OUR TOP 5 TIPS FOR RECONNECT TO YOURSELF & LOVING YOURSELF AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW!
Following what we have all just been through (last year was rubbish, really rubbish), it was pretty slow and somehow also disappeared really quickly at the same time?! The disappointment in cancelling friends at the end of the year, but we can still feel re-energised and look forward to Spring! This year will be better, I feel it, it’s also such a great number 2022… with the number two being associated with higher powers, that’s got to be a lucky year for us all and usher in the beginning of healing.
After sitting in meditation at the start of the year, to think about what I would like to celebrate and work on, moving closer to goals and intentions… and one word really resonates and that is LOVE.
For those who are grieving, love, for those who feel stuck both in and out of relationships, love, for our practice and moving our bodies freely, love. It’s a great time for looking at our mental health - our practices and our daily rituals for love in all it’s forms. It all sounds so ‘hippy’ when I read that back, one love, but this year - let’s embrace our self-love, the more we fill our cup up the more to spill over to the world and bring us all together in love. Love can move us forward and allow new energy to flow.
But how do you fall in love with yourself? After years of dwelling on negative beliefs or putting yourself down, or letting others put you down - it can feel really hard to love yourself.
To kick off the year, I have been re-reading Louise Hay, her words could have been written today, not only is each thought very relevant but writing from the mid-1980s and through the aids crisis, she has helped so many connect to themselves, fall in love and heal after adversity and I think that’s really relevant now.
‘WHEN YOU FORGIVE AND LET GO, NOT ONLY DOES A HUGE WEIGHT DROP OFF YOUR SHOULDERS BUT THE DOORWAY TO YOUR OWN SELF-LOVE OPENS’
When we talk about self-love it is not in the way of the narcissist or boasting up your ego - it is the simple act of falling deeply in love with who you are - filling your cup so it may overflow to others, getting to know your emotional body, beyond the physical, falling in love with the self to support you through life’s hurdles, ageing process, stress, illness, to connect with your Self (being) and trust in something bigger than the material or your current circumstances. You will never leave yourself, you will always be side by side with yourself and once you learn to love and forgive yourself, it stays with you for the rest of your life.
There are so many factors that build up over a persons life that can lead you down the path of self-loathing, beating yourself up for failures or perceived failures, not fitting into societies idea of ‘trendy’ or ‘beautiful’, a thousand people could tell you how lovely you are then one person picks out a fault and you can mull over that comment for a decade! How strange the mind works - the inner critic, inner negative voice, I’m not quite sure when mine started as I don’t really remember hearing the inner critic much as a child, but it sure was loud by the time I hit my mid-30s! When you are in that hole of depression, or going through big changes or tough times, like this pandemic has felt to many, the most important step we can do right now is dig deep, gather strength, clamber out of the pit of despair and change up your mindset to face a brighter future.
There are many techniques to help with self-love and learning to really love who you are - relationships may not last, looks will change, your body changes and we need to as a human race learn to slow down and be kinder. Loving yourself is a journey and adventure, one which I personally have been at both ends of self-loathing and trying to pull yourself out of that is a hard, hard journey - with every step - so these are some tips for those who are feeling a little lost or perhaps mourning who you felt you once were.
1. STOP ALL SELF CRITICISM
This is the first step, after listening to Melissa Ambrosini’s podcast on my daily walks in nature, I began to literally silence that inner critical voice! Criticism doesn’t work or do anyone anyone favours or benefits. Perhaps you were bought up in a house of perfectionism, or you expected yourself to be perfect a lot of the time?… I’m sorry - but who is perfect? No one, we need to embrace that more. We need to start to accept and even fall in love with our differences. I used to beat myself up for being dyslexic - for not being able to follow accountancy, how it takes me longer to read than my peers, but now I have switched my thinking, it is my super power, my brain works and sees things differently and that is a gift!
