Bonnie Frankel

Bonnie Frankel , On How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself

Exercise — My pet peeve is why people don’t take advantage of executing a simple exercise on a regular basis. It works miracles with your mind/body without abusing yourself by overindulging with toxic habits and its less costly. You will be amazed how satisfied you will feel when you look in the mirror and see your image. Running in the park surrounded by nature helps me appreciate where I came from and the wonderful changes that have guided me to who I am today. I like what I see in the mirror.

Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

Timing, guts, and intuition are traits that ran me into an unexpected whirlwind career in becoming a health guru that had many twists and turns and is still escalating. Being at the right place at the right time, fearless, and trusting my reasoning, led me to an unexpected new beginning. This compelled me to look at qualities that were characteristic of the importance of confronting my imperfections which played an integral role to gradually perfecting the patience of learning to grow into gradually loving myself.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

Communicating to various groups of all ages about the significance of finding the right exercise and how it sets the stage by your routine of attaining a healthy mind and body. By integrating this in your lifestyle assures you to get and feel an enlightened self-discovery which enables you to thrive through establishing self- compassion within yourself and build stellar relationships. When you perform an exercise that you enjoy, it relates to your mind to be in a positive position to lure you to a right path in conjunction to attracting priceless relationships. This will initiate the process of loving yourself as well as attract long-term relationships.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

There were multiple struggles with attaining my achievements that activated the fragmented journey of cultivating the ability to love myself as well as to continue to move forward with my life. I remember a significant turning point when I attempted suicide as well as coping with the guilt after the act. The feeling nearly cancelled my ability to forge ahead to continue on the foggy pathway. It escalated the confidence to learn the various stages of taking risks. By doing this, it not only filled my cup with self-esteem but enabled me to discover my successes. This in turn provided me the opportunity to forgive which escalated me to a heartfelt appreciation of self-love.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

Feelings of discontentment with our appearance stems from a history of ingesting ill emotions planted in our DNA from childhood by receiving critical love. The tendency to be overly critical about our uncompassionate imperfections can lead us to penalize ourselves by engaging in negative habits. One of the largest unfavorable one is overindulging which leads us to not only feeling and looking overweight, but saturates us with a low self-esteem that spreads to other negative habits by living a toxic lifestyle. The negative effects of overindulging can lead to a poor immune system which provokes many serious illnesses as well as psychological disorders, and attracts destructive relationships. When we have low self-esteem, we are at war within ourselves and transfer it to others. Dissatisfied people tune into their neurotic character rather than their tranquil one. This evokes poor decisions, facilitates wars not just in our community but to the world. Self-love is simply a natural inclination to pursue what one believes will make them happy, not miserable and to share this faith with others to sustain peace.

To some, the concept of learning to truly understand and “love yourself,” may seem like a cheesy or trite concept. But it is not. Can you share with our readers a few reasons why learning to love yourself it’s truly so important?

Self- love is the key component that impacts everything we are and do. When you love yourself, you are able to appreciate that your imperfections are your perfections. It encourages your ability to risk and rebound, gain confidence, and to further your inward growth so that you can gain outer success. You are not dependent on needing approval from others to boost your pride because you are your best cheerleader. This empowers you to select relationships from a position of self- confidence and intuition. Feeling positive enhances our joyousness, gratitude, fearlessness of uncertainty, and the ability to connect effectively with others. Self-compassion tickles us to calm down our nervous system and turn down the volume of the self-critical voice, so that we can excel in congregating within our community. Self- love lessens a divided world.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

A mediocre relationship mirrors a so-so relationship with self. The gift of knowing and loving ourself should be a priority because to transform from being ordinary to exceptional is to be able to explore your unique extraordinary traits. Being in a lackluster relationship provides a comfortable safety zone as opposed to rocking the boat by going solo. Many experience the feeling of guilt about leaving or believing that there is nothing better out there, so they remain. There are many that stay because of dependency whether it be financial or emotional or the combination of both. In our society, being in a relationship imposes peer pressure by feeling obligated to stay because you’ve been together for a long time, and it is easier to not ruffle the feathers, then it is to leave. To change this mediocre relationship is to get re-acquainted with yourself. Why not investigate who you are and what you want and then reevaluate if your current relationship can work with a tune up, or cut the ties permanently. Exceptional is what you are striving for, not mediocrity, whatever the cost may be.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

There were many times the need to reflect as well as to ask potent questions to myself throughout continuing the journey of attaining self-love. One of the most consistent exercises that reappeared in my reflection was what defined my true unique nature and my purpose to fulfill my destiny in this lifetime? Why people come and go in my life as some came and stay as blessings and others as life lessons? What transformations did I need to create for me to fulfill my eccentric path? How do I love myself completely despite my imperfections? There was a turning point in my life after my bout with breast cancer because mentally and physically I was transforming. Do I remain in a mediocre relationship or do I go my separate way? I decided that my lifestyle with my husband wasn’t as important as my feeling independent to choose my life path. I decided to split because my needs took priority, not to settle for a safe mediocre relationship. My desires were too great and I knew he would not accept my search and being Independent Bonnie.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

