3 Practical Steps to Deepen Self Love

There is a woman who lives inside of me.  She believes the universe is never on her side.  If the conditions are not perfect then she has failed.  She believes life should always be in her favor.  She rages if the people around her don’t co-operate with her plans.  She is a warrior and she wants to fight for me.

Her battle strategies do not yield the results I want though.  Her weapons of choice are fear and scarcity mentality.  Her words wound the ones I love and her force leaves me exhausted.

She can cause a shame storm without meaning to.  Her intentions for me are good, but her methods are destructive.

Is there a similar woman living in you?  Do you fight against her?  Try to bury her deep?  Attempt to lock her away?

Would you believe me if I told you the way to stop her, is to love her?

When we fight against the warrior woman it makes her stronger.  Battle is what she was created for and she thrives on it.

How do we love this inner being who has brought us so much pain?

I have 3 practices to help you gently soothe your inner warrior.

Write in a journal.

Spill out your joys, hopes, fears and anxieties on to the pages.  When your most prominent thoughts and feelings are swirling around in your head they can become tangled thoughts causing confusion and disorder in your brain.  These are two characteristics our minds are not fond, so these thoughts either get pushed into the dark parts of us or continue swirling and becoming a much bigger deal than they actually are.  Either way they are prime elements for the warrior to forge into weapons.

Taking the thoughts out of your head and writing them down on paper brings them out into the light.  It organizes them and brings some order to the chaos of the previous swirling.

I recommend writing three pages daily.

Oh I can hear you busy mama.  “Three pages!  That is impossible!”  I assure you it’s not.  (You can refer to my imperfect journaling time if you need some encouragement.)

Ignore spelling and grammar, don’t worry about how neat your pages are, just write.  I find that the magic usually happens about half way through page 2.    This is where another woman takes over your body.  Inner calm and peace.  It’s where self revelations happen.

If you need a jumping off point I would be happy to send you 11 self love journal prompts. You can do this!

Practice Mindfulness

Good news!  Practicing mindfulness can be done in 5 minute intervals nearly anywhere and anytime.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pause
  2. Draw your attention to your breath for a few moments.  Notice the sensations of your breath.  The sounds and feelings of the inhale and exhale.
  3. Broaden your attention to your body.  Scan from the top of your head to the tip of your toes and see what you notice about the feelings and sensations in each body part.
  4. Widen your attention even more to your surroundings.  What sounds can you hear?  Smells? Can you feel the warmth of the sun on your face?
  5. Bring your attention back to your breath for a few moments.

What the heck does all of this accomplish?  By training your brain to be more aware of your feelings, sensations and surroundings, you are also training it to notice signals that the warrior is stirring inside of you.  If you can assure her that all is well when she is still relatively calm, it is much easier to put her back to rest than when there is a full blown “Forward March!”  happening.

Remember You are Not alone

There is a beautiful truth about being human, we all have struggles.

A couple of seeks ago I wrote a very vulnerable post about how my self critic was affecting my marriage. I thought “For sure no one will relate to this.”

I was wrong.  Brave, strong, women who I admire raised their hands and said “Yes this is me too!  I get you!”

Know that at some point we have all been tired, hungry, overwhelmed, grumpy and not enough in our own minds.  Because of this we have not shown up in the world as our best self.

It’s all part of the human experience.   It’s what makes life an adventure and not a factory assembly line.

Loving yourself, especially the hard to love parts, requires practice, training, and kindness.  It’s ongoing.  Be patient with yourself.  You’ve got this.

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