In my household, a very loving and safe home, my mum puts herself down and picks herself apart all the time! Constantly using negative language around her body and self-image, however many times I have said to her ‘you look beautiful’, she would utter something negative afterwards - it’s ingrained in her and I love her so much but it was really effecting me, my self-esteem and self love - especially when I moved back home as an adult (hello boomerang). I noticed that same language coming in my head, beating myself up internally till I was black and blue and lost self esteem and confidence. It got so bad, alongside a stream of rejection and working in a highly competitive industry, did not leave me in a good place. I had to do the inner work...
In the end, alongside connecting to a stream of limitless love through daily meditation, I had to talk with mum and ask her not to use negative language towards herself around me. The odd comment slips out still - but I simply remind her and move on. Perhaps you can have the same conversations with your nearest and dearest? When you hear that inner voice saying anything negative, tell it to go away, literally, you can also take a one-minute breath - to change up your energy - shake off the negativity or criticism. Choose the next loving thought.
‘Criticism is another block to leading the life of your dreams and freedom from the mind that binds us, it keeps us small. Many times we don’t want to accept parts of who we are, we abuse ourselves with alcohol, drugs, overeating, cigarettes or whatever. These are ways of beating up on ourselves for not being perfect - but perfect for who? Whose early demands and expectations are we still trying to meet?’ - The Power Within, 1991, Louise Hay, Hay House.
Be willing to try to let go and just be. Try to be willing to accept and love yourself as you are right now. It’s hard, it takes time, effort and practice, but soon enough you will feel a change within. Until you make that inner change - all your other manifesting efforts can go to waste, you must remove that first block.
2. STOP SCARING YOURSELF
Many of us take a small problem and doom ourselves to believe it is an utter disaster, dwelling on the problem and creating this big monster in our minds. Frightful thoughts make it all simply depressing, expecting the worst from life is not a fun way to live, no wonder you can’t sleep when you feel such fear and pain, very often it is your own making, in your mind.
You might do this in work situations, creating paralysing thoughts that you hate your job or the people there are not supporting you - they don’t care - you have the work fear of Mondays, facing your boss, mostly these are negative affirmations playing in your mind. The same in relationships, someone doesn't call or decide you are lovable immediately and you play in your mind that you are totally useless, unlovable and you’ll never have another relationship again. You feel lonely and your friends are busy living their lives to reach out, you bully yourself that they hate you, find you boring, no one cares or loves you. YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD - STOP SCARING YOURSELF AND CHANGE UP YOUR AFFIRMATIONS.
None of the above is true, when you feel the negative situation play in your mind, shake your head and switch it up, the more you listen to these thoughts the worse you will feel, it is an easy and slippery slope to depression. To dwell in these thoughts you need to dig deep and shift your thoughts and vibration.
Choose to think of something positive, a favourite image of something you love is a great way to ‘choose again’ with the next loving thought, whenever you feel a negative dialogue going on in your head, simply say, ‘No I am not following that thought, I choose to think about beautiful white butterflies, how I love to watch them dance’ or your pet that gives you so much love, the amazing moon or power of the sunset - whatever brings you joy in your heart and do this over and over again… anytime you feel the scary monster brewing in your mind… control your thoughts and change them! Break the habit of any negative affirmations, they will be very counter productive, they do not serve you to dwell in them, connect to your self and be gentle and patient. It takes time to change a habit, be patient and loving towards your thoughts, it’s ok to make mistakes along the way, you have a lifetime to master your mind. Things don’t change in an instant, but with the ground work of changing your thoughts and language you will plant the seeds to self-love.
3. MEDITATE ON A DAILY BASIS
Relaxation is essential for tapping into inner wisdom and connecting to your higher self and meditation is a great way to connect to that power, by having a meditation practices that you connect with daily, it strengthens your core being, knowing yourself and self-love. When i’m writing this I feel a warmth in my Sacral Chakra, which unless i’m very hungry ha ha, shows my connection to the emotional body is through meditation and grounding in that energy daily and helped move my energy to flow, connect with my creativity, self expression, self love completely and not get too stuck in one area… my sacral can easily get blocked if I don’t connect in this way. When I started meditation I really enjoyed connecting almost to what would feel like another world, flying high, but it’s not great to focus too much in any one chakra, I would need to ground myself in my yoga practice, or evening meditation by keeping it focussed in the body and short.
