by Cricket Wingfield, MD

How often do you take the time to consider what it looks like to love yourself?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can feel like the ball in a pinball game, flying between all the information and attention-grabbing media coming at me, trying to scare me to keep my attention, telling me who to be, what to buy, and how to think to be good enough, important enough, cool enough. It’s exhausting! How can we possibly know ourselves if we don’t take time to unplug?

Here are three ways to get into the space to nurture and love yourself.

1. Deep Listening

Step out of the rabbit hole and find a deep listening and connecting practice that works for you to stay connected to yourself. Breathing, walking in nature, meditating or praying, journaling, or a creating practice, anything that slows you down enough to listen. Notice your body sensations and what you need and want. I use meditation and the Living Vision Board to journal, dream, and curate images and words to listen and align my life to my inner callings and higher visioning.

2. Take Time for Gratitude

Have you heard the saying that where we focus, energy flows? We’ve all known someone who complains about every little thing in her life, and have you noticed how miserable she is? Then there are those who’ve suffered tremendously, yet look for what’s good in life, and voila, radiate joy!

How does that happen? Focus. F.O.C.U.S. It’s a practice, to look for and appreciate all the goodness in your life and in the world. It’s not about denying the challenges, it’s about living in our most resourceful state so we can address problems without them taking us down! Start every morning with 10 things you’re grateful to have. Life, sunlight, a toothbrush, teeth, food, shelter, friends and loved ones. Large and small things, they’re all important, and gratitude is a wonderful antidote to negative thoughts and emotions.

This practice served me well when I was in the middle of a drawn-out divorce. While honoring my grief, I also reminded myself how fortunate I was to have loving family, friends, resources, and legal help in a country where women have rights. Even at my emotional bottom, I kept reaching for gratitude and the goodness in my life, and those were my lifelines.

3. Cultivate Kindness

You can develop kindness toward yourself with awareness and practice. We all have those snarky little voices of self-doubt, comparison, and judgement. Who knows where they came from, perhaps a mean teacher, someone in your family, a school bully, the media, maybe bits and pieces from more than one place? The bad news? We internalized them and started thinking some are true. The good news? You don’t have to believe them anymore. They’re just thoughts, and with practice, you can witness those little devils for what they are. Pesky saboteur thoughts. Limiting beliefs. They’ll get you coming and going if you let them, so take a stand.

The first step is awareness. When you notice those negative thoughts creeping in, take a breath, and let them go on by. They aren’t you, and you don’t have to believe them. You can choose what to believe instead. Supportive, loving, empowering thoughts and beliefs that bolster you and inspire you to step up and be your best self, to be a force for good in your life.

The second step is re-focusing. Actively choose and write down some beliefs you want to have about yourself and practice saying them out loud. These become a personal creed or personal manifesto. Here are some of mine:

  • Every day I am becoming a better version of myself.
  • I am strong and resilient and will overcome any obstacle that comes my way.
  • I am not a victim of my circumstances. I am the leader in my own life.
  • I am worthy of love and respect and every day I choose to be kind and supportive of myself.
  • I am stepping up in my life, to care for myself in every way.
  • I do not abandon any part of myself, even the needy, fragile parts.
  • I honor my past and appreciate the lessons I’ve learned through my experiences, through both my accomplishments and my perceived mistakes.
  • I choose to love myself and the body I have.

Love is both a noun and a verb. You need attention, affection, and appreciation to thrive. Self-love is a deep honoring of the unique spirit within and gratitude for who you are and the body you have. It isn’t selfish to love and care for yourself, it’s a natural state of being when you honor and meet your own needs, inside and out. As Kate Wolf said, “Give yourself to love.” Your life will change.

Wheel of Life

Enter your details below to get instant access to your PDF

We process your personal data as stated in our Privacy Policy. You may withdraw your consent at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our emails.