We could all do with more self-love practices in our life.
Because they make us feel good.
It fuels our creativity, it boosts our productivity, it infuses more love into our relationships, and most importantly, it nourishes our soul.
And so you start by inviting in some simple, self-loving activities into your life, to help fill up your self-love tank.
Maybe you start with some yoga, or some meditation.
It feels great, so you add in some more self-love practices to your day.
You lounge around with your fluffy towels and sip tea mindfully, and it all feels so luxurious and wonderful, until it doesn’t.
At some point, all these self-love practices lose their shine and becomes more things to get through in your day.
More things to tick off the ever-growing to-do list.
Suddenly, self-love has become a chore.
A stressor in your life.
If this is what you’re currently experiencing – or have experienced in the past – you’re certainly not alone!
It’s easy for these beautiful practices to become a chore, and here’s why…
If self-love is new to you, or you’re upping the presence of self-love practices in your life, there will be a part of you that resists this.
I go into much more detail on this in my blog: Understanding self-sabotage.
But in a nutshell…
We are all programmed to accept a certain amount of love into our lives.
This programming comes about due to our conditioning as a child, where we get taught things about ourself and the world that are simply not true.
But they become our truth, none-the-less…
…that is, until we consciously decide to change these beliefs – which is the purpose of all my teachings, courses and books – to help you change the programming.
If, for example, you believe that you’re not loveable or you’re not worthy, then after a while your self-love activities will simply turn into things you have to do, as opposed to activities that fill you with love and realign you to your centre, because you go back into the mode of ticking things off a list, as opposed to being present with them.
This is how our egoic self takes the self loving wind out of our sails.
Our ego likes to keep us in our comfort zone – doing the same things we’ve always done, in the way we’ve always done them – in a bid to help us stay comfortable and safe.
Our ego likes to look out for us in that way.
Problem is, we can’t grow – we can’t change our circumstances and experience of life – when we’re safely tucked into our comfort zone.
You can read more about how the ego brings us undone in my blog here.
In order to create change, we need to do new things in new ways, and in my experience filling your life with activities and practices designed to help you feel good, is the way you do it.
Hence why self-love activities like meditating, journaling (or tuning in as I teach in the Remarkable Relationships course) doing yoga and qigong, walking in nature, listening to your favourite music and dancing, laughing often, and reading for pleasure, are so good for you.
When you fully immerse yourself in self-love practices like this, you connect in with your joy.
You feel at one with the world.
You feel truly alive.
You feel at home within yourself.
Yet, if self-love is relatively new for you, or you’re on the path of deepening your self-love, the ego sees this as a threat and will do all it can to convince you that these self-love activities are a burden.
Just another thing to get through in your day, taking you away from the things that matter… you know like answering emails and stuff!
What just happened?
You fell out of presence.
Your ego distracted you from the joy of the activity and filled your mind with thoughts, based on that childhood programming we were talking about.
Thoughts like ‘I don’t have time for this’ or feelings of overwhelm due to how many things you ‘think’ you must get through that day.
And so you rush through your self-love activities.
Instead of being present to them, immersing yourself in their healing energy, you let your mind full of thoughts distract you from the love available to you through your practice.
This happens in many of the things we fill our life with.
We get so caught up in our thoughts – which are rarely related to the task at hand – that we miss out on the delicious opportunity to connect, to relish, to indulge in the beautiful moments of our day.
If you’re having sex for example, and running off a to-do list in your mind, you wouldn’t be the first person!
As a society we are so heavily programmed to achieve, be productive, get stuff done, that we leave little room in our lives to enjoy ourself.
To melt into those magical moments of connection with our loved ones, to be at one with ourself in the stillness, to snuggle up in fresh bed sheets and read our favourite book.
We push ahead… for what?
To feel better.
But here’s the thing, you can feel better NOW!
All you need to do is decide to be present to the beauty of each activity you choose to partake in.
And I say choose, because a lot of us are doing things we don’t want to do, but feel we have to.
Yet we all have a choice.
To realise, maybe that isn’t as important as that luxurious bubble bath I promised myself tonight.
To put ‘feeling good’ first.
For the only thing that really matters in your life, is how you feel.
For how you feel changes the energy you bring to everything you do in life.
If you feel good then you’ll be more productive at work, you’ll be nicer to the people around you, you’ll experience better health, because how you feel directly impacts your body’s healing capabilities.
You can read more about this in my blog: Boosting immunity amid the Coronavirus.
As you can see, it makes sense to make time to include some self-love activities and practises in your day, right?
They give you an opportunity to feel good.
And what is more divine that that??
So what do you do when your self-love practices become a chore?
You stop seeing your self-love practices as another thing to tick off the to-do list, and see them as a necessity in your life.
A necessary opportunity to be present with yourself, so you can realign, reconnect with your centre, come back into balance, and feel the joyful love within.
And that my sweet, is something we all need to have in our day.
Otherwise we get caught in the mad rush to trying to be Superwoman (or man) running around doing doing doing, and forgetting to take a moment to breathe.
To feel the living energy within.
To feel joy.
The simple truth is this:
When our self-love activities become just more things to tick off our to do list, they lose their healing potency.
Self-love activities are designed to help you feel more of the love within.
