Self-love doesn’t always have to mean luxury.
Why? Because it’s about more than a hot bath, a face mask, and a cluster of glowing candles that smell like the beach.
Self-love takes honesty and surrender. It’s not just about wants; self-love is an awareness of what you need and a realization of just how worthy you are of those gifts.
Here are some of my favorite expressions of self-love, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Honor yourself and try a few (or all of them) over the next few days!
1. Carve Out Some “Me” Time.
This looks different for everyone…and that’s the point! Maybe for you it is the good soak in the tub with a face mask, a deliciously deep savasana at the end of your favorite yoga class, sleeping in extra late, going for a run, calling out sick for a day, or an hour of reading. It’s simply about taking some time to do something that’s for YOU, with full trust that the outside world will continue to move and groove. Allow yourself to tune out, so that you can truly turn IN. The world we live in is go, go, GO and we consistently try to please everyone else.
This form of self-love is about getting a little selfish with your time. In fact, it’s necessary and encouraged!
2. Learn to Say “No”.
There are so many expectations swirling all around us, no matter what we do for a living. Time feels short and to-do lists get longer every single day, especially because we WANT to help others, even if it means giving up our own wants, needs, dreams and wishes.
I’m here to tell you it’s ok to say no. No, you can’t start another project for your boss this week. No, you’d rather not get drinks Friday after work. No, you can’t make the centerpieces for your cousin’s baby shower. It’s ok to know your limit and kindly decline. The reality is, the thinner you’re spread, the less heart will be in each task. Choose what makes your heart sing and go all in on THOSE things only. Your effort will be greater and you will impact so many more people when you show up as your best self.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself
This is huge. As a yoga teacher, I’m always making sure to tell my students to never compare themselves to the guy or girl on the mat next to them. Handstands aren’t the official gage for what makes us “good” at this practice!
Now take that idea OFF the mat. I hear it all the time – “well she’s a better mom, sister, wife, friend, teacher, doctor, lawyer, gardener (you get it) than I could ever be.” Nope! Not true at all. There are simply different ways to do things, and we all have the ability to choose what works best for us. From there, we need to stop worrying so much about what anyone else thinks about those choices. Drop the idea of progress being linear and let your life flow! Do you, with a smile. I promise things will turn out exactly as they should.
4. Be Honest.
I was a professional photographer for 10+ years. I told everyone that I loved my job, but in reality I was crying in the bathroom, totally freaking out that I would never get to do what I really wanted. And what I wanted to do was teach yoga. Luckily I was honest with one person – my husband. It took a hugely supportive push from him to get me out of my comfort zone and into a teacher training, where I began the process of making my dream a reality.
Now I spend my days sharing this practice, just as I so often dreamed I would.
So please, be honest. Don’t let life pass you by, telling half-truths (or total lies) and staying half-happy. Do the things that make your soul shine.
5. Speak Kindly.
Think of the most awful thing you’ve ever thought about yourself. Would you say that to your best friend? Of course not. Self love isn’t just action – it’s thought. You absolutely need to treat yourself the way you treat those you most love.
I’m not saying you can never have a bad day or a negative thought again – we’re still human, right? But I do want you to begin a practice of taking a look in the mirror and saying – out loud – just how bad ass you are. It might be uncomfortable at first, but you need to do it Look yourself in the eye and say “I love you. You are worthy, smart, creative, funny, and beautiful, inside and out.” Keep saying it until you believe just how true it really is.
Here’s the bottom line – you can’t love anyone or anything else deeply until you do it for yourself. Forget the flowers and candy. Work on pure joy and freedom!
But then buy the chocolate. You deserve it.
Jordan’s yoga journey began around 2009, when after many years in the spotlight as a competitive figure skater, she turned inward for a more personal, spiritual practice. After barging into Hokis one summer evening and meeting Melissa, she completed her 200 hour RYT training at Hokis and it fast became home. Her approach to yoga is simple – enjoy it – don’t be afraid to play, explore, or let yourself fall. As long as your mind, body and breath are connected, you are forever making space for more light. She believes in holding an open, warm space so her students, new and advanced, are comfortable being present wherever they are in their practice. A born and raised New Jersey native, Jordan currently lives in Bergen County.