Acts of Self-Love
“Every moment is a fresh beginning” T.S. Eliot
Photo credit: Jon Tyson via Unsplash
Will you join me for a month of self-love and self-compassion?
January is the month of my birth and the perfect time to load up on love in all its forms, starting with love for myself. That way my cup can be full to spill over to love everything and everyone else.
Self-love and self-compassion are not just mushy sentimentalities… they are powerfully effective methods for transformation. And, at the start of the new year, when we often create our vision for intentions and change, adding a regular dose of self-love can help you stick to and achieve your goals.
Self-compassion is not letting yourself off the hook or being too easy on yourself… quite the opposite. Self-compassion holds you accountable to yourself in a loving way… without shame. It allows you to begin again, without the harsh critical voice and thoughts… and helps you to pick yourself back up when you falter (as we all do) on the more difficult days. It is like parenting a young child with kind guidance rather than harsh, loud, punitive messages designed to control. It supports your mental health, physical health, and happiness. What can be more powerful than that?!
It began with a new year’s eve experience of decluttering my mind of old, limiting beliefs. I visualized my mind like a living warehouse of beliefs. These beliefs were organized in stacks and, one by one, I could see the ones that were not serving me, the ones that were stale and old and smelly, being lifted up and out and released from my mind and being. One by one this happened as I labeled each as it was being released…. Letting go of the belief that I am less than… letting go of the belief that I am damaged… letting go of the belief that I am not liked… letting go of the belief that life is a struggle….
This visualization experience was powerful, comforting, and settling. It continues with me today as I feel the possibility of rewiring my brain and habits.
Some ways I am loving myself this month:
-Committing to a dry January - no alcohol for (at least) the month. My body is telling me that it wants nourishing food and drink and that the use of alcohol is not serving me at this time. I am going to trust that and see how I feel at the end of the month.
-I am excited to find a new green juice recipe to begin making. Several years ago I loved making fresh pressed juices with my Champion Juicer and my favorite recipe was pineapple, green apple, and spinach… I’m thinking of a similar recipe but with more greens this time. All the cells in my body light up as I think of this, strangely.
-Watching how I interact with myself… my self-talk. I am more conscious of the negative self-talk associated with those old, limiting beliefs, and I am working to not hook onto the loop that sometimes happens when the critical voice starts talking. This is also related to my new year’s eve practice… I could feel the change that would happen when I got stuck in that loop of negative thinking. It was like a deep scratch on a vinyl album taking all the beautiful notes and melody out of the music. This is not the song I want to listen to! I want to hear the full range of notes and music of life. -Seeing my strengths and limitations in equal measure… I have both, most definitely... as we all do. I am changeable and growing every day. And knowing this helps me to be more patient with myself.
-Seeing the universe as being on my side… and your side, too. Nothing to struggle against necessarily. Just one step at a time.
-Being so grateful for my life and who I have in my life. I have so much to be thankful for.
-And, seeing that the act of standing and speaking up for myself is an act of self-love and that I need not apologize for looking out for myself.
These are just a few of my ideas for self-love. They are not “resolutions” and are definitely not things I am going to mark off my list and/or judge myself for doing or not doing. It is a way to embody a more loving mindset. And I am wishing you the same… a mindset that is loving and accepting of yourself, allowing you to walk in the sunshine and toward your dreams.
A great song for a new beginning: Feeling Good by Nina Simone
And then, a song to sing to yourself and your loved one(s): How Sweet It is (To Be Loved By You) by Jr Walker & The All Stars
Much love and appreciation,