February Soul Note - #MeFirst
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifetime romance.” - Oscar Wilde
Who couldn’t use a lifelong romance this month, especially when February 14 is celebrated all over the world and millions of dollars are spent for the art of love and romance?
If you’ve had the opportunity to read January’s Soul Note, you know I am a huge fan of setting intentions. I’ve had great success with setting intentions, enough to keep me inspired to do it each year. This year I thought I’d shoot for the stars and aim for the Universe of LOVE- self-love that is. In fact, it’s my commitment to self-love that has inspired me to plan my first ever tattoo: #MeFirst.
Surprisingly, there are many people who are confused by what is meant by self-love and self-care. Putting yourself first gets a bad rap. We are encouraged from an early age to share our toys and often to put others before ourselves. Unintentionally, our Mamas taught us to take the focus away from ourselves and how to prioritize others before ourselves.
Generation after generation (my own included) were modelled to care-give at unhealthy levels. Caregiving is often rewarding, but it is equally as challenging and can be quite damaging. It has been proven time and time again that women are especially at risk of over-extending themselves, which has led to depression, anxiety, and many other health consequences.
We must remove the stigma from self-love as being selfish and narcissistic, and instead become a society that allows for and intentionally places emphasis on self-love and self-care.
True self-love is making the choice to offer yourself unconditional love, appreciation, and acceptance. What does this mean? Are you sitting down?
Simply put, no matter what you do or what happens in your life, self-love asks that you remain in a constant state of acceptance and appreciation of yourself. Like the flight attendant who reminds you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first in turbulent times, we must put ourselves first.
So, for the month of February, a month devoted to love, here are some ways you can approach a regime of self-love:
1. Become Aware.
People who practice self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than concern themselves about what others think, feel, or want for them.
2. Allow Yourself to Express Your Emotions.
Emotions are energy in motion. They need to be expressed and not suppressed. Suppression causes dis-ease.
3. Say YES to More.
I have a friend who decided she would say YES for 30 days to every invitation she received. She says it changed her life.
4. But, Set Healthy Boundaries.
You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, relationships, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Be around the people who juice your energy, not those who zap your energy. Ask yourself, does this person bring me light, or are they dimming the light down?
5. Forgive Yourself.
You must accept the fact that you are not perfect before you can truly love yourself.
6. Dedicate Time to a Regular Self-Care Activity.
A daily meditation practice, eating healthy, exercising regularly; whatever you choose, try to do something daily for mind, body, and soul.
7. Take a Step Towards a Dream You Have.
Ask yourself, if I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do? Sign up for that class or event you’ve always wanted to try.
8. A Monthly Treat.
This is a MUST! Whether it is a new book, an online course, a lunch date, a movie date, or a girls’/boys’ night out. Plan one thing each month you’ll be able to look forward to. And, may I recommend the following:
9. Go On a Retreat.
To retreat means to move inwards, not to escape or to isolate. Retreats don’t have to be fancy or expensive. It can be as simple as a day hike in nature. A weekend getaway with your support network is an incredible gift to yourself.
10. Write a Letter to Your Inner Child.
What does she/he need? A few years ago I went on a retreat and this is one of the exercises we did. Turns out, my inner child wanted to fly a kite. So, one of the first things I did when I got home was buy a kite. Indulging my inner child allowed me a necessary emotional release - and did I have FUN!
By putting yourself first, you are not being selfish; in fact, you are being self-reflective, which is the ability to look within and the willingness to learn more about your essence. #MeFirst is a statement affirming that you have your own back and your own heart. A #MeFirst mentality allows you to be a messenger of healthy, sustainable love.
The more we practice self-love and self-care, the more we send out the message that we are worthy of love, meaning we can attract more healthy energy and loving people into our lives.
So, during the month of LOVE, what have you got to lose by practicing more self-love?
By making yourself a priority, you are making a statement that YOU matter.
All things come from matter. Let it be LOVE!
Related Article: September Soul Note - No Stone Left Unturned