Updated: Aug 22
Looking back on my life I realise it hasn't always been sunshine and rainbows. During most of my teenage years I starved myself and used exercise as punishment for eating. At 17 I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and had to go to rehab for almost a year. I remember thinking, as I was starting the treatment, that I didn't want to go through with it.
One day at the rehab center I had a thought, or what I would like to call my awakening.
"What if there is more to life than this? I can't possibly feel worse than I'm doing right now."
In that moment I decided to take a leap of faith and do my very best to get well again. Deep down I wanted to see if there was a meaning to life, if I could experience happiness and self love.
What is Self Love?
The gift that keeps on giving
Self Love is your secret weapon to living a fulfilling life. That’s because your inner world creates your outer world. Before you can receive love and respect from others, you need to love and respect yourself.
When you make decisions out of guilt, a need to please or to avoid conflict, you overvalue the needs of others and disrespect yourself. This conveys—to yourself and those around you—that you accept very little. That doesn’t feel very good, does it?
Some people equate Self Love with selfishness. But that’s not true. When you think this way, it becomes hard to take good care of yourself. Delete that limiting belief from your mind. Create a new belief that echoes in your ear: “It’s okay to put my needs first.”
The good news is when you love yourself fully you feed your soul and are able to become the highest version of yourself. It feels natural to take good care of your body, mind, and spirit.
Love bring about love so you’re drawn to give to others. You have the energy to give and in turn, giving energises you. Everyone benefits.
As cliché as it sounds, Self Love is the gift that keeps on giving.
And what’s more important than that?
Self Love has a profound impact on how we see ourselves and how we treat ourselves. Everyone needs Self Love. While it’s great to be on the receiving end of love from others, it’s also important to practice Self Love daily.
Only when your cup is full can you give to others
So, how is Self Love important for your development?
Self Love teaches you how to:
Make healthy choices in life
These things may be in the form of eating healthy, exercising or having healthy relationships. You express your love for yourself by doing things that help you to show up in life as the best version of you.
Set boundaries in relationships
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for the relationships you have with others. When you treat yourself with love and respect, you give others permission to do the same.
Take responsibility for your own happiness
Too often we look for outside affirmations to determine our sense of worth. I am a recovering people-pleaser who constantly put the needs and wants of others before my own. It took me a decade to learn how to love myself.
Cultivate a mindset of gratitude
It can often be that “reset” button needed to shift our perspective and mindset to a more positive outlook. To re-focus on the good rather than the negative- to be thankful for what is rather than what is perceived to be lacking.
Make rest a priority and prevent burn out
Practicing self-care starts with slowing down and taking the time to take care of yourself from the inside out. Giving yourself permission to take a break, refill your heart with wellness, and finding self acceptance for yourself at this moment. Practicing Yoga can help with this because it helps to anchor you to the present moment.
Completely accept ourselves
Acts of self care such as breath work or the physical practice of yoga (doing the poses/asanas) are also a reflection of Self Love and acceptance. It teaches acceptance and emotional self care, because there will always be times when you fall out of a pose (and pick yourself up), or meet a challenging pose head-on (not with frustration, but with compassion towards yourself and acceptance that you are doing your best at this moment, and it is enough.)
Since that moment at the rehab center when I decided to actually live my life, I've invested a lot of money, time and energy into my own self development. Yoga, meditation and energy work has been and still are my salvation.
It turned out that there was more to life than self hate and destruction. I could actually be happy and feel joy, love and freedom.
I still have my peaks and valleys, up's and down's and, I believe that's a part of life's cycles.
The important thing that I've learnt is to know how to pick yourself up from a shitty day, or week, or month. Because the truth is this: we will always have those moments when we don't feel good or inspired and that's OKAY! Just don't get stuck there.
Working on myself and experiencing the joy of loving myself completely has inspired me to share my top Self Love tips and tools with you in my program Groundwork and through wellness coaching. So that you can step into true love, abundance, creativity and pure joy!
Interested in learning more? Click on the image below