What is self-love? And why is it so important during the holidays? Allow me share my perspective!
We can’t always rely on external circumstances to be the determining factor in our ability to stay in a good mental and emotional space.
I believe that it is our divine responsibility to create an INTERNAL space that we can return to throughout the day and replenish our self-love reserves. Especially during the holidays, because for most people, this season is one of the most stressful times of the year.
Whether it be due to financial hardships or dealing with unhealthy family dynamics, the holidays is when many of us experience even more challenges that empty our emotional cup.
It is an act of self-love to be purposeful about caring enough for ourselves that we PRIORITZE the necessary steps to keep our cups full. ESPECIALLY during these times of elevated stress. This prioritization allows us to enjoy our daily journey more fully AND bring a more whole, happy version of ourselves to the day. It helps us to be our best, most un-messable-with selves!
In this post I am going to share a mindset shift that allowed me feel guilt free in prioritizing my self-love practices. Along with a practice you can try TODAY to see results just in time for the upcoming holiday!
'Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness: Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.'
Ask yourself these two questions:
Were you taught how to create that type of safe space within yourself?
Were you taught that prioritizing yourself and your needs is a selfish thing to do?
It’s important that we ask ourselves this, because if the answer to either or both of the above questions is no, there is work to be done!
It’s also important to realize that we take on many unhelpful beliefs like the one’s mentioned above, while we are young. So we must give ourselves permission to change these belief systems in order to make way for a different experience. One that creates space for honoring your truth, your boundaries, and of prioritizing your happiness and needs.
An exercise in Self-Love:
A few years ago, one of my mentors asked me to help her facilitate a 30 day group activity to cultivate more self love. I agreed, not knowing that my whole life was about to change!
Part of the 30 day activity included everyone participating in a daily 1 minute practice of mirror work. During that minute, we focused on telling ourselves that we are worthy of love, and naming what we loved about ourselves. It was uncomfortable, but I stuck with it. I felt good about having completed it, but hadn’t yet consciously realized how powerful what I had just done was.
A few days after the 30 day activity was over, I was standing face to face with the mirror during a workout – and I found myself thinking about how fat and disgusting my body was. (This was something that had been a part of my internal dialogue for years.) But immediately after I had that thought – I felt my spirit shift. I remember feeling like I wanted to cry – not because of how my body looked – but because of the way I had just spoken to myself.
You see, before that 30 days of self-love in the mirror, I didn’t have a safe space inside of me to retreat to when the hurtful parts of my unhealthy belief systems rose to the surface.
But in that moment, I did! I was able to feel the difference between looking in the mirror and speaking worthiness and love into myself and looking into the mirror speaking horribly to myself. In that moment, I chose to prioritize aligning with the thoughts that made me feel LOVED.
From that single experience, I have felt more empowered by and devoted to the practice of self-love. And it has set the tone for how I allow others to treat me. It has allowed me to bring a more peaceful, fulfilled and supportive version of myself into my interactions, because I have already filled up my cup so I don’t need as much filling from others. And that by bringing THAT version of myself into my journey – I lead by example in creating a more loving, conscious experience for everyone I am involved with.
What would be possible for you if you were able to show up in this way? How would your relationships be different? How would your work life shift?
Another burning question is, would you force yourself to go to holiday events were you feel like you're tolerated instead of celebrated?
I know I've given you alot to think about. But I want to go one step further and give you something to put this knowledge into PRACTICE:
Like my mentor before me, I am going to ask YOU to do some mirror work to cultivate more self love! Below is a video where I am discussing with my client how mirror work can be used as a tool to cultivate more self love and worthiness. I walk her through the steps of beginning by writing some empowering statements, that she can then use to say to herself in the mirror. Here is a link to the Focus Wheel tool I refer to in the video! Download it and set some time aside to do this work (Set a timer to remind you.) Do this for the next seven days - on the seventh day, take pause to reflect on if the work has created any shifts with you.
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for your relationship with everyone else. (Lead by example by treating yourself how you'd like others to treat you.)
You are worthy of self love. (Just as you are.)
You don’t have to be around people who tolerate you instead of celebrating you. (Even if those people are family and friends.)
It’s ok to not feel obligated to going to holiday functions that you don’t want to be at. (Without judging yourself and without feeling like you owe anyone any explanations.)