What does (self) love got to do with it?
What does self-love got to do with it? I say all of it! I can still remember the days when I struggled with self-love by trying to discover it with self-loathing. I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror and my self-confidence seemed to be at an all-time low.
Even at a very young age I would refuse to eat. I became anemic, my immune system weakened, and I was skin and bones. Along with depression and emotional stress, I didn’t give a hoot about my self-image. Not caring for myself was leading me into a path of self-destruction.
When I grew up and hit puberty, the self-hatred amplified to the point where I hated my body. I wished for my body to be thinner and look different. My butt too big, my chest too big, my hips too wide, and my skin not clear enough! I desired to be a stick figure. Yeah, that would make everything better.
I reached a new level of self-hatred to the point that I didn’t want to be me. I chose to live in my head to forget about my body.
“I WOULD ONLY BE HAPPY WHEN…”
I shared this experience in silence with my Mother as she also struggled with it her entire life and up to the point of her final breath in her body. I look back now and I wonder how we could have helped each other overcome our challenges and struggles. I also look back and wonder how life would have been different at that time if I had a role-model that embodied and reflected health and vitality of body, mind, and spirit.
Truth is that I didn’t have that kind of role model I was looking for and had to find those outside of my household. Now I own that my experience was imperfectly perfect. But I do wonder how many young individuals are struggling with this same issue.
The road was a long one and I have arrived! It has been anything but a straight road. There have been twists and turns, dips and valleys, and dark tunnels. What has saved me? Self-Love that’s what! Self-Love is my most effective medicine. Loving ourselves is not just about loving how we look or going the spa for the weekend with our girls. Loving ourselves is communing with our mind, our body, our spirit, and the environment around us. It’s our capacity to become so aware of what serves our being that we are able to distinguish what doesn’t. My life is now dedicated to serve. Through years of self-reflection and dedication, I’m at a place where I can share my story to help others. I have a family and a legacy to leave. Most of all, I am my son’s role-model.
“If you do not love yourself enough to change the patterns, do it for our future generations.”
How do you start to fall in love with yourself again?
This seems like such a simple question and yet the answers often elude us for decades!
The truth is, you do not need to be anything other than who you truly are to be worthy of love. That includes every pound, every inch, every wrinkle, every thigh dimple.
“JUST BY ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE WHO YOU ARE, TO SHOW UP AUTHENTICALLY FOR YOURSELF, TO SHINE YOUR LIGHT AS ONLY YOU CAN, THEN YOU WILL BEGIN TO MAKE A TRUE SHIFT IN SELF LOVE.”
This is the beginning of your endless moment by moment journey to self-love. What comes next? Self esteem and self confidence!
Starting tomorrow, honor this simple truth: Self love and self worth simply mean that you seize the opportunity to wake up and experience yourself with fresh new eyes and an open heart.
How do you get started? Here are some of my favorite self-love practices starting with my favorite morning routines:
1. Begin your day with a hug (not technology).
2. Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed while surrounding yourself in unconditional love.
3. Take time for a gratitude practice. Journal what you are grateful for at least 5 minutes a day.
4. Allow time to meditate or chant a positive and powerful mantra. I love this simple mantra; “I am happy, I am healthy, I am holy.” Give yourself a timeline. For example, for a specific meditation practice or mantra, give yourself a goal of at least 40 days time.
5. Spend time focusing inward daily on supporting yourself. Ask questions like, “How do I feel right now?” Would you wish to speak up more in a certain situation. Take actions needed to feel like you are supporting yourself.
6. Move your body, and create energy flow. This also helps to eliminate stagnant energy and low vibrations in the body replacing it with positive vibrations!
7. Dress and adorn yourself in colors and clothing that make you feel vibrant and alive! During certain life changes you may adopt a ‘power’ color to help you move through challenging times. It’s called ‘color therapy’.
#8. Heart SHift
8. When you feel like you are being hard on yourself or have been taken over by the mind, do a heart-shift practice. 3x a day for 90 seconds each, spend time focusing on your heart space. Breathe in and out gently while visualizing your absolute most favorite place in the world. It just takes 90 seconds to shift from a stressful mind state to a more coherant heart centered state. This is a vital practice that has scientific research behind founded by the Heart Math® people! I love how it just ‘works’ with my clients and is an easy and effective tool. Athough, it must be practiced like yoga daily for the impact to truly make a difference. Making a difference in coherance for you will aslo impact other ‘hearts’ around YOU. This is worth it.
9. And last but not least spend time having FUN as you were a child again- with all of this. Without fun what is self love good for anyways?
I hope you jourey unveils the miracles that self love bears. Love is life’s fruit- take care of it!