Self-care and Self-Love are twin flames that stoke our internal fires, breathing vital chi (life force) into our very being. Best-selling author and luminary, Louise Hay, encouraged the world to love and accept ourselves fully and unconditionally in her seminal work, You can heal your life. As the founder of Hay House, Hay dedicated her life to teaching in the realm of personal development, wellness and spirituality, publishing reams of self help, inspirational and transformational books and products.
Self-care is rooted in the civil rights movement, during which the late writer and activist Audre Lordes said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
In this article, you will learn how to keep your inner flames fanned, what the benefits of self-care and self-love are, and why these are vitally important.
So what would someone who loves themselves do, anyway?
▪ treat yourself with loving-kindness ▪ shower yourself in appreciation, compliments and gratitude ▪ treat yourself and your body with gentleness, care, respect and reverence
▪ practice excellent self-care rituals, daily (i.e., breathwork, mindful and healthful eating and supplementation, intake of water, exercise and stretching, affirmations, good sleep regime, spiritual practice, have fun!)
▪ surround yourself with positive people who leave us feeling inspired, uplifted and elevated ▪ You know how weeds will overtake your garden if you let them? Just as it’s vital to clip weeds out of your garden regularly, it’s vital to prune out of our lives any and all individuals who are negative, critical, judgmental and blaming. They are parasitic influences who will suck the life-blood out of your energy. Because negative people will poison your inner garden, be sure to surround yourself with those who leave you feeling happy and energized ▪ forgive yourself of your shortcomings, trusting that we are all doing our very best. Mindfully focus on your personal growth, learning and stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone ▪ encourage and empower yourself by journaling, taking time for reflecting on what you intend to create in your life and creative pursuits. In your reflections, be sure to extract gifts and lessons from every learning opportunity that life presents your way
▪ practice daily affirmations for what you intend to create for yourself and your life (i.e., I am a powerful force for good in the world). See Louise Hay’s Hay House for inspiration
▪ take time in nature daily
▪ enjoy at least 20 minutes of sunshine daily, free of sunscreen to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D. This vitamin is vital for great health and vitality
▪ meditate ▪ pray
▪ Practice Gratitudes rituals, daily. Be consistent. Share five to ten things you are most grateful for daily. Watch your countless blessings GROW!
▪ enjoy whatever impassions you and brings you joy! Pursue creative endeavours that feed your soul and connect you with your Divinity
Why do we practice self-care and self-love?
▪ Because we MATTER! ▪ Because just by virtue of our existence, if for no other reason, we are precious and deserve to treat ourselves like the Gods and Goddesses we are! ▪ Because our health and vitality depend upon it! If we give in life without first nourishing our precious self, in time, every aspect of our lives will suffer. Our life force will be affected. We may experience health challenges. Our relationships will be adversely impacted. Being proactive about self-care and self-love is our best insurance for enjoying a thriving life we LOVE, as well as optimal health and vitality
▪ Because only AFTER we fill our own Cup will we have adequate energy and vitality to contribute to our loved ones, relationships, work life, community, etc. Would you ever operate your vehicle without gas? When we give without filling our own Cup first, it’s like running our car without gas! Fuel up first; run your car second
▪ Because self-care and self-love feel SOOOOOO….. GOOD!
I would invite you to use this extraordinary time in our world’s history to deepen into, and strengthen, your self-care, self-love and self-worth. Dig as deep into your soul as you can, with a view to spreading as much love and compassion for yourself and others as your heart will allow.
This is your invitation to go light some candles. Play soft, beautiful music. Sit in a comfy chair and take some deep cleansing breaths. I am here to celebrate YOU!
May I invite you to breathe IN Love, joy, peace, gratitude. Breathe OUT self-judgment, condemnation, feelings of angst, fear, unrest or discomfort. Yes, our natural rhythms may have been uprooted from right under our feet, but this doesn’t need to shatter our sense of calm, our sense that all is well. Neither does it need to threaten the solidity and groundedness of our home’s foundation.
Self-care and self-love are the cornerstones for all our relationships. How do we have respect, compassion or empathy for others if we don’t first start with THE most important person in the world? OURSELVES!
May I invite you to consider whether you treat yourself as you would one of your dearest friends?
▪ Do you speak to yourself as kindly as you would a dear friend?
▪ Are you as present for yourself as you would be for a dear friend?
▪ Do you leave yourself feeling deeply loved, cherished, acknowledged, heard, fully seen and witnessed, as you would if he/she were in your presence?
▪When you fail or falter, do you speak with yourself in the way you would a dear friend? (i.e., lovingly, with respect, kindness, empathy and compassion, OR with criticism, judgment and blame?)
▪ In what ways do you nurture and nourish your spirit?
▪ Do you leave yourself feeling joyful, uplifted and elevated, as you would a dear friend?
▪ In what types of activities might you engage that leave you feeling alive, joyful and at peace?
In our next blog, we’ll dive deeper into the details of what it would look like to treat yourself AS THOUGH you were one of your own dearest friends. Because you truly are!!
In the meantime, may we, at Healing Works, invite you to do a little experimenting? Would you be willing to dibble and dabble with one or two ideas that inspire you here? As you try these ideas on for size, notice what feels good and why. Be sure to share with us your experience. What impact did your practice have upon your energy level? Joy? Productivity? Thanks for staying connected, and for the opportunity to be of service!
Together, healing happens!