so, how does one get from a place of self-hate to a place of self-love? That is the question, isn't it?
I know when I have been there, the journey to self-love seemed impossible. I think the journey is deeply personal, but I will share with you a few practical tips that have worked for me.
The 1st thing I personally like to start with for not only myself, but for all clients is:
THE ADD IN RULE
The add is rule means that we start to focus on the things that are good for us, without worrying about the things that are "bad". Beating ourselves up for eating sugar, drinking booze, smoking, being overweight, shopping.... whatever; it does not work -- it just doesn't. When was the last time you were able to give something up in your life through self-hate? I doesn't work. In fact, I believe the opposite is true -- as we start to feel good about our human selves, our desires and cravings start to melt away -- feeling better is more tempting than low frequency temptations.
For example, when I work with a nutrition client, I almost never take away their "bad habits"; at first we just start by adding nutrients - kale, hemp, chlorella, cacao etc -- 100% of the time, I see that people crave nutrients more, and sugar less. Literally, this is 100% of my experience.
This has been my experience too. In my darkest times, I spent so much time beating myself up for not being perfect enough, drinking to much wine, not exercising enough, having a negative voice in my head bla bla bla .... you name it, I found ways to belittle myself. It was not until I shifted my focus that I was able to start to find freedom in my thoughts, but also those pesky habits would start to fall off on the wayside. I still winde up on occasion feeling low and negative self talk takes over, and this is still one of my most important rituals to keep me self-loving.
Focus on the ADD IN -- the rituals of self-care and trust that the "bad" stuff (I quote "bad", because I do not actually believe it is "bad"... but thats a blog all to its own) will naturally fade away.
Lousie Hay, 'You Can Heal Your Life' - buy that book and devour it (!!); she is the queen of affirmations, and taught me everything I know. Affirmations are a present statement about the self:
I am beautiful
I am worthy
I love and honour myself, where I am right now
I used to have these written all over my mirror, my wallet, my doors -- everywhere. I said these until I started to believe them. I still say affirmations, every single day. My current fav is "I am worthy of everything that is coming my way". I learned that from Crystal Andrus Morissette , in a simply woman retreat -- I love that one!
The thing about an affirmation, is that at first it seems very foreign, akward and blatantly untrue -- say them anyway. Set your alarm every 2 hours to repeat your affirmations. Look at your own human self in the mirror -- look at you in the eyes, and say your affirmations. This will help create new thought patterns in your brain -- you gotta train the brain to self-love!
ENGAGE IN THINGS THAT FEEL GOOD
As Danielle LaPort says -- How do you want to feel? Figure that out, and then find the humans in your life that make you feel that way. For me, this meant cutting ties with people -- it still does. As i evolve things and people no longer fit, and I have to consciously choose to bless the situation and let.it.go. I had to find my tribe, it took effort -- real, effort. I had lists and lists of women I looked up to; women that embodied traits I wanted to own in myself. I had elusive lists of "my tribe" that included: Oprah, Brene Brown, Louise Hay, Hildreguard (she is an ancient Christian mystic!) and more. And then I had a list of woman that I walk on this earth with that I admire. I spent my time with these humans, I stayed in contact with them, I watched how they show up in their lives, I shared my fears with them. This was 100% crusal to my evolution. It still is.
Also there are things that don't make us feel good.... like getting on a scale -- throw it out! Don't put pants on that you know wont fit -- find clothes that make you feel good where you are at RIGHT NOW.
NURTURE A SELF RELATIONSHIP
Do you know what you like? No? Thats ok! When you meet a new friend, you do not automatically know what they like -- you gotta make time to figure that out. You gotta communicate and try new things. It's the same for a self-relationship, why do we think the realtionshop with self would be any different than relationships with others? They take time, effort, thought, compassion, patience, forgiveness... they take curiosity. Take your self on dates. Spoil yourself. Treat yourself the way you would your best friend, or you child. Give your-self space and hugs, and the bets wine... not the cheap stuff. You deserve that. You are your own best friend -- treat yourself like that!!
I learned while studying holistic nutrition that I am pretty severely intolerant to gluten, dairy and eggs. For me these allergens strongly effect my nervous system, manifesting as depression, anxiety and severe insomnia. They can also show up in a variety of other symptoms for different humans; such as (but not limited to) eczema, heart burn, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, liver load etc. Removing allergens and focusing on the appropriate nutrients (like B vitamins, Omega 3 EFA's (and other good quality fats), protein, adaptogens, vitamin D... etc!) was crucial.
People who are addicted to sugar, processed salts refined fats and are consuming the standard american diet (which most humans in north america do) are not setting themselves up for success. The food you eat directly effects your mood, health and levels if self love. Work on this!! Its is SO important.
EVOLUTION & SUPPORT
Therapy, books, courses, retreats -- find them, and spend your time and dollars on them! You will learn, you will evolve, you will meet humans that think like you and above all -- you will be EMPOWERED! Find a mentor or a coach or therapist or modality of healer (acupuncture, holistic nutrition, massage, personal trainer etc) that resonates with you -- I fully, 100% believe in this aspect. Before I had my therapist (who I still see) I had a life coach, and before that I was involved in a Course In Miracles group for 2 years. I AM a trainer and a holistic nutritionist (so i did that work on myself -- diligently!). I also worked with a Naturopathic Doctor, an acupuncturist, and my hair dresser... she was kind of like my other therapist -- she still is!
Keep growing, keep learning. Find support. Ask for help. There is no shame... we are ALL human, and we ALL need the support! Asking for help is not shameful, its the most courageous and self-loving thing you can do!
I have a billion more ideas and things I can talk about on the the topic of rituals for self-love. But this is a good start. Be dedicated and persistent -- set alarms, carve out time, make this a priority. This is literally the most important relationship in your life that you can nurture, so treat it that way.
Feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a message in the Contact link on my page -- I love hearing from you all.