BE THE ENERGY YOU WISH TO ATTRACT.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you! This cheesy and over-hyped holiday isn’t just a chance for you to express your love to those around you, but consider it a chance to give yourself some SELF LOVE. In this post, I will be discussing the importance of self love, weaving in some personal updates and also some tips for improving self love. If I had to summarize this whole post into one sentence, it would be this: Loving yourself is the most important thing you can do for yourself and those around you.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I’ll share what’s new in my world. During the holiday season, I was doing some serious hustling to meet a business goal I set for myself, primarily to open up my online shop in order sell some original paintings and prints. Originally, my goal was to have a few paintings and a few options for high-quality prints. Doesn’t sound like such a big undertaking, right? The plan was to start small. Well, I can tell you that I am not very good at being reasonable, because in the middle of organizing it all, I seemed to think it was not much more work to just put up ALL of my products in the shop, rather than just a few to start with. The problem with that is this: IT WAS HARD.
Of course, just like any goals we set, we come up against challenges, problems, and deadlines. Throughout the hectic frenzy of setting up the online shop, I had many obstacles, including having to ask a colleague for tech help…on a Sunday. I posted desperate pleas in my biz Facebook groups for solutions to my coding problem. I lost sleep due to stress and worry. In my sleep-deprived state, I sent the wrong files to the printer, which resulted in not getting the correct prints made. All of this was happening while I was working a full time teaching job, during the busiest time of the school year (report writing). NOT a smart choice by me.
And you know what? All the unreasonable pressure I put on myself to meet this goal, however innocently, resulted in two unfortunate outcomes: I did not enjoy this experience, and I did not sell a single item online. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it didn’t work. With hindsight, I can say that I did get a lot out of the experience, like learning how to open an online shop, how to manage the many steps involved, what kind of expectations to place on myself next time around. Though I did I gain knowledge and experience, it wasn't what I expected to gain (financial profit). The way I approached my business goal was over-ambitious for what resources and time I had available, and most definitely not sustainable. Definitely a big learning experience.
So. I allowed myself to close the shop, enjoy a relaxing Christmas back home, and regroup. I came into the new year with the plan to live a more balanced life. Which leads me to the topic of mindfulness. I began an 8-week mindfulness class, in which I am still only up to the start of week 6. Mindfulness has been a part of my life for over a year now, but I never learned about it from an expert, just dabbling in some mainstream meditation apps up until I began this class. Over the past six weeks, I have been practicing the recommended activities and exercises. Perhaps it’s not a shock to learn that I have seen an improvement in such a short time!
I haven’t mastered anything yet, but I am learning and seeing how it improves my mood and ability to handle stress. Being mindful really isn’t a complex notion, though it does take a lot of practice. To be mindful simply means to be aware of the present moment, which often involves focusing on your breathing. Being intentional with how you view your thoughts. Learning to react to events in a more mindful way. But really…. It’s mostly focusing on your breath.
To spread the simplicity of this idea, I have created a free download for you! You can CLICK HERE to get my mindful artwork. I recommend you put it on your wall by your workspace, or save it to your phone screen to remind yourself through the day. Inhale, exhale, repeat. A simple exercise to do.
Which brings me full-circle, to the topic of today’s post: self love. Having love and respect for yourself is SO SO SO important. If you don’t know how, I have some tips from the current book I’m listening to on Audible, it’s called the The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. He’s the guy who created all those Chicken Soup for the Soul books way back in the day, which I used to love. The tips you see below are mostly from his book, found HERE.
A little sidebar: I’m not an expert. I’m just a person who wants to improve her life. However, I have done tons of reading and research about personal growth over the last few years. In my humble opinion, giving yourself love and respect means striving to be your best self, for you and for your loved ones. Doing a self care routine is of course a part of it, like doing a face mask or taking a hot bath. However, when I say “self love” in this context, I mean having self respect and trying to become the best version of you. Other people may disagree and say that self love is something else, and that’s okay! Though the next section will make more sense if you get what my definition is.
Tips for Achieving and Improving Self Love:
Take 100% responsibility for where you are right now.
It may be unexpected to hear this, but please read with an open mind. If you rely on complaining or blaming, then you are creating conditioned responses to things that you don’t like.
Replace complaining with taking action and/or making requests.
If you don’t like the reality of a situation, you can change your response. The day you change your responses, from conditioned responses to a more intentional approach, is the day your life will begin to get better.
Be Clear on Your Purpose
Many researchers have found that people who live with a purpose are the happiest. (Source from Berkeley)
Give yourself direction by focusing on what makes you happy and intentionally doing more of it.
You can find your purpose! If you don’t know, do a little 15 minute reflection and ask yourself these questions:
What qualities make me unique?
How do I express these qualities when interacting with others?
What does a perfect world look like to you? Imagine it’s here in the present. Write a list in the present tense about what a perfect world looks and feels like.
Combine your answers to these to create a sort of personal mission statement, or a purpose statement. Notice how this task requires you to connect your unique talents with making the world a better place.
Decide What You Want
What do you love to do? Make a list of 20 things!
What do you want? Make another list!
Having a vision means you are more likely to be successful. What do you want your life to be like? To feel like? To look like? I’m new to vision boards, but making one might help you visualize this.
Believe It’s Possible
If you don’t believe you can, no one else will either.
Realize what your limiting beliefs are and make efforts to eliminate them.
Give yourself a weekly or monthly mantra (affirmation) to repeat to yourself. It’s like a mini pep talk that will help reframe your mindset in moments of doubt or frustration. Here are a few of my most recent mantras:
“Be the energy you wish to attract”
“Abundance flows into my life with ease and grace”
“I live in unlimited abundance”
“I am here and now”
I have been learning and applying these principles recently. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride, because it causes you to really take a metaphorical look in the mirror and reflect on the person you are, with the goal of deciding who you want to be. I actually went through all these steps to create a purpose statement, what some might call a personal mission statement. It might change with time, but here is what I came up with:
I use my gifts of creativity and kindness to live intentionally and purposefully,
in order to achieve my potential of contributing positivity and abundance to the world.
My plan is to create a visual with that statement, and put it up somewhere I will see everyday. Maybe on the fridge or somewhere I will see everyday. It will serve as a reminder of what is important to me, and who knows, might be uplifting in the early mornings when I don’t feel so empowered.
I want to say a big thank you to those of you who have read this far into the post! I really appreciate that you’ve chosen to spend your valuable time reading what I have to say. All of what I’ve said today really boils down to this: you MUST love yourself in order to live your best life. Having self love is not just about self care, moisturizing, getting enough sleep, and so on. It’s about striving to reach your potential, being the best version of you, so that you can be a source of positivity in the world. So that you can find happiness and purpose, being a great partner, friend, colleague, daughter, son, pet owner, etc. It’s something I am just beginning to be conscious of and take action on.
I know that life gets stressful and overwhelming. I often feel that way. Practicing mindfulness, or at the very least breathing in and out intentionally, can help you on your path to self love. Don’t forget to download my free artwork that can serve as a daily reminder to you! Cheers to you for reading this blog post. As my goofy husband often says: You’re a rockstar!