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Recently I’d been feeling down about being single and wanting somebody to enjoy this journey around the world with (I’m spending 12 months living in 12 countries across SE Asia, Europe and South America and am currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia). Last Saturday I found myself moping in my room with the curtains drawn binge watching Grace + Frankie on Netflix (in my former life I was totally Grace but now I feel like Frankie is my long lost spirit sister).

Despite living the life of my dreams all I could think about was how I wanted someone to share this experience with.

Whenever I’m feeling down my go to therapy is always music. I have playlists for just about everything including ones for specific things I want to manifest/experience in my life:

When I want to be inspired is listen to:

  • Big Sean “Bigger Than Me”
  • Tweet “I Was Created for This”
  • India Arie “Just Do You”

When I want to manifest love I listen to:

  • King “Supernatural”
  • Michael Buble “Haven’t Met You Yet”
  • Sara Bareilles “I Choose You”

“I Choose You” is one of my absolute favorite songs and I’ve listened to it a million times but for the first time the other day I heard it differently. I had always been thinking about “I Choose You” as the partner of my dreams. In that moment I heard it as “Choose YOU Rebecca”. Choose yourself.

For the past few months I’ve been asking myself what it would look like if I loved my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies fiercely? How would I treat myself differently? And how would I show up in the world differently?

As cliche as it sounds, if I’m not in love with myself how can I expect anyone else to be?

That night I also re-watched Eat Pray Love and was inspired all over again.

I was reminded that I AM living the life of my dreams and this journey was never about anyone else to begin with.

In that moment I decided from that day forward I’d be on a mission to love the shit out of myself. So many things in my life and body started to shift when I began pouring the love + energy usually given to others into myself: I’m waking up with more energy (even before my alarm), I’m waaaaayyyy more productive and am so much more focused, and am finding joy in the simplest things everyday.

If you’re also on a journey of self love here are 5 life changing habits that may help you too:

5) Create a morning routine: As soon as I wake up rather than hit the snooze button I immediately put my feet on the floor (this helps with that desire to want to roll back over), let the sun in, and drink a glass of water. Last year I read “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod and his SAVERS morning routine has literally changed my life:

  • Silence/meditation
  • Affirmations
  • Visualizations
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Scribing/journaling

This is the foundation of my self care/self love practice and always helps me reconnect with myself.

4) Move more: Since the start of the New Year I’ve lost nearly 25 lbs. The major change in my diet has absolutely helped but one of the biggest contributing factors was getting rid of my car. I walk more than I have in years (I walked all the time when I was living in DC) and absolutely love it. One of the items on my to do list next week is to get a bike. I’m also going to find one as soon as I arrive in Bangkok to help make sure I move even more. Oh, and my morning dance parties totally help too 🙂

3) Treat yo self: One of my absolute favorite things is fresh flowers. Not only do they brighten up my apartment but they help make these temporary places feel like home. The days of waiting for someone to read my mind and surprise me with flowers are over. In each city it’s given me an excuse to check out the local markets and I’ve found beautiful and inexpensive flowers to brighten up my own day.

2) Drink more water: Every few months I buy a bigger water bottle and carry it everywhere I go (it doesn’t help that the average temperature in Phnom Penh is 100 degrees – no kidding). Now, whenever I’m feeling like shit the first question I ask myself is “how much water have you drank today”?

1) Create a self love practice: Before getting out of bed this morning I wrote out a list of all the things I wanted to do today to love on myself:

  • Twist my hair (finally practiced those 3 strand twists I’ve been eying on Pinterest)
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Buy new panties (for no special occasion or for anyone else)
  • Get a bike
  • Find a cute cafe to read (NOT work) from
  • Take a long nap

Cambodia’s Khmer New Year started yesterday so the entire city was shut down which means now I get to spread this loving into next week and the rest of the month!

Remember when I talked about re-watching “Eat Pray Love”? Later that night I wrote out a list of all the characteristics that I wanted to manifest in a partner. They’d be:

  • Hilarious and we’d laugh and talk for hours
  • We’ll travel the world together and spend time in beautiful places
  • We are kindred spirits and our life visions are in total alignment

When I woke up the next morning I had a new Tinder match notification. After messaging back and forth we decided to talk on the phone and our first conversation lasted nearly 3 hours! Not only is Chris from Atlanta (totally not his real name) pretty awesome but he’s an artist, a writer and we indeed laugh and talk for hours.

One night as we were riding through the city on his motorcycle I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and savored the moment: I really am living my own version of “Eat Pray Love” and it’s even better than in my head.

As we were listening to music I asked if he’d ever heard of my favorite group King (most people haven’t heard of them yet) and he said yes. To test his knowledge I asked what his favorite song was. His response? You guessed it:  “Supernatural”. While I have no idea where this new friendship will go (I leave Phnom Penh in 2 weeks) what I know for sure is that I’m finding EXACTLY what I set out to find on this journey: myself.

Now for that request:

I’m challenging myself to expand beyond Tinder to meet amazing new friends for the rest of my trip (my goal is to host a #blackmagicabroad brunch in every city we visit). Here’s my itinerary for the rest of the year:

  • Bangkok, Thailand (May)
  • Belgrade, Serbia (June)
  • Lisbon, Portugal (July)
  • Prague, Czech Republic (August)
  • Sofia, Bulgaria (September)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (October)
  • Cordona, Argentina (November)
  • Santiago, Chile (December)
  • Lima, Peru (January)

Know someone is any of these cities that you think I should meet? Drop me a line at rebecca@rebeccamthompson.com with “Connection” in the subject line!