What Pregnancy Is Teaching Me About Self-Love

Alexis Meads Pregnant 1
 
Tomorrow marks 17 weeks pregnant for me! And next week, I’ll be finding out the gender of our little one. If you have any guesses, write them in the comments below and stay tuned!
 
Honestly, I never thought I’d get to this point for two reasons. The first being that after a miscarriage this past summer I’ve caught myself expecting the worst at the doctor appointments rather than the best. Every time I go in and still hear a healthy heartbeat feels like a huge win…although the feelings of doubt around this pregnancy are beginning to fade as my tummy continues to grow!
 
Second, it hasn’t been easy. As long as I can remember I’ve been excited about the pregnancy stage of my life. Wrapping my head around being a mom is a different story, but the idea of being pregnant always seemed like a blast. I envisioned myself eating lots of peanut butter and ice cream, wearing long flowy dresses with a baby bump and looking more beautiful than ever. I just had this knowing that I’d be one of those women who felt amazing during pregnancy and it’d be one of the happiest times of my life.
 
My experience so far has been nothing like this.
 
I almost feel guilty for saying it, but I haven’t really enjoyed being pregnant yet. It’s brought on a lot of anxiety, my first trimester was plagued with morning sickness and extreme fatigue, and I barely had the energy to put decent clothes on let alone write a blog post or put in a full day’s work. While I’m grateful for the blessing of pregnancy, it’s been hard to comprehend that my body is changing in ways I can’t control and don’t always understand.
 
I am happy to say that each day now I continue to feel better and better, I’m thrilled to be enjoying the spring weather and have let a lot of the anxiety go around worrying if the baby is healthy and if my body is healthy. New strange symptoms still bring up some “oh no, what is that?!” moments, but I’m dealing with it by enjoying the present moment, making the most out of my days and no longer allowing myself to get hung up on researching symptoms or listening to scary pregnancy or birth stories.
 
what pregnancy is teaching me about self love alexis meads
 
So here are some of the lessons I’ve learned about self-love during my pregnancy:
 

1. The best way I know to get out of the weeds of anxiety coming up is to focus on the outcome that you want to have.

I envision myself with a happy, healthy baby feeling relaxed, beautiful and calm. I literally create a vision of this, breathe deeply and let myself feel joyful as I bring it to light. This technique can work for pretty much anything in your life when you’re unsure how to get from point A to point B. Whether it’s wanting to be in a loving relationship, get a better job, or just feel more at ease….close your eyes and take a few minutes to envision yourself this way. This should change your feelings in the present moment and allow them to seep into your life. And don’t worry, the details will take care of themselves. Don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees!

 

2. When going through a painful emotion or situation, it’s best to allow and deal with it head on.

I was personally dealing with some painful things and emotions, and with all the hormones flying around they came at me ten fold! Normally if I was feeling well I may have avoided these emotions in a number of ways. I could stay as busy as possible, I could drown myself in work, I could go out and have a glass of wine with my friends. But since I was physically feeling so crappy, I couldn’t do any of these things to avoid my emotions or problems.

Instead, I took the steps I needed to move through it. I sought out help from others, I did a ton of journaling, I re-connected to my spiritual self through meditation, and some days would just lay on the couch and allow the feelings to be there and flow through with some self-reflection and awareness. I also stopped fighting feeling sick, and rather just surrendered to the process and reminded myself that “this too shall pass”.
 

3. Your body really does know best.

Like I mentioned, I always thought pregnancy would be awesome because I could give into every craving! But I’ve been incredibly surprised to learn what my cravings actually are. I’ve bought ice cream and potato chips only to find myself sick of it after a few bites and noticing how they would make me feel worse than ever. Instead, I’m craving lots of healthy, plant-based foods, and when I started eating them I can’t get enough!

My body was rejecting all the processed stuff I was trying to give it and reminding me what it really needs. I’ve had to become hyper-aware of the importance of self-care during this time while also being realistic about it. Zumba class just isn’t going to happen right now (maybe one day), but at least I can get out for a 20 minute walk with the dogs or go to a gentle yoga class. We have to start somewhere, so start by focusing on the small wins!
 

4. The true meaning of unconditional love.

I was listening to a recording by Wayne Dyer and he was talking about unconditional love. He was saying how love is the force behind all things, the stuff that everything is made of, and that we can all heal through unconditional love. The definition here of unconditional love is that it is always patient, it is kind, it is filled with gratitude, it is forgiving, it does not anger and it does not hold onto resentments of past wrongs. He spoke of this and how to use it to improve relationships or to not anger even when you feel someone is misbehaving poorly towards you. If you’re feeling ambitious, try going on a 3-day program where you act towards everyone and everything with nothing but unconditional love.

However, it also got me thinking about self-love. What about when we feel we have done something wrong or behaved poorly? What if when that destructive guilt or anger is towards ourselves? I believe this is the true meaning of self-love. When we can take that unconditional love, often directed towards others, and direct it towards ourselves. To be more forgiving of our own emotions, actions, wrongdoings and suffering. To be compassionate and kind. To remember that life is a journey and our is growing and evolving if we allow it. That is where the healing begins.

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Gandhi

 

I reminded myself that part of this unconditional love is gratitude. Being grateful for the things that we want to show up in our lives, but also being grateful for the things that don’t, or even for the challenging times. You cannot be grateful and complain at the same time. So rather than complaining about not feeling well, or having unmet expectations of what I thought pregnancy would be like, I’ve decided instead to express overwhelming gratitude for the very fact that I get to participate in this miracle of life. That alone is something to celebrate.

