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What does it mean to love ourselves?

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What does it mean to love ourselves?
photography: Romina Farias

Yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.

Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.

– Rumi

I often refer to quotes from Rumi, the 13th Century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, as he had a way of expressing the truths of life oh so eloquently.

I wholeheartedly believe that everything starts with ourselves. When we can nurture and love ourselves we can create nurturing, kind and loving environments that we desire in our lives.

When it comes to love, we hear time and time again that we must love ourselves first before we can love another, but it’s easier said than done a lot of the time. How do we put this concept in to pragmatic action?

Self-love has been something that I’ve enjoyed experimenting with over the past 20+ years, because lets face it … when you’re starting from a low base level, there’s a huge amount of room to grow and learn from. Like a lot of teenagers I didn’t exactly love my body, mind and being as best I could. I wasn't all that mindful with ensuring my daily nutrition was as optimum as it could be. I smoked way too many cigarettes and partied all night long. And I stayed in relationships well past their use-by date. Isn’t hind-sight great!

But what I also know to be true is, that it’s never too late to make the shift. The love that I have for my body, mind and being now is far greater than I ever thought to be possible. It took time. It took action. And it took the courage to be completely vulnerable with myself, so that I could see beyond the illusions of who I was portraying myself to be.

To be able to look at myself in the mirror without judgment, without expectation and with a desire to get to the heart of what’s true for me was the greatest gift I have ever gifted myself. It was the beginning of finding out what self-love really felt like. And yes, I'm still learning, stumbling and falling. There's always room for improvement and there's always another layer of the onion to peel off. 

If self-love is something that you’re keen to explore then the following is what I’ve learnt along the way, and found to be helpful for me. Perhaps it might be helpful for you too?

First and foremost, please remember that your body, mind and being are all interconnected, so make it a conscious practice to nurture a little part of each of these aspects every day. To expand:

No judgement 

Please stop judging yourself and comparing yourself with others. Especially when in the mirror. Take all that judgemental energy and focus it toward nurturing your body with gentle skin care rituals, preparing home-made healthy meals, and getting out and about for a fun form of exercise that you enjoy doing, that also gets your body moving.

I know it might seem like a massive mountain to climb, to get to the space of not having any judgment about your body. But everything starts with taking the first step, and then repeating over and over again. Practice makes perfect. If you are constantly practicing the art of self-judgment, sooner or later you’ll become a master at it. On the flip side if you practice nurturing yourself, even if only for a minute each day, sooner or late you’ll get better and better at it too.

More me time

Take a moment each day for some ‘me time’. Even if it’s only a couple of minutes in the bathroom when getting ready each morning. Create that quiet moment where you can focus on your breathing to exhale any worries or stress. 

Whilst I fully appreciate that many of us have incredibly busy lives these days with work, family and social commitments overfilling the day, there’s always an opportunity to gift yourself a little ‘me time’. This is where our Be Genki Roll-On Botanical Therapy comes in handy to help calm the chaos whilst on-the-go.

Quit bitching

Before you open your mouth, ask “is it kind?”, “is it necessary?” If it’s a YES to both, then go for it. If it’s a NO to either one of the questions, then please keep quiet. Do this for the next two weeks and see the difference in your life, and the way in which people interact with you, and more importantly … how you feel within yourself. 

Nurture your body

In the evening, after washing the day away down the drain, gift yourself a five minute self massage using our Be Genki softening body oil, and practice being grateful for the body that it is, and has the potential to be, enabling you to walk, run, swim and dance.

Nourish your body with healthy wholefoods that feed your gut with health and happiness. A happy gut = a happy mind. 

Ditch digital devices

Spend less time on your digital devices and more time opening your eyes to connect with the beauty of your surrounds. Gaze up at the beautiful blue sky, and the birds flying by. Admire the vibrant colour of flowers, and trees blowing in the wind. Connect back with nature. Walk barefoot on the earth. Take notice of these things and give your appreciation.

And after a month, please come back here and share your experience. I’d so love to hear about how you any of these little tips have impacted your life and living. 

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