All love is ultimately self-love. Because we are not able to fully ever love anyone if we don't love ourselves first.
Self-love has become trendy lately. And as good as that is, I've noticed people confusing things like shopping, pedicures, and margaritas on a Friday night with self-love. Self-love is more than just treating ourselves to nice things. It's ultimately different for all people. Love languages can be utilized not only in your relationship with your partner but mainly with yourself. Notice how you love someone. Are you expressing your love with gentle touches, gift buying or acts of service? And do it for yourself!
Sometimes women tend to overlook self love because they are so busy loving on their families, friends, and everyone else around them. Give it to yourself first! And ask for it, too!
Here are my own 5 self-love languages cultivated over the years.
First thing in the morning when I wake up, I touch myself, gently squeezing my arm and legs, touching my chest, placing my face in my palms, placing my hands on my heart and my stomach, stretching gently, feeling into my body. Human touch is important to our existence. That's why it is so vital with new borns. Just because we are adults doesn't mean we are much different. Touching myself in the morning, lets my body know I am loved, but also connects me to myself which helps me stay present throughout the day.
Setting intention for the day and then as I go throughout different tasks, meetings, conversations, etc helps me stay focused on myself and my experience. When I am clear on how I want to feel, how I want to show up, and who I want to be, I am able to fully stay present for myself and also those I encounter. My intentions come from the heart. It takes 2 minutes to close my eyes and drop into my heart, breath in it and connect to the inner knowing in me, and from there ask myself how I want to feel this day, who I want to be, what I want to experience. The heart informs the brain and I often find that they day goes by smoothly and just exactly as I Intended it to! When I am at my best, everyone wins!
When our bodies are well nourished we are able to thrive physically but also emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
Nourishment for me includes tending to all my senses. It is yummy homemade food enjoyed mindfully and heart-fully, savoring each bite, noticing how it tastes in my mouth, how it makes my body and soul feel, communing with my food.
Nourishment for me is also spending time in nature, fully becoming one with it as I walk my favorite Theodor Roosevelt Island, immersing myself in biodiverse environment. Nourishment is taking a long bath with candlelight, or moving my body how it wants to move to my favorite playlist, or quietly watching Sun rise in a company of a freshly brewed coffee.
Romance with the self.
Once a week I have a date with the self. Usually it is on Friday. Friday is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and pleasure (amongst other things).
It is not a random night binge watching Netflix, although sometimes if that's what I need I give it to myself. But mostly it is a well-planned experience. I treat myself like I would my partner, giving myself love and attention. If it's a dinner, I break our my best china. If it's a movie I choose the one that will make my soul full, if it's a trip to the cinema, I dress in my best outfit. Whatever it is, it is done with outmost attention and care.
As a soloprenuer I often find myself working every day. And sometimes business can easily take over my whole day. So it's important to have clear boundaries around work, and allow room for play. Being a multi-passionate creative, I can go chasing a white rabbit of my fascination and lose track of time easily. But I also can get really hard and rigid on myself for not "being productive" enough. So I create a clear plan and schedule for the day, committing a certain amount of time to each of the following:
Work: urgent matters, important business things, big picture stuff, learning- in that order with certain time slots allocated for each.
Play/create: singing, painting, writing, reading, nature walk, quick run, yoga, etc., depending on my mood and what I am called to do, in total flow of the moment.
By including both work and play in my schedule, having a structure but allowing room for fun and spontaneity, I'm tapping into both masculine (structure) and feminine (flow) energies, creating a safe container to express myself. And that's the most loving thing I can do for myself in day to day life.
The relationship with yourself is the one that lasts a lifetime. It's in your power to get to know yourself, the ways you like to be loved, what makes your heart full, what gives you pleasure and fulfills your needs. And it's your duty to give that to yourself always in all the ways!