Each February there is lots of talk about love – particularly romantic love. This month at TWVC our theme is love, connection and belonging and we are widening the view of love to include love of yourself.
Did you know that Valentine’s Day has become a $26 billion dollar commercial industry? That much money being spent can sometimes leave people feeling even more lonely, whether they are single and unpartnered or perhaps partnered but not particularly happy. (If you are finding yourself combating loneliness, please check our previous blog post for ways to begin to feel more connected.)
Love and connection to another person/people is wonderful but love of oneself is profound. As a coach, the motivation for the work that I do has developed into a strong passion to support women+ to learn to love themselves well. This passion was born directly out of what I most needed when I was younger and struggling.
Over the years I found myself needing to deepen my connection to myself and my body in ways that feel loving rather than judgmental and critical.
The smallest positive change in our thinking can begin to unravel how we feel about ourselves and our bodies. We can also begin to look at our perceived flaws NOT by looking at them as what is “WRONG” with us, but to instead widen the lens and notice the societal messages we have received as barriers that were put up to keep us feeling small and not good enough.
These messages were never true for us but instead we accepted someone else’s belief system about who we could or should be (or look like). The bright side is that if we learned these thoughts once, then we can now unlearn them by first acknowledging that we are willing to learn to love ourselves differently.
This month, we are sharing a list of ten ways for you to begin to love yourself well. The following list was adapted from Louise L. Hay’s book, Empowering Women, Every Woman’s Guide to Successful Living.
- Be Committed to the Relationship You Have With Yourself – We get so committed to other relationships, but we tend to toss ourselves away. We get around to ourselves now and then. So, really care for who you are. Be committed to loving yourself. Take care of your body, mind, heart and soul.
- Stop Criticism – It is a useless act that never accomplishes anything positive. Don’t criticize yourself and don’t criticize others either, as the faults we usually find in others are just projections of the things we don’t like in ourselves.
- Don’t Scare Yourself – Too often we terrorize ourselves with our own thoughts. We can only think one thought at a time so it is key to learn to reframe thoughts from a negative to a more positive one. If you catch yourself repeating negative thoughts, freaking yourself out, pause, take a breath and then choose another thought. You can release the grip of fear by remembering that you are a magnificent expression of life, and you can live fully from this moment on.
- Treat Yourself as Though You Are Loved – Respect and cherish yourself. As you love yourself, you will be more open to love from others. Focus your attention on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. Focus on loving you in big and small ways. Every bit of love counts.
- Take Care of Your Body – Your body is precious. If you are going to live a long, fulfilling life, then you want to take care of yourself now. You want to look good, and more importantly, feel good and have lots of energy. Nutrition and exercise are important. You want to keep your body flexible and moving easily until your last day on the planet.
- Educate Yourself – Too often we complain that we don’t know this or that and we don’t know what to do. But we are bright and smart, and we can learn. There are books and classes everywhere. If money is a consideration, then use the library, find a self-help group, join The Vitality Club, do something proactive to learn more and commit to learning until your very last day.
- Build a Financial Future For Yourself – Every woman+ has a right to have money of her own and financial autonomy. This is a significant belief for us to accept and it is part of our self-worth. Start on a small level and remember that the important thing is that we keep saving.
- Fulfill Your Creative Side – Creativity can be any activity that fulfills you. It can be anything from baking a pie to designing a building. Give yourself some time to express yourself. If you have children and time is short, find a friend who will help you take care of your children, and vice versa. You both deserve time for yourselves. You are worth it.
- Make Joy and Happiness the Center of Your World – Joy and happiness are always within you. Make sure you are connected with this place inside of you. Build your life around this joy. When we are happy, we can be creative, we don’t sweat the small stuff, and we are open to new ideas.
- Have Integrity/Keep Your Word – In order to honor and respect yourself, you must have integrity. Learn to keep your word. Do not make promises you will not keep even to yourself. Don’t promise yourself you will start to change how you eat tomorrow or exercise every day unless you know you will follow through. You want to be able to trust yourself.
If you are able to embrace these tips, taking them one step at a time, you will fill your own energetic cup. We are taught and conditioned to give and give and give until we are exhausted and depleted. But let’s reframe that thought. Rather than giving until your cup is empty, what if you filled your cup until it was overflowing. Then you will be able to give from an overflowing cup to those that you love in your life and both you and your loved ones will be better for it.
If you could use some support in integrating these ideas into the reality of your own life, our team at The Women’s Vitality Center is here for you! Sign up for a complimentary Vitality Discovery Call today and we’ll be happy to meet you, learn more about your needs, and discuss your best next steps.