Self-Love: 16 Strategies to Live a Life Uncommon (Part I)
Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom.
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.
Fill your lives with love and bravery, and you shall lead a life uncommon.
Jewel, Life Uncommon
In the quite moments of the day, when you have time to breath and be with yourself, how do you feel? When you glide past a mirror, and get a quick glimpse of yourself, what are your first thoughts? Do you think that you’re beautiful? Do you feel strong? Do feel that you need help to move forward toward a life filled with joy?
How we feel about ourselves directly influences how we interact with and experience our lives. Our self-worth is directly related to how strong we feel in our own skin and to our ability to fully live a life with passion, personal success, and happiness. Our self-worth is also directly related to living a life imprisoned by fear, resistance, and guilt.
Our life experience comes down to: Self-Love.
There is a song by, Jewel, called a Life Uncommon. It’s a song about the desire to live a life like no other…a life on your own terms…a life of love, freedom, fulfillment, joy, and abundance. A Life Uncommon is what I strive for, and I’m pretty sure that you are after the same thing, too.
The thing about living a Life Uncommon is that it takes immense courage. You need to propel yourself into uncertainty: a place that can only be described as, frightening. If you want to live a Life Uncommon and build success and joy on your own terms, you have to walk alone — and that takes an inner strength that can only be supported by the presence of fierce Self-Love. Because, after all, you are the only one that will be able to create a Life Uncommon. No one can do it for you.
Self-Love is something that I think of often. And, like you, I have to make a focused decision to be mindful of my actions and thoughts, and to care for myself. I know that practicing Self-Love is the only thing that will allow me to be there for others. And, building my inner strength allows me to keep fighting the fight for recovery: Self-Love is incredibly healing.
In essence, Self-Love can be described as worthiness or inner strength. It is cultivated through doing thing for yourself, and surrounding yourself with people who inject your life with happiness and positivity. It’s about creating boundaries in your life, living by your values, and caring for your body in a loving a gentle way. Self-Love is about becoming acquainted with who you are and what you stand for. And, when you have strong Self-Love, it helps you to have the capacity to live according to your own terms, instead of according to the dictates of others.
Ultimately, to cultivate Self-Love and to live a Life Uncommon, you need to believe that you are worth the fight. But how do you do that? How do you cultivate fierce Self-Love? Well…let me tell you: fierce Self-Love is a practice. Just like lifting weights to build strong muscles, practicing Self-Love builds a strong internal state of worthiness. And, over time, your daily practice of Self-Love builds an inner strength that will support you through your journey to live a Life Uncommon.
Small steps toward Self-Love allow you to make big leaps toward your desires.
To help you to begin your journey to practicing Self-Love, I’ve asked 16 of my beautiful friends to share with you their favorite Self-Love strategies.
Since there are so many powerful practices to share with you, I’ve decided to divide this article into two parts. This week, in Part I, you will discover 8 Self-Love strategies shared by some of my favorite bloggers.
Pick one Self-Love strategy that resonates with you, and use the strategy every day for the next 7 days. Gathering Self-Love strategies that speak to you will help you to cultivate fierce Self-Love. And, from that place of strength, you will be able to begin living your life according to your own values, aspirations, and desires.
With Self-Love, a life Lived Uncommon grows.
Please leave a comment below, and let me know which strategy resonates with you the most. And, stay tuned for Part II of this Self-Love series.
8 Strategies to Cultivate Fierce Self-Love:
Dani DiPirro of PositivelyPresent.com:
One of the most important ways you can show yourself love is by setting boundaries. When you establish what kinds of interactions, behaviors, and experiences you will or will not tolerate in your life, you’re able to create perimeters within which you can maintain a healthy, positive sense of self. Setting boundaries (especially with loved ones!) can often be challenging, but doing so will help you to create environments in which you feel safe, empowered, and respected–all things that are so important for loving yourself.
Susan Graham Guddat of susangrahamguddat.com
My self-love strategy involves daily meditation practice. I have learned over the years that meditation is one of the most important acts of self-love. Meditating brings a sense of peace and calm to my state of being, and it reminds me that I love myself and that I need to care for myself, and look after myself before I can give that love away to others. Meditating makes me a better mom, a better wife and in general, a better human being. When I’m feeling like I need to amp up my self-love meditation practice, I draw myself a hot, luscious bubble bath and meditate in the tub – try it, you’ll love it!
Leanne Vogel of HealthfulPursuit.com
I get frantic when I’m not sure what to eat. I get stuck in my head instead of choosing what’s right for my body, and when I’m in this state, I often choose the wrong thing and get stomach aches, bloating and bouts of irritability. Before the craziness happens, I take a moment in the kitchen, in silence. I stand tall, arms beside me with fingers splayed open. I elongate my spine, run my shoulders down my back, close my eyes and focus on my breath for 60 seconds. I breath in through my nose and out through my nose slowly and carefully. This practice helps me get out of my head and back into my body where I can make healthy, balanced choices for myself. I often “wake” from this mini meditation completely prepared to eat the food my body needs instead of what my head wanted just moments before. No guilt, no emotions, just nourishment.
