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Oh you sweet angel. I am sending you so much love.
In recent years, February has become this month that is associated with self-love and self-care, and I am SO here for it. I just think that this is such an important practice for us to cultivate in all months, but hey, if February needs to be the kickoff for us to really focus on it and pay more attention to self-love and how we treat and speak and think about ourselves, I'm here for it. I'm all about it. And so today's episode is completely dedicated to self love.
Today, I want to talk about some of the things that self-love ISN'T as well as differentiate between self care and self comfort, because there is a difference.
I want to give you some of my personal affirmations that are just absolutely soaked and dripping in self-love.
And I want to share with you three steps to more self-love, especially when you have those negative self-loathing, anti self-love thoughts that comes up.
This is for you if you've ever passed by a mirror and thought something negative about yourself. You might've done something, you know, and thought I could've done that better. You might've berated yourself for X, Y, and Z. at any point during your day today. This is for you.
I see you. I love you. I'm with you and you're human. I'm glad that we've got that covered.
Self-love is such a loaded topic.
And yet you see so much stuff around what self-love is with self-love isn't on the internet.
You see all these different memes and different lists of things on Pinterest. And to be honest, it can be pretty overwhelming because I think we're always looking for what's right, and what the right answer is. And we're trying to get things right, and figure things out. And when it feels like we don't have a grasp on that, or we're not doing all the things, you know, we're not practicing all the different modalities and all the different things, we feel like we failed and it only adds to our overwhelming sense of not-enoughness.
At the end of the day, self-love is simply giving a crap about your wellbeing.
That's it. It's being aware of your needs as an individual.
It is trusting yourself, or learning to trust yourself.
Self love is having the discipline to cultivate certain habits that really serve your highest self and your wellbeing. And you'll notice that I didn't say anything about how self-love is found in a tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream wearing a onesie while you watch Netflix, because while that is a frickin fun time, that's self comfort.
Let's differentiate between self care and self comfort, just for anybody who would like that differentiation, and maybe wants to understand when they're choosing self care and self comfort. And for the record, there is a time and a place for both. So this is not an either or thing. This is an AND thing. I love that word. And, and, and ALL DAY baby. But there's a time and a place for both self care and self comfort, and it would be really beautiful and beneficial if you were choosing self-care over self comfort more of the time, that's it. It's not like it has to be an 80/20 thing. It doesn't have to be a 90/10 thing. Just do more things that fill your cup mentally, physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, more of the time, like I mentioned.
Self-care is such a huge buzzword these days and I love it. I love that we're focusing on it. We should be taking care of ourselves, but it's important not to confuse the two.
So what is self comfort??
Self comfort often feels good in the moment, but it isn't really good in the long run. Things like drinking a bottle of red wine after a hard week or eating a whole tub of ice cream, like I mentioned, and binge watching the bachelor season 72. Again, there's nothing wrong with any of these things, and if you're choosing them, you go glen coco. Just know that this is self comfort, and not self love.
What are some of my personal examples of what self-care looks like?
It might look different for you, but I'm venturing a guess that some of these things will resonate and be similar for you with regards to self-care because we're both humans having a similar experience.
So some of the things personally, for me, that help fill my cup mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, with regards to my self-care practices (because it is a practice, it's ongoing) are:
- daily journaling: morning and evening journaling is really important to me
- getting enough sleep
- taking vitamins and supplements
- eating good food
- connecting with loved ones / connecting with a friend (text, phone call, a walk, whatever)
- working out
- listening to podcasts like this one, hooray!
(If you're listening to this right now, as a kudos to you, you beautiful frickin magical person!)
- walking outside and connecting with nature
- prioritizing my hobbies (I love painting and I've been painting more and more lately)
- organizing my schedule
- forgiveness is a self care practice!! (forgiveness of self and others)
- boundaries: setting them and sticking to them
These are all things that for me personally are part of my self-care practice and it's really easy to do and not do these things.
Like I mentioned before, it's a practice. It's something that I'm just always trying to get better at and dive deeper into, feel into, lean into more deeply, because I know that when I'm committed and disciplined in these things, I feel better. And if you've been hanging around this podcast or my social media for any time, you know, that my ongoing mantra is:
It's good to feel good! And when you feel better, you do better!
So to recap: SELF COMFORT things feel good in the moment, but they aren't necessarily serving our highest self. They're not bad and you're not bad for choosing them. They're just self comfort. And we just need to make sure that we recognize how often we are participating in self comfort. And how often we are participating in self-care. And SELF CARE, on the other side of the spectrum are the things that serve our highest wellbeing.
The real secret here? Ask yourself "can I actively choose more self-care than self comfort?" And I think you'll find more of a balance, and will feel better when you actively do that for yourself.
