You can see the value of learning to love yourself. You understand why it’s important. You know it will help you live a more joyful life, appreciate others more, and have more energy for pursuing your most cherished dreams. But how on Earth do you get there?
Like any skill worth having, self-love comes through dedicated practice.
In this case, learning to love yourself more is a matter of spiritual practice. What do I mean by that? Spiritual practice is something that you do regularly to get connected with the divine. Divine can mean different things to different people. For you it might be your concept of God or Goddess or the Universe, or concepts like love and compassion, or simply the all-pervasive energy that the cosmos is made of – the definition is up to you.
The goal is to feel more connected to that which makes you feel like an integral part of a loving whole. To feed your soul. To feel nourished and valued for who you are, as you are. Rather than looking outside yourself for validation, you’ll look within.
The goal of connection can be accomplished in many different ways. Here are your three main criteria for choosing a practice: 1. It feels good. 2. You’re willing to commit to it. 3. It fits into your daily life.
When you’re starting your self-love practice, make a solid commitment to it. Three weeks is the minimum for forming a new habit, so start there. You might already know what you want to choose, or you may have no idea.
Below are some suggestions to choose from. Pick one and adapt it, making it your own. Now make the commitment, and tell someone about it. Accountability will help you succeed in your goal; choose a trusted friend or loved one who will uplift and encourage you.
Don’t let resistance or doubt stop you from making a start. Begin today, and let the self-love flow into your soul.
Listen Within. Whether you’ve ever meditated or not, sitting in silence is a valuable practice for encouraging self-love. Stop and sit, listening carefully for the wisdom of your intuition, which is connected to your soul, and thus to the divine. Try 10 minutes every morning or evening, to start.
Affirm Your Worth. Create or choose some affirmations that are about loving yourself. Choose one each morning and say it at least 7 times to yourself in the shower. Or write your affirmations multiple times in your journal. Post them around the house, where you’ll see them often. Chant them as you exercise or clean the house.
Sweet Talk Yourself. You can unlearn the negative self-talk that comes automatically to the surface of your mind. Resolve to speak kindly and compassionately to yourself. Find a bracelet that slips on and off your arm easily, and dedicate it to helping you relearn self-talk. Whenever you find yourself speaking to or about yourself in a negative way (in your mind or aloud), switch the bracelet to the other arm. Now make a point of saying at least one kind thing to yourself.
Move Your Body. Exercise brings endorphins and smooths out your emotional edges. It will also help you love your physical form more. Find a fun way to move that you love to do: hike, work in the garden, walk your dog, make love, or dance around the kitchen with your kids. Show gratitude to your body for all the wonderful things it does.
Keep a Journal. Start a journal or notebook dedicated to loving yourself. Write in it every day. What should you write? Affirmations, intentions for the day, goals and dreams, things you’re great at, things you want to learn more about, places you’d like to visit. Doodle and draw. Use lots of colorful pens, and maybe stickers. Have fun with it!
Play, Play, Play! There are things in your life that you love to do, that feel like play to you. What are they? Do them more! It might be creating music, doing crafts, going to the movies, baking a delicious cake, walking on the beach, or redecorating your bedroom. Whatever lights your fire – do that. By regularly making time for play, you’re showing yourself that your pleasure and delight are worth savoring.
Now it’s your turn. Pick one of the above suggestions or create your own. Post a comment and share your new self-love practice. Blessings!