Self-Love: Are We Really Getting It? (PART I)
When I first heard the term ‘self-love’ the first thing that came to mind was a silly dance or smiling inner voice that said to me in a musical tone…
‘Gosh, I love you, Debbie!’
It felt very childlike and overtly hippy.
Having explored this concept more deeply, I now know it to be way more practical than I gave it credit. It isn’t about words or a swirling love affair with self; that might come later of course as a feeling. Rather, my experience of it deepened over time when I started to do the practical habits and ask the powerful questions that allowed me to experience what true self-love was. I’d like to share these with you and I will break them down into key life categories to give it an organized approach.
Self-love for body and health
This means doing the things (movement, eating, pampering, and thinking) that cultivates a calm and nourished body. This doesn’t mean restriction or a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Self-love for body means that you are aware of and enjoying the physical sensations and experiences you can have with your body. Sure, eating healthy whole food is amazing. Yet, having that chocolate or wine is also enjoyable so if you are going to indulge in it, don’t judge it in your mind. Of course, be mindfully aware that the next day, too many wines may deplete your energy. However, it’s a healthy clear CHOICE of why you are doing it. Having a few fun wines with friends is self-loving unless you have an alcohol addiction. It is all about the CHOICE and meaning you give it.
So, self-love for the body and health is:
-Moving in a way that makes you feel good- I love horse riding, tennis, some forms of yoga, nature hikes and boxing.
-Eating foods that feel good for your gut and digestion. If you are indulging in a food that might be more inflammatory (remember there is no right and wrong, just foods that are more acidic or alkaline), please make sure it is a conscious choice and don’t judge it. Adding stress on top of acidic food just triples the negative energy.
-Asking yourself when you might need a rest if tired. There truly is no medal awarded for the most burnt out individual trying to take on the world.
– Attempting to clear your mind and being aware of old repeating patterns or that inner critic (judge) in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough.
– Moving out of toxic environments: heavy drinking or drug culture, moldy toxic damp house, polluted areas (if you can), staying home from work if your whole working office is infected with nasty flu etc.
– Minimising chemicals on your skin, face, and body – that’s commercial chemical make-up, deodorant and anything synthetic that might cause unnecessary inflammation.
– When you have a pain or ailment, not immediately band-aiding with a pharma drug – but rather asking yourself why it is there and what is the root cause?
Self-love in relationships (friends, families, and lovers)
This is a controversial one as there are many moving parts to manage. Firstly, I would say that your priority is to learn the Art of ‘not taking on other people’s crap’ if they are projecting negative thoughts or judgments to you. If we are triggered by someone else then, we have some type of outstanding issue within ourselves to deal with and that person is simply bringing it to light. Annoying? -Hell yes! Useful? Hell yes! So, in this case, self-love is learning to separate energy from others and stay in your center of power. That’s a life-long practice of course and a much longer blog! However, self-love is also choosing not to hang around with people that aren’t supportive and energising to be around. It is not self-loving to connect with someone who makes you feel crap every day and not do anything about it. Self-love in a relationship is making the absolute commitment to show up for yourself and resolve this burden. 50% of the time it requires you to deal with your own shadows. The other 50% is walking away from that person and deciding they are not a worthy relationship to have.
So, self-love in relationships is:
– Deeply reflecting on any issues or angst with another person and working out whether this is your opportunity to grow and change… or if they are simply a jerk you need to disconnect with.
– Looking into your own values and identity and making conscious choices around who might be the right vibrational match to have as a friend or lover.
– Accepting that family members may not match up to your values or needs and that spending less time with them is healthier for you.
– Not holding anyone else’s burdens (often done in close relationships), as this not only denies that person their lessons and karmic journey but also means that you are saying ‘yes’ to soaking up their baggage and negativity. Sort of like when you invite the vampire into your home and that leads to all kinds of crazy!
– Being able to state your point of view and make decisions for yourself without others pressuring you or controlling what you think, do or say.
– Asking this very important question when it comes to close friends or intimate lovers: “Does this person honour me?” That means they love who and what you are and want you to be well, authentically you.
I hope you are finding these practical applications useful. I have developed some more ideas for cultivating self-love in relation to career, passions or hobbies and mental health/confidence. Stay tuned for the next blog relating to those life areas.
And let me know if you enjoyed the above ideas and if they all make sense?
GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT DEBBIE PASK
Debbie helps people tap into the absolute and immense power of their own energy. To bring change, heal, attract abundance, balance and a find a clear sense of self and life purpose, and live a spiritual life or help you move through major life transitions whether, that can be career purpose, personal identity challenges, relationship conflicts at work or at home, working through burnout/stress and more. READ MORE ABOUT DEBBIE