How would your life be different if you regularly offered yourself loving thoughts, encouragement, actions and intentions to live your best life?
For about 20 years, self-care wasn’t a part of my life. I thought drinking (often too much), doing things and acting a certain way to be liked, and misguided self-care ideas (like the debt hole of ‘retail-therapy’) was self-care. Turns out what I really needed was to delve deeper into what brought me joy on a non-material level. It wasn’t things or attention, but self-love.
I invite you to let go of what doesn’t serve you and immerse yourself in a month of self-care with this simple challenge. I participated last year and it was the extra push necessary to being more authentic and balanced.
Affirmation for Following Your Heart:
I follow my heart because I know what I need and that is love. I give and receive with love. I grow and evolve with love. My heart guides me to self-love. I am following my heart.
Author Michelle Minero, a licensed therapist, shares invaluable lessons and therapies that any of us can use to create a healthier life which doesn’t involve obsessing over our pant size. Her book may be that extra tool you need to retrieve your inner strength and heal from an eating disorder. As she says in the book, “We need to be able to tap into the potency of the power that comes from loving ourselves.” She cautions that though it is “tricky”, it is absolutely possible.
Some of the points I really enjoyed were about the damaging effects of becoming malnourished from eating poorly, the effects of family, religious and ethnic beliefs which can cause hate or love toward our bodies and learning how to see our bodies as instruments vs. ornaments.
She also writes about the science of mirror neurons which are a relatively new discovery that explain how we learn by watching others and absorbing ideas. Have you ever tried the exercise of looking into a mirror and telling yourself “I love you”? The first time I tried this I felt silly, but over time I’ve noticed that it does make me feel good to see myself saying I love you. It’s similar to when a family or friend tells me they love me. Self-love is indeed as important as receiving and giving love to others.
Each chapter offers action steps and loving exercises you can take to heal or help someone heal. My favorite action to take is starting a self-love journal. For most of my life I’ve used writing to help me with issues and heal from trauma. Starting a journal can feel daunting so I recommend you personalize your journal and make it fun. In my journal I write inspiring quotes to myself and decorate each page with colors and illustrations.
While I don’t personally have an eating disorder, this book is a great reminder to love my own body after the many years I spent degrading myself in a vain attempt to look as beautiful as an airbrushed model.
I highly recommend reading this book if :
-You are dealing with an eating disorder.
-You have a loved one, or even a co-worker, who is dealing with an eating disorder.
*Be aware the author does mention God, however it is not to push a specific religion down your throat, but as a spiritual resource. If it was religious I wouldn’t be reading it.
Michelle E. Minero is a Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist who has dedicated her work to helping people recover from eating disorders and body-hatred. Michelle graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in psychology in 1976 and a master in counseling in 1988. She created the Quest Program, an intensive outpatient eating disorder program for PsychStrategies Inc. in 2000. She brought the ANAD support group to Petaluma and founded Eating Disorders Recovery Support Inc. in 2005. Learn more at TheSelfLoveDiet.org and LoveWarriorCommunity.com
What do you love about yourself? What parts of yourself could you learn to love more?
The Self-Love Diet(SLD) is about accepting all of yourself as one whole imperfectly perfect person. I joined the January 31 Day Self-Love Challenge to reinforce what I already know, that I love and want only the best for myself. In order to do that I must choose to be conscious of my thoughts and actions. I must choose to be objective and use critical thinking to be my best self and therefore have a lifetime of wonder. This challenge is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.
“In the Self-Love Diet you are invited to look within when you notice something you don’t like in someone else. When pointing the finger at someone in your life, notice the three fingers pointing back at you and ask:
#1 “What am I feeling?”
#2 “Why am I feeling this emotion?”
#3 “What do I want?”
The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. The SLD tool of looking within and asking yourself these 3 questions helps you learn more about your emotional self. Once you understand what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and what you want, you are equipped to have that important conversation without the wasteful blaming game…” ..continue reading at LoveWarriorCommunity.com
Below are the answers I thought up when reading this post:
#1 “What am I feeling?” Usually anxiety, fear and doubt from situations that seem out of my hands. I feel threatened or confused and am looking for outside reassurance.
#2 “Why am I feeling this emotion?” Because I’ve taught myself to be a victim. Because I’m used to blaming others. Because I’m a human and have a range of emotions.
#3 “What do I want?” I want to stay balanced and not stress out or overreact when I’m feeling down, unsure or threatened. I want to remember that I am capable, strong and wise. I want to be fair and kind to others. I want to react out of love, not stress. I know that at my core I can do this as long as I stay focused.