The Therapy Booth

resting, doodling and holding love signs

5 Ways to Love Yourself Today

on March 26, 2018

Taking a moment for a cup of herbal tea on the patio. Self Love FTW.

There are infinite ways to love yourself. Starting helps.

You may get stopped by any number of beliefs. Some of the most popular ones are that self-love is selfish and that you should only be looking out for others; and if you’re an enlightenment-seeker, you may be hung up on the thought that there is “no self” and so self-love doesn’t make sense, or it’s against what you think you’ve been seeking.

I call bullshit on both of those ideas. And I call it from direct experience.

If all you’re doing is giving outwardly, there is nothing left to give, eventually. Watch out for burn-out in the form of fatigue, resentment, or depression. And if you’re seeking enlightenment, and you want to experience, directly, what we call oneness, then I’m telling you: all-inclusive self-love is a doorway.

Here are five things you can try. Try all in one day. Try one a day for five days. Try one each day a week for five weeks. Do whatever is fun for you. Start small. Go easy. Take your time with it. Little bits of self-love have exponential results if you stick with it.

  1. Look in the mirror and talk about it. Take a breath. Look yourself in the eyes. And just start laying it on: I love you. I love you so much. You’re doing great. I know you’re doing your best, and I can see it. I love you so much, exactly as you are. I see your puffy eyes, and I love you! I know you’re nervous and don’t know what to do. And I love you so much! I’m with you! I love you. I love you. I love you. Stay there until you relax and really feel something open.
  2. Take a walk, 10 – 20 minutes. Go alone. Let your mind rest, and let it wander.
    * If you are unable to take a walk, don’t let the love stop there! Try 5 – 10 minutes of gentle stretching. Roll your shoulders and neck. Take some deep breaths. Stretch your legs out in front of you if you are able. Stretch your hands and wrists. Keep is simple, easy, and loving. Be loving with your body. *
  3. Let your mind & body rest. Set a timer for 10 – 15 minutes, maybe 20, and rest. Let your attention gently return, again and again, to the space under your nose where your breath passes in and out. Don’t force any thoughts away. Let them come to completion and return your attention to your breath. Notice where your body feels tense, and breathe space into there. Letting go, opening, letting go, opening, relaxing.
  4. Make something simple. Simple creativity can offer great love, presence, and relief. And you don’t have to be good at it! Draw a stick figure of yourself or someone you love. Play half of a song on a guitar. Having fun? Play the rest of the song. Cut your sandwich into fun shapes. Be easy about it; just express yourself.

    Here are some samples from a daily doodle exercise that I do. Following my Morning Pages, I write a visioning page for the day. I next make a simple doodle based on that vision, and then I make a short gratitude list. No matter what space I was in when I started writing, these simple pictures always make me aware of a sweet smile on my face when I finish.


    This one was actually at a restaurant where I went to see a band. I saw crayons and fun ensued.

  5. Go back to the mirror. Thank yourself for the self-loving gestures. Let yourself know how much you’re kicking ass & how great you’re doing.

And you are [doing great]. What a gift. Relax, breathe, look yourself in your own eyes. Self-love is the recognition of infinity.

These exercises may seem dorky, and your mind may tell you they are useless. But if your mind is also telling you mean things about yourself and your life, you might as well infuse it with some kind ideas as well.

And did I mention, IT’S ALL FREE!? It doesn’t cost any money to do any of these things. Even if you want to draw and don’t have a crayon, find a stick and drawn in the dirt. Just honor yourself, and show the precious being you are some love.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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