Yogi and mindful lifestyle expert, Erin Ward (The Class, Disruption at Knockout, Love Yoga) recently taught a “Start with Self-Love” meditation that literally brought the founder of the app to tears. The mindful A.M. meditation can still be found on the Yoga Wake Up app (grab the offer below) and is a beautiful way to begin the day. Here are insights from Erin on self-love and why cultivating it is crucial for successful intention setting…
We’ve all heard the platitude: you can’t buy happiness. It’s not uncommon to experience its truth after the dream vacation disappoints and the longed-for piece of technology doesn’t fully satisfy. You can’t buy happiness, but can you buy self-love? Certainly purchasing a massage, investing in a yoga membership, or treating yourself to a glass of wine and a bubble bath are examples of showing self-love, but does it work? Is it possible to find, through a delicious pursuit of personal pleasures, a curated go-to collection of experiences, people or products that make us feel warm and gooey from the inside?
Certainly we can make ourselves feel good anytime we want to. However the difference between momentary self-lust versus a sustained loving connection is the work we put into it. Our ability to be in loving relationship with ourselves depends on the perspective we hold while moving through the world — and more specifically, our moment-to-moment thoughts. These thoughts come together to form a belief system, and it is the belief system that creates our reality.
Make Self-Love A Commitment
This is good news for us, as it means falling in love with ourselves is always at our fingertips. We simply need commit to the practice of taking the time to acknowledge when we are not being kind to ourselves and choose a different internal conversation. When we make self-love a dedicated commitment, like brushing teeth or emptying the trash, we create a habit that allows us to more gracefully navigate and soothe those inevitable moments when we find ourselves feeling low. When we create a loving internal belief that we are worthy of love and enough as we are, we have a pantry of self-love supplements that we can reach into whenever we need a boost.
A consistent meditation practice that is centered around cultivating unconditional loving relationships with ourselves is a simple way to create a bond between us and our highest loving self. The act of taking ten minutes to pause the chatter of the day and connect with one’s own awareness can provide such medicine for daily stresses and imbalances. Layer in some intentional self-loving and what you are gifting yourself is not only healing while you are meditating, but you are laying the foundation for this self-compassionate relationship to last a lifetime.
Self-Love Is Crucial For Intention Setting
Not only will establishing a self-love practice enhance the overall experience of your life (sounds like a hefty claim, but it’s true), it is essential for setting and achieving goals. Go-getters and Type A personalities, listen up: Authentic self-love and compassion are essential for expanding personally, professionally, in relationships and financially — and really any area you may want to improve.
If there is not already a foundation of love established we inevitably set goals from a lack of belief in ourselves. Meaning, we need to improve ourselves because something is missing. Instead of starting from where we are and expanding, many of us lacking in the self-love department start from a belief that something is wrong and so we must change in order to be successful, happy, loved or anything else that we desire.
Think of self-love as building a ramp to your goals instead of spending so much time and energy climbing out of a hole. We want to champion ourselves so that we can show up fully for the people in our lives. We do not want to set a goal and then spend all of our time fixating on how we are not enough until that goal is met.
Another way of thinking about it: Self-love is a bridge to where you want to go, whereas the lack of it, and especially the opposite of it, is a bully that continually kicks you when you are down and keeps you from skipping freely towards growth.
Self-Love Starts Now…
Whether you are struggling to find happiness, have big plans for 2019 or are simply curious as to what life would be like as you enter into an unconditionally loving relationship, the invitation is to start now. Put your hand on your heart and whisper I love you. Let it be awkward, uncomfortable, pleasurable or whatever else it inspires. Dedicate a few moments of your day to acknowledge and celebrate you, the one working so hard to navigate the complexity of being a human. You’re doing great. You probably just need a little more love.