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Self love and self work, a hands-on approach

Self-love, that elusive and essential life vitamin…

is so much more than salt baths and fine chocolates. What is Self-love, anyway? Self-love is a multi-faceted, deep, non-linear, and lifelong practice. Like most relationships that go on for longer than three months, we see imperfections, wounds, and weaknesses and find aspects of our beloved a bit annoying. In this case, the beloved is YOURSELF. We are privy to all of our intrusive and sometimes maddening thoughts, our trauma, our insecurities, and our bad habits. We are with ourselves all day, every day. So..yeah…feeling really connected to a sense of self love will flux from time to time. That's natural! But we are also privy to our beauties, our magic, our gifts, our goodness, and our most essential essence, which I have found to be pretty much gold in every person I’ve spent time working with on the topic of self-love (which, by the way, I’ve lost count of it’s so many. Trust that you’re in good company.) Most of all, self-love is about the love story you are having with yourself and how you choose to energize that relationship. It involves any loving expression from self-discipline, to acts of kindness towards the self, to nurturing a positive self-image, to re-parenting ourselves as adults, to accepting our trauma, to being able to set healthy boundaries. Like most ongoing relationships, you have smooth years and you have turbulent years. If you were to be married for more than a decade I’d imagine therapy was a key commitment. We need and deserve the same level of support in our relationship with ourselves. Self-love is not always a beautiful thing. Sometimes it is making hard decisions, like enforcing a better sleeping routine or calling off a relationship that is destabilizing, or cooking yourself healthy meals when all you want to do is to drown yourself in Ben and Jerry’s. Sometimes it is facing the ugliest parts of your psyche and asking for help in staying alive. It is not running away from the sharp, hard edges of who you are, or distracting yourself with “treats” or routine getaways. Although we all deserve treats every now and then, it’s true. ” It is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” ​And that deserves help. That is what the Self Love Lab is all about.

​It is not an exclusive club. If you think you could use some help in deepening your sense of self-love, healthy self-care routines, or even just receive a boost and some inspiration as to how to better take care of your own needs, the Self-Love Lab is here to support you. Self-love is for everybody. It is your natural state to return to -peace and contentedness and acceptance. Like a happy baby. But it doesn’t mean that life will become a free getaway to Barbados. Just because you decide to work on self-love, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t have a terrible year, lose a friend, or invest in the wrong cryptocurrency. It doesn’t mean life will turn around and say “I hear you decided to love yourself, so I am not gonna bring you any more trouble. I guess you decided not to have experiences like that…”

Life will continue. And sometimes it will suck.

But, if you stay rooted to a position of loving yourself in a grown-up way..that is to say, not from an egoistic sense of God-like stature, it most certainly will help you in such moments. Instead of internalizing hard times as a narrative that you are wrong, bad, or somehow unworthy, you will be more able to show up for yourself compassionately and get on with what you need to do. That sometimes means just sitting in the emotions, and sometimes it means taking an action step. You’ll know. Because part of loving yourself is trusting yourself. Back to the happy baby comment…As babies, we did not reject ourselves, our emotions, or our behaviors. We had total self-acceptance. And that is the aim, a returning to what feels good. A returning to the very basics. Accepting who we are.

Relationship expert Esther Perel puts it this way “Selfesteem is the ability to see yourself as a flawed individual and still hold yourself in high regard.” We can be happy babies. Ad we can be grounded, resilient adults… taking with us the wisdom and information we have gained along the way.​​ There is a beautiful reconciliation waiting to happen, I think. Well, actually I think I know. The parts of you that you have struggled to love over the years are waiting your humble permission slip of love and acceptance. Why make them wait? Bumper sticker wisdom… The time is now. ​ ​

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