Sometimes the hardest and best thing you can do is learn to love yourself.
Recently I have been set a task - a hard task - of looking yourself in the mirror and telling yourself 'I love you'.
In the past, I have dismissed this as fanciful - not for me - indulgent, even - but deep down knew it was something I’d need to do. So here we are.
Even though it made me uncomfortable - I knew I had to give it a go. Because life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.
First, look upon your face. Without the way you usually look at yourself in the mirror - without the appraising eye of someone checking the lipstick, or for stray hairs, or appraising one's derriere.
See yourself, not as you want to see yourself, your best self, all pouty and perfect, but as you are. Relaxed. Bare. Real.
The eyes are the window to the soul, look into your eyes and into your soul. How does it make you feel. Can you see your soul in the lakes of your eyes? I found this confronting, I'm used to looking into every one else's eyes, I mean, my eyes are for looking with, not looking into... know what I mean?
Next you need to say 'I love you'. And mean it. Or try to, at least, until it starts to work.
One way to get around this is to say Ho'oponopono to yourself - four of the most integral phrases in the English language as a Hawaiian self forgiveness technique. They are:
Saying it to yourself throughout the day whenever you feel ill at ease or judgmental also helps, it's a mantra or prayer form to soothe your soul.
Of course, after almost five years running a wellness business I have learned that self love and self care is the greatest gift you can give to the world, because by serving yourself first it means you can show up as your best self in order to do, be and have more in life.
But it can also be the hardest work you will do. People might make you feel like you’re being selfish if you serve yourself first, and if you care about what other people think about you, that might be enough for you to avoid self love and self care and that will keep you playing small.
Your ego will tell you that it’s not important. Oh, the stories the ego can tell!! But the ego also wants to keep you small, keep you playing safe.
The thing is, if you want to discover your purpose, and we really do only get one shot at life, we need to start to look in. To know what makes us tick. To get under the cover and observe what’s going on.
My good mate Deepak Chopra talks about taking a period of silence each day. That means, no books, no tv, no social media or the like. No outside stimulus. Can you do it? What happens when you stop busying yourself? Who comes out to say hello? What do you think about when your mind relaxes itself? Does this feel good?
And when it comes to self love, it's time to try it on for size and see what happens. How does it feel when you say “I love you” to yourself. Do you mean it or is it a case of fake it till you make it?!
It doesn’t matter, because our brains believe what we tell them, so if you can create a habit of looking in the mirror once a day for 60 Days, saying “I love you” then at some stage you’ll start to believe it and to come from that place.
Often a common held fear that we aren’t “enough” just as we are has other stuff hiding behind it. Like we aren’t loveable. Or we don’t like ourselves. That we don’t actually love who we are, as we are.
The cool thing about fear is it isn’t real. It’s an illusion. And we get to meet fear with its arch rival, love. Meeting fear with love to uncover greater self-love? This, I like.