As I come to the last phase of the Founder’s Circle project and wonder what’s next I find myself uncertain about the future. I know it will involve writing, it will involve making my blouse and other womenswear designs, it will involve textiles broadly speaking and my passion for bringing the industry back. Beyond that – who knows. I took a much needed – long overdue vacation last week and it came to me. What’s next is going to be a process. I may not know the answer for a while, but I am going to build a creative process to get there. And in that process I am hearing loud and clear that we have to start by loving ourselves. The path to overwhere starts by loving ourselves. We hear this – love yourself- but it seems so freakin abstract. But the second part of that message brought it down to Earth: loving yourself is a practice like anything else. You show up through the good days and the bad and mostly love yourself through the small things – like taking 20 minutes to organize your desk before you start work, or not packing in one more email or todo at the expense of moving at a cool, calm pace towards your next appointment. Those are the powerful things.

It is not all candles and baths and fancy pj’s (for whatever reason these are the items that come to mind with self-love) or the financially elusive spa week. No – loving the heck out of yourself is working where you are, with what you have, to exercise small acts of love for yourself “as if” you loved and cared for yourself deeply. I say this because, quite honestly, it can be hard to love yourself – so much easier to take yourself for granted, to get tired of your thoughts and habits, to pick at yourself. And so sometimes, it is helpful to imagine that you love yourself like a treasured family member loves you or a partner.

And then there are the days where it is really really hard to find the love. Our minds are going. It looks dark out there. It IS dark out there – cloudy, another war has just begun. And the best we can do on those days is walk ourselves through the right choices – the healthy, early dinner, getting our laundry done for the work week, doing some yoga – that is loving myself today, investing in my health and well being – no matter how I feel or where I’m at so that tomorrow has the opportunity to be better.

And so it sounds small but today – my first day back from vacation – I made a series of small decisions that all involved loving and trusting myself. So today is only day one (or day 2 by the time you read this). But perhaps you will join me in the practice of loving yourself wholly and unconditionally. It is actually quite the act of resistance to a system that wants us to just work harder, buy more cr*p, and consume our weekends away. Lovingly taking the direction that is best for you throughout your day may just help you create the life that you love or just simply more love in your life.

Go, fight, win.