 

Now in the comments below I want to hear from you! What does self-love mean to you and has it changed throughout your life? Is there a certain lesson from today’s blog that resonates with you the most?
 

 

Delicious Date and Almond Energy Bites

delicious date and almond energy bites alexis meads

 

I made these for the first time because we were trying to find a good replacement for the protein bars my husband was constantly eating. As a competitive athlete he wants to make sure he’s getting enough energy throughout the day, so he’s always bought pre-packaged energy bars.
 
The marketing on them is great, but have you ever really looked at the ingredients? He recently ordered some from a health magazine featuring a well-known chef and was shocked to find out they contained more sugar than a Snickers bar!
 
So we started thinking about alternative snacks…something that would be real food. Plus, these date and almond energy bites are great to pop into your bag for work or take on a plane when you travel. They’re sweet enough to satisfy that craving but a great boost for your body too!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of almonds
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (I used roasted to give a bit of saltiness)
  • 6-8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder

 

Directions:

Start by putting the nuts in a food processor for about a minute until a fine flour begins to form. Add all the remaining ingredients except the dates until it is well processed. Slowly add the dates one by one and pulse the mixture. Then roll the mixture into balls and store them in tupperware containers in the fridge. They’re so delicious!

 

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5 Ways To Step Into Spring!

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Oh happy joy!
 
I saw my first crocus yesterday, which means spring has sprung!
 
When I first found out we were moving back to Boston from the west coast, I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of bitter cold winters. And, indeed, this winter proved to be just that.
 
Of course, the first few times it snowed, I lit candles and cozied up and absolutely loved it. A few months in, I found myself cursing at the two feet of ice outside my window and cursed my snow boots.
 
But, what I had forgotten about growing up in the Northeast, is how incredibly exciting and beautiful the spring time is.
 
Only when you bear such a harsh winter can you appreciate the slight warmth that spring promises to bring and the feeling of sunshine on your face. Few things in this world make me feel more inner joy.
 
So! I thought I’d write a post on ways to invite in spring. Without further ado…

 

1. Fill your home with fresh flowers

Nothing is more beautiful and enjoyable to me in the spring than seeing all the new buds popping up. Why not bring it into your home? It cheers things up, makes your house smell fabulous and reminds you that beauty is all around. I recommend going out and picking some yourself and filling up mason jars, or buying some from a local market.

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2. Wear a pop of color

Personally, I am so excited for the weather to warm up because it means I can ditch the leggins and snow boots for awhile. Woohoo! With the snow off the ground and sun shining brightly, I get to pull out the skirts, heels and crop tops. But one of my favorite fashion statements – wearing a brightly colored lipstick. So try a fun blush or lipstick or pull something out of the closet that’s vibrant.

5 ways to step into spring alexis meads
Photo Credit: M Loves M Blog
 

3. Drink hot water with lemon

Spring is the perfect time for cleansing. Why? Well, in Ayurveda, spring is Kapha season which has the quality of damp and heaviness. Makes sense with all the springtime rain and snow melt, right? As is without is the same as within. Like nature, our bodies are trying to shed that extra weight and heaviness we may have accumulated over winter. You can do a light daily clean simply by drinking warm or hot water with lemon first thing in the morning.

hot water with lemon

 

4. Go for a long walk

Get your pretty little buns outside! Even if it’s not totally warm out yet, make a point to get out. Go for a long walk, notice the buds forming on the trees, feel the sun in your face, listen to the birds chirp. Most importantly, take a long deep breath. Spring carries this noticeable smell in the air…of the Earth coming alive once again. Take that in, get your body moving and enjoy yourself :)

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5. Make a large salad

I love eating seasonally. We are members of an awesome business called Boston Organics. You select what type of box you want (veggies, fruits, a mix) and they drop local, organic produce at your doorstep weekly. All winter we’ve been getting a lot of root veggies. Not complaining, tis the season and I love root veggies. But, if I have another potato I’m going to burst. What’s in season now are the light, fresh, yummy greens like lettuce, kale, peas and swiss chard. So make yourself a nice big salad to lighten things up!

make a large salad  alexis meads

 

 

Love and spring-in-your-step,

Alexis Signature

 

 

 

 
P.S. After a LONG and trying first trimester I’m now offering free 20 minute Clarity Sessions again. Apply here and myself or a member of my team will get back to you shortly with a link to my calendar!
 

How to Be More Outgoing and Confident

how to grow your confidence alexis meads 1
 
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve shot a video so I’m excited to have some more coming out on a consistent basis!
 
This video was inspired by a fellow coach interviewing me with just one question: What has been the single most important factor you believe has helped you create the confidence necessary to get you to where you are today?
 
Starting my own business has been THE number one lesson in growing confidence and becoming more outgoing, so when I looked back on my journey the answer seemed pretty simple.
 
I wanted to share it with you in a video so you can see how to apply it to your life, too! Because I truly believe that confidence isn’t something that you simply have or don’t have, but rather something that can be attained.
 
This is so valuable and empowering because anyone can do it with a little consistency, action and bravado.

 

 
Now I want to hear from you! In the comments below let me know what has been the hardest thing about putting yourself out there? What’s helped you in becoming more confident?
 

Love and bravery,

Alexis-Signature
 

 
 

 
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