"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself"
~Thich Nhat Hanh
In challenging times, it is not uncommon to look to blame others for the situations we are in, especially when we feel helpless or stuck. It is of course not always straightforward and so many factors play a role, but by starting to look at how we honestly feel about ourselves, we flick the catalyst switch of change.
A hugely powerful thing is that when we decide to value who we are, we change priority, we become part of the consequence of that decision, and so this catalyst of change becomes a powerful influence, change can then filter in, a little at a time.
Having helped hundreds of people in the last 20 years on their journey to greater levels self worth and self belief and there is nothing more evident to me than this relationship between self love and the life we build for ourselves.
How does this process start?
If you don’t connect to love in yourself, you do not see yourself as equal to those you choose to love.
If you stay where you are and not create opportunities to grow, your learning becomes stagnant and so does your confidence.
When you do not use actions as well as thoughts – actions to define your ideas and values - you will not be seen and heard to have a voice.
Without love of yourself, you do not thrive and show a level of respect for others to honour.
Also, in a relationship, the way you choose to look at yourself sends signals to others who will very possibly see you in the light you communicate, at the vibration you give, whether consciously or in more subtle ways, this relationship will not be in balance.
If you want a relationship based on equality, sharing, openness, truth, respect and love, look at whether you see this in you, whether you resonate this so that others see you as much of a priority as they see themselves, and whether you take up your spot – the one saved just for you, and claim it, tend to it like a garden and care for yourself with as much attention as you care for those around you.
Ten ways to better self-love
Time is the most valuable thing we have – we are not here for very long, time cannot be shipped in. Its for us to make the most of the time we have, create time by writing down a schedule of how you use your time, how much time is given to you?
2. Sacred Self care
Sacred because it’s your soul I’m talking about. Look at what makes your heart sing, where is it in your life, art, music, creativity, self-expression. Sharing your appreciation of creative expression can help you define yourself to the world, because they are soul values you align yourself to that nourish your soul and spirit. Consider how you honour who you are and what has made you who you are.
Your body – like time, is precious and part of the most valuable thing we have. It needs good food, plenty of water, rest and movement. Assess what changes are needed and seek out a way to start that process of greater support and self-nurture.
So much talk about motivation, mindset, mindfulness, I can see the pressure mounting up sometimes in others like is another thing to fulfil. Just do what you can, but whatever you do, do it with intent. A daily intention of 5 minutes to sit and breathe, or a stroll in nature, or lying down on the ground and earthing daily. If you can, meditate, first a few minutes a day so as to build a routine. That time in stillness just sitting and giving yourself time to BE is amazing, even if you don’t do anything else for a while.
5. Self worth
Explore the basis of the decisions you make now and how many times you make them based on putting yourself as a high priority. Don’t worry that I am highlighting this, I help people with this all the time, and it can be done. Begin to explore whenever you have put yourself last and start working on a pledge to create change. You can create change by looking at time, sacred self-care, body and mind, by applying those things your relationship to self worth starts to change.
6. Being enough
Comparison is something we all do. We live in a society that in a digital and visual age has great emphasis on an imaginary world consisting of people who really don’t represent the vast majority! No wonder we have down days, how on earth am I meant to be tall, English and young etc., when I am a short, Latina and middle aged! I do not fit that mould, some of us do, but it is not representative. And so I celebrate all my sisters who fit that, but also celebrate myself, because I am enough. The comparisons I make celebrate diversity and richness in experience. I do not aspire to have x, y and z because people are doing it around me, I am going beyond that. Why? Because I am thinking for myself, remember, I am enough. I love being uniquely me, and so will you of yourself.
7. Saying no – a lot
During a time of raw transformation, as by now you are contemplating on the consequences of applying these things, saying no is amazing. Let's put it in context – its saying no when we have got used to doing things constantly which we don’t want, which only benefit others, and which make us unhappy. The leftover feeling of doing this constantly, of pleasing or serving others are flat, low and sometimes very depressing. By over stretching ourselves we can often achieve a lot, to the detriment of the other things that keep us in balance, if it becomes a habit. No I have changed my mind, no I don’t want to meet, no I don’t want to listen without mutual exchange, etc. It is about boundaries.
Beyond being enough there is shining. You can be glorious a wonderful woman said to me once. And so can you. Honour the things which you can take credit for as your own, own them, share them with the world in a way which acknowledges you as the source, put your name to those things. Compliments are a good example, you look beautiful, what this old dress? Shining without sabotaging moments when others see our light and honour it with us.
9. I am
Claiming your identity, what makes you unique? Really unique? There is no one else like you, that’s what that special person in your life will love, why they saw you maybe in a sea of 1000 people in the first place. Remember that which makes you different. It's not about achievement or success, its really beyond that, it's about living from the heart and sharing with honesty. Spend time connecting with what makes you unique.
Have somewhere you go for contemplation. This place you can take a journal to sit and reconnect with a sense of individuality. This can create positivity as you nourish your soul with a sense of slowing life down to take stock, evaluate and appreciate. It’s also a space where you can gain perspective so that you can focus and clarity and go back into your relationship feeling light recharged and present.
As you begin to address the relationship you have with yourself, the ones you have with partners, husbands, wives, and other significant close people in your life experiences a shift. This is part of aligning you to a greater balance, these changes are courageous and significant, because they become about the future and what you want to embrace for a life that is happily lived and fulfilled.
A bit about me
I'm a Unique Celebrant and Modern Day Medicine Woman. I offer alternative, soulful defy-convention Weddings and powerful one to one Rites of Passage Ceremonies to honour transitions in life as well as life-changing mentoring for greater happiness and self empowerment.
Further information on honouring who you are through rites of passage ceremonies and initiations available on this direct link https://www.creative-ceremonies.co.uk/rites-of-passage
My Online Self-Love Mentoring Programme now available - the opportunity for three sessions https://www.angielitvinoff.com/readings-mentoring-healing
Photo with a detail of one of my Rites of Passage Ceremonies by Gentlevisions Storytelling Photography
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