If Bees Had Knees, You'd Be Them
I thought, what better time to bring the topic of self-love to the table than right after this lovely Hallmark holiday, that we just celebrated. As much as we like to pick fun at Valentine's Day, there's something to be said about knowing that a special someone is thinking about you. But what if that special someone for you, was actually you all along?
Your wellbeing benefits everyone. It is the universal love that keeps us whole. Self-care and self-love is not selfish. Self-love is the profound notion that you care for yourself, listen to yourself, and love yourself, before others. Self-love means that we fill our own cup first, each and every day, before we begin to pour into others'. Self-love is the sentiment that by being present with yourself and being able to tap into your needs, you're able to then cultivate the love and life that you ultimately desire. When we begin to think, live, and act this way, our self-esteem begins to rise, we start to live more instinctively, and conclusively fill the potential of becoming the fearless, loving beings that we've always known we could be.
Self-love is not something that you can buy over or under the counter. Similarly this is nothing that you can fake, because let's be honest: you can only fool yourself for so long. It doesn't come in the form of new clothes, toys, food/drink, or even relationships with others. Self-love starts from within.
Just like a yoga practice, it's just that: a practice.
Every day gives you the opportunity for a fresh start, and to work toward be a happier and healthier version of yourself than the day before.
5 Ways To Show Yourself Some Love Each Day:
- Live with intention. This doesn't mean that your intention each and every day has to be super clear. It can be broad, like "living a healthier life", but as long as you have an intention, you will begin to support your motives with decisions designed around getting you to where you need to be.
- Stay present/cultivate routine. When your intention is set, you will begin to remind yourself throughout the day of your goals and aspirations, big and small. Reminding yourself of your daily intentions will start to feel more natural, and those smaller daily intentions will ultimately point you in the direction of your bigger goals for the upcoming weeks, months, and years ahead. Being mindful of your needs instead of your wants will help support you in this journey. Try to begin to cultivate a routine (like this one here) to help you stay efficient, focused and dialed.
- Get comfortable with saying no. This is the hardest step for most. When we have these set aspirations for ourselves, the most popular person to get in our way is unfortunately ourselves. By learning how to say "no thank you" and setting boundaries for ourselves, we are able to stay focused on the path ahead. Often, this means replacing harmful relationships, jobs, stressors, and activities with ones that express who we are, or who we want to be, in a more adequate way.
- Be forgiving. We can be so tough on ourselves, especially in times of vulnerability. When we're trying to reroute our lives and live a more intentional life, we're bound to make mistakes. How else will we learn? Be sure to celebrate your gentle intensity. Be a fighter. But also, be forgiving. Always put in the work and never give up. But be gentle with yourself. This is a dance that no one individual has ever mastered. We are forever students in the school of life and for that, forgiveness is a must.
- Treat yo'self. Give yourself the time that you need to restore and refuel. If this means sleeping in on a Sunday instead of hitting the gym, then do it. If this means saving your tip money, or setting aside $20 a week and going out and getting a massage, acupuncture, facial, deprivation float, time in a sauna or hot spring, or treating yourself to a nice dinner, then DO IT! I don't know about you, but I don't believe in any sort of restriction in life. When we give our bodies everything it needs to thrive and feel like it's happiest and healthiest self, we won't have these monumental cravings for junk food or going out to the bars each weekend. We will start to crave coffee dates with inspirational friends; a hot yoga classes to purge old energy; memorable trips with loved ones; time spent unplugged enjoying outdoor activities, etc.
Remember, this is a journey. Some days will surely be easier than others. Know that you are exercising these steps because you care about you, and you care about your loved ones. I hope that today and every day ahead, you are able to show yourself the love and kindness that you deserve.
In health and happiness,
All photos courtesy of Tom Attwater Media