Self-love is a way to empower the feminine within. The information and exercises below will help you to gain a better idea of where you are on the self-love continuum and will provide you with tools to help you deepen your love of yourself so that you can more fully empower the feminine.
If at any time during these exercises you experience any physical discomfort or emotional distress, please stop and take care of yourself. This is part of the art of self-love.
How does one cultivate self-love?
Cultivating self-love is a wonderful life-long journey. It includes giving us permission to love ourselves. The exercises below will help you to get an idea of how much permission you are truly giving yourself – on a conscious and unconscious basis – to love yourself.
Another aspect of self-love is acceptance. Having the willingness to accept yourself for who you are right now and to love each part of you is a sign of self-love. Most of us need work in this area, as our family of origin and culture are not always so positive about accepting ourselves as we are. We live in a fear-based culture and it thrives on the fact that we do not love ourselves. I encourage you to question whether the fear-based mentality is what is in your best and highest good in present time. If you are ready to move past this older paradigm and tap into self-love, keep reading.
The next step in the evolution of self-love is allowance. When you can accept things, this will bring you into a level of allowance – allowing things to come and go without attachment. When you allow what is – right here, right now without trying to control things – there’s a flow to your life, making it much easier to be in the energy of self-love.
Often when we think of self-love we think of self-care. Self-care is one aspect of self-love, yet it is not all that is involved. Self-care becomes an act of self-love as you listen in deeply to yourself and respond with kindness in both word and deed. You’ll begin to speak more kindly to yourself as well as behave more kindly towards yourself, a true expression of love.
Once we love ourselves more deeply, it’s easier to love others unconditionally.
Exercise 1 ~ Connecting with Your Whole Self
Knowing who you are on all levels of your being is important for health and wellbeing. Connecting to your body, emotions, thoughts, and spiritual practices gives you the opportunity to make choices during your journey. Choice allows more possibilities. If you expect things to go a certain way, choice is lost. When you connect to the whole self you allow for a deeper process, one that makes room for more choice.
In this exercise, I encourage you to journal about your connection with yourself. The deeper you go, the more able you are to uncover possible blocks to self-love. By delving into each aspect of your whole being you can see where the connection is strong and where it could use some attention.
What is your connection with your:
a) Physical self?
b) Emotional self?
c) Mental self?
d) Spiritual self?
Here are some possible ways to look at the above questions. I invite you to be creative in how you approach this exercise. There’s no right or wrong way.
*I check in with my body and know what kind of food it wants to help it be healthy.
*I don’t pay attention to my body till something hurts or it doesn’t perform the way I want or expect it to.
*I tend to get angry or frustrated with my body when it doesn’t do what I want.
*What is the knot in the pit of my stomach trying to tell me? Is this something I’m able to look at?
*I tend to look for distractions (e.g., TV, Internet, food, alcohol, sex) so I don’t feel emotions as much.
*I only allow positive emotions.
*I allow myself to feel and process a full range of emotions.
*Why do I feel sad at this time?
*I can think my way through any issue.
*I need to get out of my head.
*I know how to easily flow between my mental and intuitive sides.
*I value my ability to think and analyze.
*I know when to utilize my thinking and analyzing skills and when to allow room for my intuition and knowing.
*I have a daily meditation practice.
*I listen to my intuition on a regular basis.
*I feel connected to myself.
*I feel connected to others.
*Do I have a spiritual practice?
*I don’t feel connected to myself.
What did this exercise bring up for you? Were you surprised by anything as you completed this task? What emotions were you aware of as you worked on this exercise? Did you experience any physical sensations while completing this exercise? Write your responses in your journal.
Exercise 2 ~ Receiving Love
This exercise is a way for you to think about love on a deeper level, in particular receiving love. One of the things we’re often craving is to feel loved. This exercise provides a way to clarify what that means for you and to bring more of that feeling into your life. As women we tend to give love to others more than we receive love. When you receive love, you can then give more love.
In your journal write answers to the following questions.
- What does love feel like to you?
- What does love look like if you could draw it or describe it?
- What does giving love mean to you?
- What does giving love look like to you? Is there a color, tone or sensation that comes to mind?
- What does receiving love mean to you?
- What does receiving love look like to you? Is there a color, tone or sensation that comes to mind?
- What are some ways you can receive love from yourself?
- What are some ways you can receive love from others?
- How is receiving love now different from when you were a child?
- Does receiving love as an adult hold the same energy as when you were younger?
This is a wonderful exercise to help you open up your heart. It’s a way to help you get back to your true self.
Write about your experience with this exercise. Did you find it easier to write about giving or receiving love? What bodily sensations did you experience while completing this exercise? What emotions arose as you completed this exercise?