Wanna know a dirty little secret? At the beginning of my career as a self-love coach, I was ashamed of telling others what I was doing for a living.
What do you say to serious businesswomen or men when they ask you what you do? You are in the business of helping women feel beautiful? You're in the business of self-love? You help women come to a place of peace of mind?
It all seems a bit silly, unnecessary, doesn't it? It seems "cute" and "adorable", but not serious or worthy.
The truth is that loving yourself and taking care of yourself is still seen as unneeded and pointless. It's for women who don't have real jobs, who have too much time, are hyper spiritual and a bit "out there".
Surely, you can live your life without loving yourself, right? And surely, there are more severe and more important issues in this world than helping women fall head over heals in love with themselves"¦
Well, the truth is; yes, there are always bigger issues and yes, you can exist without loving yourself, but no, I don't believe that you can be fully alive and engaged without loving yourself.
I also believe that self-love is not a silly hippie trend or something only accessible for a handful of supermodels or spiritual junkies.
Loving yourself is a birthright to every woman and every man and the more people fall in love with themselves the better this world will be.
Learning to love yourself is a journey that teaches you more about yourself and your values than any other journey in your life (motherhood not included; but I can't speak of that).
Once you are ready to fall in love with yourself and you're serious about letting go of all the crap inside, you're in for a long and exciting ride. A ride with so many ups and downs that you'll lose track of the loops within days.
The deeper you dive into the concept of self-love and the more you practice self-love, the more aware of life you'll be: you'll begin to learn about mindfulness, you'll begin to re-think your food choices and the way you treat (or mistreat) your body. You'll most likely begin to build new boundaries and then test the heck out of them. You'll begin to feel again, truly perceive yourself again and learn to listen to yourself again "“ or for the first time ever.
You'll start to take care of your physical and mental health and you'll begin to connect with your true self-worth, your true core.
Why is all that important?
It matters because once you are at a place of true and deep self-love, you'll begin to give and receive with ease. You'll give to others with a loving and open heart but you'll be aware of your own needs all the same. You'll begin to make choices that are in everyone's best interest and you'll keep from burning out or resenting the world.
You'll be happier person, which will serve your children, your partner, your boss and this world.
I truly, strongly believe that if we all came at least a tiny bit closer to a place of true self-acceptance and self-love, we would have less health problems and this world would be more joyful, less angry and less violent.
Why less violence? Violence often arises out of the need to be heard and seen. Yet, if we loved ourselves and saw that we were enough the way we are right now, we'd be OK. Also, others would show us more intensely how valuable we truly are, how we're all the same and yet so different.
A lack of self-love is the biggest social issue of our times and I think that as a society it is our duty to turn that around.
So, how can you begin to tap into loving yourself?
1. Embrace your vulnerable side
Allow yourself to cry and experience your emotions. There's nothing weak or shameful about feeling sad, crushed, overwhelmed with worry or heartbroken. We try so often to be strong and to bottle up our emotions that we lose the connection to our feelings and to our true self.
Whenever you feel like crying in the future, then do. Let it all out. Sob, wail, tremble, take your time and don't judge yourself for it, but instead praise yourself for standing by your feelings. Your emotional side is an extremely important part of your self, and hating, neglecting or even negating it is often the first step towards self-hatred or self-negligence.
Celebrate your emotions because they give you a great outlet for your feelings.
2. Put yourself first more often.
I know that this goes against the values of most of us, but it is so important to give yourself room to grow, breathe and just be the person you truly are. These benefits of remembering your own needs will help you to reconnect with yourself.
3. Talk sweetly to yourself before and while you look in the mirror.
You can go even further and say: I love you. I truly do. This mantra reminds you that you are a masterpiece that doesn't need to be changed but deserves to be admired, loved and cared for.
The first action you owe yourself in the morning is to look at yourself and sincerely express your love for the person you are inside and out.
4. Start being your own best friend.
Just as we constantly criticize our bodies, we tend to look down on ourselves because of certain characteristic traits, specific reactions, our performance in the gym and so on. I don't have to tell you how much this damages not only your self-confidence but also your ability to be truly happy.
Try to change your perspective. Be your own best friend and accept yourself just the way you are. You are enough. Always remember that.