February is for loving yourself up! Selfish? I think not. Here’s why!
It’s February. The month of Loooooooove. Who needs an excuse to write about Love anyway? Love is everything isn’t it? Even if I don’t have a date for Valentine’s day (no, that’s not a hint. OH GOD THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT A HINT!!). Ok ok – Every month is the month of love but I’ll go with the theme in February because.. any excuse for love.
Besides darlings, the only way you can really change anything for the better, help it grow, develop, blossom, bloom, bubble, sparkle and reach its potential… is through love.
Is not all deep, positive growth and change deeply rooted in love and care?
You see it in plants, in kids, in animals… in your projects, and in YOU.
Love is the quintessential essence of YOUR thriving, healthy, happy, rewarding life.
So what the hell is self-love exactly? How do we develop it? Why is it so much easier to love others than to love ourselves? And isn’t that just ludicrous when you really think about it? Loving others and NOT loving yourself? How can that work?
Long term answer – it doesn’t.
And to top it off, jeez, there are so many definitions of self-love flying around you’d be forgiven for believing it’s enough to have a decent manicure and a spa day so you can tick the self love box and get the medal for being a self-love champion.
Until you tumble off the podium back into self doubt. There’s much more to self love than a new dress and a nice day out, although they’re definitely not to be sniffed at.
The way I define self love is “dancing cheek to cheek with your soul.” Regardless of what is going on around you, you’re in love with life, and totally at ease with yourself because you’re deeply connected to that wise voice of your inner compass, the pesky one that just won’t shut up no matter how rational you are. The voice that steadfastly leads you to embody who you truly are in all your brilliant potential, and ultimately gets you into lots of trouble…
Self love is about nourishing yourself, and the world, through the miracle of your very own existence.
Self-Love is a fundamental state of deep appreciation for Life and for your precious pearly Self, that flows directly from the recognition that YOU are a vitally important and integral part of the whole.
Self Love is dynamic and fluid. A flowing mix of self-awareness, self-compassion, and the actions you choose to take – with a bucket-load self-discipline to overcome the loud, habitual thoughts that you’re not worthy.
Worthy you are. Worthy you are of life. Worthy you are of love. Starting with YOUR OWN!
And how do you connect with this elusive state of self love?
Every time you LISTEN TO YOUR SOUL AND CHOOSE WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU OVER WHAT OTHERS THINK IS RIGHT FOR YOU, you reinforce your self love.
If you get your energy from wearing sparkly silver socks and purple Versace lipstick on your long runs in the wilderness alone (am I alone in this? Really?), while all of your friends are trying to convince you to spend a day dragging yourself round an overcrowded, over heated or over air conditioned mall, shopping. Dare to be different. You will inspire them or inspire something in them, if nothing more than bemusement and respect.
As one of my chic French friends chuckled to me one day with a raised eyebrow (imagine a sexy French accent), “I rrrrrreally dooon’t underrrrrstand at all why you want to do those crrrrrazy runs, but I rrrrespect it.” Ok, so she doesn’t invite me shopping anymore, as I heave a sigh of relief, but we meet outside on the ski fields in Andorra over a glass of bubbles where everyone’s happy.
EVERY TIME YOU GROW YOUR GREATNESS RATHER THAN FIXING YOUR FLAWS you reinforce your self love.
You are extraordinary. Own it darling. Take the time to look for the goodness that you were born with and grow it. What do you do best? What do you love deeply? Identify that and magnify it. And don’t worry about the rest. What you focus on expands. Nobody talks about Mother Teresa’s or Helen Keller’s faults, do they? Everybody is too busy focusing on their extraordinary courage and dedication. How about you do the same with yourself and cultivate that instead. When you focus on your greatness, others will too.
EVERY TIME YOU SAY NO TO ANYTHING THAT SAPS YOUR ENERGY or CRAMPS YOUR STYLE you are reinforcing your Self Love.
Set boundaries. Even if that means ruffling feathers by refusing to attend the Christmas ceremony at your freezing local cathedral because it feels more like a funeral than a joyful gathering of love. Let the (ex-) husband go by himself next time. Even if that means shaking as you say a firm NO to crap attitudes and preposterous demands from your boss, your mother, your colleagues or your broody teenagers.
Every time you LIVE more INTENTIONALLY WITH PURPOSE AND DESIGN you are reinforcing your self love.
So what if you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet! That doesn’t have to stop you living intentionally. Make today the day you will do something healthy for your Self. Flex your will muscle and make that smoothie you’re craving instead of giving in to a croissant, cigarette and coffee (sophisticated continental breakfast anyone?). Make an intention to listen deeply to your heart and sign up for that course you’ve been dying to try out. Honour the whisperings of your soul by acting on them. Who knows where it will take you… the calligraphy classes that I started when I was 35 –just because I wanted to make beautiful words beautiful – lead me to designing creativity workshops for women, in India and Toulouse… Whadaya know?
Nothing is wasted. Everything has a purpose. And while you don’t have the clairvoyance to know everything and see everything in advance, the more you listen to your deepest self and dance cheek to cheek with your soul the more you strengthen your self love. The more you love yourself, and own who you are, the more you can love others, the more energy you have, the more the miracles reveal themselves to you… the more you love yourself.
It’s one big virtuous spiral that requires your courage and dedication and determination – as well as your connection to love. If you’ve ever loved an animal, a child, a doll, another adult, a plant… you know how to love. And can love yourself.
It’s already February… let’s get started!