The ABC’s of Radical Self Love

Originally written for Little Black Diamond

Self love is the foundational building block to achieving your full potential in life, love, and the pursuit of wholeness. That doesn’t always mean facials and bubble baths, although those are totally necessary components. Self love ALSO includes uncomfortable tasks like cutting out toxic friendships and setting a monthly budget. Not so sexy, right?

However, once you make sure that you’re giving yourself a healthy dose of daily lovin’ by listening to your mind, body, and soul’s needs- you’ll notice everything else starts falling into place. I’ve discovered most of those amazing and inexplainable synchronicities we all live for happen in my life when my inner bucket is completely full.

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Appointments. Now is the time to schedule those appointments you have been putting off forever: doctor, dentist, haircut, the dreaded OBGYN. I know how it is: the fear of the unknown can cause our minds to put thoughts into our heads that everything is wrong. Chances are- it’s not. You’re fine. Just GO.

Boundaries. Find your voice. Speak up for yourself. Say no, and do not apologize when you are not in the wrong. You absolutely have to prioritize yourself, no matter how uncomfortable, so that you can continue to help others grow and flourish with a full-heart and a clear-head. Overworking and exhausting yourself does nobody any good.

Create. Painting. Photography. Crafting. Upcycling. Blogging. You. Do. You. Whatever your chosen way to create, do it and do it proudly every single day. Creative outpourings help you to really decipher what is going on in that big beautiful brain of yours.

Dance. Lock the doors, turn down the lights, and feel the rhythm. Let the music flow through you and allow your body to release any emotions it may have been holding on to too tightly. Mmmm…feels good right? If you are in need of some inspo, Odesza, Glass Animals, and FKJ are my chosen artists for when I need to catch a vibe. I also created a stellar playlist for you to let loose to this month.

Empathy. For you, and for those around you. For those you love, and those you don’t. We are all humans: making mistakes, learning as we go, and experiencing our own trials. Listen when others talk, smile at strangers, and offer genuine appreciation. You will change somebody’s day, if not their life, by regularly practicing empathy.

Forgive. Forgiveness is crucial to maintaining a light spirit. This means sometimes you will have to accept that people will not give you the apology you deserve, and move on. It’s rough, yes, but you will grow from it.  Self-forgiveness is also necessary for your self-love to flourish. Think of all the times you may have inflicted pain on yourself, made a terrible decision, or did a friend wrong. Fully forgive yourself, and offer up an apology- because you know how it deeply hurts when you don’t receive one.

Give. Whether it be volunteering in the neighborhood, helping a family member, or buying a homeless person a meal- giving does as much for you feels as it does for the person in need.

Honesty. When we are honest and authentic with ourselves, we can more accurately understand our values, morals, and vulnerabilities. When we can look at ourselves without judgement and identify our pain, shame melts away and our love of self multiplies. If you notice yourself feeling uneasy or hurt, take some time to do some deep introspection and ask yourself “why?” If you can sit in silence and decipher the root of where your emotions are coming from- some real, raw growth will be waiting for you.

Intentions. Create a physical vision board and set fire to those ambitions! Every goal needs to be followed by solid actions. Want to start a business? Start by buying the web domain. Want to meet fellow business-savvy chicks? Join networking groups in your area. Deciding on continuing your education? Sign up for a class and see if it invigorates you. The world is literally yours for the taking.

Journaling. Maintaining a journal is a beautiful way to release all of your thoughts at the end of the day and start the next with a clean slate. My Grandma Barbara is a shining example of devotion to the craft: she has managed to keep a journal for the last 28 years. Seriously: she has not missed a single day. It’s a habit that requires dedication and motivation in the beginning but soon becomes necessary. It’s also a habit I have yet to adapt, but I’m working on it.

Kefir. Ask anyone in my closest circle, and they will tell you that I have become a probiotic freak as of late. No shame. The importance of gut health within our overall state of being is so.freaking.important. I am obviously not a Doctor, but when I maintain a regular schedule of taking of probiotic, my skin is clear and I have so much more energy throughout the day. Kefir is one form of probiotic available, but if you steer clear of cow’s milk, I recommend GoodBelly products.

Laughter. My favorite medicine. If you’re feeling yourself getting into a funk, invite your best gal pal over for a night of catching up, laughs, and wine. This is where all of those Seth, James, and Jonah trifecta movies come in handy, too. Laughter is proven to help our bodies release tension and increase our oxygen flow. Seriously, just loosen up. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mute. Have you found yourself in that dreaded cycle of checking social media relentlessly to see what everyone else is doing? I know how it is, but knock it off! Do you find that in times of loneliness you’re looking up the Instagram page of  “The Dude Who Left You Hanging Five Months Ago”? Been there, done that. It’s SO unhealthy and a waste of your precious time. Mute or unfollow any accounts that aren’t adding value into your life. Future You will thank Past You for this small act of love.

Nudity. While living in Colorado, I was able to experience the beauty of the “clothing optional” hot springs in Ouray. If you know, you know. And if you don’t- go find out. Yes, it was totally awkward at first, but luckily I was with my BFF’s, and we managed to turn it into a fun and vulnerable experience that we will remember forever. Embrace all that is you and realize you are flawless, girl!

Oils. Want to feel sexy? Rose. Looking for your calm? Lavender. Need to get grounded? Balance by Doterra. The list goes on, but diffusing essential oils and/or rubbing them all over your body is a yummy way to achieve a great mood boost.

Play. Release those inhibitions and get a little silly! For me, festivals do the trick each and every time. There is nothing that beats a weekend off the grid, covered in glitter, with no worries about what “everyone else” is doing. Who even is Everyone Else? Exactly.

Quiet. Silence is necessary. However you like to achieve it, our brains need time to turn off and rest. Candlelit bubble bath paired with a glass of cab sauv is THE foolproof combo. Remember to turn off the phone, too.

Read. There is an infinite amount of knowledge to be obtained in the world and most of it is contained within literature. The Red Tent and The Four Agreements are a few of my personal favorites that have totally changed my mindset. If books aren’t your thing, podcasts are a great passive (and free) way to soak up some new perspectives.

Splurge. If you and your wardrobe need a quick pick me up, a nice splurge may be in order. And, we all know the magical healing properties that treating ourselves to a beautiful new staple piece or a couple pairs of lacey panties has.

Tea. Enjoying a warm cup of tea in the morning is a beautiful routine to adopt. The process of steeping and sipping can become meditative and a chance to start your day with a slow, introspective moment. Matcha is my fave, at the moment.

Unite. Finding a group of like-minded women to go throughout life with is an absolute blessing. Men are amazing, but having a solid group of women to express your thoughts and fears to is exhilarating. If you’re feeling lonely, I’ve been there. Connect with me and let’s chat.

Vitamins. Adding supplements to my daily routine has been a seriously simple way to show my body a little extra TLC. Turmeric, chlorophyll, activated charcoal, and cranberry are currently in my daily rotation.

Water. We are water, plain and simple. Make sure you’re drinking enough and spending time in it to ease your mind and body of tension and regain your relationship with Mother Nature.

eXcess. A good clothing purge and tidying up of your space works wonders to clear your mind. Our outer space reflects our inner space. So, if you are striving for an uncluttered mind and clearer thinking, start with clearing your room of excess stuff, and that will be SO much easier to achieve.

Yoga. A solid yoga practice enables you to learn about your body in intimate ways. How far you can push it, what causes you pain, and where you hold your stress. Moving and gliding through poses with conscious movement helps you understand and love yourself from the core.To be totally open with you, I have been in a lull with my yoga practice, but I’m working on getting back into the groove. Any tips on how to bounce back are so welcome.

Zzz’s Sleep is essential! Rejuvenating during the night helps your body and mind to better deal with daily aggravations and stressors during the day so that your main focus can be creating a fuller, happier life.

May you take this information and tap into a higher level of self-love that guides you to a higher state of awareness and appreciation. You deserve it, after all. I would love if you shared with me your favorite way to bring some juicy self love into your day. Let’s help each other flourish!

6 Comments

    1. mialatoy

      Thank you Stephanie! I know exactly what you mean. having a list printed and hung up where you see it everyday really helps <3

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