Love Your Selfie

“In the event the plane loses cabin pressure while at altitude, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Secure your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.”

We’ve heard that countless times on airplanes and hopefully none of us have had to put that directive into practice. Recently I’ve started to think about that instruction in other areas of my life. My Dad and I actually had a long talk about it regarding prayer. It is so easy to offer up “god bless so and so“ and  “please bring healing and safety to my wife, daughters, neighbors, etc.” But how often do we count our blessings and start with ourselves or make a request for relief from something in our own lives? I would venture to say, we don’t do that enough. Maybe we feel unworthy. Maybe we are trying to be selfless or perhaps we don’t want to be more of a burden on whomever’s handing out the favors of grace. Who knows?

There is a thing called a ‘selfie.’ It has to do with taking pictures of yourself and posting them on social media. It doesn’t have a reputation for being a good thing, really. More of an egotistic, narcissistic thing. My friend Jacquie is a clothing designer and she has put a positive spin on it by making t-shirts that say Love Your Selfie. Adorable, right? (Click the link and order one!)

A few months ago, I was coming home from a concert in Brooklyn. As I was coming up the subway stairs in Queens near my home, I saw these 4 words written on a step. Now I’m a sucker for street art of all kinds, but I thought this was pretty special. It was written so small with a sharpie marker, but it might as well have been on a neon sign in Times Square. It has stayed with me and I think of it so often. It was like some little subway elf knew I needed this reminder that self-love is the only way to make love grow in all other areas of my life. Dare to love yourself.

And what does that mean? I think it means, put your oxygen mask on first! Any love we have to give another will be strengthened and fortified by truly loving ourselves first. Eat your breakfast before you try to feed your children. Exercise, meditate, or take a shower before everyone else is up so you can get some self care in before having to tend to others. Start your prayer list by asking for what YOU need. I believe we will serve others better once we have received a blessing for ourselves. And the only way to ensure that I can help those around me is to help myself first. Okay little subway elf, I accept the challenge. Do you?

Confession: I don’t cook for myself. I spend so much effort preparing healthy balanced meals for my clients and then I will cobble together a dinner of chips and salsa and a glass of wine for myself! It doesn’t begin to make sense. A staple on my summertime menus is gazpacho and I haven’t even made it once this summer. It has so much goodness in it. It’s an easy no-cook soup that is refreshing and cooling. Part of my self-love challenge for the rest of the summer is to cook for myself, not just clients and loved ones. And I’m starting with this beauty!

Don’t be overwhelmed with the long list of ingredients. You can substitute, leave things out or invent your own signature blend.

 Cheryl Stockton

Cheryl Stockton

Green Juice Gazpacho

  •  3 cups kale
  •  1 cup chopped celery
  •  4 cups chopped cucumber
  •  2 cups chopped Honeydew melon
  •  1 chopped Granny Smith apple
  •  1 t freshly grated ginger
  •  1 t minced garlic
  •  1 ½ T minced jalapeno
  •  1 cup chopped cilantro
  •  1 T lime juice
  •  2 T white balsamic vinegar
  •  1 T honey
  •  2 T extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 t salt
  •  1 t ground black pepper
  •  16 ounces of bottled green juice
  •  1 cup ginger ale

Method: Puree everything in batches in food processor or blender alternating the juice and ginger ale to help liquefy the solids. Transfer to a bowl or large jar and chill until serving. Makes 10 cups.