5 Steps to More Self Love
“Self love” needn’t be a sniggered at phrase like the ubiquitous and undesirable “selfie” and it certainly needn’t require extra support from sticks and lenses to perfect its place in our life. Self love doesn’t require you to pose pouted for hours on end as you put your phone’s front camera to the test and try beat all the rest in your Instagram follower count. Self love is neither selfish nor self-centred. Self-love is in fact the key to creating more compassion and kindness in our world. How? Let me explain.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase:
Charity begins at home.
Well I choose to challenge this worn out wording and say that charity begins with the self. The reason our world is in a state where our number of friends on Facebook far outnumber our real and honest human connections in actual life, is that we are suffering from a severe shortage of self love. It’s just not possible for us to develop deep and meaningful relationships with each other and to lend a helping hand to those in need unless we are able to first feel this love for our own being. We have to fill up the proverbial cup with our own self-worth in order to let others drink their fill.
So in a world bombarded with billboards that pry on low self esteem, how do we bubble our cups up with the sweet nectar of self worth? Here are my 5 simple steps to cultivating more self love.
We can all attest how much more we can achieve and how much more we have to give when we feel good about ourselves physically. And for many of us, our connection to self really is only skin deep as we aren’t able to look past what we see on the outside to what really resides inside. So to start your search into cultivating more self love, start with the exterior and work your way in. Bless your body with excellent nutrition, ample sleep and a regular exercise regime.
When you treat your body well, watch how your sense of self worth slowly starts to transform and how much more positive energy you have to give to those in need.
Feed Your Mind
Now we start to dig a bit deeper. Being in tip-top shape and taking good care of ourselves also includes keeping our minds active. Especially as we age it’s crucial to keep those neurons firing, thus constantly expanding your mind and creating new perspectives of the world (including that of self and others). Be conscious also of what you put into your mind, knowing that what you take in, literally becomes you. If you feed your mind daily on a diet of sitcom dribble or depressing news headlines, chances are this won’t shape up to sparkling send offs of self-love.
Keep your intelligence ticking over with a bump up on brain food from crosswords, to Cluedo to creative tasks around the house.
Not only need we be conscious of what we put into our minds, in the name of self love, we must also pay particular attention to the thoughts we let swirl about. The power of positive thinking has become quite the 21st century buzzword from the pages of self help books to the corners of psychologists’ offices around the world. But it’s not enough to simply sip on a cup of positivi-tea from time to time or get momentarily inspired by a motivational quote on Twitter – to be the best me that we can be – we need to reprogram our subconscious mind.
Our habits, mental models and unconscious thoughts about who we are was preprogrammed before the age of 7 when our minds were absorbent sponges. But we can undo this conditioning by learning to speak to ourselves in the right way.
To allow ourselves to truly accept each and every part of who we are unconditionally we can use positive self talk in the form of positive and repetitive affirmations each and every day.
How well do you really know yourself? Who is this self that you claim to love? (or choose to ignore?). In today’s hyper-connected age, the real irony is that not only have failed to improve our raw and honest connection to each other, in the process we have also severed our own connection with the self. On the path to deepening your own self love, I highly recommend taking the time to getting to know yourself first. Depending how long your jaunt on Tinder, you wouldn’t say “I love you” on the first date, similarly, you should court yourself first before expressing those three little words.
Journal your thoughts, meditate, do yoga or film a vlog, however you choose to express yourself, take time to study who is this source of your own expression.
Spend Time Alone
And finally, I would dare to say this is the most important and possibly the simplest point of all – spend time by yourself. I have come to realise with the retreats that I host – people are scared to bits of their own company. It’s almost as if the moment the world’s distraction shuts off, they ashamedly realise how timid and tired their own voice has become. People have become fearful of their shadow selves, of what lurks within when the wifi shuts down the sounds of silence abound.
Don’t be scared of yourself. Meet yourself, listen to yourself, love yourself.
Cherishing your time alone cultivates strength, creates inner peace and concludes in a sense of self love which remains rooted deep, unchanged by the ever changing outside world.
Follow these 5 steps to more self love and soon you’ll be overflowing with all the kindness and compassion this world so direly needs. And, when you’re ready, get in touch so we can match you to causes that need a little extra loving.