[Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Sheila McCann of Rainbow Framework.]
I eat healthy organic food.
I make time to properly care for myself.
There’s no doubt that you’ve heard of these forms of self-love before, right?
I’ve got these run-of-the-mill but undoubtedly highly effective expressions of loving your lovely self down.
It hasn’t always been like that though. For many years, self-love was not something I embraced. I never really learned what self-love was.
I understood that if you ate healthy food, you would be healthy and if you exercised, it would make your body strong. But the concept of self-love as the foundation of why you should do all these things was not in my realm of thinking.
It is easy for self-love to elude us. Our environment is full of a stream of messages and images designed to make us think we’re unlovable and unworthy. Advertising relies on creating a problem within you and then selling you the solution.
In addition, many people don’t have positive self-love role models to learn from during their formative years.
The lack of self-love role models and the swirl of “anti” self-love messages proved to be a recipe for disaster for me. After going through the process of self-analysis, I started to notice limiting patterns in my life and behavior. I was steeped in a pattern of creating blocks to prevent my growth.
Quite simply, I was stuck.
Frustrated with the lack of progress, I delved into exploring the source of my stagnating life through a combination of research, observation and creativity.
I came to realize the importance of self-love as the foundation of all actions.
I started establishing daily practices of self-care like healthy eating, exercising and meditating. But still, something was amiss. How could I fully love myself if I still had aspects of myself I viewed as negative? I found things like fear, jealousy and ego to be unlovable. How could I make peace with those parts of myself?
The answer came to me in the form of meditation. One of the cool things about meditating is it allows you to go beyond your ego.
There are a lot of different definitions for ego but I pretty much see the ego as a tool that is designed to help us maneuver life, especially in rigid socialized situations. Like all evolutionary tools, it can and does run amok and can hurt us instead of help us. This is why managing it is so important.
While meditating one day, I started thinking of my ego as an enemy I had to put in timeout. And it worked. I learned to rock the OM, but I soon realized that trying to get rid of my ego is not a form of self-love at all.
Instead of bringing me closer to myself, this exercise tore me apart.
I suddenly saw that our goal should not be to get rid of the ego, it should be to manage ego and let our mind take a reprieve from it. We must accept all the parts of ourselves in order to be whole and healthy. Once we do that, we can love ourselves fully, the good and the bad, and we can evolve in all areas of our lives.
To help you get started on your personal self-love revolution, here are my top 3 badass tips!
Self-love badass tip #1: Make peace with your ego.
It doesn’t deserve the bad rap it gets. It’s a tool your mind uses to maneuver life. Love it, manage it, use it constructively, take a break from it by meditating and oh yeah, did I say love it…it’s an integral part of you and it needs love too!
Self-love badass tip #2: Talk to your fear.
I used to let fear run my life. I hated being afraid to do things and I hated fear as a source of preventing my growth. It’s a part of you that wants to protect you but it gets a little too pumped up at times.
I realized I need to befriend my fear in order to manage it constructively. Yeah, we need to be besties. Really, you’d be surprised how quickly fear becomes constructive when you give it a little love and attention by talking to it.
So, I started a fear dialogue. It goes something like this:
I simply state that I want to talk to fear. I then acknowledge that it is a part of me and it is designed to protect me but that when it gets over amplified it is not protecting me, rather it is hurting me.
If I am sensing fear related to a particular issue, I ask what the source of the fear is. For example, suppose I am moving forward in an area of my life and I am experiencing fear holding me back. I will go through the top three sources of the fear, acknowledge them and then agree with my fear to move past those fear blocks.
This process makes me consciously aware of what is happening at a deeper level that I might not normally be aware of.
Self-love badass tip #3: Give your jealousy a big smooch.
We’ve all experienced the flow blocking emotion jealousy. It has kicked my ass and left me drained over the years. I’d be going along fine and out of nowhere BAM! The green eyed monster rears its head. Talk about a flow blocker. Jealousy is the valedictorian of flow blocking.
Here’s the deal, if something you encounter makes you react that strongly and gets you all blocked, it means that thingy is important you.
Thank your jealousy for setting up post signs pointing to what is important to you and highlighting where you may need growth.
Get a pen and paper and make a semantic web with the source of your jealousy smack dab in the middle and then fill in actions you can take to grow and move closer to the thing that is making you so jealous.
These bad-ass ways have helped me kick the self-love door wide open, get unstuck and move me forward in all aspects of my life.
Remember that when you love yourself, you nurture your own growth.
Sheila McCann is the creator of the Rainbow Framework
A universal framework for life, love, wealth, consciousness,
creativity… One look and you’ll get life in a big way. She also can
be found at fisheggcartoons.com