Still listening to Brené Brown’s first Ted Talk, she says: “There was only one variable that separated the people who had a strong sense of love and belonging, and those who really struggle for it: That was the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging, believe that they are worthy of love and belonging.” So what are the steps to change a belief, to believe that we are worthy of love and belonging, in other words worthy of self-love? It reminded me of a book from Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief. I heard of this book many times but I have not read it yet. But stay tune, I just borrowed it from the library!
So much to do and so little time to do it! In self love, I deeply practice being at peace with the way things are: I would prefer sharing self love thoughts every day and I am ok with doing the best I can. This is not about letting myself off the hook, it is about looking at my competing priorities and at what can be done. Who else could bring more self-kindness and acknowledging that they are doing the best they can?
In one of my audiobooks, I heard “A strong belief in our worthiness doesn’t just happen: it is cultivated.” Cultivating self-love is the similar than cultivating worthiness. One of the practices of self-love is to make a list of your qualities or the things you do well. If you can’t find any, ask your best friends or closest family members what quality they see in you or what do they see you do well.
This week-end, I participated in a session of purposeful socializing. It’s a zoom event where the facilitator asks specific questions that promote connection and we go to breakout rooms in groups of 4 or 5 to answer the question. I have attended 3 of them so far and I love those events. (Let me know if you want to attend, it’s free). This week-end the subject of belonging came up. That’s one of my favorite subject from the angle of human connection. What makes us feel connected to other humans and feel that we belong? I hear in books and courses that the feeling of belonging is an inside job. Is it the same for the feeling of being connected? I have had conversations with my mum where I feel connected and others where I don’t. I am starting to discover what the difference is between those conversations. I believe that increasing our self-love is part of that inside job necessary to the feeling of belonging.
In the lists of self-love practices, I saw the practice of gratitude. Six years ago, I did a gratitude practice of posting on Facebook every day about gratitude. At the beginning, not much was happening, but as I persevered, focusing on gratitude every day, I began to feel more joy and enjoy my life more. To help me in the daily post on Facebook, I asked Rolly to share with each other 3 things we were grateful for about our day. It also took perseverance to stay with it, and after 3 weeks, this practice took a life of its own. It increased connection between us. We don’t do it every day anymore, but 6 years later we still regularly exchange what we are grateful for our day.
A gratitude practice gives us joy and inner peace. It is an act of self-love like a gift we give to ourselves.
Today, I was looking online for ideas of self-love practices. One of the practices was to focus on what we need rather than what we want. Sometimes, I need to get something done but I don’t feel like it or I don’t want to. Getting up from the couch and getting things done even if I don’t feel like it is an investment in self-love.
Today, I listen to a video from Francis Gendron (https://solutionera.com/experts/francis-gendron/ pour les français) and he talks about how our physiology affect our mood. Harvard did a study where people would hold Wonder Woman’s pause for 2 minutes before doing an interview. They found that those who held the pause did better than those who didn’t (the control group). If you want to change your mood and bring a little fun to your self-love try holding Wonder Woman’s pause for 2 minutes without laughing!!!
In our Geotran call, we talked about the fact that I took on writing 365 posts on self-love and how I had to practice self-love each time I missed a day. The first time I missed, I was annoyed at myself, then I noticed that I was annoyed at myself. Since I am committed to feeling good about myself, I used a Geotran practice to restore self-love and forgave myself. After that when I miss, I notice but the annoyance is not there. In our conversation yesterday, one of the participants asked what it would take to include posting in my daily routine. I am still considering this question. I am seeing now that checking in every day to see were we are at in our amount of self love is an important practice to increase self-love. And the first thing to do with this check in is to agree not to judge ourselves no matter the level of self-love we have today.
Back to reading Brené Brown: in her Tedx talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0) she says: “shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection.” She also says that it is universal, we all have it.
The only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or connection. She explains that what forms the basis for this shame is the feeling of “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not blank enough, I’m not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough.”
Before listening to Brené Brown’s work, I thought I experienced very little shame. I thought it was because I had done all this work on self-love. But now, with this definition, I see that I do experience this type of feeling (not smart enough, not impervious enough). And for me, that’s were the self-love comes in: noticing what I tell myself and bring compassion to the way I talk to myself or see myself.
Brené Brown also writes in Daring Greatly that shame disappear when we talk about it with someone we trust.
Kim Morrison, in her book “The Art of Self Love,” defines self love as the regard for one’s own wellbeing and happiness. For me, self love is the ability to be kind to oneself, to talk to oneself and about oneself with respect, and to embrace the imperfection of being human.
Kim Morrison also writes that self love does not just happen by snapping our fingers. It is a journey during which we transform our relationship with ourselves. “The process of changing our attitude about ourselves is purely an inside job. […] The journey of self love involves discipline. It is a practice, an art, something that requires paying attention to […] what is required especially in those dark days.”
What does Self-Love mean to you personally?