By Amber L'Estrange, Art found here
Every once in a while, I come across a woman who I just can’t seem to take my eyes off. There is something unique and intriguing about her. Her style, the way she walks, how she interacts with people, her interests and what she is doing in the world all seem very.... real.
What I mean is that her way is not contrived, over-calculated or contorted for the crowd. It’s her sense of honesty in the way she expresses who she really is in the world. She is unapologetic about her beliefs and could not give two damns about what others think or if she "fits the mold." She is committed above all else to walking, talking and living her unique path and doing it with trust and confidence, wherever the path may take her. She is fascinating and accessible. Her opinions, her original ideas, her conversational transparency and the incredible amount of presence she is able to give each person she is in front of are what I admire. I realized that the thing I am most enamored with is her wholeness. There is a knowing of herself that has to be intact in order for a woman to express who she is so powerfully. This self-love gives a woman a confidence that crushes any need for validation from the world. This wholeness gives her a sense of freedom that leaves a trail of sexiness and magic in the air. Her style is cooler than most, simply because of the way she holds herself and how accurately it expresses elements of who she is. It is this type of woman I can talk for hours with and walk away feeling inspired and having learned something. Her skill to share such a deep part of herself with strangers is a gift and leaves a ripple of hope wherever she goes. How does she accomplish this level of embodiment? I have found, it all comes down to loving yourself.
A regular self-love routine may look like:
1. Dating myself
This is a fun exercise of independence, imagination and taking responsibility for your life.
The idea that I alone am responsible for cultivating the things I want in my life excite me! It means that I don't have to sit around waiting for my husband to pick up on my brainwaves that I want him to be more romantic so I can feel seen or more alive.
If I want to be romanced, I will put on a dress on, smack on some red lips and go somewhere fun. Living in the essence of what you want has a way of activating that energy in you and calling more of it into your everyday.
Sometimes what I need most is to simply do nothing but sit on the beach watching the waves, or perch in a spot of sunlight in my back yard feeling the suns rays warm my body. In this quiet space I am able to process thoughts and feelings that I may have been too distracted to face before. This alone time is my therapy and a necessary practice in spring cleaning my mind chatter and keeping an attitude of self-love.
2. Detoxing my life
Remember that time you woke up and realized you were completely over your current fashion style? First thing you did was go through your closet and chuck anything that did not resonate with the new you. The same rule applies to spring-cleaning your life. Toxicity can build up in the form of negative relationships, unhealthy food habits, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, negative language, gossiping, or anything else that keeps you further from truly respecting yourself.
I put everything into two categories, 1) Medicine or 2) Poison. If something leaves me feeling good, it is medicine. If something leaves me feeling bad, its poison.
I am more committed to my health than appeasing out of date relationships or long standing unhealthy habits.
If I am on the fence about what meal I want, what movie I want to see, what words to choose to express myself or how to spend my day, I look at my options and ask myself, "what is the best medicine for me."
Once I got in the habit of this, I found myself living in a positive mindset about myself and the world around me majority of the time.
3.Having an empowering perspective
First a thought is born and then comes the manifestation. Another way to see it is: if you want to change your reality, first thing to change is the way you think.
Consistent feelings of shame, guilt, anger and resentment can hold me back from being kind to myself and creating a life I love. The thoughts that create these feels spawn from an event in the past and will dictate my future unless I let it go.
I found Landmark to be one of the most effective recourses available for when I needed support in rewiring my perspective on my self and life.
A daily practice of acknowledging things I am grateful for is a sweet and helpful way I keep positive and an open heart. We have a family tradition before every meal of going around the table while each person offers something they are grateful for with the group.
Being kind to myself is an attitude that I had to learn, but once it had found a home in my perspective, it was key in maintaining a healthy relationship with myself. I observe my inner dialogue and the moment I find myself talking negatively I pause, and say, "it’s okay, you are doing your best." This change of language cultivates more self-acceptance and forgiveness, which then makes it easier to forgive and accept others.
Trying my hardest not to compare myself to others helped greatly in the quest for self-love. I remind myself that there is only one me and that my greatest gift to the world will come from being my unique, whole self.
I have found that nurturing a positive relationship with my body is essential on the path self-acceptance. This helps me feel GOOD from the inside out.
Daily movement (even if it is a brisk walk or running around the house after my toddler) is a way I stay connected to my body and feeling light. I sign up for weekly classes that support me being in good shape along with consciously choosing food that nourishes me.
I listen to my instinct and give my body the food it asking for in the moment to keep me healthy and balanced.
The more vibrant, alive, and dense in nutrients my food is, the more vibrant, healthy and alive I feel! I am excited to say I have found a beauty routine that keeps my skin and hair glowing (YAY).
Here are what my beauty secrets look like:
I pick a day of the week that I am mostly at home and make this my pampering day.
I go all out and:
I use minimal make-up and make sure that it is free of harmful chemicals. My favorite make-up line is Beautycounter.
I try to keep my cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen as natural as possible but sometimes I need an extra layer of help to get the results I want. I often use products from MyChelle or Weleda but I am currently using a demonological grade product from Rodan and Fields called and the results have blown me away.
5. Finding a Mentor
Having a mentor is a powerful way of keeping focused and inspired around your goal. I find that when I have a clear and relatable image of how I want to be in the world or what I wish to accomplish, my goals seem more achievable and I stay motivated and on track for longer.
I have found mentors in the forms of books, podcasts, blogs, fictitious characters, friends, family and personalities.
Whoever it may be, I study them closely and find the inspiration I need to get into action. They help me decipher where I want to be in a quicker and more effective way.
Currently, Shawn Stevenson from the ‘The Model Health Show’ podcast is my health and wellness mentor from afar.
I also have one of my best friends and my Aunt as my ‘self-love’ mentors because they operate with a sense of independence and wholeness that makes their whole life shine. I just love being around them and picking their brains about their secrets to happiness and success.
6. Establishing Positive Community
When I surround myself with positive, empowered and healthy people, I find myself mirroring their qualities and being lifted up to meet my best self.
My tribe is a huge resource of support for me in the times my self-love is wavering, I can turn to people I admire and trust and be reminded of my greatness.
I found my community by simply doing the things I love and going to places that feed my health, passions and interests. This may look like hiking, dancing, working, healthy cafés, festivals or gatherings with like-minded people.
7. Setting Up a Routine
I make sure to get on my own team and set up a routine that keeps my daily self-love practice on track. I set a time for exercise, dates with myself, self-care, social arrangements, time to look inward, and anything else that lights up my heart.
The more I make these steps a habit the more I start to see the world around me transform into something that reflects back my self-love. I have attracted a loving partner, a dream job, a body I feel great in and friends that support and inspire me.
Surround yourself with inspiring content to help you dominate the self love game! I loves these cute positive affirmation cards.
Why don't you give it a go? Commit to making Self-Love your focus and watch as your life grows its wings and takes off into the realm of infinite possibilities.
What are some "self-love" ways that work for you? Please help inspire others and share in the comment box below!!