Juicy, Expansive Self-Love
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and where better to direct some love, but to yourself.
Let’s try a little experiment. Read the quote below, and see how you feel:
“Most of us don’t take up nearly the space the universe intended” Caroline McHugh
I heard that, and I let out a massive exhale as my body relaxed. How often do we hold back on being fully ourselves? To take up a small amount of space, so we won’t be judged. How would it feel to be wholly, magnificently, unapologetically YOU.
This would require finding that sweet spot where we don’t need external validation, or disappear so far into ourselves that we shrink. It requires radical humility. Not humility as we have come to think of it where we think less of ourselves. The kind of humility where you think about yourself less.
A toddler is fantastic at just being themselves. By the age of seven or so we become more self-conscious. We learn to shut down, or control the parts of ourselves that we believe will not get approval, love, attention. We start to shape how we wish to be seen. And that often comes at a cost. And that’s a shame, because when you are being yourself you express a wonderful, free-floating joy. That, to me, is self-love.
Five suggestions for practicing some expansive self-love
Here are a few things you might try that will help you joyfully occupy more of your personal space in the universe.
- Avoid the trap of comparing yourself to others. You have a singular tune to sing. That is your only job. Expand into your own music, and experience true joy
“Comparison is the thief of joy” Eleanor Roosevelt
- Do more of what you truly love. Are you living your life in a way you feel you OUGHT to? Notice what brings you joy, and do more of it. It is your best guidance system.
- We have ALL made mistakes, and that’s OK. Trying not to make mistakes keeps us small. We’ve all done things that make us cringe with embarrassment, or shame. Let it go. Everyone else has (if they even noticed). You were doing the best you could with all the information, and conditioning, you had up until that point. If you must look back, examine your motivation at the time. It was almost certainly good.
- On days when you’re just not feeling it, show yourself some compassion. You don’t always have to be chirpy and happy. We grew up feeling we ought to be. And sure, it’s more fun when we are. But give yourself the space to also feel sad, mad, or whatever other emotion you might be experiencing. Contracting inwards to suppress it just makes you feel smaller inside. Remember, this too will pass.
- Give yourself the gift of silence. This might be one of the most underrated acts of self-love. It doesn’t matter what form it takes. Turn off all your devices, go for a walk in nature, sit beside a window, or somewhere serene and calm. And just be…. 🙂
There are so many acts of self-compassion and love. I’d love to hear some of yours.
With warmest of wishes to you, and for those you love,