Love seems to be the topic of conversation at the moment. Whether you think Valentines Day is a scam fuelled by consumerism and obligation or you see it as an opportunity to place value on those around you that you love, either way it certainly gets us all thinking about the topic of love.
At the moment I'm exploring the term 'self-love'. I'm not talking about the narcissistic, proud, arrogant kind of behaviour that is falsely labelled as "love", but the understanding that in order to be the best that we can be, we must first learn how to love, respect and value ourselves.
We all learn the phrase 'treat others how you would like to be treated' but the reality is, a lot of us don't treat ourselves very well and if we aren't valuing ourselves, we often don't expect other people to, and we can't give out the way we would like to. Here are a few things that I try and do to on this journey to self love... I don't believe there is one formula that fits all but here are a few things that help me:
1. Let Love Motivate: Let Love be the reason you want to eat well and exercise, not hate. I like to look at the 'why' behind everything I do because it keeps me on track, when my 'why' starts to get cloudy, it's a clear sign for me that something is out of balance , then I need to stop and realign. When we do things out of love we release any feelings of guilt, anger or fear and you will live lighter. The results will always trump things done out of hate. Look at this with how you treat yourself... what is your motivation?
2. Watch Your Words: Don't believe everything you think! This is a constant battle for me and there are times I have a thought and I have to stop instantly, recognise that it is not a thought that I want or that will benefit me, and actively discard it from my thinking, then speak out the opposite. There is great power in your words. Even if you don't really believe what you are saying right away, speak out positive, encouraging words. When you wake up you can say "Today will be a good day" or even "I know it will all work out, even if I don't know how" or "I am worth valuing" which leads me to my next point...
3. Value your body: We only get one body to live in while we are here on Earth so it's a good idea to look after it. When you start looking at the facts of what our bodies are doing all the time to empower us to live our lives, you start to realise how incredible they really are. Eating well, exercising, getting good sleep, grooming, it's all apart of placing value on your body and realising that you are worth it. Love your body and it will love you back!
4. Know Yourself: A big part of self love is knowing yourself well. What do you need to function well? What drains you? What do you enjoy? What are your passions? How do you operate? What thinking is toxic for you? What do you struggle with? This is always a journey and I am constantly having to reevaluate and see how I am doing, what I need to do differently in order to function to my full potential, and I am always changing, learning, growing. So this has to be a regular thing. Take time to really get to know yourself, where you are at right now, with zero judgement!
5. See The Bigger Picture: Live with purpose. Looker further than your current circumstances. You may be young, single and healthy but make decisions today that mean you will be fit and strong to play with your grandchildren in the future. I have to make sure I spend quality time with the people that fuel, encourage and inspire me, so that I can try to be that for other people in environments that maybe aren't so easy. When I focus on the vision and the bigger picture the day-to-day challenges become easier to manage. This helps me to have grace for where I'm at, and be grateful for the journey.
This will always be a journey for all of us, there are good days and there are bad days, but ultimately self love is a decision. Choose to love, don't judge, don't compare, have grace. See your uniqueness as beautiful and believe you are worth valuing.
So in light of all this love... Here is a delicious pink love yourself smoothie for you all to try:
Self-love Smoothie - Makes 1
You will need: