Cultivating Self-Love

Monkey setting on a railing on top of Kunjapuri Temple Rishikesh india
Kunjapuri Temple Rishikesh
Oct 5, 2018
Picture showing the Yogic Food Experience where we cooked a meal together
Yogic Food Experience
Oct 17, 2018

What’s this Self-Love Thing and why do I need to Cultivate it?

Self-love is a hot and trendy topic. Everyone is on about this concept of self-love. In Yoga the ultimate goal is self-realization. A deep understanding of how you can love and hate yourself. You have to see the hate to notice the love. It’s embracing self-acceptance, duality. Why is it difficult to love yourself? In a healthy and non-egoistic way?

Energy healers, yoga teachers and even past lovers high-lighted my self-hatred. It’s not easy to love yourself. It’s a process. A work of art. It’s easier to love someone else. Self-love is overdone and new age-y. It’s a practice that positively impacts your life. Self Confidence and Self Esteem peek. Positive attitude towards life and increased productivity. A will to love every aspect of your life and all those who cross your path. Who doesn’t want that?

5 Reasons to tell if you need to Cultivate Self-Love

  1. Anxiety peeks in social settings-when your alone, it’s easy to forget yourself because you’re trying to impress others or ‘fit in’
  2. You can’t stand your own company for long periods of time
  3. You feel ‘stuck’ in your love life relationships- there is a lack of intimacy with regards to sex or just plain connection through talking and vice versa
  4. You’re overly critical of your past relationships & you seem to be punishing your future self through expectation
  5. You feel a deep sense of loneliness, present among the company of others

Practising Self-Love is as ancient as many ‘New Age’ Practices

3 Easy Ways to Incorporate Self-Love into your Daily Schedule

1. Cultivate Self-Love through the ancient practice of Yoga

back bending yoga pose for cultivating self-love through heart openers

Yoga and self-love relate directly to Anahata Chakra. The heart Chakra. We are closed off from each other. We don’t and can’t trust people nowadays. It’s a 21st-century mentality. There is no trust, nor love. We breed in competition. We sit hunched over our desks and computers. Shoulders scrunched up. Hearts locked tight. There is no room for growth. Luckily there is a thing called heart openers in Yoga. It’s a delightful sensation stretching the heart and opening up to all the love you deserve. Try to include these heart opening Poses in your weekly or daily practice.  A daily yoga practice heightens self-care for your body and mind. If you’re not into Yoga, practice heart openers at bedtime:

  • Slight Back Bend like in this Picture
  • Cow Pose
  • Baby Cobra or Full Cobra for advanced Yogis
  • Upward Facing Dog
  • Camel Pose (Advanced)
  • Bow Pose (Advanced)

2. Affirmations for Self-Love

An affirmation is a positive statement that you are reaffirming in the sub-conscious mind. As simple as I love my smile. I am a radiant goddess or I feel like a princess. It’s a love letter that you write to yourself. Reassurance that you are loved by yourself and the universe. A little reminder that you are on the right path. Here are some guidelines and examples for creating your own affirmations:

  • Always write in the positive
  • You can begin with I am…
  • Avoid using future tense stay in the present
  • A positive affirmation about doubt, e.g: I am radiant and beautiful
  • I am free from judgement from myself and others
  • I am worthy of receiving love and intimacy

An energy healer told me to write down things I love about myself and practice saying them in the mirror. This was challenging. Seeing myself and telling myself, “You are beautiful and your confidence glow.” I felt silly. I thought to myself, this is stupid. There was a hugely positive impact on the way I saw myself after this exercise. People looked differently at me. The more ‘healthy’ confidence you have the easier it is to truly connect with people.

3. Journal your way into Self-Acceptance

a person writing in their journal an important exercise to practice for cultivating self love

We get caught up in each other’s lives that we often turn the blame around. I’m guilty of this one. There is no point in feeling guilty about something you said or did. Don’t feel guilty about things you can’t change. Accept it. Let it go. Move on. Forgive yourself completely. Accept yourself for who you are. Move forward and grow. Identify your downfalls with an open heart. Be constructive with your criticism. Work on these challenges first. Try not to be too hard on yourself. I love to write. It’s therapeutic on its own. Below are some writing exercises I love practising:

  • A diary for thoughts- things you have over analyzed in the day, burdens, anxiety, stressful scenarios
  • Write down things people have said to you that hurt you- it’s important to get it out of the subconscious mind- let it go by putting it on paper
  • Journal things you’d like to work on, for e.g: I will be more tolerant of my impatience, I will strive to be calm and steady in my speech
  • Create affirmations for each week- something you’re improving on

Find more examples of Affirmations on my Home Page 

Guatama, The Buddha says, “Love yourself and watch. Today, tomorrow, always.

Read Osho’s teaching on Buddhas ‘Self-Love’ Sutra.

“A man who loves himself respects himself, and a man who loves himself and respects himself respects others too, because he knows, ‘Just as I am, so are others. Just as I enjoy love, respect, dignity, so do others.’ He becomes aware that we are not different; as far as the fundamentals are concerned, we are one. We are under the same law: Es dhammo sanantano”

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 5, Talk #5

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