I'm amazed sometimes, by the number of friends and clients, who profess that they don't love themselves. Or, that they would like to love themselves, but it feels too hard, or they just don't know how.
And when I take a real good look at myself, usually during times of meditation, I notice all the ways in which I'm holding back my own self-love.
Why is it so hard to love ourselves? Perhaps because we're all good students, and we took to heart all the many criticisms and nasties thrown at us throughout our lives. We're taught to be nice to others, but not to ourselves. And, many of us were taught that self-love is egotistical, and just plain wrong.
" But what I believe, from my experience, and from what I've witnessed with my clients, is that the best way to express authentic love and compassion for others, is to first love ourselves."
Self-love is what will help you take better care of yourself. It will help you navigate the world with more confidence and courage. It will help you stop procrastinating, so you can get more done. It will help you create boundaries to keep you safe. Self-love is the one elixir we cannot thrive without.
"As important as it is however, self-love is often pushed to the far back burner of our lives."
To consistently tap into feelings of self-love, it's crucial to create rituals and routines which will help you. And because self-love might be a somewhat foreign concept, repetition is essential. Following are some of my personal favorites.
Here are 6 ways to grow self-love:
Acknowledge Yourself. Write down a list of personal qualities and attributes you like or love about yourself. For example, "I love the way I get up early in the morning" or "I love my kindness", or "I love the way I am with animals", or "I love the way I listen to others". Write down as many authentic qualities/attributes as possible. Keep this list handy and read it to yourself daily. Add to it frequently.
Spend 5 Minutes Meditating on Loving Yourself. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and begin to scan your body, contemplating your love for your hands, your feet, your mouth, etc. As you do this, consider the ways in which your body helps you. (Don't focus on how it looks.) Next, allow yourself to feel love for your heart, your digestive system, your reproductive system, your lungs, your skin and your brain. Follow this with love for your intuition, your kindness, your sense of compassion, and any other personal qualities that come to mind. Experiment with this technique by doing it daily for 1 week or more, and adjust as feels right for you.
Write a letter to yourself from a younger, or older self. Sometimes it helps to view yourself from a different angle. Write a letter from a younger self, describing the ways all she loves you. Write a letter from an older self with words of compassion and encouragement.
Use EFT Tapping. EFT Tapping can be very helpful to release unwanted emotions and negative mind chatter. When we're feeling anxious, sad, angry, or irritated, it's hard to feeling loving towards ourselves, or others. If you're familiar with the tapping points, focus on an unwanted feeling, while tapping on the points. This will help release the feeling.
Visualize Yourself In A Field of Unconditional Love. Here's a visualization adapted from a technique I use with my Matrix Re -imprinting clients. Close your eyes. Imagine you are standing in a field. Allow the field to fill with Divine Unconditional Love - whatever way you choose to see it. Allow yourself to be caressed and nurtured by this love. Allow yourself to feel the gentle compassion of unconditional love, that notices nothing but your inherent beauty. Stay here as long as you like
Take Care of your Body. The better you take care of yourself, the better you'll feel about yourself. Eat a nourishing, healthy diet. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Get regular exercise. Meditate. As needed, or as afforded, schedule yourself for massage, chiropractic, reiki, EFT tapping, or any other body-mind modality that will assist you in feeling the best you can feel.