Ok, yes, I totally referenced a Justin Bieber song in the title. But, this is NOT about the Biebs. For the last day of the month of love, I want to talk about Self Love.
Self love is regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). I believe all of our relationships we have, romantic and platonic, are directly related to the amount of love we have for ourselves. But, loving ourselves, all of ourselves, can be quite challenging sometimes. We have tendencies to self deprecate when given compliments. We agonize over gaining a few pounds thinking we look unlovable. We alter our actual features sometimes through surgery. Possibly, worst of all, we are quick to say what we don’t like and what we want to change about ourselves, but when asked what we love, often times, we hesitate.
Now, I’m not saying this is true all of the time. It’s not at all. But, every person, at some point, has related to one or all of these doubts of self love. So, how do we diminish the negatives and promote the positives for the long haul? How do we work on and maintain self love? Well, every person is different but here are a few of the things that I recommend in the promotion of self love.
I love running. I find it one of the few times that I can enjoy my own company. When I’m running, I try to not think about anything at all besides my pace, technique, and breathing. How does this temporary intentional ignorance of what’s going on around me help with self love? Sometimes, we think too much on certain things and people. When we overanalyze a situation, often times it can make the situation seem much more dire than it really is. When I take this time out for intentional ignorance, I come back feeling refreshed with a new mind. Ready to speak and think out of love.
Yoga and Guided Meditation
I thought about making these two separate categories, but really they do belong together. Yoga is a guided journey to deepening your sense of self. Yoga, for me, is a practice that helps me to feel every part of me. It allows me to appreciate the way my body is built, the way it moves, and the unlimited potential I have through centering my mind with my body. At the end of every yoga class, when the journey is coming to an end, there is 5 minutes of silent meditation. After having 55 minutes or more of guided practice, this is the best time for silence so that we can really hear our inner voice and see through our third eye, the Ajna Chakra. (You other yogis know what I’m talking about!)
These two practices, running and yoga, are how I practice and live in self love. What do you do? Happy Leap Day and end of the month of love!