Gracious Living with Grace Van Berkum of GraceVanBerkum.com
Coming from a lifetime of poor self-esteem and body issues that resulted in a number of addictions and self-destructive behaviors, I decided I needed to drastically change my life or I was going to die. Now, I’ve become dedicated to my own healing, and in the last 10 years I’m living a happier, more peaceful life. I decided I did not want to become a prisoner to my own self-hatred. I desperately needed to learn how to love myself. One way I have learned how to love myself and my body, is through the food that I put in it. Becoming more aware of where the food on my plate comes from, and how it affects my body, my weight, my energy level, and my moods, has become such an empowering adventure for me. I have realized that I owe it to myself to be the healthiest and happiest I can be. I owe to all those around me to be the healthiest and happiest I can be, because how I carry myself in this lifetime affects all those that are close to me. I owe it to myself to keep working on learning how to move though life on this planet with abundant energy and ease. Then I have more energy and strength to delve deeper into other aspects of my being that need healing and evolving. This is self-love to me. And my self-love starts with food. If I continue to feed myself foods that are filled with love and life from the earth, foods that nourish every cell in my body, foods that revitalize me, fuel me, energize me, and make me feel and look good, this affects all aspects of my life. When I respect my body with food I know that I am loving myself. Eating wholefoods from the earth has not only helped me learn to love myself, but it has helped increase my love and compassion for all things that are alive, including humans, animals, and even plants, trees, and insects in nature. In essence, learning to love myself and body through eating wholefoods from the earth has increased my love for mother earth. We are all connected, and every choice we make affects others and the world we live in. When I open my heart and learn to love myself, I open my heart for love, and to love, all around me.
Natalia Chouklina of AchievetheImpossible.ca
My go-to self-care practices are solitude and silence. They don’t sound fancy but, when combined, this is a potent form of rest for a nervous system, which opens the door for self-reflection. Over the years, I’ve been dedicating more and more time to spending time in solitude, and I’ve noticed a massive shift in how I relate to myself, and others. When I resist this practice, either by keeping busy or finding ways to drown out my inner voice, I wonder – what is it that I don’t want to hear? What parts of myself don’t I want to be with, and why? A lot of my work is centered on helping women to connect with their intuition, their real truth, and to develop a capacity for greater acceptance and self-trust. I noticed that silence and solitude are the catalysts, which help my clients to access all of these qualities in their lives. As I type this, I’m sitting alone and it’s quiet – no music, no TV, no cell phone, and no one’s talking in my year – I can hear the rain outside and the sound of my breath. I feel calm, alive and present with this moment. I hear my thoughts clearly, loving and not, along with stories, fears and patterns I’m running. I’m now in a position to ask myself –How can I bring more love and compassion in this inner dialogue? How do I want to relate to myself? I also hear my intuition; its faint whisper is usually incoherent in the sea of external noises, but it’s audible and clear when we create the space for it to be heard. There’s nothing to distract me from being with me. While it may sound scary for some of you, and it was true for me in the past, these days I find silent solitude comforting, homey and inviting.
Claire Baker of ThisIsLifeBlood.com
One of my favourite self love strategies is to create a love list – a collection of things I love to do – and ensure I do 3 things off the list before leaving the house, every morning. Sometimes this is just reading in bed, writing, listening to music or doing some yoga. By engaging in activities that connect me with my most simple essence, I start the day on a loving and invigorating note. Doing things I love – everyday – makes me feel radiant, strong, useful and capable.
Emily Ehlers of EmilyEhlers.com.au
One of the most powerful self-love techniques that I use on myself as well as prescribe to my clients are daily affirmations. Affirmations are literally just present-tense, positive statements that you repeat to yourself throughout the day. If you are just getting started with affirmations, a great beginners technique is just saying “I love you insert your name”, every time you see your reflection. So I start my morning in the bathroom mirror saying, “I love you Emily Ehlers”, and then, if I catch myself in a shop window or a pond throughout the day, I say it again. It feels completely dorky and that’s okay! After a few weeks of this practice I can guarantee you are going to see a marked difference in the way you feel about yourself. Then you can get creative and create your own affirmations. My favorite at the moment is “I am the strongest and healthiest that I have ever been”.
Jessica Nazarali of LiveHealthySimply.com
I choose to surround myself with people who are positive and inspire me daily. Choosing to be unavailable to negative people is one of the biggest gifts I can give myself, and it’s a true act of self love. It’s amazing how our internal dialogue can change when we cut toxic people out of our life.