "To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions."

Just a few minutes of voluntary solitude a day can get you back in touch with your feelings, your true self, what I call my inner diva. Want to feel more confident, happy and rejuvenated? Tackle your fear of being alone. Inhabit your solitude. Own your down time, girl!

#2 You let your inner critic rule
Our inner critic is an ugly beast. Our repetitious and habitual thoughts are like a tape on continuous loop running through our head. They may sound something like this: "I’ll never succeed" or "I’m not good enough." For me it’s, "I can’t say no to that glazed donut."

"They keep us enthralled, defining who we are," says teacher and spiritualist author Joseph Naft, "perpetuating all our limited assumptions about what is possible for us."

Naft is the author of Becoming You: Cultivating Spiritual Presence. He knows about overcoming adversity (his parents were holocaust survivors) and stresses to "work to recognize the limitations of thought, to recognize its power over us, and especially to move beyond it. Thoughts are just thoughts. They are not us. They are not who we are."

Do yourself a big favor: Kick your inner critic to the curb. Ditch those ugly thoughts that are cramping your inner you.

#3 You consistently compare yourself to others
We all compare, it’s the way we’re wired. It’s the excessiveness of it that’s the problem.

"We’re a society of comparison junkies," says Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life. "Comparing ourselves to others can come from low self-esteem and lack of belief in the integrity of our own unique life path. Your life is explicitly designed for your own growth. Self-esteem comes from embracing this."

So how do you stop the insanity? One way is to give to others what you most want for yourself. If confidence is what you lack, work to make others around you feel more confident. "What goes around comes around," says Orloff. Another tip: Use a rival’s positive features to transform your jealousy into admiration.

#4 You view your mistakes as failures
Just as we all compare, so too do we make mistakes. We’re not perfect.

According to medium David Reid Lowell, author of several books on self-growth, "You will make errors in judgment and you will feel like it is the end of the world. But it is not," he says. "It is these moments that define you. Within these moments is your chance to rediscover yourself and put to use what you have learned and to DO IT BETTER."

Once you learn to recognize the signs that you’re not embracing your inner self you’re on your way to self-discovery. As the Greek philosopher Socrates said, know thyself. With self-knowledge comes wisdom.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start your journey.

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