Eleanor Glyn said, “Romance is the glamor which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” During this month of love, where we celebrate Valentine’s day, I want to encourage you to have a self-made romance with yourself. And that’s what this episode is all about.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Welcome to the month of love, my friends. Yes, this is the month dedicated to love. I don’t know why they picked one of the coldest months for us in the US to celebrate love. Maybe it’s because it knew we needed to all gather together and be really close to keep each other warm.
But I love this month. It’s my mom’s birthday, so I wouldn’t be here if it were not for my mother. In fact, she was born on Valentine’s day. It’s also the time of year when we’re getting ready for the spring, just the excitement and the anticipation of that. It’s something I always look forward to. And it’s the month of love.
I actually just hung up from teaching a class within the School of Self-Image on how to have a self-made romance. In fact, we’re focusing on that all month. And the material that I’m teaching on this topic is so good.
But I wanted to just share with you what a self-made romance looks and feels like. Because I feel like every woman, and every man, should be having one with themselves. So, the best way for me to start this is to rewind the clock to April of last year.
I’ve already mentioned on the podcast, but I decided to leave a long-term relationship. And it was a heart-wrenching decision. But I chose myself and I left. And suddenly, I was all alone, living in an apartment in a new city where I didn’t know a lot of people. And so, I had a lot of time with myself.
Now, keep in mind, I used to be that girl that always was looking for someone else to make me feel loved and whole. I believed in that whole, “You complete me,” BS. And over the course of my life, that approach was such a rollercoaster ride. When I felt like I wasn’t getting it, I was a hot mess. And so, when you feel like you’re not getting something that you literally need to survive, you will do anything to get it. And so, I was constantly outsourcing love.
I have a podcast on emotional outsourcing that I highly recommend you listen to if you haven’t. But outsourcing your emotions is when you are wanting someone else to behave in a certain way in order for you to feel a certain way. And we all do it, my friends. I even catch myself sometimes doing it now, even knowing that that is not a good solution to the problem.
But when I found myself here in this apartment all alone, I saw it as this grand invitation. Now, at this point, I can say, I am a woman who loves myself. I was when I moved into this apartment because that self-love is what instigated the decision to leave the relationship.
But I feel like, over the last six months, I’ve taken it to a whole other level and it feels more like a romance. Because when it comes to love – sometimes love is fierce, it’s tough, sometimes it’s tender. But it’s not always romantic.
Like, if you think about your children or your mother or your father or your friends. You love them, but you probably don’t have romantic feelings towards them. And so, I looked up the definition of romance, and here’s what it says, “A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.”
Now, all this time, I’ve been working. I’ve been doing all of the everyday things. But it feels romantic. There is an excitement. There is this mystery that I feel like I’m living in and I definitely feel like my days, even though I’m doing ordinary things, they feel extraordinary. And I’ve been really curious as to why that is.
And I want to share two of the things that I’ve discovered. I just taught this class within the School of Self-Image and we went way deeper and I shared more of the ingredients, along with the work that we’re all doing together this month.
But there were two that really stood out for me. And the first one is sort of obvious. And yet, so many people don’t have this kind of relationship with themselves. So, when you think about having a romantic relationship with someone, what is the first thing that comes to mind? You just want to be around them, right? You can’t stay away. It feels like this deep yearning and longing and craving for this other human being. You enjoy them.
If you want to have a self-made romance, you all, you’ve got to learn to enjoy yourself. And I’m going to say it again because, I bet, if you look back over your life, and maybe it was when you were six or seven years old, but there was hopefully a point in your life where you really enjoyed being you. You enjoyed your own company. You played. You were curious about yourself and the world. And it was before the world came in and planted its BS in your head that you started to believe.
If you want to enjoy your own company in order to have a self-made romance, you have to enjoy the thoughts in your head that you have about yourself. For many, many years, you all, I tried to avoid my own company. And I would do it by eating. I would do it by working. I would do it even by picking up the phone and calling a friend.
It seems so innocent to do. It’s great to connect. But the reason I was doing it is that that friend helped me escape my own brain. But thank god, doing this work, I’ve created a brain that I don’t want to escape from.
So, being here in this apartment by myself has been the most wonderful time because I like who I’m living with. It’s really important, you all, to like who you’re living with. And that starts with you. Do you like living with you 24/7? If you don’t – I cannot preface this enough, how important it is for you to do the work to enjoy your own company, to enjoy being with yourself.
