All of this talk about Valentine's Day and Love last week got me thinking: What does it really mean to love thyself? Is it taking a moment to pause and breathe in the middle of a hectic day? Is it allowing myself to be vulnerable and open to growth and change? Or is it as simple as putting an organic balm on my hands when they are in need of some nourishment? What exactly does it mean to practice self-love?
After sitting with these questions for some time, I realized that self-love can look very different for each of us. What it means to me might not be what it means to you, and the only way to discover what that may be is to take the time to pause and ask yourself these questions.
Of course, there's the universal: be kind to yourself, love yourself, pamper yourself, etc. etc. But what does that really mean? Sometimes I think the reality of how we're living gets lost in the vagueness of these terms: Love, kindness, joy, for instance. We may think that we are kind to ourselves, but when we pause to seriously look at our lives, our day-to-day actions, are we practicing what we think and believe? Is the way we speak to and think about ourselves loving and kind? Is the way we treat our body and mind loving and kind? Is the way we treat our soul kind? Are we really loving ourselves the way we are truly capable of?
I'm not so sure. Which is why I've started to narrow in on what self-love really means to me at this moment:
- Allowing myself to enjoy a cup of tea in silence daily while doing nothing else (morning and afternoon if I'm really good to me).
- Stretching and moving my body in some way, shape or form without a necessary time limit or goal. Simply doing whatever I can at that moment, on that particular day.
- Making sure I stay hydrated for my body and mind.
- Creating space for a moment of silence, meditation, reflection, solitude every single day.
- Feeding my body and refusing to skip meals because I'm too busy to get up from my desk.
- Allowing myself a moment of gratitude for all that I have. Taking the time to smile when I look around me to appreciate Aman, Love, family, our home, and all the little things that are so often taken for granted (waking up in a warm bed, a fridge filled with delicious food, being healthy and physically able, the list goes on and on...)
- Allowing myself to live in the present moment and focus on what I'm doing right here and right now, rather than getting overwhelmed by future to-dos.
- Allowing my body and mind to unwind when I'm tired, whatever time that may be (refusing to sleep procrastinate or mindlessly scroll through my phone).
- Feeding and nourishing my skin and body when I need it (putting our organic balm on my eczema and dry hands and feet, oil in my hair, flossing my teeth!).
- Creating space for me to read and write daily, even if only for a few minutes, because these things make my heart smile and that alone makes them worth it.
These are the things I can build into my day to practice self-love for me. Breaking it down, understanding what it means to me, and allowing myself to be honest about how I'm living daily through my thoughts and actions, makes it easier for me to live more mindfully.
So I encourage you to take a moment to ask yourself what self-love means to you. Break it down into daily actions, allow yourself to be honest about what you see and how you live, and take the time to put it into practice. Because there is no Love like self-love and nobody deserves your Love and attention more than you!
Love + Light,
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