6 Ways To Build a Deeper Love Affair With Ourselves
By: Rosa Chacon Lauper
I remember when I started practicing Bikram Yoga I could barely look at myself in the mirror. The person I saw, I judged her so much. I was so hard on her. Every time I saw her I could only see all of the things I didn’t like.
One of the many gifts I will forever be grateful for in my practice is the gift of self-love. In time, the yoga began to teach me and I came to love, deeply respect, and cheer for the woman looking back at me in the mirror.
Being inspired by the holiest of all “love” days, I want to share a few helpful ways to cultivate a deeper love affair with ourselves.
- Write a journal! I love reminiscing through journals from high school, college, early career years, etc. I am reminded of the depth and expansion of my experience.
- Give your inner child a big hug and talk to your child self. Recently, as I was cleaning in my house, I saw a small little notebook on the floor. The first page had a date on it and listed a few sentences about what my daughter loves to do. It was her first start at a journal! In that moment, I hoped that she loved herself as much as I do. I hoped that she would always see the magic of who she is and what she brings to the world. See this in you when you connect with your child self.
- Have some fun just hanging out with you! Maybe it’s going to a movie solo, curling up at home with your favorite book, or having fun cooking an amazing meal for just you.
- Share with others how you feel about them. Connecting with your feelings, and sharing them with others, is an amazing way to open the portals of receiving so much love for yourself. It’s like you’re subconsciously giving yourself permission to love yourself by sharing your love for others.
- And—this is my favorite one—be gentle with yourself. Do you want to know something 100% true? We’re human. We make mistakes because we are not perfect. On many levels, many of us are doing the best we can. Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself often.
- And—this is my next favorite one—love yourself more by saying a super kind “no” to others. If you’re like me, you love doing things for others, being of service, helping out. (I’m actually a recovering people pleaser for the record.) In our plight to serve others, we can actually cross a line where we stretch ourselves too thin by overcommitting. When this happens, we forget to take care of ourselves. So it’s okay to say, “no,” sometimes in order to say, “yes,” to ourselves.
So, next time you roll out your mat in class, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. You matter. Your presence is a gift. Your life has purpose.
May you always connect to deep self-love on your mat.
See you in class.
And much self-love!