As we experience the LOVE holiday today, I am intrigued to explore another important avenue of love; quite possibly the most important loving relationship we will ever have: the one with ourselves. What if we took all of the energy that is funneled into Valentine's Day and focused it on loving ourselves more?
What if we gave ourselves permission to practice SELF LOVE as much as we practice loving others?
WHAT IS SELF LOVE?
Self love is at the heart of all growth and healing. It is at the core of human potential. For when self love is cultivated and allowed to blossom, the stage is set for experiencing the fullness of life and for extending natural, generous love towards others. We heal ourselves and therefore the planet through self love. It is our love for ourselves that inspires a desire for a better experience of our bodies and our lives. It is love of self that has us take responsibility for ourselves, motivates change and fortifies our commitment to our dreams, resiliency and joy. It is love of self that whispers to us to move beyond our self-sabotaging patterns and limiting beliefs and to choose instead the route that is in the best interest of everyone involved. It is self love that serves as the spring-board towards shedding our old identity and EMBODYING our new one.
Self love means loving yourself even in comparison to others. Self love means having self respect and enforcing boundaries that cultivate your highest good. Self love means having the courage to put yourself first, even though you are afraid others may be disappointed, so that you can refuel your tanks and actually increase your capacity for others. Self love means accepting all of who you are - the good, the bad, the radiant and the not so radiant parts of your body and your personality. Self love means identifying your core values and then going out and actually living your life in alignment with those things that are most important to you. It means seeing self care as generous, not selfish. Self love means spending time with those people who support you and light you up and having the courage to gently let go of those relationships that are toxic and draining to you.
WHAT DOES SELF-LOVE CREATE?
When our self-love tanks become full, we begin to heal - emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. We begin to develop the graceful ability to sit with all of who we are and be whole. From there we become vulnerable, brave, loving and open. Life becomes juicy. Others now enhance our internal happiness as opposed to being the false source of happiness that we cling to. When we consciously fill our self-love tanks, we begin to build the muscle of positivity, attractiveness, alignment, inner peace and authentic empowerment. We develop courage, compassion, freedom and fulfillment. It is like tending to the soil of a great tree. When we water and nurture the soil, the roots will be vibrant, the trunk will grow strong and the leaves will come alive with brilliant colors of green and red.
So on this holiday dedicated to love, I ask you: How can you love yourself more? What would your love-life look like if you loved yourself too? How can you fill your self-love tanks?
Here are some TIPS for creating more self-love in your life:
Stand in front of the mirror (preferably naked!) and take a look at yourself. You may notice some critical thoughts enter your mind immediately about your body. If you need to, spend 30 seconds being critical. Get it out of the way. Then.... take a couple of long, deep breaths. Look into your own eyes and proclaim out loud to yourself: "I love you. I really love you.". You may repeat this a few times if you like. Then begin to shower your body with love. Speak lovingly to each part of your body that you see. Say out loud: "I love you eyes". "I love you ears; thank you for letting me hear such beautiful, loving statements". "I love you arms, you are strong". "I love you thighs, you are feminine and sultry". Notice what shifts. Do this every day for 3 weeks and see what changes for you.
Take a blank piece of paper and for 10 minutes write down all the things that you love about yourself. They can be significant or tiny. See if you can reach up to 20 things or more. For example: I love that I love my family. I love my dorky sense of humor. I love my ability to fix things around the house. I love my voice. I love my willingness to try new things.
LOVE IN ACTION
What is 1 new way that you can demonstrate self love today? Perhaps it is through speaking authentically or standing up for yourself. Perhaps you can open up to someone and practice being vulnerable. Maybe you can treat yourself to a rejuvenating night at home with an epsom salt bath and a good movie. Practice building your muscle of self love in daily life and see what opens up for you in your life.
Our world needs the version of you that is practicing self love. Your children need it, your spouse needs it, your friends and family need it. The people who you are going to inspire need it. Give yourself permission to become whole by loving your self more. Practice loving others and receiving love on this special day from the place of fullness that self-love brings. May your love cup spillith over.
Here's to love! May it flow deeply through you and may it help your light shine bright.
I'd love to hear your comments. What do you love about yourself?