Stories-from-Spirit copyThis posting continues my sharing of monthly exercises to help you connect to your inner divine.

If I could pick one super power to call my very own, I would ask for the power to erase self-limitation so that individuals could reach their highest potential with ease, grace and gratitude. Wouldn’t that be a lovely super power to have?

Since I don’t have super powers, nor do I expect to receive them anytime soon, I’ll have to rely on words of encouragement. My first words are simply: “Learn to love yourself first.”

Self love doesn’t have to be self-centered or egotistical. That’s not the kind of self love I’m referring to; rather, I’m suggesting that if we don’t love and respect ourselves then no one else can either.

Think about how you talk to yourself. Do you speak to yourself harshly? Do you refer to yourself as stupid or idiotic? Do you berate yourself when you forget something or make a mistake? Harsh words are not beneficial to anyone, yourself included! The more we love ourselves, care for ourselves and celebrate ourselves the more able we will be to love, care and celebrate those around us.

Here’s an easy way to ensure you are loving yourself. Talk to yourself the same way you would talk to a two-year-old child — with patience, kindness and love. Another way to love yourself is by being open to receiving kind words and deeds from others. When someone compliments your jacket, don’t respond with, “Oh, this old thing?” A simple, “Thank you!” is all that is needed. Receive the compliment. Allow it to resonate in your being. Feel gratitude to the person gifting you with their thoughtfulness.

Self-love is about receiving. Receiving your own acknowledgement and validation that you are worthy. When you love yourself, then you feel worthy enough to receive from others.

In relationships, you must be open to receive. You must know your own worth, relish your own value. When you are grounded in who you are, then you are open to receive love from your partner.

Here’s a great exercise for practicing self-love. Every morning, write yourself a love note. It only takes a minute and it sets the expectation for your whole day. One your piece of paper write: I love myself today because…. and then fill in the blank. Maybe you love yourself because you are a good manager and encourage your employees to work to their potential. Maybe you love yourself because you are a loving spouse and parent. Maybe you love yourself because you are taking a minute out of your busy day to recognize how special you are!

What’s important is that you take the time to recognize all that you are and all that you long to be or do. If you commit to starting your day with an affirmation of self love for thirty days straight, I promise that you will begin to feel different about yourself. Moreover, after thirty days, you’ll be in the habit of recognizing the good in yourself. Not only will it be something you automatically think about every morning, but you will also find yourself thinking loving thoughts throughout the day.

Now, wrap those arms around yourself, give a good squeeze and congratulate yourself for the wonder that you are!

Find more exercises to deepen your connection to your inner divine in my book, Stories from Spirit, available exclusively on Amazon for $2.99.

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