Three Simple Ways You Can Love Yourself More
Self-love. Does it sometimes seem easier said than done?
For example, does the thought of going to a mirror to say loving words to yourself feel easy and fun, or does it feel far outside your comfort zone? Do you effortlessly set boundaries for your health and wellbeing, or do you struggle with feelings of guilt when you take care of yourself?
However you perceive self-love, easy or hard, it is essential. It informs every relationship you have. So from my heart to yours, I would like to share a way to think about self-love:
You are a precious seed in life’s garden. Within that seed exists a beautiful flower. Self-love is tending that flower with utmost care.
It really can be that straightforward, if you are willing. Here are three ways you can cultivate self-love and transform your life.
With a pen and paper in hand, find a quiet space to consider the following questions.
1. SELF-CARE: CHOOSE YOUR HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
A seed is best planted in fertile soil that will nourish its growth, where it has plenty of fresh air, sunlight and water. You are that seed. So what environment supports your growth? Are you in a healthy home? Do you have a supportive work environment, circle of friends and family? Are you eating foods that support your health? Do you wear clothes that both look good and feel good, letting you breathe?
Take notes of where you are now. Then consider what your seedling flower needs. Make the choice to begin caring for your flower today. Just as any transplant must be done gently, changing aspects of your life must be done with care. Plan your transitions into a healthier job, for example, by writing your dream job down, then getting your resume together and sending it out. Or if you need to move, get clear on what your healthy home would be, then take the necessary steps to make it a reality, be it starting to save up every month, or looking at new properties today.
The same goes for food choices. The foods we eat become the bodies we inhabit and affect the way we think. Some foods for example are known stimulants, such as coffee, or depressants, such as alcohol. Others are proven to severely hinder our immune system such as sugars. What food supports your flower?
Similarly, you would not expect a flower to grow if its soil is choked by plastic. So why would you cover your body in petroleum-based synthetic fabrics? Do your clothes make you feel healthy, inside and out? Look through your closet and make changes. What clothes make you feel like a precious seed that is becoming a glorious flower?
2. SELF-ACCEPTANCE: LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE’S FLOW
You would not expect a seed to become a flower overnight. You would patiently water the seedling and delight in its growth, caring for it daily. Practice now seeing yourself the same way. In each moment, you are in the exact right place at the exact right time. You are that seed in the garden of life becoming the beautiful flower that you are. With every step along the seed’s transformation, we see a miracle unfold. You too are that miracle at every phase of your life.
Consider the way you may judge yourself. You probably know how it feels to be on the receiving end of judgment from someone. It hurts, as though your budding inner flower wilts under cutting words. Self-judgment and negative self-talk have the exact same effect.
When you look in the mirror, are you perceiving only imperfections, or are you seeing a growing flower? When a seed is in the ground, all you see is mud. We could say the mud is not pretty, but it is a beautiful and necessary part of the flower coming into its own. For that, we give thanks to the mud as part of the whole, and never judge it as ugly.
When the flower starts to pop out of the soil, the leaves may be crumpled, or look torn. Even then, it is seen as a tender, evolving expression of nature, not as defective.
You may judge the fatigue, worry lines, or unexpressed emotions you see in your face. But what if they are just passing craggles, as you evolve into a flower?
Go to a mirror, and see if you can soften to what you see, with self-acceptance. Rather than judge things about your appearance and try to push them or fix them because you think they are “bad” or “wrong”, see if you can open to what is, with an attitude of gentleness. Touch your skin or hair with self-love and care, with the tenderness you would have for a flower. Remember, you are a seed in the garden of life.
3. GRATITUDE: THE GATEWAY TO ABUNDANCE
Seeds grow in health when we feel grateful for them. Gratitude is what gives us the energy to take good care of the seed. When we feel grateful for the seed, we are already caring for the flower. Gratitude lays the ground for a healthy flower.
Take a moment to consider all the things for which you are grateful. It can be in any aspect of your life: something external such as your home, job, family, friends, clothes, foods, etc. or something internal such as resiliency, positivity, courage, etc. This can be a tremendous boost to your self-acceptance practice. To challenge yourself, find things you feel grateful for in the mirror, for example, the sparkle in your eye, or the joy in your smile.
At the heart of self-love is gratitude for what this moment brings. It is there that we tap into the richness and abundance that life offers. Nature as a whole is in a vibrational presence of gratitude. We instinctively understand this, which is why we would not imagine a seed feeling resentful for its soil, light or water. We live harmoniously with ourselves and the universe when, like the seed, we practice gratitude.
May these exercises help you to feel rooted, vital, expansive and flourishing in the love that is your true nature.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.
Thank you for reading! All my music, yoga and words are dedicated to MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. MAPS is an urgently needed global intervention to protect the polar ice that keeps our planet cool and weather stable. The ice caps ensure we have the food and water we all need to survive. Please support MAPS at Parvati.org for the sake of all life on Earth. From my heart to yours, it literally means the world.