When was the last time you loved yourself up? I mean really took the time to nurture yourself in a meaningful way so that you felt truly restored and brimming with warm–hearted love.
Was it yesterday? A week ago? A month ago? Can you remember?
Loving yourself is like turning on the light in a dark room. It extinguishes all the damaging negative self–talk that can haunt us from the shadows, liberating us to live authentically – to be a genuine expression of our innermost selves, the self that is a pure, radiant expression of love.
So turn on the light, turn to love. Which is infinite, and available to everyone in every moment. All you need to do is turn your attention towards it.
Unless of course, the murk of accumulated trauma, negative self-talk, and limiting beliefs is so great that you can't find love anywhere. Inside or out. This is when therapies like; Energy Healing, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, Soul Retrieval, Sacred Indigenous Ceremonies, Therapeutic Retreats, etc... can be of great service. They can help clear away the negative patterning and/or trauma, and bring you back into alignment with your authentic self.
And once you've touched your authenticity – the core truth of your being, it acts like a beacon, illuminating the way back whenever you are led astray. Even in the murk you will remember your light, and find your way back to it. Over time, with continued practice, you will notice a deep path is being carved into your psyche, leading you directly to love.
Love is within everything. Everywhere. All the time. We just have a tendency to turn away from it, to look for it outside ourselves, often with a deep yearning for someone else to fill us up with it. This is futile.
We can only receive love to the same capacity with which we love ourselves. Our greatest love lies within. If you are yearning for love, it is a sure–fire sign that you need to spend some quality time with yourself, nurturing yourself in the sincerest possible way. Sometimes that means calling a trusted friend and sharing your feelings or booking a massage or going to a yoga class. Self–love doesn't always have to be practiced alone, it is about developing the awareness of knowing how to take care of yourself in the best possible way.
Take a moment to look inward, and reflect on what makes you, YOU. Write it down – your unique qualities and characteristics, build a list of things to love about yourself. Does it ignite your heart, to recognize your specialness? I hope so. Keep that list close, read it when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Add to it as new things come to light. When you feel disconnected from love, look at your list and do something for yourself that will nurture at least one of the qualities on your list. This is active self–love.
Self–love is the source of all love, it is the root, it is the beginning.
Whether you are single or in an intimate relationship, taking time to love and nurture yourself is essential. Not only will it deepen all your relationships but it will improve the quality of your entire life. Your day to day experiences will become more fluid, joy will show up more often and your overall health will improve.
Loving yourself is a lifelong practice, a journey without a destination. And like all things, it changes over time. There is no one way to practice self–love, you have to be adaptable to keep up with your ever–changing needs, moods, desires. But the energy of love will always be there, waiting for you to come back to it.
So why not cultivated a rich love affair with yourself!
Here are five of my go–to practices for loving myself up:
(not to be confused with things that I do for myself because I know that in the long run they will make me a happier person, I'm talking about things that make me brim with love right away)
A luxurious bath experience; candles, music, your favourite essential oils in the water, and complete solitude. Ambiance is everything!
A walk in nature. My soul shines in nature! Every part of my being gets re-awakened by the incredible beauty and magnificence of this earth, and I brim with love for it.
Snuggle time with a pet (or someone else' pet). Loving and connecting with an animal is an opportunity to feel love in its purest form, unadulterated by human problems, just a pure expression and embodiment of the good stuff - LOVE.
Preparing myself a beautiful, wholesome, and ridiculously delicious meal. When done mindfully; choosing the purest ingredients, crafting the meal from scratch, presenting it beautifully and eating it with gratitude, you are nourishing yourself on all levels – mind, body, and spirit.
A little bit of decadence goes a long way. Treating myself to something special, whether it's a Mable's chocolate brownie (which by the way, are the best brownies in North America, hands down. If you don't believe me, try one) or a special cream for my skin or a new essential oil for my bathing pleasure or a great bottle of wine, anything that feels special and lifts my spirits.
My most treasured self–love practice, though, is solitude. A tough thing to come across when in a partnership, running a business (or going to a job) and especially with young children in the house (I'm so glad mine are grown–up enough to be enjoying their own solitude), not to mention the nonstop hustle of Toronto life but all these things just make the rare treat of solitude that much more precious and appreciated.
If you don't already practice self–love on a regular basis, I urge you to incorporate it into your life. Find what brings you joy and make time for it. If you need help accessing feelings of love for yourself, seek help, there's an incredible array of healers out there that are ready and waiting for you.
Love really is the best medicine, it heals ALL wounds, it is the remedy for everything.
So turn your attention towards love, for yourself first, and when you've filled yourself up to overflowing you'll be able to spill it out into the world around you. The world desperately needs your love.
You are a magnificent gift to the world, just as you are.