Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Jamie-Lynn Weeks of the Mindful Manipura in a live discussion about what self-love is to us and how we practice it in our own lives. For too long, there has been a stigma of taking time for yourself as being selfish, when it is anything but that. There is power and calmness that comes with spending a little bit of time on yourself, even if it is only a couple of minutes a day.
Not sure how to start your self-love practice? Get connected to a free 10 minute guided mediation and affirmations to start your day off right.
When talking with Jamie-Lynn, one of the reoccurring themes that kept coming up for us is that there is no perfect way to practice self-love. In fact, it does not need to look a certain way, it does not need to sound a certain way, and there is not just one way to practice it. For example, I find that I really enjoy yoga. I love the challenge of the poses and learning how to concentrate on breath. However, what I love about it even more is the mental health benefits of going. When I started yoga years ago I felt lost and broken. I am positive that I cried during the first few classes that I went through because of all of the things I had been keeping bottled in came pouring out, with no control from me. Before that day, I never wanted to go to yoga because it was too slow, I was too inflexible, and an array of other excuses. I also don't think that at that time in my life I was able to grasp the idea of slowing down and looking inward. There was a little push inside of me that got me to yoga those years ago. I am not perfect at yoga, but I still participate. And that's just it. You don't have to be good at something to still participate in it. No matter what "it" is for your personal well-being, I hope that you stop making excuses and just do it.
One of the things that stuck out to me in Jamie-Lynn's insights were the practice of meditation. This has always been difficult for me because my mind wanders.....like, a lot! I always had this notion that in order to meditate you had to sit with y our legs crossed and have the best posture in the world, but again, not true. She showed me that it could be as simple as sitting in my chair at work for 5 minutes and practicing breathing deeply. She also talked about having a visual so that your mind is able to concentrate on being grounded instead of racing from one thought to another. This will still look different for everyone.
Self-love will look different for everyone. It will be unique to you. There is no one perfect way to practice self-love, all it takes is giving yourself the permission to begin.
Sometimes self-love is about giving yourself permission. It's about setting aside the shame or guilt of putting yourself before someone else, however, that in itself can be healing and helpful for both parties. When you take the time to understand who you are and care for yourself as you would a friend, you are better able to care for others. How does self-love show up in your daily life? How do you WISH self-love showed up in your daily life?
For the month of February I am going to practice self-love. I will continue to do yoga 2-3 times a week, but in addition to that I am going to try to establish my own morning self-love rituals. For me, this will include morning pages from The Artist's Way by Julis Cameron, which I mentioned in the live interview, and try to meditate at least 3 times a week using Jamie-Lynns guided meditation. Will you join me? What will your self-love journey look like?
If you are unsure of where or how to begin, how would you like some free guidance? Jamie-Lynn and I teamed up to provide people with some simple beginnings for their self-love journey. Jamie-Lynn has for you a recorded 10 minute meditation. She guides you through a visual during your 10 minutes of grounding and settling into your own breath. I have also put together a list of affirmations to help you wake up each morning giving yourself a bit of encouragement and compliments, because you are worth it and worthy of time for yourself. You can get these freebie and the replay of the live interview here. If nothing else, do it for the personal growth and the benefits of knowing yourself well.
Would you like to read more about our insights and thoughts on self-love? Before the discussion we put together our thoughts and want to share those with you as well. Embrace who you are, set up daily practices that get you closer to the person you want to be. Self love interview answers/insights.