In the November 2009 Co=Creation Cafe, Prosperity Coach Joan Sotkin discusses “It’s NOT About the Money: The Inner Work of Lasting Financial Well-Being“. In her closing comments, she recommends two important things to the listener. One of them is learning to love yourself…and self-love is what this post will focus upon.
It would be a very long post if I wrote about ALL the things you can do to cultivate self-love, so let me just hit the high points. Feel free to share any additional ideas or comments below.
Talk to anyone who has spent time on personal growth and they will tell you: At the basis of every problem (health, wealth, relationships, etc.) is a lack of self-love. Louise Hay discovered this when she was doing 1:1 consulting. When we take the time to address this one aspect of our life, we begin to shift everything for the better.
That said, what does it really *mean* to love yourself? How does one cultivate self-love?
Think of how you feel when you love a pet, a child, or a good friend? How do you feel when you see them? What efforts do you take to help them or make their life more enjoyable? Do you extend the same courtesies to yourself? Part of being a Deliberate Creator is to align your vibration with the Divine Source of All-That-Is~the loving energy that is the basis of everything we experience with our multiple-senses.
Self-care is an important way that we exhibit and cultivate self-love. For example, we can make time for:
> Regular exercise to keep your body-temple functioning at it’s best
> Daily meditation or quiet contemplation
> Eating healthy sit-down meals
> Consciously choosing supportive thoughts/beliefs (affirmations, visualizations)
> Taking breaks for deep breathing~from your belly, not shallowly from your chest
> Getting to sleep at a regular time, and the right amount of sleep for you to be at your best
> Doing something fun every day~laughter is a powerful medicine
> Counting your blessings (on paper or in your mind) often and regularly
This is just a short-list. There are countless ways to embrace self-care. If you’d like more information, listen to the February and March 2009 Co=Creation Cafe Calls about Nurturing Your Most Important Relationship (Parts I & II). Have favorites of your own? Be sure to share them in the comments below.
We also show ourselves self-love when we are clear about how we will allow others to treat us. Take a look around your world and notice the people you respect the most. How do they allow others to treat them? Which of those examples feel *good* to you? Are you doing them already? If not, consider establishing your boundaries and deciding how you will maintain them.
As I have grown my social network, I have come across some really wonderful, enlightened souls. Unfortunately, I have also come across a few posers: Those who pretend for the world that they are enlightened, even make their living teaching others, then treat people they see as a threat with incredible disrespect and lack of kindness. I have empathy for these people, because I realize their actions ultimately come from their fears and lack of self-love.
When someone treats me poorly the first time, I forgive and forget. Hey, we’re all human. Bad days happen. Apologies are accepted.
However, if it happens a second time, I am on alert. This shows me that this person may have a pattern of treating others negatively in order to temporarily feel better.
As a coach, I’ve noticed more than one client *picking a fight* with me just as they are at the point of making a huge shift. See, when someone is fearful of change, it’s sometimes easier to find fault or lay blame on another person than it is to stand in our power, face the fear, and make the shift. When a client does this, I know they are not ready to make a change. I understand that. Usually, they are looking for an easy exit, and picking a fight is easier than saying, “I don’t think I’m ready just yet. Can we take a break?”
However, when someone calls me their friend and then makes a habit of treating me poorly, it’s time for me to send them love and move on.
Sure, I could spend time explaining why their behavior is unacceptable, but in my experience they usually don’t want to hear this truth, AND~if this is truly their pattern~they will just keep repeating the pattern. It’s not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN. If they can mistreat someone 3 times, they can just as easily do it 300 or 300,000 times.
I don’t quote Dr. Phil often, but I do agree when he says, “We teach people how to treat us.” While I am a very understanding and tolerant person, I’ve learned that no one else (except me) will teach others how to treat me with love and respect. Therefore, part of cultivating self-love is making the conscious decision to establish our own boundaries and then consciously maintain them. We can be loving, understanding, even forgiving, without being a doormat for the ongoing bad behaviors of a few.
When we consciously set boundaries and then maintain them, we send a powerful message to our inner-self:
> I love and respect myself
> I am deserving of love and respect from myself and others
> I care enough to only allow those who are aligned with my own love and respect
> I do not accept poor treatment from myself or others
> I take responsibility for loving, respecting, and protecting myself
> I surround myself with people who love, respect, support and appreciate me
> If I encounter those who are unkind, I bless them with love and move on
That’s enough for now. It’s your turn: How do you cultivate self-love? Has this post given you ideas for yourself? If so, please share below so visitors can learn from your wisdom.