Too many times we have heard the old saying, "Just love yourself! Be your own best friend." But I can tell you from being in the mental health and personal growth field for over 30 years, it just isn't that easy.
So I hear in my office on the daily, "How do I do it? How can I really love myself more... or even begin to love myself a little."
It begins like all of our relationships, with a little intention followed by a follow through dose of commitment to growing the relationship by "showing up." If we started a new friendship with someone we wouldn't automatically trust them with our deepest darkest secrets, or ask them to start watching our 18 month old. We would have to work on cultivating trust.
The same is true for our relationship with ourselves.
When we start practicing self-love, it can begin by just making a commitment to yourself (start small) to show up for yourself each morning. Even 10-15 minutes is a great start. Get up and journal your gratitudes and let them marinate in your heart for a few moments, do some stretching or yoga, or some deep breath work. Really get behind your own eyes and into your own heart as you begin the day.
Develop a mantra. This is something you repeat over and over to yourself in the morning. It can be as easy as, "Today, I have my back." or "I am allowing myself to heal." or "Better every day!" These can be powerful phrases to hold in our awareness that start taking root in our being and become a reality for us.
Get a wall calendar. At the end of each day, instead of crossing the day off, put a heart on the day instead, because you have shown up for yourself in a loving way. It feels so good to look back at your week or your month and see all of that self love staring back at you!
Cultivating self love is like building a muscle. It's a daily process and the results are a stronger you, more fully ignited.