Love yourself first, everything else will fall into place.
Our yoga instructor, Sam Haines, shares her journey to self love and how to discover it.
Self love has been a slow and gentle journey for me. Pranyama, meditation and asana have brought about a radical transformation. I am aligned, centred know who I am, can sit with discomfort, can take action to maintain health, I can say I like myself when I am on my own, the way I am with people and the earth. I like my physical body, my mind. I finally enjoy a healthy relationship with myself. I trust myself to nourish, play, find joy, rest and take on challenges. Life does not have to be perfect and optimal for me to love myself, I am flexible and dynamic and love myself through it all.
Here are the top 3 things I have discovered about self love:
If I had a crisp pineapple ($50.00 note) would you want it if I were to:
Offer it to you no strings attached?
Had folded it in my wallet, would you still want it?
Have dropped it in the car park in the dirt, Even still?
Tell you the truth and there was a strange brown smear on it now, do you still want it?
Most of your would have said YES right? Let’s consider why. No matter what it looks like, where it has been, what’s happened to it, what has stuck on it, its value remains… just like you.
What are you waiting for? Remember you are a soul that has a body. You are divine. You are worth loving just as you are. You are already enough.
The love you need is already within. You do not have to search around in other people for it, in other things, in achievements. You are love, like an ocean within.
“Rise in love, like waves in the ocean”
Best friends forever! Would you go on a second date with you? Would you want to have a best friend that treats you the way you treat yourself?
If you reflected on the way that you speak to yourself, the time you make for yourself, do you give yourself priority, keep appointments with yourself or blow them off? How caring, kind and thoughtful you are of yourself, are you fun, playful, deep, connected, caring, generous, understanding, respectful? Or are you harsh, unreasonable, cold, demanding, always taking without investing?
As you would with your BFF extend that same kindness and compassion to yourself. We don’t demand perfection from our friends. Allow yourself to be on a journey “I am in the process of…”. Have realistic expectations of yourself and do not compare yourself to anyone else. You are wonderfully, uniquely you.
Include all of you, mind, body and soul. Take time to plan for your wellbeing. What fuels you? What makes you smile? What recharges your energy? Just as you would note with your best friend, take notes on yourself and plan to nurture and love yourself. Do those things that bring you joy, rest and peace. This could look completely different for all of us. Know when to stop, when to rest, when to play and have fun. Make time for you. Forgive yourself. Let go of things that no longer serve you. See the good in you and water that.
Seek health for yourself over comfort. It’s not always going to look like bubble baths and eating chocolate. I have had to have uncomfortable conversations, discipline myself, take responsibility for my choices and actions, make a plan, fuel my vision and take steps to be the best version of me. Maintain healthy boundaries to allow myself to grow. Boundaries are not brick walls of protection, it’s a line in the sand knowing where you are responsible and where you are not, where someone else can step and where they can not. Know your boundaries and embrace them with love. Be open to love, be open to friendship, be open to challenges. Back yourself (just as you would your BFF).
When you realise the depth of love already within you, you discover how much you have available to offer those around you and your priorities in life. Loving you first means your cup of love is full to pour out to others. It is a healthy kind of love for you and those around you.
“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Fall in love with the path of deep healing. Fall in love with becoming the best version of yourself but with patience, compassion and respect for your own journey” – S. Mcnutt