Self LOVE Day

It’s Valentine’s DAY.

I love Valentine’s. I am a hopeless romantic. I love love. I see sunshine and rainbows in most people on most days. That’s just how I’m wired. 
Valentine’s Day is probably the most loved / hated holiday there is. I get it. Not everyone is sappy like I am. People have hurts. Valentine’s Day can be lonely.  Maybe even angry.

Copyright:© Ceejay221 – http://www.redbubble.com/people/ceejay22

Even more important than your boyfriend / partner / SO / husband relationship … is your relationship with YOURSELF. 
Yes, it is more important than your boyfriend / partner / SO / husband relationship.

How’s that relationship? With yourself. 
Do you like yourself? 
What is your self talk like? 
Would you talk to your best friend with the same internal monologue you use on yourself? 
Why is it so hard to practice self love?
To give time for self care?

Self love is crucial. Self love is the actual FOUNDATION of all your relationships. Changing your self care will change your other relationships … romantic, platonic, familial, professional …

Making change is always hard. It’s practice. (Just like changing the way we eat. Only 5 more days of W30!) It’s breaking out of the ruts that are entrenched in our brain paths. But, you know what? Our brains have elasticity. Our brains can physically change. Those deep ruts can be rerouted. With practice. With MINDFULLNESS. With intention. 

Dr. Caroline Leaf specifically addresses the elasticity of our brains and how we can change our thinking. An excerpt from her bio on her website:

Her passion is to help people see the power of the mind and the link between science and God as a tangible way of controlling their thoughts and emotions, learning how to think and learn and finding their sense of purpose in life.

Dr. Caroline Leaf


Think of waking up in the morning … what are your first thoughts like in the morning? Do you wake up grumbling about aches and pains, grumbling about what you have to do, grumbling about your family, grumbling about working out or not working out?

Practice changing this one habit …. first thing in the morning think a positive thought. Say “I love my family.” I love my husband. I love my kids. Thank you for my sleep. Thank you for the sunrise. Thank you Jesus (That is a complete sentence all by itself!). 

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. You get to choose how you spend every minute. And think of self care as a mindset.
Self care as self respect.
That internal monologue again. How do you let others treat you? Love yourself enough to stand your truth. To speak your truth.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable. We seem to practice grace with others, offering forgiveness, not expecting perfection, allowing mistakes and yet, we don’t offer grace to our own self.

This lesson of grace is so important.

In all of these moments of trying to eat better, trying to workout more, trying to quit smoking, trying to be more patient, trying to spend less … insert any New Year’s Resolution here … We have to practice grace. We are not perfect. We will always make strides, then fall. Two steps forward, one step back. IT’S OK. Really, really …. IT IS OK. Get up and try again.
Be kind to yourself.
Forgive yourself.
Be proud of how far you’ve come.
Be proud of your resilience.

Don’t let self care always become about indulgence. Self care doesn’t mean you get to eat the brownie or buy a new pair LuluLemon pants. I read a beautiful post on IG from @drsibylknight about this. She encourages physicians struggling with physician burnout. She says “Can the self care umbrella include these things [eating well, exercising, spa treatments], sure. But true self care to me is caring for myself – LOVING myself.”

I absolutely believe in keeping a balanced life with creativity and work and reading and physical activity and nutrition and downtime. Take time to appreciate the hot shower alone while the kids are in bed. Find time to read, or paint, or take the dance class, or the cooking class, or getting a pedicure.

Do not feel guilty for giving yourself time to be your self.

Especially for all the mom’s out there ….. No one else is going to take care of you. You take care of your entire tribe. You better find time to take care of yourself. And, regardless of a little self indulgence, we can all practice self care / self respect / self love / GRACE at every moment of every day if we start to live with that intention.

Image Credit: Your Happy Place Blog

Need some ideas for learning to practice self love?
You can follow these people in the social media world … Facebook, Instagram, blogs, podcasts, etc.

Rather read a book? Try these (in no particular order):

I have lots of book recommendations. This is just a top 8 list. Ask if you are looking for more!

I will end with this quote from Marianne Williamson.  Read this everyday. 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson. A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” 
Image Credit: Everyday Power

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