Throughout this edition of Holistic Living Magazine you would have read articles telling you how vital it is to have self-love when looking at your health and wellbeing.
So if you do not have self-love, or you have fallen out of love with yourself, how do you find it again?
Many of us had self-love once but due to life’s circumstances, we started to fall out of love with ourselves.
Maybe it was negative self-talk that made you love yourself less, maybe it was because you felt like a failure, maybe it was because you let someone else treat you badly and tell you negative things about yourself that you started to believe.
The bottom line is, if you listen to negative self-talk about yourself you will never love yourself.
As you can see, there are many ways for us to fall out of love with ourselves and the good news is, on a positive note, there are many ways for us to develop the self-love muscle.
That is right, there is a self-love muscle. (Well it is not a physical muscle but, with regular workouts, it can be trained and grown, just like a muscle can).
At any moment, we can focus on what we don’t love about ourselves and the qualities we are lacking OR we love and appreciate where we are right now. Knowing that we can change things whenever we like.
When you proactively move towards gratitude and engage in loving actions and thoughts about yourself, you carve out the neural pathways to your heart, (or start training the self-love muscle) that will infuse you with loving feelings.
To begin with this will be a conscious effort, just like anything else you want to learn.
I am currently learning Spanish and I have done 2 lessons a day for 200 days. I am not yet proficient in Spanish but I know so much more than I did 200 days ago.
The earlier words I learned are now easy for me to recall and as I am getting more into constructing sentences, I am still not finding it easy, but I know so much more than when I started.
When I started I was telling myself, “I will never get this”, “My brain does not think this way,” “It is too difficult,” “I will never learn”, “I am too old to learn something new”.
Even though I was saying this to myself, the stubborn part of me that does not like to give up, kept me going.
Now I think back I see that I am learning, and I see the progress I have made (no matter how slow it is). I feel proud of myself and know I can do it. I need to give myself time and practise patience, rather than getting frustrated with myself as the lessons get harder.
This is the journey of life. When we are growing any muscle, it takes a routine, patience, and practise.
This was the exact process I went through when I was practising self-love. I started with the negative self-talk. I practised and did my exercises daily, and if I missed a day it would be OK because I knew I could start again tomorrow.
The more I practised, the more I started to love myself and see the great qualities in me. The more I could see the great qualities, the better I felt and I wanted to find more great qualities. I wanted to start seeing myself how my friends see me.
So how did I do this? As I mentioned before I worked with some of our experts and they gave me some exercises. I want to share with you what worked for me.
You are welcome to give them a go yourself, or you may find the advice from some of the other experts work better for you.
So one thing I did was to reach out to my friends. My coach Elaine from Avalonian Moon asked me to do this.
I was not feeling confident to ask this question, so here is what she said to me. “Go to your Facebook page and tell your friends that you have a coach and that your coach has asked you to ask this question to your friends”.
(That way, I felt better as it was a challenge that I had to do).
The question is simple. Ask:
I have a coach and she has asked me to ask this question to my friends and as you know I like a challenge.
I am wanting to see myself through your eyes. How do you see me? Please write one word or quality that you see in me below.
Now some people wrote many words and some wrote only one as I had asked. What I ended up with was a huge list of beautiful qualities that I wanted to be, that I never saw in myself.
This moved me to tears as I realised in that moment how others saw me, and I saw none of this in myself. I sat and went through the list and thought about HOW that person saw that quality in me. What did I do to or for them, for them to get this idea about me?
Then I twisted it back on itself and asked myself. If someone did that to me, how would I feel about them? This made me see myself in a completely different light. I started seeing the beautiful qualities in me. I had my beginning……
If you feel like this will work for you, I challenge you to do this right now. Tell your friends, “Sharon from Holistic Living Magazine has asked me to do this to see what results I get”.
This was the beginning of my self-love journey. I had a glimmer of hope that I could start loving myself and I was worthy of love. I then started doing one of these exercises daily.
Here Is A List Of Self-Love Exercises You Can Do:
Write Yourself Love Letters. That is right, it sounds a little lame doesn’t it? To begin with, use the words that your friends gave you in the exercise above and write about the qualities that your friends see in you. As your muscle gets more exercise you can use your own words.
Write A Gratitude List. What are you most grateful for about yourself? I know when I first did this exercise, I could not find a thing but with practise I found more and more things. I started with, “I am grateful for my ability to listen to others”. “I am grateful because I love helping others”. You get the idea. Think about the kind things you do for others. As before, once the muscle is growing, you will find more and more things to be grateful for.
Be Aware Of Your Self-Talk. As mentioned above, once you hear your self-talk, you will begin to hear what you are saying about yourself on a daily basis. I know that if you lack self-love the self-talk will be negative. Once you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, STOP, and reframe the sentence.
For example. If you hear yourself (either in your voice, or someone else’s voice) say; “I am stupid, I can’t do this”, change it around as say “I am smart and I can do this”, you will feel the energy in your body change and it will be more open to finding the solution for you.
Meditate. During your meditation, speak to your younger self. Ask her/him what qualities they would need in order to feel better about themselves. Find out what quality they felt they were lacking and give them that quality in a box for them to open as a gift.
Imagine that quality infusing them in the meditation. Sometimes the younger you is blocking you from feeling self-love.
There are so many ways that you can start loving yourself again and I could write so many more articles about this one topic and there are so many in this magazine already. Read through and you will find the answer that resonates with you.
Or you can of course find a therapist to help you uncover the issues that are preventing you from loving yourself as well. We have many here in this magazine and of course you can work with me. I have worked with hundreds of clients both one on one and at our events.
Think positively about your self-love journey and keep practising your self-love muscle.
You can find much more information on living a holistic lifestyle in these free magazines and on our YouTube channel.
Sharon White – Subconscious Mind Expert