Self-love. Sounds like a simple concept, right? Just… love yourself. It can’t possibly be that hard. I can tell you from experience, this is one of the most difficult journeys that I have ever been on.
My self- love journey started when I made the decision to change my life. I took stock of my life- where I was currently, where I wanted to be, those kinds of things, and decided that I needed to finally put some action behind all of those wistful thoughts. I needed something to change because I just felt stuck.
The thing is, that most of us spend the majority of our lives criticizing ourselves- and to what end? What good really comes from constantly doubting ourselves and our abilities? For some reason society has taught us to talk down to ourselves, to question our actions and their outcomes, to believe that we are not good enough. What is worse is that we all allow this to happen. I, for one, am no longer ok with it.
I think each person’s journey will be different, but here is what has helped me:
I have been journaling on a fairly consistent basis for the past year. I don’t write every single day, and I hardly ever write anything of true importance. Most of my entries are rambling entries about what I did that day or week- very interesting stuff there. But journaling has also become this avenue for me to explore and put some umph behind my thoughts. If I write something down, I am far more likely to stick to it than if I just think about it. Journaling has also given me the ability to write down some of my inner thoughts and emotions that I don’t want to necessarily talk through with another person. I can be as whiny, as self-important, or as erratic as I please in my journal.
I know that social media has a bad rep for being a breeding ground of negativity, and trust me, I definitely see that. But social media can also be a breeding ground for some really awesome movements. I started following people that I looked up to, who inspired me to love myself and all that I have to offer. These people have started some pretty awesome movements such as the #selflovesoldier movement and the #allbelliesarebeautiful movement. There is true beauty in seeing people embrace and rally behind something so pure.
AKA self-help books. As cheesy as it sounds, there are some pretty awesome personal development books out there. I have only just recently started reading these types of books, but I highly recommend Big Magic by Liz Gilbert and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Big Magic is all about living a creative life in whatever capacity you can. You don’t have to be in a creative field in order to live a life of creativity. You are a Badass is all about setting intentions and getting.shit.done.
Yoga (of course!)
Of course my list would not be complete without the inclusion of the thing that has brought all of this about: my yoga practice. When I started practicing yoga, it was purely for the physical aspect of things. I was looking for something to increase my flexibility and, to be honest, I really envied the things that I saw yogi’s doing with their bodies. Yoga is just plain cool. But my practice became about much more than the physical aspect. It became more about the connection between my mind and body. It became about challenging myself and having confidence in myself. It became about loving myself exactly where I was and still having the ability to look forward to what I could accomplish without negating my journey to this point.
I think we are at a very interesting time socially. I am starting to see self- love movements pop up all over the place. Little seeds of positivity growing to try and overshadow all of the negativity- and that makes me hopeful.
How about you, yogis? What has helped you on your self-love journey? Tell us in the comments!