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Love Yourself February!

Monday, February 04, 2013

I've been telling friends that I am declaring February self-love month. Geez, I had no idea so many others long before had already done so. Seriously it's EVERYWHERE. Valentine's Day PALES in comparison to all the radical self love movements out and about the WORLD darlings! All you have to do is open your eyes and your ears and your arms...OH! And then, when you DO that, I want you to give yourself one of those cool yoga kind of self hugs k?

Cuz THAT is what we're doing here. No Hallmark Holiday stuff here. We're being kind and good and loving OURSELVES!

Make lists of reasons why you love yourself…
& write down (or keep mental lists) of the compliments other people give you. We’re so quick to believe people when they say nasty, unkind or “brutally honest” (ahem, cruel) things to or about us, & we discard all the times we’re told how amazing, beautiful or intelligent we are. Usually this is because our sense of self-doubt is stronger than our self-love. If you can build up the love side of things, this will begin to change.

Reach out to others…
...& do it regularly. When we don’t talk to people about how we’re feeling, or don’t have anyone to bounce ideas around with, it can be easy to feel lost, confused & out of touch. It also makes it easier for depression & sadness to nibble at our toes instead of cute little sand crabs at the beach. Being reminded that the world is bigger than our bubble can inspire & uplift us.

Think of a way you could make your life easier — then do it.
This could be ANYTHING from hiring an assistant (Siri?) to buying a better computer or just learning to say “no” more often. Whatever it is, make it a priority. Do some research on how to make it happen, & then get going!

Change the way you think about food.
So many of us get trapped into thinking that food is “good” or “bad” & there is no in-between. Associating a word like “good” or “bad” with a type of food doesn’t help us, it doesn’t mean anything, it just makes us feel guilty or like we should be “doing better”. What has helped me is to think of food as pure fuel for my body, & considering how it will make me feel or how much energy it will give me. I know that my body (& my brain) work better when I feed myself with fresh raw vegetables & lots of water & fruit, & that I feel sluggish & 9 months preggo when I eat a lot of the things that I used to love but don’t love ME back! If you can think about food that way, there’s less guilt, & you feel more informed & aware.

Stretch in the mornings.
It gets the blood moving, it fires up your brain & it gives you a few moments to just be still & grounded before the day begins.

Really listen to people when they are speaking.
Look at them, make eye contact & be present. They’ll feel good that you care enough to properly engage them, & you’ll feel great in return.

Have media black-out days.
The concept of doing this terrifies me but I know it needs to happen. Stay away from your computer, phone & television for an entire day. Those of us are who technology addicts will FREAK out at this idea but that’s an even bigger sign that we should try it. So many of us use technology to distract ourselves & keep our minds busy, when we would be far better served by just sitting still & learning to be comfortable alone. Ummmm....not sure this one is happening any time soon. I am interconnected by being connected you know?!*

Have that “awkward” conversation.
You’ve been holding it in too long. Bite the bullet, take a deep breath, & tell the truth. Be gentle but honest. No one can predict how they’ll react, but it doesn’t really matter. The time has come. Say it, & move on.
Read through the results when you search Tumblr for “love yourself”...
& be proud at the way this generation — YOUR GENERATION — is shaping up. You are part of this. This is your movement. Not mine; I’m ancient. Although there was that 72 year old pole dancing video I shared today on Azure and it’s pretty awesome.

Ask for help.
Whatever you’re going through, someone else has been through before, & come out the other side. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel — don’t be afraid to ask someone for advice or help. It could make a huge difference.

Know that you are good enough ALL THE TIME.
Yes, you are.

Find a mantra & hold it close.
 Anything! Together we CAN is one of my favorite.
How about Love yourself like your neighbor (only if you love your neighbor though).

Print out Sark’s picture 
No further explanation needed!

Do your very, very best to stop judging people.
Wayne Dyer said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” Those critical voices inside of you get a great work-out when you let them loose on someone else, & it’s like training for the grand event — that of judging yourself. If you don’t exercise those voices, they’ll eventually disappear altogether, making you a much happier person.

Express love in as many ways as you can.
Tell your friends you ADORE them, say thank you & mean it, flash your biggest & most sincere smile at strangers on the street, hug people for longer than normal. The more love you give out, the more it builds inside of you & the more you’ll get back — I pinky promise.

