There is an abundance of marketing promoting the idea of loving ourselves. I mean why not, being in love is such a wonderful feeling and to be in love with ourselves, a person we are always with, how wonderful would that be!? Then why is it so hard to do?
Let’s take a look at a few ways we can get from that crappy place of having the blues to feeling more connected and ultimately more in love with ourselves and the world around us.
Sometimes we say yes to things that we know aren’t good for us. We have adopted ‘coping mechanisms’, behaviours, habits which help us self soothe and some of those habits aren’t good for us yet they feel so comforting to do them.
I would like to share with you an exercise that helps me cultivate an awareness of how my actions affect how I feel and ultimately helps me feel more empowered.
Step 1 – Make a commitment or an intention. For instance, you could say something like, it is my intention to become my own best friend. Write it down and look at it when you need inspiration or start to feel lost. Knowing what it is you are working towards is key to getting what you want.
Step 2 – Start to think about all the things you do regularly. Then on a piece of paper create two columns. Label one column as ‘Sustains me’ and the other column as ‘Drains me’. Start to write down all the things under the ‘Sustains me’ list that make you feel good after you’ve done them. For example eating a tub full of ice cream may feel good AS you’re doing it but how does it make you feel AFTER? This list should be about all the things that make you feel like you’re taking good care of yourself. For me using products from Nourish and taking the time to slowly apply my favourite body lotion, Relax Cell Protect Body Cream, taking deep breaths and taking in the scent of the cream goes under my ‘Sustains me’ list. Self-touch is so important in making you feel good about yourself.
In the second column labelled ‘Drains me’ write all the things that drain you like eating that tub full of ice cream that you notice makes you feel sluggish after.
Step 3 – Start to notice on a daily basis if you are doing more of the things on your ‘Sustains me’ list or ‘Drains me’ list. The first step to change is awareness. So if you’re new to this just simply noticing is more than enough. You don’t need to use this as an exercise to beat yourself up if you notice you’re doing a lot more things on your ‘Drains me’ list than your ‘Sustains me’ list. Simply notice. We use this practice in Yoga and call it becoming the observer/ witness.
Step 4 – Set yourself a task to reduce the number of times you do the things on your ‘Drains me’ list. When you notice you’ve done less of the things on your ‘Drains me’ list say something kind to yourself like ‘Well done’ and notice how that feels.
This journey to undoing what it is you do that no longer serves you is not a two second fix. Having patience and compassion for the times when you feel like you fail is important. Keep coming back to your ‘Sustains me’ list regardless of how many times you feel like you’ve lost your way. Each day is a new beginning. Keep reviewing your lists and keep being inquisitive in getting to understand yourself better. The key to letting go of old ways that no longer serve you is to find new ones that do. I am proud of you.