If your Sacral Chakra is overactive, you may find your are feeling consumed by your emotions, as if drowning in them, showing obsessive affection that isn’t returned, its important to balance out your energy and a great way to do that is to meditate daily. It doesn’t have to be long meditations everyday - you don’t have to go on a journey or feel immensely connected… some days are about clearing your mind and connecting to love with an 5-minute affirmation. ‘I trust, know and love myself.’ or simply ‘Om’ is a great way to clear the mind of thoughts. Visualisation is also a great way to connect to self love! There are many techniques for this, with visualisation you can create a clear, positive image that enhances your affirmation, just make sure you connect to your visualisation and it reflects who you are at you core, send your healing visualisations around the world. Visualise wellbeing throughout your community, friends and family, send them your high vibrations.
4. PRAISE YOURSELF
We need to start building ourselves back up, after all the years of beating down! Reflect, forgive the past thoughts and praise your accomplishments, we are especially bad at this as British people, terrible at accepting compliments and even worse at giving yourself positive expressions.
Start by acknowledging your inner spirit and power, we all came from the same source, an infinite power and there is definitely something wonderful in that. Tell yourself that you are wonderful, you are made from stardust, the same stardust that created the sun and the moon is in you, that is amazing, you are wonderful. The more you say it, every day - the more you will start to connect to that side of you and self-love with infinite intelligence is there for you.
Praise the little things too, when I first started in design I would be called in to present to clients and teams, the first time I forgot a few things or made mistakes, but I (nor my boss for that matter) didn’t focus on that, we focussed on how well I spoke, how I felt connected with the teams and flowing of good ideas, connecting to my gut. So the next time, I didn't dread going in or pushing myself, I looked forward to it, to improve on the last time so I could work on.
Believe you are deserving whether you have done good or not, and that’s in a self love sense… you are here for a reason, and it’s not to buy a new car every few years. Fulfil yourself with self-love practices, be willing to forgive, be willing to be open, to meditate and praise yourself.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
Love your body and treat it Kindly, think of it as your house, keeping it tidy and clean. Your self-worth is often tied up with your body and how you treat each other. Be nice, feed it well, keep it hydrated and rested. Drug and alcohol abuse are two of the more popular methods of escape, most people just need to find a better way of fulfilling your needs or letting your feelings rise. You maybe escaping childhood feelings of not being good enough, or guilt for something or another. Forgive the feeling, forgive the thought, move onto a more positive visualisation. It’s safe to have feelings, they pass, they don’t stay.
Finding an exercise that you enjoy and is fun for you - is also pretty key, I love yoga and dance but also a good classic workout session at the gym, it’s just pushing yourself out the door (a workout/yoga buddy is so great for this). Combining that with affirmations is a way to reprogram negative concepts you may have about your body - still working on this one but I often say to myself ‘let’s gift my body today’ when I need a good push out the door. Everyone’s body is different and needs different things, forgive your envy or thoughts about your body, love and move it. Don’t beat yourself up either if you drank too much or ate a cookie, forgive - move on to the next positive thought!
Holistic therapies are really nice to practice for your self-love practice, Ayurvedic and Aromatherapy are natural medicines for self care - from body oil self-massage to relaxation scents with yoga. Colour and sound wave technology are proven therapies to try - talk to a teacher, connect to your chakra using colour and visualisation. These are all just some of the ideas available for us to look after our bodies and feed them nourishing, beautiful whole foods and water.
FINALLY.. START NOW!
Love yourself now - it’s inner work to fall in love with your core being, you don’t need anything or to be anything other than what and where you are right now. Be satisfied, have patience, the only thing we really carry with us through our whole life is our capacity to love.