Some of Marie's personal favourite SELF LOVE AFFIRMATIONS:
I trust myself, completely.
Self love is...
I accept myself as I am right now.
Self love is...
I am willing to set boundaries.
I'm willing to cultivate habits that serve my wellbeing.
Your affirmations might be different, but at the end of the day, I really truly do believe that when you start to practice MORE self care, you just naturally start to improve and heal your relationship with yourself.
You can't hate something that you're taking good care of.
Please hear this. You cannot hate something that you were taking good care of.
Think about how you treat a plant. (If you don't have any plants, go get yourself a plant friend, because they are such a good practice and daily reminder in taking care of, being gentle with and compassionate towards and loving).
I have these plants on my windowsill and every single morning, when I go turn on my lamp, I say good morning to them.
And I open the blinds and I might check in, you know, just make sure that they're all doing okay. I water them. They sit in the sun. I speak to them. And all of these things they need in order to thrive. And how can I possibly hate something that I'm taking such good care of and how can something that I'm taking such good care of, not thrive?
My plants thrive when I take care of them in this manner.
Just like I thrive when I take care of myself.
I make time for them in my schedule because the only priority in my life is feeling good.
It's the only thing that I'm concerned with because when I feel good, I am a beacon of light and love and productivity and positivity. And, you know, when you heal yourself, you heal the world.
And so for me, I take responsibility for my life fully by practicing these self-care habits, these practices, and then I'm able to show up and be better in all areas of my life. As a partner, as a sister, as a daughter, as a entrepreneur, as a team member, like all of these different things, I am able to show up in a really beautiful way, because I am choosing to love myself through practicing these things often.
What are the THREE STEPS you can take to move yourself from negative thought to more self love?
Step #1: Notice the thought. When you walk by the mirror and your automatic negative thought pattern is, "Oh my God, I look awful today." "Oh, I'm so fat. I'm so stupid. I can't believe I wore this thing. This is so uncomfortable. Oh, I look terrible." etc etc etc. the first step is to just notice it. Just notice if you're going on a self hating mission. Notice the thought and similar to how, when we sit in meditation, we want to just let the thoughts float by like clouds in a sky. This is like that. Number one, just notice.
Step #2: Forgive the thought. Be okay with having had the thought in the first place. And remember that just because you think it doesn't mean it's true. You have this ever flowing river of thoughts running through your mind. It's ongoing and beating yourself up for choosing a thought out of that thought river and obsessing on it for days, months, years, a lifetime, et cetera, it doesn't help anything. It doesn't help anything trying to hate yourself out of it. You might say something like "I'm willing to love and accept myself completely". You might even want to tap on the karate chop part of your hand and repeat something like "even though I had that thought, I completely love and accept myself." Or "even though I had that thought, I am willing to love and accept myself as I am"
Step #3: The third step to really transforming that thought pattern and stopping it in its tracks and creating a new path, a new neural pathway for yourself is: just choose again.
And you could ask yourself a question, like, "what is my next best step if I'm coming from love?" or, "what would love do here?" We get to choose our thoughts and the best thing about them is we can always choose again.
Here's the thing, if you're coming home at the end of a really long, stressful week, and all you can think about is, "Oh my God, I just want to down a bottle of something and a bag of something and order takeout and watch TV..." this process will help you decide for yourself if that's really what you want to choose in the moment, or if you'd like to choose something from your list of self care items that might serve you more deeply.
And the answer might not be one that you like, but it's coming from your highest self. The answer might be something more similar to "love would go for a walk. Love would drink a big glass of water and then put on my favorite playlist. Love would call a friend and talk. Love would make a really beautiful meal and make it slowly and really enjoy it. Love would sit down with some nice music or some binaural beats or some kind of meditation soundtrack and relax. Love would journal these feelings out. Love would go get sweaty. Love would take a nap."
These are all ways to practice self love, and therefore to practice self care.
And I can promise from personal experience, that when you practice this: this noticing, this self-awareness, and then this willingness to change and forgive and accept yourself as you are, you will begin to cultivate a better relationship with yourself.
Ask yourself: "What would love do here?"
You will naturally start to filter out habits and behaviors and beliefs that you don't want in your life. And you will naturally start to lean towards more of a perpetual state of self love.
So until next time, my dear friend, don't forget to live on purpose.
Thank you so much for your love and support of this podcast. If this episode spoke to you in any way today, share it with another woman who could use the reminder.
And don't forget you are worth the effort, you do deserve to be happy and everything you need to create an epic life is already within you!
Until next time, keep on living on purpose, sweet baby angel.
I'm always in your corner,
ps - let's connect on instagram! I'm over there, playing on stories every day and I'd love to hear from you! @mariebarkerwellness