I have a question for you.
How good are you at loving yourself? On a scale of 1-10 with ten being an all out intentional self-love...where do you fall?
It sounds so cliché, but every conversation I have with people regarding their goals, issues, happiness, and transformation all begins and ends with loving yourself. And when you love yourself, you become the type of person who finds it easy to love others. In essence, you become good at loving.
I have a group-coaching program that unfortunately is coming to an end next week. One of the participants brought up the concept of how staying in our comfort zones actually blocks self-love. She explained that when we stay in that familiar, yet not always healthy space, it's difficult to practice things like self-care and kindness, which inevitably keeps us stuck.
So how do you bust out of that space, that familiar zone that may be familiar but in some ways toxic to your well-being? I think it's truly with courage. It takes courage to love ourselves more than our fear of the pain of change or stepping out of habits that hold us down.
Stepping into the courageous parts of ourselves can be scary. Assessing what is and isn't working means sometimes we have to make tough choices and choose change. Yet if we ignore the invitation into courage, we may possibly be missing the window into our destiny.
I had a conversation recently with a good friend who not only looks amazing but also more importantly, she feels amazing. She's doing wonderful things with her work, has released weight that was holding her down physically, and is overall much happier and experiencing more ease in her life.
I asked her what the secret to her success has been.... Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Keto, etc??? She laughed and said she actually gathered the courage to get to the true source internally rather than addressing surface issues. Once she addressed these internal blocks, everything shifted. She found once she truly began to love herself, she began to care about what she was putting in her body, how she spent her time, and the work she was doing with her career.
I think that's so true of any kind of change we want to see in our lives. Until we sit with ourselves and really search inside with curiosity rather than judgment, we block the doorway into this idea of intentional self-love.
So let's look at some mastery tools and solutions to start loving yourself more today. They are super easy and they really set the stage for a great day
Intention for the Day:
When you wake up in the morning ask yourself, "What is one thing I can do to love myself today?" It might be something as simple as going to get a pedicure, or calling up a friend for support, or going on a walk instead of hanging out in front of the TV. It might be speaking your truth to someone. It might be just staying in your lane and not getting involved in the drama of everyday life of those around you.
Carry that intention with you. Write in on a piece of paper. Set an alarm on your phone a few times during the day and ask yourself... "is my day aligned so far with my intention?" Watch the magic happen when you do this. You can use this tool before going into a meeting, having coffee with a friend, hopping on a call, going to the gym, or even cooking dinner. "What is my intention for this time? How do I want to feel? What is it that I am trying to accomplish?"
If you don't know whom Louise Hay is, check her out! She was and is amazing. She recently passed over, but has left such a legacy with her publishing company, Hay House Radio, and touched so many lives in a profound way. She has a great little book titled, Life Loves You, and my dear friend and colleague Jane gave it to me a few years ago. In this book, she challenges you to do Mirror Work every morning for a few minutes. Basically, it's looking in the mirror, eyeball to eyeball and saying to yourself, "I love you. I love you, and life loves you."
It's just profound. I've done it, my clients have done it, and I'm not going to lie... it's a bit uncomfortable at first. It can be emotional and scary because emotions swell up as well as judgments around those feelings. Things like, "Wait a minute, do I really love myself? What does that mean to truly love myself? If I unconditionally love myself, that means I have to let go of the judgments, of the shame, of the regret, of the guilt. Oh wow... I have to forgive myself."
I think it's easier to forgive and love others MUCH easier than it is to do the same for you. I don't know about you, but I find it very easy to forgive and move on when I perceive someone has hurt me. Yet, I've found in my life, it sometimes is difficult to forgive/love myself to the extent I offer those gifts to others.
When you do mirror work, something interesting happens. You begin to notice throughout the day what Jeff Foster, the author of The Deepest Acceptance refers to as "acts of violence" upon us. They're just very, very subtle. They might be in the way you talk about yourself.
For example, I was having dinner with a friend of mine, and she shared how she organized her home. She said, "I noticed that I said to myself, 'Wow, I FINALLY got this done.'" I nodded my head, thinking, "well that makes sense." She went on to explain... "I noticed that the word 'finally,' the way I said it, there was judgment in there. Why couldn't I have said, 'Way to go... This is awesome... I've been wanting to do this for a long time and I did it.'
Wow. Little acts of violence towards us. Something to think about.
This quiet little inner critic within can wreak havoc on your life. Can you imagine having a friend who would speak to you every day the way you sometimes speak to yourself? "Wow, you're finally releasing some weight," or, "You're finally getting a better job," or "You're finally getting organized." We'd probably walk away from that friendship and say, "No more." So why do we put up with it within ourselves?
Mirror work is powerful. You can tell I am a fan. Especially when done in the morning as it sets you up for noticing those subtle moments of dragging yourself down. So give it a try. Even for one minute a day for the next week and see what happens.
P.S. If this idea of intentionally loving yourself is too much, then instead begin with baby steps and practice small acts of kindness or self-care each day. Rome wasn't built in a day and self- love is a continual process. There really isn't a destination but more of an evolving process.
I'll see you next week. And remember if no one told you today, you are amazing and beautiful. So go share your gifts with everyone around you today because the world needs them!