My choice in television as a child was a bit strange to say the least. Most kids watched Sesame Street but I could not stand it. I wanted to throw a barbie doll straight to Big Bird's head every time he opened his mouth. His soft spoken voice annoyed me. I couldn't understand why such a big bird couldn't simply sound more assertive when educating me on numbers or colors.  And l was OBSESSED with Barbie so you can only imagine how far this damn bird drove me to complete irritation. This probably gives you some pretty clear insights on what a special child I was :) Good thing I didn't grow up in the age of Teletubbies or The Wiggles, I am sure my anger management issues would have needed professional help at a younger age ;) Instead, I watched The Carol Burnett Show and I wisely pretended I couldn't sleep every time Miami Vice was on so I could sandwich myself in-between my parents and watch it in their room. I would keep my eye lids closed just enough to pretend I was sleeping and open just enough to catch the show. I also had some serious love for Lucille Ball. I Love Lucy made me laugh so hard. I always questioned her choices, I really felt like she just couldn't get through the day without one disaster. She made me cringe at times, I would yell at the TV hoping she could hear me and avoid the next disastrous thing she was about to do. Needless to say, I thought that TV characters lived inside the TV. I was sometimes found searching the back of the TV set to figure out where these miniature people lived. I was not your conventional child. My love for I Love Lucy went beyond her character. Lucy and Riccardo were also a dynamic that I felt pretty comfortable with, they were pretty much a flip of my parents. My dad was Irish American and had plenty of red headed siblings and my mom is OTB from the Dominican Republic so I had zero issues understanding Riccardo's accent and I could translate for other children. Both of my parents were fiery but if I had to pick, dad would have been the more comedic one. 

So where does I Love Lucy fit into my Monday Mantra you ask? Today I am sharing this quote from this amazing talent:

I'd like to share a bit of a twist on what this quote inspires for me. A principal that I have been studying quite a bit through a spiritual healer is the theory that "everything we do is self motivated". Essentially, anything nice (or in some cases not nice, you know who you are) you think you are doing for others, you are actually doing it for yourself. When you hold the door for a stranger at Starbucks, buy a friend a thoughtful souvenir or cook a delicious dinner for your partner, you did all of that because it makes YOU feel good. YES, a great by-product of "that thing you did", also managed to make others feel good too BUT the root of the intention was selfishly driven. The outcome achieved with others is secondary and not primary. I initially had a hard time accepting this concept. I pretty much refused it at first. I couldn't believe that everything that I had done for others was really for me? But when I allowed myself to digest this concept, I was like "WOW". This is extremely liberating. It means I don't have to give a shit when someone doesn't reciprocate or appreciate what I do for them because the only reason I did it in the first place was for me. I used to have crazy expectations of others. I unfairly felt like people needed to jump through hoops and fire to prove their loyalty and I no longer feel that way. Knowing that I am self motivated and that others are self motivated provides me with a completely different perspective. It makes me rely a whole lot less on external factors for happiness and to look inwardly for fulfillment and love. 

As a result, I remind myself every single day that everything I do is in fact for me and for the love I have of myself. I teach fitness, write my blog, take care of my partner, stay close to my family all because that makes ME happy. It makes me realize that the integrity of all my actions and decisions are in fact a reflection of the love and respect that I have for myself. I no longer shift blame when I don't feel good about something, I now accept responsibility that I am the one who chose to do it. If something that you do makes you feel crappy, you should question what was the true intention behind that action and maybe you aren't respecting the integrity of YOU to the highest degree?! I pretty much have made the Brian Adams song from Robin Hood my anthem except when I sing it, I sing "I do it for me" (hahaha I got a good chuckle with that one). I think this strongly relates to self love.  When you "love yourself first" and accept that the root of your actions are for YOU, you can begin to have greater respect and integrity for all that you do. The only one that you need to appease is your SELF which doesn't make you a bad or selfish person but an honest one. It allows you to truly take responsibility for your actions, improve the way that you treat the most important person in your life and the one relationship you will ever get to understand which is YOU.

 I found some good quotes from Buddah who is also a very credible source but when I found this one from none other than Lucille, I had to share it. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. It not only brought up some nice childhood memories (on how nutty I was) but I also seriously respect a kick ass woman who can be hysterical and eat so many chocolates. Here's hoping that everything you do this week is rooted in self love <3 <3 <3