Wear sequins.
They’re a wonderful mood booster. If you’re too conservative to wear them, try some decadent “pretties” aka lingerie and wear them. Your smile alone will make everyone wonder and be a mood booster too!

Take a bubblebath.

Embrace the unknown.
Not everything needs to be planned to the last minute detail! Mystery is wonderful & invigorating. It is the zest of life.

Clean out your closet.
In addition to getting rid of old junk, cleaning out closets or cupboards is therapeutic because at the same time, you’re clearing space in your life for new, better things.

Increase the amount of spinach you eat.
 It’s like a miracle food. It’s so good for you & makes you feel amazing! Throw it in a smoothie (you won’t even taste it), use it as the base instead of lettuce in a salad or just snack on baby spinach fresh out of the bag. Yum!

Forget about your “to do” list & just BE.
 That’s when you’ll have the most fun, make the best breakthroughs & experience the most amazing adventures. Life is much more exciting & wonderful when you throw caution to the wind & do something ridiculous and FUNderful!

Make a little extra effort every day.
Your definition of “effort” could be wearing lipstick, making your bed, brightly coloured socks or even just taking the time to sit down with a book every night before bed. Just pick something that you know will make you feel good, & then do it.

Listen to new types of music & dance!
 Country? Bollywood? Rap? Seek it out & enjoy it with your whole body.

Treat yourself to new knickers. 
It’s almost a sure-fire way of feeling sexier & more delighted. Getting 5 pairs of cute knickers for at a lingerie shop (cuz I know that VS doesn’t work for all) One of the greatest pleasures in life is really nice pretties!

Change your alarm clock to something which makes you smile.
Use your smart phone and choose something happy or sexy. ANYTHING but BORING.

Be good to your body.
You probably know what that means for you. So what are you waiting for?

Know that you deserve love…
From yourself & from everyone else.

Throw away your scales.
 emoticon Or, if they were expensive & maybe something you need around say on Wednesdays for BLC WI, hide them. Put them in the back of your closet, into storage or inside a suitcase. Just don’t look at them. I don’t care how much I weigh, I just go by how I feel & how my clothing fits. You might like to give it a shot! AFTER and IN BETWEEN BLC rounds. It’s one of only like 3 rules so live with it! ;)

Be vibrant & colourful.
If not in dress, then in word & deed. The world has enough grey! Be the antidote!

Do something you’ve been afraid to do.
 It’s never too late to do what you really want to do. Don’t let other people’s opinions or fear or criticism stop you from being as wonderful as you can be.

Start thinking of Valentine’s Day as a day for YOU.
 A day to bask in the brilliance of you. A day to celebrate making it this far. A day to totally GET OFF on how rad you are. Treat yourself, luxuriate, have a bath which leaves you soft & wrinkly. Have a long nap & dream. Own it, make it yours. Then do the same next year, & the next, & the next…

Recognize that you are a miracle.

Eat dark chocolate.
Feed your luciousness! Plus, dark chocolate is one of the healthiest foods you can eat! Truth!

Stop worrying about other people’s opinions.
It doesn’t matter whether it is the opinion of a stranger or your husband, sometimes we let what other people think determine how we live our life… & it’s ridiculous. Ultimately, their thoughts on what we do & how we do it are irrelevant — all that matters is that it sits well with you.

Nourish yourself.
Get still & listen to what your body is telling you it really needs.

Play the drums.
If you don’t have a drum-kit (& few of us do) or know of a drumming circle near you, chopsticks & a couple of boxes will totally do the trick! Shut the door, close your eyes, & start drumming. It makes for great therapy. I love to air drum Phil Collins! Don’t judge!

Find amazing new icons & role models.
Read up & get inspired to live your life out loud.

Get more sunshine.
It really will make you feel so good. In addition to strengthening your immune system, muscles & bones, Vitamin D also stimulates the pineal gland, which is the part of the brain responsible for producing happy feelings. Yum!

Stop trying to “fit in”.
It’s just conformity, which is the most boring thing ever! So WHAT if people stare at you? SoWHAT if some people don’t get it? IT DOESN’T MATTER! Do your damn thing & be proud!

