Self-love is more than just a cool concept. I wholeheartedly believe it is the secret to happiness. And if self-love is intrinsically connected to joy, shouldn’t we have it?
Where do we sign up?
How do we get some of this superfood for the soul?
I asked myself those questions, and as a journalist and self-improvement junkie, I couldn’t resist doing the research. Let’s just say I got all up in self-love’s Kool-Aid. And what I tasted may surprise you.
Here are some things I learned about self-love.
- Self-love is self-care’s BFF.
The two work together because self-love is the catalyst for self-care. It’s a simple fact that when we love something, we take care of it; am I right? The more we care for ourselves, the better we feel and become. See the connection?
Women who know their worth demand to be treated well. They don’t take shit from other people, and they don’t indulge in self-destructive behaviors. They take self-care seriously because they possess self-love.
- Self-love is a personal path.
People can inspire me. They can love and guide me, but no one can walk my self-love path. Furthermore, self-love does not come in the form of a bootcamp or a booty workout, so we can put down our credit cards. Society wants you to believe that self-love and beauty are a packaged deal. But it’s not that easy. I have known far too many beautiful women who lack confidence and self-respect.
Self-love is an inward journey rather than an outward circumstance.
- Self-love is a state of gratitude.
It is cultivated through mindfulness, acceptance and appreciation of who we are and what we have to offer the world. Self-love is dynamic and accessible through our compassionate nature.
Cultivating Compassion To Ignite Self-Love
I recently started meditating again after I realized I had neglected the ritual. My self-esteem was suffering and I’d begun spending more time just lying on my yoga mat and weeping, letting waves of raw emotion rise and fall. I can’t say I have the ultimate self-love recipe, but I know that positive, powerful self-talk has helped me ignite my own self-love spark.
When I get quiet with my soul, even as utter chaos swirls around me, I hear a little voice speak in the shitstorm.
“You don’t need permission to love yourself,” it says. This prompts me to forgive my mistakes and accept my humanness. It frees me to love myself.
Remember: You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind, and you can’t practice self-love if you consistently entertain the shit-talking hater in your head. So say the words you need to hear and believe, even if you don’t yet believe them. In time, the message will sink in and self-love will become more automatic. At least that’s how it happened for me.
Mantra: If self-love is a rose garden, self-care is the pruning and watering that brings forth growth.
P.S. I’m SO psyched about the yoga book I wrote. This fun little guide will inspire you and help you find magic and momentum on the mat. Check it out here and leave a review if you feel so inclined. I’d LOVE that!