It’s a new year of Self Love! It’s the time when we all vow to let go of the past and reset our minds to look for a brighter future ahead. With every good intention, we set new year goals and declare determination to achieve them!
A new year is a perfect time for fresh starts, new perspectives and increases in productivity! But I think even more importantly, it’s a perfect time to ground ourselves in self-love, so that our upcoming journey can be filled with peace and positivity.
Without self-love, we won’t be able to let go of mistakes we’ve made in the past, nor will we have the confidence to BELIEVE that all our aspirations can come true this year.
So, let’s begin in January with a mindset of self-love, so that every step of our path this year is met with an attitude of appreciation, excitement, and willingness to grow. When we allow ourselves personal growth, we will automatically accomplish more in life, work, and relationships than ever before!
Here I’ve gathered a list of 12 keys that are extremely important to personal development and success. You will find that these topics are the foundation of my VERY soon-to-be-published self-help book “My Vibrator AND My Rosary” (click here to be added to my pre-sale interest list)! I will expand upon each of these topics in future “Free to Be” Blog posts throughout 2023!
1) Be Loving
It might seem to go without saying that to love yourself, you must BE LOVING to yourself. However, how often do you really treat yourself as well as you treat other people in your life that you care for deeply? Are you as forgiving to yourself as you are to your kids? Do you serve yourself as well as you do your customers? Do you allow yourself the self-care (such as exercise or quiet time) that you encourage others to participate in, to keep their bodies and minds healthy?
Too often, we place others first, and neglect prioritizing ourselves on our daily list of things to do. I challenge you to choose one thing today to show yourself extra love and attention. Perhaps you can journal a paragraph of personal attributes that you can refer to when you are feeling down. Or take a fitness class. Take the time for some light reading or enjoy a Netflix episode you’ve been wanting to see. Whatever it is allow yourself to pick one thing today to show yourself some extra love and attention.
2) Be Your Own Best Friend
My friends are the ones in my life I can on to remind me of my value. Sometimes we rely on others to give us recognition or affirmation, especially when we might be feeling low in energy or drive. But it’s important to be aware of the great advice we are telling others, so that we may remind ourselves of the same wisdom when we need it.
It can be lonely in moments when we could use some encouragement. But when there’s no time for coffee with a friend, and our bestie hasn’t replied to our text quickly enough to lift our spirits yet, we need to be able to feel good about ourselves without depending on external affirmation. Tell yourself a kind word and remind yourself of how accomplished and brilliant you are! And you will always be able to be your own best friend!
3) Be Entertaining
Sometimes we forget to laugh at ourselves. On any given day, we can think, feel, and do crazy things. And when we do, we can choose to criticize ourselves, or giggle at ourselves. I assure you; humor is a better remedy for disappointment than any criticism ever could be.
It’s important to be aware of our idiosyncrasies and our quirks. They are uniquely ours! The way we respond to ourselves is of vital importance to our self-esteem. And it’s tough to love ourselves if we don’t hold ourselves in high regard. Don’t hesitate to be silly. Dance in your living room. Laugh at yourself when you error in judgement. Give yourself a fighting chance for joy every day. And your love for yourself will grow.
4) Be Diverse
What do diversity and self-love have to do with one another? When I refer to diversity in this context, I am speaking of a recognition of ALL that you are. We each have a plethora of personality traits. It does us a disservice to attempt to categorize ourselves in any one way or another (ex: “I am in introvert” or “I’m a social butterfly”).
I tend to think of us all as having multiple personalities. Some days I enjoy being alone and quiet. Others, I want to be around loud, fun, energetic people. One day I’m in a country girl kind of mood. Another day, I’m a beach bum. One day I’m enjoying classical music; the next I can’t turn off the R&B. There is way more to us than one definition or another. We deserve more than to be labelled as one “type” of person or another. True love embraces all aspects of our being. Have fun with all your personality traits, and love ALL of yourself!
5) Be Proud
We have a lifetime of experiences under our belt. Self-love depends on our ability to live with no regrets. We love. We lust. We choose. We decide. We change our minds. We think again. We grow. Too often, we feel unnecessarily ashamed of choices we’ve made, or feelings we have about life that are contrary to popular thought or conventional ideals.
Living without shame is a requirement for living with love. Shame negates love, because as a definition, to be ashamed is to not like something fundamental about who you are. And love requires you to like yourself. If you struggle with feelings of shame, seek a life coach or other wellness professional who may be able to help guide you through whatever healing process you need. You have plenty of things to be proud of in your life. Keep an eye on them, so you can stay empowered, appreciate the whole being you have become.
6) Be Flexible
We all have desires and expectations about ourselves and others. Sometimes if life outcomes fall short, we can feel hurt or disappointed. From a spiritual standpoint, it is imperative we remember that we are in control of some things, but not all. We may have heartbreak, but we are not broken. Time heals all things. And forgiving ourselves and others is what frees us to love again.