Recognize that life is only ever what you make it.
So why not make it magical, wonderful, beautiful & strange?

Get out everything that you’ve been holding onto.
Record it to your voicemail, draw it, write it down, just get it out of you somehow. Then destroy it, & let it go.

Write a letter to yourself as a child.
This can be an amazing exercise in forgiveness & pure, unadulterated self love.

Run away.
Spend some time by yourself or with a close friend. Escape the usual. Go somewhere you’ve never been, spend some time, soak it up. It will shake up your vision of what the world is like & give you a fresh new perspective on things.

Be brave.
Take a deep breath & just go for it.

Talk to strangers.
 Even though your mother told you not to! You never know who you’ll meet or what genius they might impart.

Respect yourself 100%...
& don’t accept anything less from anyone else.

Make the most of every opportunity.
Even when you’re tired, afraid or nervous. If you hold back every time you don’t feel amazing, you’ll miss out on so much of life. Make the commitment to living boldly. Always remember:Fortes fortuna adiuvat. Fortune favors the brave.

Appreciate the people in your life.
 Because everyone has a choice as to whether they want to be in your life or not! If you don’t show them how much they mean to you, they might not stick around, & it’s a hard lesson to learn. Be good to them. Let them know how much you value them all the time. You cannot be too loving!

Dress up for yourself.
Wear things which make you happy! Don’t dress to “attract a mate” or to impress your peer group, wear things that you like. Make yourself happy!

Really take time for yourself.
If you’re constantly scrambling around, bouncing from work to social engagement & back again, it’s inevitable that you’re going to feel exhausted & worn out. Taking some time for yourself is so valuable & something that a lot of us forget about.

Wake up half an hour earlier & do some yoga or sun salutations, even sit in a comfortable chair & do some deep breathing — anything to get you grounded & centered for the day. It makes a huge, huge difference to your quality of life.

Think about this every day: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” (Ayn Rand)

Set yourself enormous goals.
Goals which scare you, goals which cause a lump in your throat. AIM HIGH! Most people aim for mediocrity, & that’s exactly what they get. Don’t you deserve better?

Don’t allow yourself to rest on your laurels.
So you’ve made a name for yourself? Congratulations, that’s wonderful! Now try something new. Being the best is boring! Get into another industry, start something from the ground up. Don’t just do the same thing over & over again. Challenge yourself! It’s so much fun.

Be your own superhero.

Make magic every day.
It’s worth the small amount of extra effort to cultivate a more beautiful life.

Don’t live your life online.
...‘Cause as much as we love our computers, it only represents such a small part of what life is all about! Getting out into the streets, parks, mountains or oceans is so healthy & so vital. Unplug, do something different. Surprise yourself!

Pick something which is important to you & see what you can do to help. Can you offer time, money, your voice or influence? So many people would really, really, really appreciate your help & attention.

Dance in public.
It’s very liberating if you’ve never done it before! & even if you HAVE... Dance in the library or something! Cause a scene. Make people smile. Totally worth it. My friend Jann did and I LOVED seeing her captured on a video!

Be your own best friend.
As opposed to your own worst enemy…

Support other women.
No matter WHAT you may think of their choices or behavior. It’s so easy to be jealous of one another or act like crazy people but ultimately it does no good. Seriously, swallow it down. We need each other, now more than ever!

Don’t patronize places that treat you poorly.
It only makes you feel bad about yourself! Give your money to the people who do a good job & who appreciate your business.

Don’t settle for things just because “it’s always been this way”.
Maybe it used to be that way, or maybe it is that way for other people, but NOT FOR YOU! Eff the status quo! Don’t compromise on things which are important to you!

Be good to your temple.
You only get one — might as well lavish it with love!

Be impeccable with your word.
This is from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements. “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.” If you say you’ll do something, do it. Don’t speak badly of other people. Use your words to uplift & spread love. Be honest & kind with the things you say.

Do “the right thing”, even when you’d get away with it, even when no one is watching.
It’s all about integrity, baby!

Treat other people with respect at all times.
Everybody, no matter their situation, deserves it.

