“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all”. The answer should definitely be you. Not because you want to be more beautiful than someone else, but because you want to look into the mirror and know how beautiful you are both inside and out.
January is not only the beginning to a new year, but can be a beginning of a new you. This is the month of Self-Love, so I am challenging you of 31 days to do something loving towards yourself. I would love for you to pledge to yourself to do this as a whole year experience but for now let’s just start with one month.
The building blocks of self-love is a lot more difficult than you might see. Some of you may be wondering why this is even a challenge. But I know personally it is a difficult mentality to believe in. I truly believe it is the key to happiness. When you love yourself, you’re motivated to do good things for you and pass on things that aren’t. When you love yourself, your tolerance of poor behavior is low. Self-love has helped me appreciate the woman that I am today and it is the fuel that will keep me going.
My self-love really didn’t begin until a few years ago. I grew up with a lot of self-esteem issues, thinking I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough or good enough. I dealt with a lot off issues with food because it was something I could control as both a reward or as a punishment. I felt comfortable being a C, D or F student throughout High School and my mentality of self-worth was pretty low when it came to choosing a boyfriend or even some friendships. We all go through those transitional phases throughout life where we are trying to fit in and see where we will stand out. Personally, I did always stand my ground, as I am a stubborn individual, no one could really force me or tell me what to do. So it took some career changes, boy changes and friendship changes to really get me to accept and approve of my self-worth.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and just really looked at yourself? Said something positive and loving? Let me tell you it is a difficult thing to do. My husband is awesome at compliments and even when I roll my eyes and say “ya,, ya” I know he truly means it but it’s me who had a hard time believing it. One day, I believe I was exhausted of dealing with my strange anxiety issues and was frustrated with life so I looked in the mirror, tears rolling down my cheeks and faced the mirror vulnerable. I looked myself straight in the eyes and gave in. “I am strong! I am beautiful! I am ok!” I boldly stated repeatedly. I felt an uncomfortable but freeing overall feeling. I’m not saying every day I feel amazing or like I’m going to conquer the world, but for that brief moment I felt like I could.
Happiness is something I strongly believe in as one of the most important thing in life. I am overall a genuinely happy person who will always put others before me, but over the past few years I have finally begun to do what makes me happy! I accomplished what should have been a two year degree that lasted about five years, removed myself from unhappy jobs, focused on keeping my body healthy both inside and out, completed my health coaching certification, building my business and starting a Yoga teaching certification. These, among many other small changes I’ve gone through have really made a difference in my life. Each small act of kindness towards me made me feel more kind about myself. I’d do something loving and feel happier, which made me want to do more. That focus on self-growth into deep self-love.
There are so many of us, both men and women who go through life not knowing how much they are worth, how beautiful they are and how much they deserve happiness. It is always going to be a work in progress because no one is perfect, but join me today in taking small steps to develop self-love. Every little loving act you do for you is another brick in the foundation of self-love. Every bit of self-love you build leads to more. It’s a synergy that facilitates happiness and well-being.
So I challenge you to love yourself! Do something loving for yourself, however small, on every day of January. In one of our classes, we did a Loving Kindness Meditation- Sit comfortably, taking a few deep breaths. Imagine yourself experiencing perfect physical and emotional wellness, and inner peace. Imagine feeling perfect love for yourself, thanking yourself for all that you are, knowing that you are just right, just as you are. Repeat 3 or 4 positive, reassuring phrases to yourself such as: May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be healthy, peaceful and strong. Feel that warmth inside and know that you deserve this. It will feel uncomfortable and awkward, but trust me when I say your mirror can sometimes be just what you need.
Would like to add additional ways to increase your self-esteem and love? Please share in the comments below!