We must be flexible with our hopes and wishes, and adaptable with our responses to life’s realities. One thing we can always expect is the unexpected. Life’s twists and turns may disorient us, but our true orientation is in understanding that there is reason for everything. Love yourself enough to enjoy the ride, even when life seems a bit out of control.
7) Be Sexual
We are a procreative species with biological urges and natural attractions. We don’t talk about sex enough because the taboo of the topic can sometimes make us uncomfortable. But we cannot deny that our sexuality is an innate part of our being, worthy of being given attention.
There’s no better way to love thy self, than to accept and enjoy our most intimate of human capabilities. Our sexual nature allows for intense pleasure. Sacred sexuality is a beautiful way to connect your physical body to your ethereal soul. Connecting with sensual energy, touching yourself, sharing intimacy with a partner, creating potential orgasm, or imagining your way to climax are all ways to enhance self-love. Do not fear your own sexuality… instead, always feel free to embrace and enjoy it.
8) Be Understanding
There is great wisdom in knowing ourselves. Life can be confusing. Our brains automatically try to reason their way to making sense of everything, including our own responses and reactions to life (there is so much to wonder about, after all). I have found one of my greatest acceptances is that I will never understand everything… and maybe I’m not meant to.
Part of loving ourselves it to accept ourselves. There is a freedom in letting go of the need to understand. Self-awareness is important. It helps us understand ourselves- how we tick, why we think the way we do. But self-awareness should never be at the expense of self-acceptance (or the other way around). One of the best ways to love is to be understanding. We can sit without ourselves, breathe in our goodness, cut ourselves some slack, and accept ourselves for who we are. So, take a moment today to remind yourself of what is good about your heart and share it with someone. Because love is understood in ways that words can’t explain.
9) Be Real
There is nothing more freeing than living authentically. Sometimes we get caught up in comparisons. I come from a family of musicians, and I love to sing. But I have no pitch. I like to think of myself as musically talented. But as much as I love to belt out a tune, I must be honest with myself. Singing is not my strength. And I admit it. I have no need to prove otherwise to myself or anyone else.
So instead, I express my rhythms in dance (which I’m a little better at than song). And I’m perfectly ok with the truth of who I am and how I was built. Sometimes we struggle between who we are and who we want to be. But who are we for real? We all have strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents. And it is all good. For the sake of self-love, choose to live lovingly out loud, honestly, and openly. And wholeheartedly enjoy being the real, imperfect, authentic you.
10) Be Passionate
Passion comes in many forms, and in every energy. I believe in expressing yourself 100%. When you’re happy, be ecstatic. When sad, cry your eyes out. When angry, let it out. When worried, allow the feeling. Emotions are not right or wrong. They are simply responses to stimuli, meant to be observed- like guides in how we wish to respond to life.
Muting our passions or holding back from expressing our thoughts or feelings can be detrimental to our health and happiness. Our bodies hold on to whatever emotions go unexpressed. They can even take on manifestation of physical illness if not processed (i.e., stress, etc.). Never fear letting out what is in your heart. Embrace your passions wildly and without surrender! Doing so will ensure a fully experienced life of pure love.
11) Be In the Moment
The only true moment is now. Everything we remember and look forward to is experienced today, including reading these words. If we take the time to assess ourselves at any given moment of the day, we will find ourselves at the very least, breathing, and alive. I have learned to ask myself, “Right now, am I ok?” And the answer is usually yes. If I am troubled, I am in the process of problem solving. If I am happy, I get to be witness to it in my current awareness.
As much as the days seem to fly by, always try to take the time to feel gratitude for every blessing. When you do, the peace it brings will create even more love in your heart, recognized by your spirit and others. And living with a happy heart is key to living a happy life.
12) Be Unapologetic
I believe the most important key to self-love is to be unapologetic for who you have been, who you are, and who you are becoming. Our existence was not our choice, but the choice of whatever supernatural power/being chose to place us here on earth, at this time. Therefore, we have nothing to apologize when being ourselves.
We have the free will to decide our actions and behaviors. But ask any parent- we were built with certain personality traits and tendencies before learned behavior ever kicked in. We are all on a quest to be the best version of ourselves. The “self” we allow ourselves to be deserves all the love and appreciation we can give to him/her. Never be sorry to present your whole self to the world. You and everyone else will be better off for it.
The Time Is Now for Self Love
This year more than any other (because now is the best time to begin), be bold enough to live in peace and contentment with every aspect of your being. Choose to acknowledge, accept, and love yourself to your utmost capacity. Fill your hearts with positive affirmation. And don’t listen to the naysayers inside or outside of your head.
When you master these principles of self-love, you will surely feel a greater sense of happiness and freedom every day. When they become a naturally accepted part of your personal truth, your accomplishments will feel even greater, and your victories will taste even sweeter!