Lets start with a quick exercise.
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen, or open the notes ap on your phone. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
- Write down everyone you love.
Got everyone? Your spouse or partner? Your kids? Mom and Dad? Granny and Grumpa? Brothers, sisters, best friends, and cousins? How about your dog, cat and guinea pig?
No one left out? Good.
Now, scan your list and circle the word Me.
Don’t tell me you didn’t include yourself? That’s a shame, because it’s pretty darn hard, if not impossible, to love everyone else on your list unless you love yourself first.
“Well of course I love myself,” you retort. But do you? Really? Because most people do not truly love and accept themselves the way they are. They look in the mirror and find every flaw imaginable with their face, boobs and butt. They hammer away at themselves throughout the day with negative self-talk about being too stupid, too sensitive, or not good enough for others.
Do you scrutinize and criticize your best friend that way? If you did, would he or she stick around for long?
Loving yourself is the key that opens all doors. Loving and accepting yourself exactly the way you are right now is pure freedom. Freedom to heal. Freedom to forgive. Freedom to have positive, encouraging self-talk. Freedom to accomplish what you’ve always wanted to. Freedom to ________. You decide!
TRIPLE LOVING ACTION FOR YOUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL
Not loving yourself, or criticizing and comparing yourself to others, is just a habit. You know what a habit is, right? Something you’ve always done until you decide to change it. You also know that habits are pretty darn easy to change when you put your mind to it.
Here are three ways to love yourself body, mind and soul.
You’ve heard of the smiling phenomenon? When you’re sad or upset, force a smile on your face and your body automatically reacts by producing the feel-good hormones that support that smile. Viola! You feel better.
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, has discovered that you can do the same thing using your entire body to increase your personal power, or fill your entire body with love for itself. Body posture CAN change your mind to increase your confidence, assertiveness and how comfortable you feel in and with yourself.
Now that you’ve watched this inspiring TedTalk, pick your favourite power pose. I like the Wonder Woman myself, but the Victory or Pride pose comes in handy if I really need to ramp it up.
The work of Louise Hay and her affirmations is legendary. Basically, she teaches that you can take control of your mind and stop the negative self-talk through positive affirmations that you speak over and over. Just like in Amy’s talk above, in the beginning you sometimes need to fake it until you become it. Whether you are new to affirmations or a seasoned veteran, I believe the most powerful affirmation is this:
Stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye for a moment or two, long enough to really connect with yourself. Just like you would connect with any of the people on your list above. Say these words:
“I love you. I love you <> so much. I love and accept you exactly the way you are right now.”
Take a moment to sit with that. Allow the feelings of love and acceptance to swell up from your heart and spread throughout your body. Next, list all the things you love about yourself physically (I love my hair, my skin, my body, etc.), emotionally (I love how I help others, I love being a mom, etc.) and mentally (I love how I figured out that problem yesterday, or I love my career, etc.).
Right, I get it. You’ve tried affirmations before, and who has the time to stand around for two minutes? Here is where it all gets tied together. Belief Re-Patterning is an amazing technique that allows you to quickly, easily and permanently change negative, self-limiting belief systems about yourself into positive, self-accepting and life nurturing beliefs that propel you forwards.
Say each line out loud, with conviction and emphasis. After each line, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- I forgive myself for believing that I am not worthy of love. Breathe.
- I forgive myself for believing that I could not love myself. Breathe.
- I forgive myself for believing that others couldn’t love me unless I looked or acted a certain way. Breathe.
- I give myself permission to believe I can love myself. Breathe.
- I give myself permission to believe that others can love me just the way I am. Breathe.
- I give myself permission to start learning how to love myself. Breathe.
- I can believe I am not worthy of love, or I can choose to love myself the way I love others. I can’t do both at the same time. Right now, I consciously choose to love myself. Breathe.
- I consciously choose to love and accept myself. Breathe.
- Loving and accepting myself is a very kind way to live, and allows me to love and accept others. Breathe.
- I am free to learn how to love and accept myself. Breathe.
- I am free to experience how loving myself positively impacts all my relationships. Breathe.
- I am free to learn to accept myself the way I am right now. Breathe.
- I know what it feels like to love myself. It happened when _______ (fill in blank. For example, soaking in a hot bath with a tall glass of cool water is one way I love myself. When I go for a nature walk and let my mind wander is a loving affirmation that I have time for myself. It doesn’t have to be huge – simple is better). Breathe.
- Loving myself feels like me. Breathe.
- I am learning to love, support and accept myself. Breathe.
- I am learning that loving, supporting and accepting myself is the best way to love, support and accept others. Breathe.
- I love myself. Breathe.
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Each technique is very effective on its own. Imagine how intensely powerful they’d be if you did them all together? Whew. That makes me go all tingly just thinking about it.
Now, I know the techniques are powerful, because I practice them regularly. You can’t do what you don’t practice. You can’t change what you don’t change. There is no way I could stand here before you and recommend these paths to positive self-talk and self-love without first having experienced the depths of negativity. I have pulled myself out of the blackness, and so can you. Yes, it takes effort, but not pain and suffering. By “effort” I mean just that – putting in the effort to get ‘er done.
Here is what you do:
- Stand in front of the mirror in the power pose of your choice.
- Say the self-love Belief Re-Patterning statements, remembering to breathe after each sentence.
- Say the Louise Hay I love you affirmation.
- Repeat daily for four weeks.
And don’t forget to journal! It’s pretty darn hard to see how far you’ve come if you don’t baseline it first.
Please share with me your successes with this Triple Action system. Leave a comment on how it’s going, where you are, and what changes you are seeing. Too shy to leave a comment, then email me.
Thank you for such a generous and gently guiding post on these things!
I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post. Please give it a try, and let me know how you do. I love stories.
Reblogged this on wonderfulshantelle and commented:
Lovely and gentle guide I am thankful for today.
The last time I saw you after the summer hiatus of the BodyTalk meetings, I noticed a big change in your overall presence which shone brilliantly! I loved your sharing.
The TED talk was excellent!. Amy’s story that she shared near the end of the presentation was inspiring… she “walked the talk”.
Wow, thank you Edie for your kind words. Your are very intuitive to have picked up on the work I did over the summer. It’s been great seeing you at the events.
I also love Louise Hay! I actually put her quote on my blog for last weeks affirmations too! One of my favorites
Yeah, a kindred spirit. Louise is a pioneer, and her work deserves to be revisited often.