Founder of meditation app Silatha, Veroniek Vermeulen is on a quest to break women’s mental health taboos and help busy mamas to harness the power of self-love through meditation: www.silatha.com
Today on the blog, she takes us through a set of exercises to help you on your journey to achieve true self-love… think of it as a little Valentine’s gift to yourself!
Valentine’s is a time to think about love. Often, we automatically think about others. Your partner, kids, parents, close friends and family. But what about loving yourself?
Self-love is accepting yourself as you truly are, flaws and all. Becoming your own best friend. This means, that you first need to take an honest look at who you are: all your positive qualities, your strengths, your super-powers (yes everyone has them!), but also your darker sides. This isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight, but don’t worry – it’s a journey.
1. Get to know yourself
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Start by making a list of all your positive traits. And be honest, you have many more than you think. It can help to ask people close to you what they value in you. Take the time to list it all. It should become a long list, which will keep growing as you evolve over time.
Then start with your less beautiful parts. How do you respond when you do not like something? Are you comparing yourself to others? How do you handle fears and worries? List them down for yourself. Again, be honest – without full honesty, it doesn’t work.
When you’re done you should have two lists, hopefully of a similar length. If not, likely you have missed a few in the shorter list.
2. Embrace yourself
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Congratulations! You made a big step in being honest and open with yourself. It’s time to give yourself a big hug. Speak out loud that you love yourself, use your name when you do this, even though it might seem odd. Do this for as long as it feels comfortable.
While you literally embrace yourself, start to welcome all that is you, let it all be and know that all you listed is beautiful and okay.
3. Forgive yourself and others
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The key now is to forgive yourself, for all you feel you did wrong in the past, for what you perceive as your faults in the present and for all that you will do in the future. Know that you are perfect as you are and forgive yourself for all that you are holding against yourself.
This goes for others too. Let go of any negative thoughts you have on others and know that they are perfect as they are. They do the best they can. Know that if you were them with their upbringing and life, you would act the same way. So let go of judgement and love and embrace everyone in your life. Now and in the future.
4. Set boundaries
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Knowing what your boundaries are allows you to truly see what you’re ok with and what you’re not ok with. And once these are fixed in your mind you can start to implement them. To have the courage to say no, even though it may not feel good to you in that moment. Even though this ‘no’ may not be to the liking of others. The most important thing is to be true to yourself. Realise that you are not responsible for others’ reactions or feelings. No matter what their response is, it is theirs to deal with and not yours.
The same applies to you: Remember that you are in charge of how you react. What’s important is that you care for yourself and whatever boundaries you have.
Take some time to reflect on what your boundaries are.
5. Set positive affirmations
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It may help to develop affirmations that you can repeat for yourself every day and that will support you in your journey towards deeper self-love. For example:
- I am enough.
- I am compassionate. I forgive myself.
- I am perfect as I am.
- I know how to care for myself and love myself unconditionally.
These should be personal, so take time to create your own.
6. Meditate on Self-love
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Meditation is a great way to connect to yourself. We recommend the Silatha Self-love meditation series on the Silatha app. There are over 50 meditations on the Silatha app, designed to guide you in growing your self-love. To get a taster of Silatha meditations you can follow this practical self-love meditation session.
It’s a journey
Remember that building self-love doesn’t come overnight. Be patient with yourself. Notice when you act in ways ‘not in line with the core of your self-love’. By becoming more aware, you have a good chance of acting differently next time. Just acknowledging it, is already a great step on your journey.
To explore how self-love meditations can enhance your life, download the Silatha app here: