5 Powerful Ways to Love Yourself
February 3, 2017
In the spirit of deepening a connection to your heart I’ve rounded up my favorite ways to practice self-love. Five years ago I was single and beginning to do some deep work around learning to love myself in new ways. Over the years I’ve made it a point to practice extra self love in the winter as it tends to be a time when it is easier for me to get down on myself. Setting aside a little time each day to focus my attention on self-love has made a huge difference in my life. Ultimately, self-love is a lifelong practice. Each step that we take towards honoring our hearts gives us room to honor the hearts of those around us in powerful ways thus creating the meaningful community we desire.
1. Feed yourself something nutritious and make it beautiful.
If you believe as I do that we are what we eat then what better way to love ourselves than through food. Set aside some time to make a delicious meal for yourself. This is just for you. Pretend someone you have a big crush on is coming over for dinner if that helps you muster the energy and prepare a meal with intention and mindfulness for yourself. I have used this trick in the past to help me get motivated as I always loved making food for others but had great difficulty making it for myself. This is actually a theme in my life and has shown up in many different areas. This is a great exercise in self care and treating yourself the way you might treat a crush or a loved one without any apprehension.
2. Breathe in fear, breathe out abundance.
Breathing in the fear acknowledges that it is there. Take it in fully. Let it fill your lungs and body. Feelings might come up, if they do take note of them and go back to your breath. As you exhale, release abundance. After you have done this for a while rest in the abundance. Imagine a peaceful setting, a safe world where people are not constantly living in fear and stress. Imagine a world of abundance where everyone is has their needs taken care of, including their right to feel safe and secure. Continue breathing and end with a smile. Practice for 5 minutes each day.
3. Write out a list of your amazing qualities (read it often)
Take out a piece of paper. Write out as many of your amazing qualities as you can think of. If you have 1 on your sheet great, if you have 10 that is great too. It’s not the quantity that is important, what is more important is to begin and we can only begin where we are. Put this paper some place you can see it and read it often. I like to read my list in the morning after my meditation. Honoring our amazing qualities shows us that even on days when we didn’t act or do exactly as we would have liked, we are still powerful, mystical, people. Try this exercise for as long as you want to. I would suggest at least a month but you do what feels right for you. Even if you just write out your list and stick it on the fridge that is awesome too, you will see it regularly and it will work it’s subtle magic on your mind and heart.
4. Clean your room!
I have heard many Buddhist monks talk about the importance of keeping a clean and orderly room. It stands to reason that if your room is a mess there is probably some stuff in your life that is out of alignment as well. Making the time to get your physical space clean and organized is a great and easy way to love yourself. If your desire is like mine in that you wish to be as productive, useful and open as possible in the world, a great deal of it can begin with a clean room. If this is all sounding like too much, make your bed each day and build up gradually. No matter where you are in life, jump in and create a nice, clean space for yourself. You might be surprised at how much balance and stability it can bring to your life.
5. Value your time.
Your number one nonrenewable resource is time. If you are someone who finds themselves saying ‘there isn’t enough time’ chances are there is some area in your life where you are undervaluing your time. If you do not value your time how can you expect anyone else to? How we act is a reflection of how we feel and operate in the world. If you want others to respect you, you must respect yourself. For years I valued other people’s time more than my own, especially if there was something even slightly romantic going on between us or if it was just a fantasy relationship. Lord knows I have had enough of those for one lifetime! I cannot even recall specific moments where I gave up my time for these people because it was part of my life. I did not even know I was doing it or that it was detrimental to my personal growth and development until my late 20’s. I suppose deep down I knew it was off especially when I would get resentful for giving up all of my time for people that wouldn’t even consider doing that for me but I thought that was all I was worth. I was constantly trying to prove that I had some value and one way I did that was sacrificing my time to be there for others.
You know you are valuing yourself by the way it feels. If you feel undervalued take a look at that and see what you can shift. Say no more and say yes to what really matters. Don’t be afraid of missing out, there are always new and better opportunities just around the corner that you will definitely miss if you are in a rush.