I am over the moon when spending alone time and began this ritual starting as a youngster. It makes me think better and feel better because it boosts my self-esteem as well as enhances my self-compassion, and puts me in a state of self-love. Being solitary helps me process my current state of being without anxiety, restimulation of critical love, and fear. Through the repetition of being alone this enables me to trust my thinking to heal itself because it has been doing it thus far. I always get overwhelmed with excitement and thrive with my alone time. Getting to know yourself is the root of getting to like yourself.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

Self-compassion has wings to expedite my flight to feeling more connected to self because the essence of having this quality will develop a deeper empathy with others in order to successfully have more depth with the relationships. Understanding self can multiply our motivation and energy to do things that really matter. When you feel lousy about yourself, the insecurities can interfere with the way you act with your significant other which has a negative impact on both of you. Remember that the process of self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and self-discovery play a large part of what it takes to fall in love with ourselves and the hope to discover it with another.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

We need to implement self-awareness as it is the key component that falls under the umbrella of emotional intelligence which accesses the ability to recognize and understand our own thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the essence of knowing yourself. Using the gift of emotional intelligence (EI) which is the key to not only understand but to manage your emotions as well as to recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. It also helps you to understand how you impact others to help you maintain strong relationships. Practice mindfulness which is being in the present moment so that you are the center of your thoughts and your surroundings, not getting lost in thoughts or daydream. Society needs to commence with shared kindness as well as understanding so that we can better communicate to pull together, not divide. If we could all practice self-awareness and emotional intelligence our society would benefit which would lead to healing the wars within and the wars outside. When we understand ourselves at our best, this helps create a society that thrives. As we learn to love ourself, this manifests to others, and this kindly creates a better society.

Here is the main question of our discussion. What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

  1. Alone time — I run to my quiet safe place in my studio, out on the trails with nature, in the pool because this provides a great opportunity for uninterrupted self-reflections, self-discovery, and loving myself. Being alone doesn’t feel alone because it provides me space from others which gives me the opportunity to rejuvenate my natural ability to re-enforce balancing my emotions and letting my body physically relax. This exercise not only boosts to improve my health as well as it realigns me to flourish in my relationships. Time with myself is critical for my growth and personal development and it refreshes the ability to divorce the past from the remnants that linger from critical love. I pride myself when being along with myself because there is no one else I would rather be with.
  2. Exercise — My pet peeve is why people don’t take advantage of executing a simple exercise on a regular basis. It works miracles with your mind/body without abusing yourself by overindulging with toxic habits and its less costly. You will be amazed how satisfied you will feel when you look in the mirror and see your image. Running in the park surrounded by nature helps me appreciate where I came from and the wonderful changes that have guided me to who I am today. I like what I see in the mirror.
  3. Reward Yourself — When I feel extra self-love, I prefer to give to someone in need. I also like to treat myself to something that gives me pleasure that I wouldn’t ordinarily due for myself. It can be as simple as sleeping in, or going shopping to my favorite $ Tree Store.
  4. Journaling — Writing down a list about how valuable I am and how much I love myself so that I can transfer this to share with others. By writing, it allows me to go back to refresh my memory. I tend to be self-critical with myself, but when I give to others it brings me to a place of self-love. The beauty of writing, is that it is written in stone, private, and you can refer back to it any time. and no one else can see it.
  5. Mindfulness — Practicing living in the present moment, I become more aware and alive in sensing my self-compassion, calm, and love no matter what is or isn’t happening around me. It guides me to use my energy to believe, create, trust, grow, glow, manifest, and heal so I can build and attract exceptional relationships. I can interrupt my default thought patterns and substitute all the care I deserve. The present moment is all I have, tomorrow I don’t know.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is a book/movie that are both excellent in portraying the risk of a German family hiding a Jewish man from the Nazi’s in World War II. Their compassion, strength, and kindness are traits that are remarkably overwhelming. It’s a reminder in today’s world to get out of the me syndrome that is popular and change to helping others. The small town represented that suffering and chaos did not diminish the beauty and value of life. My continuing journey to practice communicating to others so that we can live with love in our hearts, not hate so we are able to sustain a world peace.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

Practice giving to others so that we can live with love in our hearts.

Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

“The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day.” It telegraphs to me to practice mindfulness. When I am overwhelmed in periods throughout my life, I tend to exaggerate having anxiety about things that I have no control over. Practicing mindfulness prevents me from thinking about tomorrows and keeps me peacefully in the present moment.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

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