My Journey to Self Love, Love Myself,to #LivYoung


Face Yourself to Free Yourself. Self Reflection is Your Reflection. Self Love is your right.
If you don’t love you, who will?

What do all these words mean? I started box + flow as a vessel, fueled by feeling to speak my truth. What truth? My desire to invoke feeling in a world that has been flooded by façade, to move people to face themselves to free themselves, from the fight that we individually carry, to find the flow that we are all capable of. Sharing my story, the inspiration + empowerment thru energy breath movement + music. Livisms put into action, to inspire + allow people to face their fight, find their flow, + feel. Let me explain -- #flowthruthefight.

I found yoga when yoga found me. The kind of yoga where you stare at yourself for 90 minutes in 110 degree room and pick apart every perfectly imperfect piece of you. I was 15. No longer a girl, not yet a woman – a transitional time where I needed to lean in and learn self love but instead chose self loathing. Fighting myself became my norm, hating myself became my habit. Did I hate myself? I don’t remember. But I certainly didn’t know what self love was. On the outside, I was a star. On the inside, I was empty, disconnected, hurting. So I sought outward to fill within. I gravitated to anything I could control, because I lost control of myself.

What started as a habit expanded into an obsession of feeling empty. But sweat allowed me to feel – anything. We didn’t talk about feelings at home, because everything was fine. Beautiful family, hands on parents, private school, privilege. We had all the things including love – the only lesson void was loving myself. Yoga was meant to bring me closer to my body, but it pushed me farther away. As the sweat dripped down, my obsession with perfection grew – my need to be smaller, skinnier, and take up less space grew larger. Disordered eating became my norm. Nightly family dinner became a pain point. My excuses not to attend became endless. My fight against me became bigger. My need to control was controlling me.

Life became less living and more existing. My autopilot turned on. I allowed decisions to decide themselves. Nothing mattered. My autopilot, anxiety and insecurity followed me to college. I wasn’t really there. But my body was. I was going thru the motions in relationships, at school, in life. I was filling my voids with empty – boyfriends, handbags, material things. Whatever I could control. My self worth was unworthy. But on the outside, everything seemed perfect. Inside I was broken. Not surprising then that my diet consisted of mini candy bars, blow pops, regular Coke and vodka rocks on nights out. I was filling myself with poison. Because I wasn’t worthy of proper fuel. I didn’t know how to care for myself because I didn’t care.

I didn’t know who I was --just going thru the motions of life, My internal struggle remained but I was getting stronger. And right when I needed it, boxing found me. Hitting a bag showed me my strength, my worth, and my weakness. Boxing gave me an edge, a release from anger, my fight against me. I just wanted to feel, love. I never learned it. No one taught me confidence. Or that life isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be so hard. I didn’t have the proper coaching because its not universal to love yourself. I still had demons, but they subsided. I had to learn to heal myself. So I did. I started to fuel my body. Not fill my empty. I started to listen instead of control. I started to invest in me. I was learning to love myself first.

In tandem, my daily practice began. I was seeking balance within. Boxing gave me strength and yoga forced me to slow down and feel. Both demanded me to be present. To shut my autopilot off and reconnect to my life. I was learning the value of me. How? I was teaching myself to love. Did I stop seeking outward? No! I dated the wrong guys, did the wrong things, was just reckless enough not to get into trouble. Did I know what I wanted? No. But I was surrounded by enough love to not get too lost.

And I knew when I was ready to fly. I moved to New York City at 23 to rid myself of ghosts from my past, To saddle up to my life. To grow. I was always interested in food – both for the need to control it, and also for the beauty it brings. Culinary School led to food writing and eventually to a big job. Boxing and yoga daily brought me stability – physically, mentally + spiritually. I wouldn’t allow myself to get lost again. Did I make mistakes? Sure. I’m still learning + I’m still here.

And at 29, I knew it was time to shine. TO create. To share. Enter box + flow. My daily practice of self love, to rid of fear. To face myself to free myself. To feel my fight + find my flow. Throughout my life, I’ve always wanted to feel. Much of my early life, it was forced. I used control as a way to feel. I had to plan everything, because it meant I need not feel anything. If you’re not feeling, you’re not really here. Presence is a gift. Self love is a choice. When we stop planning and regretting we start living. I started box + flow to share my perspective. Life isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be so hard. Learn to love yourself first.

And my relationship with food? Its exactly as it seems. I love food. It is feeling, connection, it is love. I cook to create, I eat to enjoy, to fuel my body – not fill my empty space. Do I grab a chocolate when I don’t “need” one? Sure. I know my habits. But I’ve never been healthier, or happier, and it has nothing to do with my weight and everything to do with my connection to self, my love of me.

Why aren’t we taught early to love ourselves, to celebrate who we are, to own our existence?
Why isn’t confidence the most important subject at school?

Why am I sharing? Because this is part of my truth. My growth.
We are so afraid to share. To see. To be. We have to face ourselves to free ourselves.
We have to #flowthruthefight to find ease thru resistance, To feel our strength and let go of our fear. Vulnerability is a strength. Its also a truth. Are you willing to face yourself to free yourself – Not just for a moment in time, but as a commitment to you, always. It is hardwork to get to know yourself and more work to learn to love yourself, But if you don’t love you – who will?
And are you willing to learn yourself, to love yourself, everyday?
#flowthruthefight #workhard #livyoung

Olvia YoungComment