When you think about self-love it is often hard to know what that even is, let alone how to actually practice it. Through my journey of discovery I feel compelled to share with you what works for me, and many of the clients I work with.
However, I am not going to pretend that these answers will be your answers. These words and knowledge only become relevant and helpful when you integrate them into your own life, when you experience them. When you have your own ah-har moment and it sinks in for life. But they can be your road map, your guide to show you the way, and to be right there with you for each step.
And right now I am not going to give you a list, I am going to jump right to the big kahuna, the main event; My Number One of how to love yourself…..
Through Your Thoughts.
And more importantly, through recognising that your thoughts are not who you really are.
Our thoughts are with us most of the time, however when we hear about self-love this aspect is so often left out, or dealt with through offerings of affirmations. I’m sure you have all heard before an array of phrases that are intended to help uplift you, if you remember to say them enough. And you have most likely also heard suggestions such as; have a long bath with candles, go for a walk on the beach, or even take yourself out for dinner – which are all great suggestions but if you are fighting and berating yourself within your own head, then you will find that you are just going out for dinner with bad company!
Your thoughts follow you around, is what I’m saying. So let’s start there.
Your thoughts have the power to shape your reality, to create your perspective of the world. So how does the voice inside your head sound? You know it, the voice that tells you something bad might happen, or that part of you that second guesses things, the voice that tells you you can’t do it, or you’re not smart enough. The voice that is right there with you when you stumble, saying you always do that!
If you are not aware of this voice, then take some time to observe it. Get to know it as if you have allowed in a new addition to your facebook feed. How does it sound? Is it positive and encouraging? Or is it harsh and destructive? Is it there for you when you need it, or does it put you down and belittle you?
Once you discover your little friend in the fridge you can begin to distance yourself from it. It helps to visualise the voice in your head – to give it an image. For example; mine is a little dark brown fury critter that scurries around and grumbles sometimes. Picture a wombat crossed with a squirrel. But once you can ‘see’ it then you can begin to distance yourself from it. You can start to understand and experience that this voice is not actually you.
That’s enough from me for today because now it’s your turn. Close your eyes and visualise the voice in your head. Give it a colour, shape or even a body. You may not ‘see’ the image, you may ‘know’ or sense what it looks like and what it is. Then work with this image for the next few days, when you recognise the thoughts within your head are particularly loud or unhelpful or even mean, summons the image you have assigned to the voice and nurture it for a moment; like you would a puppy that was upset, or a baby that was crying. What happens when you do this?