Life becomes magical. You start to see things that you can’t see when you’re even subconsciously just beating yourself up all of the time. You start to get new ideas because you’re not wasting that energy on low-level activity. It is wonderful to enjoy your own company. I highly recommend you do that work.
If you want to have a self-made romance, and as Oscar Wilde said, “To love one’s self is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” You only have this one life, why waste it on being hard on yourself? Beating yourself up? Why not choose to be a woman that loves herself so much that she loves hanging out with herself?
Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t hang out with other people. But you’re doing it not because you need them to make you feel a certain way. You’re doing it simply because you want to connect and you want to share your goodness with them.
So, I want you to ask yourself, “Do I enjoy my own company?” And if the answer is no, I want you to figure out why. Because a lot of times, what ends up happening is us not enjoying our own company drive sus to do things that makes us enjoy our company even less.
Great example, overeating. I didn’t like my own company. I felt anxious to be me, to be with myself. And so, I would go and grab food; reconfirming the story that was causing the problem in the first place. And if you really slow down long enough and you look at the thoughts in your head, you’ll understand why you may not enjoy your own company.
How do you talk to yourself? How do you treat yourself? Would you ever talk to your best friend that way? Would you treat her that way? If not, what in the world are you doing, doing that to yourself?
So, that’s the first thing that really has stood out to me that’s allowed me to have this romantic affair over the last six months with myself. The second one is really interesting. So, when I recorded the podcast – I think it was the week before last – on the art of becoming, I talked about falling in love with the practice.
We were talking about when you’re becoming a new version of yourself. A lot of you are making yourself miserable because you’re not there yet. And when I fell in love with the practice, I stopped worrying about getting there and I just fell in love with, every day, getting to show up for that future version of me.
Well, when I was planning the class that I taught within the School of Self-Image on how to romance yourself, one of the things that occurred to me – and I thought it was so interesting – is what creates a romantic relationship and how that applies to ourselves.
So, if you think about a romantic relationship, another core ingredient is desire. You can’t get enough of this person. There’s like a craving, a belonging. You want to be with them every second of the day. You want to know all about them. You’re curious. You’re patient and kind. That’s a whole different conversation. But the desire is there, that longing. And I was thinking about how that applies to having a romance with ourselves.
And what occurred to me was that I desire so much the best for myself. And I’m also desiring hat future version of me; the version of me that’s created what it is that I want to create, that’s reached the goals. I’m desiring to get to know her.
And so, if you think about it, desire drives our actions. Have you ever desired a piece of cake? What do you do? You eat the cake. But what if you could change your desire? Which you can. And maybe I’ll do a podcast on that in the future.
But one of the things that has become very clear to me as to why I feel like I’m having a self-made romance is that I’m desiring myself. I’m desiring the best for myself and I’m desiring the future version of me. So, you can imagine – if you can create desire to want the best for you and to want to get to know that future version of you – how you can create extraordinary results in your life.
And so, over the last six months, here in my apartment having a self-made romance, folks, that’s been some of the things that I’ve been noticing. Now, of course, I’m also doing the romantic gestures, buying myself flowers and treating myself and getting up every morning and getting dressed, taking ordinary days and turning them into exquisite ones. But at the core of a self-made romance is loving and enjoying your own company and having desire for yourself.
Now, I know some of you may be in incredible relationships. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do this work. Because it’s only going to make your relationship even more incredible. But I also know some of you who are listening, maybe you don’t have a romantic partner in your life right now. And what I want to encourage you to do is not to wait for one.
In fact, I have recently met someone and I feel like the work that I have been doing over the last six months on having a self-made romance made it available to me, what I’m experiencing with him.
But I know he can’t complete me. No one can complete me. That is BS. Only I can complete me. And that means having my own back, turning myself on, approving and validating of myself, enjoying my own company, taking 100% responsibility for how I feel. I even love to take myself out on dates, and sometimes, I write myself love letters. I don’t want to wait for some person outside of me to give me something that only I can give to myself.
Ow, when it comes along in huma form, it’s amazing. I will not deny it. But it’s even more amazing if you’ve been giving it to yourself. So, I want to encourage all of you during this month of love to commit to having a self-made romance with yourself. Cheers, everyone. I’ll see you next week.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.