To help you tap into that inner well of joy.
If that’s not happening then chances are you’re not being present with the self-love activity.
For it’s your presence that make the practice magical.
It’s your presence that allows the self-love activity to feel healing, nurturing… soothing your soul.
It’s your presence that allows the practice to awaken you to the wisdom within.
Without that vital presence, the activity does just become another thing on the to-do list.
And there’s no joy in that.
You see the point of inviting self-love practices and activities into your day is to help you feel good.
And if you’re not feeling good doing them, then in most cases, it simply means that you’re not being present with them.
Invite in more presence and notice how differently you feel practicing self-love.
How do you be more present?
Start with the breath.
When you focus on the breath it instantly takes you out of your mind full of busy thoughts, and connects you into your body, your feeling self.
Do this anytime you feel yourself loose your centre.
Maybe start your self-love practice by setting an intention for the practice.
‘I intend to feel nourished by this activity.’
‘I intend to stay present and feel the joy of this activity’
You can learn more about how to set potent intentions in my blog: Infuse your life with intention.
Engage your senses.
Notice how the activity feels physically and emotionally.
What can you smell?
What can you taste?
What do you hear?
As you notice these things, notice them as if for the first time.
Cherish the simple pleasures.
For the more present you can be, the more pleasure you’ll notice, and that pleasure will grow and expand the more you recognise and acknowledge it.
Yes, being grateful for all you have, all you are, and all you are here to experience.
Sink into the practice.
Be with it.
Play with it.
Dance with it.
Give it your full presence.
For when you do, self-love will NEVER feel like a chore, but a necessary requirement for living well.
When I work with a client as part of my One-on-One Intensive, we gently introduce self-love activities into their daily life.
And while many of these are designed to become lifestyle habits – ways of being – the reason I give them LOTS of self-love activities, is to help buffer them from the outside world of negativity while we change the internal programming.
For when a person is undergoing quick transformational change, they need to essentially cocoon themselves in love, to allow the rewiring to happen more easily.
And this is what filling their day with self-love activities does.
It helps them stay more connected to the love within and less knocked off centre by the old voice of criticism.
Less knocked off centre by other people’s ‘stuff’.
For shifting and changing your beliefs and your way of being in the world, requires you to rest in the arms of love.
And when you think about it, what better way to spend your days, than sprinkling self love activities throughout it.
So one by one, my clients start to fill their days with more love.
Then there comes a time when so much self-love triggers off the ego, which tries to convince them that life isn’t meant to be full of so much love and joy!
And it does it by filling them with negative thoughts, making them think everything else is more important, convincing them that time is scarce, and so on…
Nobody has time for that much love, right?
Essentially the ego is trying to convince us that that it’s just not ok to have that much love in our life!
How absurd is that?
Yet our ego can be one powerful force, and so it is really common for my clients to start to feel like they just have to get through this to-do list of self-love activities.
And so they carry this negative energy into the practices.
They keep doing their self-love activities, because they feel they ‘have to’, not because they ‘want to’.
And so the self-love practices lose their potency.
They lose their presence.
The activity becomes another thing they do in order to achieve something, to tick the boxes, but in taking this approach, they miss the juice.
The powerful healing powers of the love.
We are designed to live a love-filled life.
That’s what we’re here for.
And our path in life is to learn how to let more love in.
Of course, there is often the fear, that if I just bathe myself in love I won’t get anything done!!!
But that has NEVER been my experience.
The more loving activities I invite into my day, the more productive I am AND the better I feel.
When you embrace self-love practices, loving ways of being and activities, then your day becomes a delicious dance, as opposed to a gruelling day working through everything.
For here’s the thing…
We can’t ever have too much self-love!
More love, equals better life.
That is the simple equation.
What I will say, is don’t let the ‘more productivity’ be the driver for inviting in self-love.
While that is a natural bi-product, let the inspiration for adding more self-love to your life, be for the purpose of feeling good.
Feeling joy and love and all those magical feelings.
So let me just recap….
The teaching is this:
It doesn’t matter what your self-love practise is.
Can you bring your loving heart-felt presence to it?
Can you find the joy in it?
Can you feel the love the practice is designed to inspire within you?
If not, then see if you can.
If there is resistance, lovingly lean into that resistance.
Or find another practice you can fall in love with.
What I will say however, is often the self-love practises we feel the most resistance towards offer us the greatest shifts, if we’re willing to lean into them.
It’s not so much about what we do, but ‘why’ we do it, that matters.
So whatever you do let, let your self-love practice be an expression of a very direct intention to experience joy.
In the deep relaxation of having a clear intention, we step back from the symptom of our anxiety and move towards love.
And in doing so, we’re able to see more clearly the truth of who we are.
We all have the ability and capacity to let more love into our lives.
But in order for that awesome love-rich life to emerge, we need to be willing to do something radically different.
We need to be willing to love ourselves.
And then love ourselves even more.
If you’d like to receive some potent self-love practises to help you feel good, then be sure to sign up for the free Self Love Starters Kit where you’ll essentially receive a mini course in self-love.
My gift to you!
Then you’ll continue to receive my regular teachings, practices and rituals that I share with my community.
For like I said, there is no cap on the amount of love we can experience.