Love is in the air! It certainly will be next week when the commercial side of Valentines Day will go into overdrive. True love is a splendid thing and so is self-love, not to confused with arrogance or self-absorption, self-love is about showing appreciation and tenderness towards number one.
Let’s start with some tips and wisdom from Cat Raincock who is a woman who has changed her life, from feeling totally overwhelmed, neglected and unhappy, to now living the life she dreamt of as a kid. Cat can help you prioritize yourself and guide you to transform into the best version of you! She suggests the following:
We hear the term self-love all the time and I am a great believer in it. To learn to love yourself is the greatest empowerment there is but it is such a blanket term that it can be confusing about exactly what we need to do to self-love. That’s why I talk mostly about self-care as it is the act of self-love. When we self-love, we nourish ourselves on an emotional, spiritual and physical level and it’s the commitment we all need to make to ourselves.
Self-care is free, it’s immediate and it’s available to you! Start today, it is greatest gift you can give yourself this year – why not start this Valentine’s Day.
What constitutes self-care? Stop saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’, accepting invitations to things you ‘should’ go to rather than you ‘want’ to go to, burning candles at both ends, consuming toxic food, taking on more than you can manage because you won’t delegate.
Start, taking a bath and having some peace and quiet to rest your mind, cancel plans because you need to rest, eating clean nourishing food, do exercise you love, tuning in to yourself, meditating or doing yoga – all of these help to rebalance and reset your system.
Cai Graham Parenting Expert suggests learning the art of saying ‘No’ and putting yourself first, this one is especially for mums.
We are ALL busy people – and there are very few of us who get the balance ‘just right’. However, what I am finding is that women, and in particular Mums, are the worst offenders. Whether it’s our upbringing, society, or just plain old Mother Nature (my guess is that it’s a combination of all three), we are programmed to Nurture … our children, our partners, our friends and family, our colleagues … but we forget about ourselves.
We end up ‘running on empty’ feeling frazzled and exhausted and often even a little bit resentful – and as a result are unable to give of our best to anybody. So, I encourage you to look after yourself a bit more, be kinder to yourself and put yourself back on your to-do-list. Dare I say it … put yourself first for a change. Do what makes you SHINE: Go to the gym, stop working so late, meet up with friends, learn to say No – whatever works for you. It’s certainly not selfish – your family and friends will thank you for it!
Judith Quinn, is a public speaking and vocal confidence specialist, and sound healer, and she says:
It is vital to remember the things that we love about ourselves because what we focus on, we create more of. Surely, we all want to create more love?
“I hate my thighs.” “I hate my teeth.” “I hate the sound of my voice.” “I hate my….”
How many times a day or week do you say you HATE something about yourself? “STOP! Now!”
Words have their own power and energy because they have their own physical sound vibration. Take a look at the work of Dr.Emoto and the incredible experiments he did on the shape and energy of words in water crystals. If even a written word can create either distorted (Hate) or beautiful (Love) shapes in water, imagine what you are doing to the water that makes up most of your body, every time you say or think you hate something about yourself. Instead try finding things to love, or the next time you say something derogatory, counteract and balance it by saying out loud three things you love about yourself. You will create an energy that is higher vibration. You will carry yourself differently. You will sound different in your tone of voice. You will create more love. So always choose your words wisely when speaking to, or about, both yourself and others; the words you use help shape the energy of the space you’re in.
Liz Hancock helps struggling and overwhelmed entrepreneurs, coaches, therapists and practitioners charge their worth and feel fabulous about it! She says:
I used to think loving yourself was vain and self-indulgent. I now know it’s the complete opposite. It’s a SELFLESS act! Why? Because it makes you a MUCH NICER, KINDER, BETTER person! Friend, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunty, Employer, person that someone has to interact with on the roads, in the carpark, the supermarket etc! Self-love is NOT always putting your own feelings and annoyances before anyone else or thinking you’re better than anyone else. It’s about making time for yourself – to nurture your own health and wellbeing, whatever that means to you.
For me, self-love is setting myself up calmly and lovingly for the day ahead. Not beating myself up if I’m slower than usual, practising gratitude or praying. It’s ensuring that I have healthy food in the house and allowing myself to have chocolate if I really want it! It’s not allowing others to upset me, to calmly address something if it needs to be addressed and not having it eat away at you. It’s about having boundaries and saying if something doesn’t work for you. It’s letting go of total control and allowing myself to USE the tools I have at my fingertips to calm me when I’m stressed.
Self-love is not self-indulgent, selfish or vain. Self-love is essential to the care and nurturing of not just ourselves, but our loved ones and humanity as a whole too! Love Yourself first, and you can love others a whole lot more!
Nadia Smith, author of “How did I get These?”, monthly columnist for the online Healing Energy Magazine, and Founder of True To Our Roots Qi Gong says this about Self-Love:
“Being willing to love ourselves means that we are greeting life with acceptance rather than resistance. By resisting we see life through the fog of our pre-conditioned beliefs, opinions and a veil of mind-stuff, keeping life complicated and painful.” (Learning to Love Yourself” by Gay Hendricks.).
Dropping resistance means reconnecting with our true self and really feeling alive, it means that rather than paddling upstream we turn our canoe and start flowing downstream with the current.
When we feel sad, angry, worried, anxious or fearful it is best to allow these emotions to emerge from the depth of our being and honour them rather than suppress them, otherwise they become medical conditions. This is something we address in True To Our Roots Qi Gong as in Traditional Chinese Medicine our internal organs are very much the home of our emotions. Learning to connect with them and allowing the expression of these feelings to emerge helps us to heal and nurture ourselves at a deep level.
Becoming our own detective as to why we have trapped emotions and their origins, could be a clarifying exercise in helping remove the resistance of loving ourselves, for example what happened to our mothers as far back as when we were unborn, which could have affected our emotional state, or how we were treated and taught during childhood, adolescence and adult life. All circumstances which could be at the root of us feeling unlovable, unworthy, angry, sad or fearful.
Anita Moorjani (author of “Dying to be Me.”) suggests we treat ourselves as if we were our own best friend, instead of bullying and berating ourselves – after all we would never speak to a friend the way we talk to or about ourselves?
According to Anita “We don’t have to earn love – it is our birth right.”
Here are some tips from her second book, “What if this is Heaven?”
Questions to ask yourself.
- – How can I love myself more?
- – What would I be doing right now if I did love myself?
- – How can I support myself more through whatever challenge I’m facing?
- – How can I best be an example to youngsters around me in showing them the importance of self-love?
Once you begin to make choices which are fun to you rather than worrying about what others think of you, you stop feeling guilty when things go well for you, you accept compliments graciously, and you learn the art of saying “no”, then you know that you are heading in the direction of least resistance and that of self-love.