The art of self love...
With a brand new year almost upon us, it's almost time to make those unrealistic new year's resolutions. It's the same with every passing year; we enter into the new annum with the best of intentions, promising ourselves to cut down on the midnight nibbling, hit the gym at least thrice weekly, keep our rooms and therefore our minds tidy at ALL times, inevitably failing at the first sight of a Toblerone and a onesie come, say, January 5th.
This year though, we're going to try something different. Rather than put rules and regulations in place at a time when we should really be far kinder to ourselves (why January, why?), we're going to do just that; be nice.
Being good to yourself isn't as simple as it may sound, however. It takes a lot of practice when our default can so often be a negative frame of mind. Think about it; how many times have you been caught beating yourself up about the pettiest of things? Why, when you're more than likely good to others, are you so hard on yourself? One of the greatest lessons you can learn in life, we've come to believe, is the art of self love. And this is not to be confused with someone who loves themselves in an arrogant or selfish way. No, this is a quiet, knowing love that accepts who you are, as you are in the here and now.
If we wait 'til we've lost those few pounds to love ourselves, or until we've nabbed our dream job, or we wait 'til our health is at its best or for the partner of our dreams to walk into our lives, then what's the point to our present experience?
Being your own worst enemy, or incessantly self critical will get you nowhere. I can vouch for that. In fact, adopting this negative attitude is nothing but damaging to you and even those around you. Instead, this year, when we catch ourselves self loathing over this or that, we're going to stop and reframe our thinking in a more positive way. It might take a bit of effort at first, but it's worth the work.
For example, instead of thinking 'That was terrible, I'm terrible, I did a terrible job', why not try 'OK, that didn't go quite as well as I'd have liked, but I gave it my best shot, and I've learned from the experience.' Instead of encouraging negative energy, which will only attract more negativity, why not open yourself up to a world of positivity that will only attract more of the same?
Have you ever heard of a brilliant woman called Louise Hay? If not, go look her up. She's the queen of self love, believing that self acceptance and self love is the key to a life of contentment. In fact she believes it's the one thing that could heal almost anything. As there are few who could say it as well as she does, below we round up some of her most inspiring affirmations, in the hope that by reading them on the regular, we may start our 2015 as we mean to go on: positively.
1. Stop All Criticism.
Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.
2. Forgive Yourself.
Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing, and you will live life differently.
3. Be Gentle and Kind and Patient.
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.
4. Be Kind to Your Mind.
Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don't hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.
5. Praise Yourself.
Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
6. Support Yourself.
Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
7. Be Loving to Your Negatives.
Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns.
This New Year, why not try some of the above? Beats the gym, that's for sure.