Be compassionate.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand other people, or see where they’re coming from, but if you make a commitment to being compassionate, you will start to get a deeper understanding of human nature. It will make you much more peaceful, ‘cause when you can see where people are coming from, it’s hard to be mad!

...& write this down.
“You have to give to the world the thing that you want the most, in order to fix the broken parts inside you.”

Operate on your own agenda.
Do you want to look a certain way, or does society want you to? Do you really want to have a social life that looks like this, or is it just what you think is expected? Don’t allow any industry or societal standard to bully you. You are who you are, & it’s worth hanging onto.

Try new things. Shake up your routine. See what works.

Evaluate your life & ruthlessly cut out the things which aren’t working.
...While at the same time keeping this in mind:
“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.” Thanks, Wayne Dyer.

Come up with your own definition of spirituality.
It doesn’t have to be religious or woo-woo in any way, it can just be a way of reconnecting yourself to the present moment. Some people do this by dancing, others by meditating. Whatever it is, make time for it in your life, & make it a priority.

Share your dreams.
Do not be afraid. When you share a dream with someone who loves you, you open yourself up to new ideas, new contacts & sometimes an extra pair of hands to pitch in! Be brave.

Reinvent yourself as an expression of pure love.

Spend time with people who do good things.
It will reinstate your faith in the human race & remind you of the inherent goodness in people. Much more uplifting than hanging out with pessimists!

Take action.

Channel Clint Eastwood.
& I quote: “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”

Incorporate meditative ritual into your life.
I think the word “meditation” puts a lot of people off, & it doesn’t need to. My idea of meditation is just focusing on nothing or clearing your mind. Walking meditation is rad — you walk out the door & keep going, letting all thoughts go as soon as they float into your consciousness. Don’t judge or beat yourself up if your mind is screaming for attention the first few times you do it, it’s totally normal. The pay-off — real clarity of mind — is amazing & worth going for.

Be inclusive.
Invite your friends places. Include everyone in the conversation. Ask people you don’t know so well about themselves. Make people feel like you want them there. The love & appreciation they’ll beam back at you will make you feel wonderful!

Think about what you want the theme of your life to be.
Is it an epic love story or a grand adventure? Or is the theme something more simple, & able to be summed up with a single word? “Discovery” or “freedom”? How can you bring that theme into your everyday life?

Think about how you can encourage other people to love themselves too.
When we carry the torch of radical self love, we become ambassadors for it, & are infused with the energy & ability to pass it on to other people. We can do this just by being ourselves — a living example — but there are specific ways in which we can help other people love themselves too. Think about your unique talents & strengths. How can you carry out the self love buzz?

Celebrate the ways in which you have grown & changed.
Growth is good, change is wonderful, evolution is fantastic. It’s proof that we’re on a path, that we’re going somewhere, that we’re living out our story to its full potential. Bake yourself a cake or somethin’!

Embrace your power.

Start dressing in a way which makes you feel sexy & confident…
As opposed to just following what’s in style. Not all silhouettes suit all people. There are definitely styles that are best for individual body types. Once you know what works for you, make the most of it! Few things make you feel better than knowing that you look great.

Love everyone.
Even when they hurt you, even when they don’t get it, even when they don’t listen & even when they behave badly. When you love, miracles happen.
Listen to Leonard Cohen.

Get more sleep.
Most of us don’t get anywhere near enough hours of rest, & it can seriously impair our bodies & emotional states. Just go to bed a little bit earlier — you’ll feel so much better.

“While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.” (Buddy Hackett) Don’t allow problems or misunderstandings to fester. Don’t walk around angry, stewing in your juices. Just apologize so everyone can move on.

Take yourself on dates.
Get dressed up & go to the library, eat a delicious lunch next to the river, ride your bike around the city & make the best dinner you possibly can. I’ve said it before & I will say it again, you deserve your love much more than anyone else does.

Don’t take yourself too seriously!
It never leads to anything good, haha. If you can laugh at yourself, you’re well on your way.

Forgive yourself.
It’s all in the past. Time to move on, babe.

Just love yourself.
 No matter the circumstances. You are always good enough, you always deserve it & you are always beautiful, despite what you might think or believe.

Just love yourself.

Self Love is not just a one-month project! It is a life-long adventure!
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