Are you loving yourself good? Most people have an knee jerk reaction of yes, but are you? Is everything flowing in your life as you wish? Do you wake up in the morning feeling excited about your life? Look at your partner/family/pets and think how lucky you are? Look in the mirror and smile? If you answered no to any of these I’d say you’ve got some work to do. In my healing work with people the one common thread I find is it always comes back to how we treat ourselves. It comes down to love. It IS what makes the world go round. Not money, not guns, not power……. straight up LOVE.
Don’t worry, you can start loving yourself more right now in this moment by deciding to. That’s right, it is that simple. The first thing you must do is decide that you love yourself. You can make this promise by doing some mirror work. Get in front of a mirror and simply say “I love you”. Keep saying it until it feels true. If it feels difficult try expanding into “I love and accept you as you are right now”. Stick with it until a shift occurs. You may find an ugly cry coming on, let it happen! A cry is a wonderful release that will bring you closer to that love. All day, when you see mirrors stop for a moment and say it internally. Express your love for yourself when you can, looking into your own eyes and smiling. Trust me this stuff is powerful.
Next let’s discuss self criticism or “beating yourself up”. Doesn’t that sound awful? Why on earth would we want to do that? I like to imagine myself as a small child when I feel the urge to be mean to myself. It helps me soften up, and I talk with her/me much nicer. If you feel something negative coming up for yourself try what I like to call the “sandwich effect”. Let the negative thing be there, but sandwich it between two positive thoughts. For instance: “I really like your outfit, not crazy about the shoes, but overall you look fabulous today”.
Third thing I’ve got for ya is time outs. Take them. We had them when we were little and things got kra kra, why not now? Seriously! The easiest quickie I know of is a breath, a moment. If you are feeling like you are about to erupt, stop and take at least three long deep breaths. Inhale as you expand your stomach out like a balloon, hold the breath as long as comfy and then slowly exhale. I like to count as I”m inhaling and exhaling (start with counting to 5 or 7) My goal is to get up to one minute, 20 seconds inhale/20 hold/20 exhale. In Kundalini yoga, this is called the One Minute Breath and it is said to transform depression into divinity. Sounds worth it right? In any case, taking a breath time out can quickly adjust your mental and emotional states and calm your body systems.
In addition to taking those moments when you need them, each day should include some time for you to contemplate, relax and just be. I take this time in the morning so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It can be tough if you have a morning routine that includes kids, coffee and rushing off to work BUT I promise you it’s worth it to get up a few minutes early and just be. It doesn’t have to be mind boggling, just take 5 minutes at first. I started that way and some days I sit up to 30 minutes simply enjoying my own space in time. When I skip this step in my day it always feels a little off. It has become my own special place that I can go anywhere, anytime. It sets my day and is absolutely necessary to my happiness and security.
Next, a play date with yourself. How long has it been? I’m talking about silly play, fun creative time. Remember when we used to just simply “play outside”? Sitting in the garden with a cup of tea, walking in nature, bird and butterfly watching are all peaceful playtimes. Drawing or painting is a wonderful activity as well. This is not for a grade or to show anyone, just get out the crayons and draw for fun. After put your drawing on the fridge to remind you of playtime and your inner child. If you don’t love that baby who will? Sometimes this is a great activity to share with pets or with kids. I’m careful about who I share my play time with though. I don’t want no scrubs, positive peeps only please! Some other activites could be taking a bath with a plastic cup to play in the water (just try it), building a sand castle, digging in the dirt, flying a kite…you get the idea. By the way, no electronics on play dates. This should happen at least once per week. Once per month it’s good to extend playtime into a weekend adventure or even a day trip to get with nature, and (at least) once per year in the form of a vacation. The time spent recharging and connecting with nature will only benefit everything else in your life.
Lastly do good things for your body every day. Pay attention to what you are putting in. If you eat poop you will look like poop, just sayin’. Eat something nice and healthy each day. It doesn’t mean you can’t have coffee, wine, sugar……have those things guilt free (in moderation of course) so that you don’t add to your stress by thinking you shouldn’t have them. Just be sure you are also having the good stuff like water & fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Besides what you put in, a pamper activity per day is very kind. I’m not talking spa day all the time, just little things. Clean up your nails and cuticles. Rub your feet with some nice peppermint lotion. Give your scalp a good rub. Pour warm sesame oil on and rub in just before or after your shower. Take time to gently stretch each morning and night to prepare for world. Get good rest. These things send a message to the brain that we love the body. BOOM. You’re loving yourself. Feels good right?
1. I love you and accept you in the mirror as often as possible. Definitely one long session out loud/alone per day.
2. The Sandwich = positive/negative/positive
3. Time outs: set aside time to just be with yourself each morning, and take small ones throughout the day.
4. Play dates and vacations~take ’em.
5. Do the body good inside and out.
I hope this got your wheels spinning in a good direction. Take good care of yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff!
It is your birthright and natural state to be happy and peaceful.
I love you!