Self-love is a wonderful journey towards inner peace and balance, clarity, pure joy and spiritual growth. Learn to appreciate everything you are, accept your imperfections and blossom into your most wonderful self.
What is self-love?
Self-love is the practice of recognising and appreciating your innate goodness and virtues. It involves nurturing your entire being as well as showing compassion and taking care of yourself on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Self-love means recognising your imperfections, accepting your weaknesses as much as your strengths and embracing your inner demons. It's an exponential force that brings clarity and alignment into our lives.
You see, when I was a teenager I was what you might call a little chubby, however being amongst other not so chubby teenagers I was called fat so many times that I started to believe it. Nowadays I exercise a lot, I eat healthy and look after my self, and I'm well aware I'm anything but fat. There are sometimes though, when I look at my self in the mirror and somehow I still see that same chubby body but I know, that it's just my mind playing tricks on me.
There's a huge distinction here I'd like to point out, because if you ask me now how do I see my self I will confidently say fit and healthy, however if you asked me 3 years ago when I was probably skinnier than I've ever been, I would unfortunately still say I was fat.
So the thing that helped make that mental switch and also opened up my eyes about a lot of other "problems" I thought I had, was simply learning to accept my self for everything I was, for all my imperfections. Because trust me, no one is perfect!
As with everything in life, I think it's just best to start small and build you way up. So be kind to yourself because it will all be ok in the end and if it's not, then it's not the end!
How to practice self-love
Don't you wish sometimes that there was a magic button you could press and make everything right?
You might think YES, YES, YES, but to be fair, that would be no fun at all! Here's some food for thought; We are in these physical bodies, living this life of contrast, because we like it here, we enjoy playing this game. What fun is there in a game in which you always win?
So here are my top tips on some things you can do NOW, to love yourself a bit more and bring a dash of inner peace to your life.
1. Be mindful of your words
You wouldn't go around calling your colleague stupid if they made a mistake. I doubt you would call your friend ugly if they showed up with no make up or had a few pimples on their face. If you're clumsy or forgetful or just a bit lazy, how about not telling yourself every second of the day and let everyone you meet know about it, like it's the thing that defines you the most? because I'm sure it's not! Be kind to yourself, we all make mistakes, we're all lazy sometimes but the more we tell ourselves and the more we criticise everything we do, the harder it is to change it.
2. Be mindful of your diet.
I'm not asking you to change your whole diet, or become vegetarian/vegan (even though you maybe should at least give it a try). However, if you're eating a lot of processed meals and fatty or sugary foods how about doing a little bit of research and replacing them with whole, fresh, unprocessed and lower-fat foods? Try slowly reducing junk food and heavily fried meals and see huge differences in body, mind and spirit! And if you want to take it to the next level, check out our comprehensive guide to detox.
3. Move around a bit.
No need to run a marathon, or join a spinning class 4 times a week. Small movements can make a huge difference. Start by gently stretching for 10 or 15 minutes each morning, check out my video on my own morning routine if you like. Dancing is always fun, even when you're home alone, turn up the volume and dance it out for a bit. It increases heart rate, burns fat and makes you happy all at once! There's plenty of ways you can go about this, so set up small goals at first and build it up if you like. Mirka is offering tons of playful options to tone up, strengthen and stretch your body.
4. Be more present
Every hour we are bombarded by tons of - mostly useless - information, we spend most of our days distracted, so much that we have stoped realising it and have began to consider it normal. No, our natural state is not one of stress, anger, fear and confusion. We are most productive and attentive towards ourselves and the people we love when we are calm, happy and in balance. Meditate a bit, every day, maybe even now...
Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds and exhale fully. Close your eyes and repeat that for a couple of minutes. If you notice your mind thinking of a million other things simply repeat to your self, "I Love you, I am listening!" See what those words do to your body.
That's it, that's all you have to do, once a day, maybe add a few minutes each day and see how you like it. There's a type of meditation for everyone out there :)
5. Look after your home.
You are an extension of nature, and nature is an extension of you. One is no different to the other and so the way you treat your environment, the way you treat the earth, our home, affects how you treat your self, how you feel, how you think and conversely. Try reducing your waste, recycle some empty bottles, don't get a plastic bag from everywhere you shop and bamboo straws look super cool you know! For our Greek readers you can check out our friend Alex, who does an incredible job at up-cycling. Check out her website here.
6. Show me your friends...
A good friend of mine loves reminding me, "If it's not a F*ck yeah, it's a No". It can be very useful to remember that in a bunch of different situations or decisions you might have to take but here I'm focusing on your friendships. If someone doesn't make you feel good, if anyone in your circle is making things too complicated for you or if you're simply not appreciating how they treat you and others around you, then just stay away. Toxic relationships and self-destructive people never helped anyone figure anything out the easy way and I doubt you want to give it a try.
Surround your self with people who smile, who are kind to you, people who like to share, who carry a sense of calmness with them and make you feel comfortable around them.
7. Intuition vs thoughts.
Our mind loves to play tricks on us, it's very good at it and that's why it does it all the time. Being able to distinguish what your intuition sounds like from all the other thoughts that pop up in your head is an excellent skill to possess. I struggle with this one a bit to be honest and that's because I tend to overthink things and end up in this cycle of thoughts that usually leads to more confusion. And there are no words to explain or teach us how to tap into that unconscious but ever-knowing part of our mind, it really comes down to trial and error. Sometimes all we need to do, is close our eyes, take a few deep breaths and trust that whichever path we choose to take is going to be the right one! Our inner being, our soul, our unconscious mind are all oceans of wisdom, understanding, and insight there to protect us.
These are just some ways that help me appreciate and accept who I am for all my imperfections. There's no need to ever push your self to do anything you don't want to do, but if you tend to wake up most days feeling low, maybe try focusing on 1 or 2 of these and see what happens.
We are here to have fun, to play, to laugh, to love and to experience fully this wonderfully magnificent treasure we call life.
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection."
Love & Joy,