Self Love: A How To

Photo X Tayler Carlisle

In our current Rock Your Bliss Seven Weeks to Bliss online program, we are exploring SELF LOVE this week as part of our curriculum. When leading work, I am a strong believer in the fact that you have to be living the work to truly and authentically lead the work. In exploring self love for me, it feels lofty. And then it feels airy fairy. And then it feel so imperative to living. And then it gets heavy. And then liberating. Wow, rollercoaster.

I find that in exploring self love for myself, it was/is hard work. It is not something I am always conscious of or actually putting effort into. And I want to change that. I want to be better at the self love.

Thus, I am here to share a list of ways I am defining and actioning self love this week (and really, all of my life as the practice is oh so ongoing). If any of these spark for you or if you have rituals or actions that rock your self love, implement them! And by all means, share your self love rituals so we can all borrow if needed!

1) Write yourself a love letter. Be kind to yourself and choose to read it a week later, it is really a beautiful exercise.

2) Create space in your calendar this week that reads 'Me Time'. This can be a 10 minute or 2 hour block of time. This is where you can choose what 'me time' looks like to fill your love cup. For me I love to read, sip red wine or take a long, hot bath. Preferably all at the same time.

3) Get outside. Fresh air is a big deal for me and truly a great way to shift perspective. Some sunshine and oxygen can change your mental game in an instant. Be it during your work day or first thing in the morning, can you take a pause to go for a stroll in the sun or snow? And how fun to say the word 'stroll'. Just because.

4) Treat yourself. Give yourself a gift of a pedicure, buy yourself a delicious homemade ho-ho, send yourself flowers, go on a solo lunch date or grab a massage with a local therapist. Then, send yourself a thank you note via snail mail.

5) Write yourself a permission slip. Yes, just like in Kindergarten when you needed a pass to hit up the bathroom. Write yourself a permission slip for anything you might have been blocking. Serious note: you have got to actually write out a permission slip, grab a pen and then put it in our pocket. Go! Examples can look like: Permission to do nothing all day today. Permission to have fun. Permission to speak your mind....

6) Invest in you. A lot of our energy and budget goes to things like groceries, shoes, kids, home decor (I literally cannot stop buying pillows these days from this sweet spot, DENY Designs), bills, lunch ... Can you set aside from cash flow for something that will elevate your brain game? I am talking a sweet book, a rad online course you have been wanting to sign up for, a local workshop, a how-to-use-my-camera class, a vedic reading, a life coach... How can you invest in your own development on purpose?

7) Move your body. This can be as simple as turning on some Whitney Houston and dancing in your living room (be naked, even better). Go to yoga and go with the intention of self love versus working out or losing weight (gamechanger). Run, go run! Any type of movement to shake it up, shake it off and connect the mind and body, holy act of self love.

8) Just say no. Oh hello sweet boundaries and the ability to own your yes and your no. Guilt factor is an immediate self love killer. Like that networking party you said yes to and don't want to go to or that meeting you know you don't need to be in or that full calendar creating stress in my all the wrong places. Learning that your yes is only as powerful as your no is a way to choose self love over people pleasing. I just read and totally recommend "The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck" by Sarah Knight.

9) Eating. You all know this, I am not stating anything new here. However, it has be written. How we fuel our bodies matters. Another immediate killer of self love, hanger (that is hunger + anger in one word). Hanger is a thief of a lot of love, a lot of the time. Feed your body and choose to feed your body good foods that feel good in your unique body make-up. To be honest, vegetarian living makes me bloated. To be real honest, I love a grassfed buffalo burger with pepper jack cheese. Feed yourself the good stuff, no more hanger rage.

10) Cry. I was talking with my husband just last night about the slippery slope of suppressing my feelings (to look cool, pretend everything is 'fine', to NOT cry, to not start a fight...) and then the all too expected waterfall effect of emotions that occurs when I finally let myself feel (cough, permission slip it, cough). Crying is a righteous act of self love for me and truly letting myself release. Damn, it feels good.

(Wow, this list got longer than expected. I'm on a roll here so I am going to keep going...)

11) Ask for help. I love doing things on my own and getting all the credit. I know, hello ego, there you are. Asking for help can look many different ways. This can be asking for a hug in a vulnerable moment. This can be asking for help with moving furniture. This can be asking for help in an uncharted relationship situation. This can be asking for help when you don't know the answer. We ask, it is so imperfectly human there. Psst, I can bet people will love you even more and be honored that you opened up and asked them for support. Even the furniture moving friends.

12) Quiet that inner voice talking all that negative self talk. Oh this is a big one and it is one of the greatest acts of self love. Listen in to that inner voice, if it starts talking smack, this is your reminder that you have choice to tell it to 'Stop it' or 'Shut the F*ck Up" and choose a new thought. Listen in, quiet the bullshit and choose to speak a langauge of love.

13) Create your space. Often times when working with clients or groups, I remind people to be conscious of the physical space they are in. If your desk is a cluttered mess, there are clothes/shoes all over the floor, can this perhaps be creating obstacles in your mental space, too? Can you create your home, your office, your bedroom to support the (self) love vibes? Perhaps a lavender candle, maybe a quick clean up (I suggest more Whitney Houston music for this), sweet post-it notes with inspiring quotes on the mirror, a color coded closet (I know all your Virgos loved that one)....

14) Write a blog about self love. To be honest, knowing what self love means to you is actually pretty imperative in creating choice around how you action self love in your day to day. Make your list. Or like I said, share yours below so we can have the longest self love list there ever was.

- Jacki Carr