self love (part 3)

I asked some of my friends and people who inspire me to share their self love practices. We saw some of them last month, and we heard from Mauri last week. I thought these insights from my friend Chris Willits should be shared in their entirety. Be sure to try his self-love meditation at the bottom of the post!


chris-willitts-manhattan-beachWe see articles written on the topic of self-love everywhere these days and for good reason.

Self-love, it seems, is like … making bread.

You technically don’t make the bread, it’s the recipe combined with the process that makes the bread. You simply create the right conditions for change to occur (the ingredients change into fresh bread).

How do I create self-love for myself?

My experience has been that when I do esteem-able actions, my self-esteem increases. Simply put, whenever I help people and try to be of service to my fellow man, I intrinsically feel like a good person. It’s unavoidable.

To be fair, I don’t always have warm fuzzy feelings prior, but I always feel better after.

It can be as simple as waking up each day and asking myself, “How can I help someone today?” After a few weeks of doing this consistently, you will feel like a new person, I promise.

Over time, I wasn’t doing it for “selfish self-love” anymore; this new way of being became how I showed up in the world, without much effort.

The other practice that has helped me with self-love is meditation — not the kind you read about where people casually sit by a lake and reflect on life. I’m talking about the form of meditation that has been practiced since antiquity and the benefits of which have been researched by scientists.

Below, I have included something short and sweet for you to get a taste (I teach meditation, and this has worked wonders for my students).

5-Minute Self-Love Morning Meditation

Try this powerful morning meditation 30 minutes after waking:

 

  • Sit upright with your eyes closed.
  • Take three slow, deep cleansing breaths; breathe in “I love,” breathe out “my-self.”
  • Breathe naturally and notice the sensations of breathing for the count of 10.
  • In your mind’s eye, visualize another “you” walking up and giving you a big warm hug.
  • Hold this feeling in your awareness, and stay there as long as you like.
  • Thank this other “you” for showing up, and bring your attention back to the breath.

 

                  And just to geek out on this topic …

                  Terms related to self-love:

  • Self-love: Regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.
  • Self-esteem: Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
  • Self-compassion: Extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Dr. Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
  • Self-confidence: A feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.
  • Pride: A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

It’s important to mention that these concepts, like most things related to the human condition, aren’t one-dimensional. That is to say, there are multiple expressions and definitions of each of these. I offered definitions so you can see the nuance and interconnectedness of self-love concepts.

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