It’s time to talk about love, right? I want to talk to you about love on the inside today. When I talk about self love, I find that every person who ever comes to me tells me that I have a radically different perspective on what it means to practice self love than anything they’ve ever heard before. A lot of times you hear when people talk about practicing self love, they think like, “Okay well I’ll go to yoga class or take a bubble bath, or do something for my body to help me relax.” That’s kind of a general approach on what it means to practice self love, right? It just means basically take care of your body, be healthy and all that kind of stuff. That is absolutely a fundamental principle and practice within self love, but in my perspective, that’s not where the real, true work comes in. The real true work of practicing self love is around loving the version of you that you like the least.
We all have this. I’ll tell you a little bit about where this comes up for me. The person I am when I like myself the least comes up in two places in my life, number one is when I feel unheard. When I feel un-listened to, unheard, I tend to get extremely angry. I could tell long stories about that anger. I could tell you really long stories about being unheard as a child or not listened to or not fitting in and being really sensitive about not having a sense of belonging. The fact is that in today’s reality, this is where I still struggle, this is where I hit my edge. When I am trying to express something, communicate something about the core of who I am and it’s not just being heard, or somebody is like receptive or not interested in that I feel again that scar of not belonging, that scar of not being needed, and I freak out. I get really angry and I judge the person and things like that, sometimes that’s inwardly, sometimes that’s outwardly, but it happens.
That’s one place where it happens in my life. Another place that it really happens like the other version of me that I don’t like, that I wish didn’t exist, or I try to make like she didn’t happen or she was never around is the part of me that can be a little bit flighty. I love to meditate, I’m a very, very big spiritual practitioner and I do a lot of creative visioning around my life, and that’s my happy space. Because of that, sometimes I don’t have two feet on the ground. I’m very likely to get locked out of my house or locked out of my car or forget something I’m supposed to bring to a workshop I’m running because my head is in the clouds and in the dream, and my feet are not always fully, fully on the floor. I drive myself crazy because I undermine my ability to fully manifest that vision because my head is so much in the clouds and not at all on the Earth.
Those are two places in my life where I really struggle with myself, I don’t like myself. Now, when you’re talking about self love, the question is, “How do you love that version of you, right? How can you love that side of you?” I truly believe I would be out of a job as a coach if everybody learned to love that part of themselves. You can’t simply do that by taking a bubble bath or going to a spa for the day. Those are nice distraction techniques, but those don’t help you love yourself, right? That’s the real fundamental basis of my entire business and practice. It’s called Radiant Wholeness because radiant wholeness comes, this sense of lightness and radiance and wholeness within you comes when you can love the part of you you hate the most. Now I know that seems counterintuitive, but I’ll tell you why it’s true. It’s true for many reasons, number one because that part of you is a real part of you that still is broken, and so she needs healing.
Even if the rest of you is a bad ass kicking ass in life, part of you still desperately needs healing. That part of you is just going to get louder and louder and more sick and more sick and more sick until you finally pay attention to that part of you that needs that healing. That’s one thing is that you can’t really feel fully present in any moment or fully joyful all the time if you have some part of you, any part of you that’s black or broken or unattended to. That’s one reason is that you just get to fully be your joyful and real self, when you’re willing to love the parts of you that are harder to love number one. Number two and this may be even more important, is that when you learn to love the parts of you that you don’t like, what happens in those moments is that you also learn to love the parts of other people that you don’t like, and you create a lot of peace.
If your mom is driving you crazy because she’s so judgemental of every single thought or every single idea you have or everything you want to do, let’s say you have a really judgemental mother in that sense, well my guess is there’s something in you which is also really judgemental and you also have a judgemental voice or a judgemental side to you. You need to learn to love that side of you, and I mean love her, not just deal with her, not just quiet her down, I mean love the living hell out of her, then you can love your mom too, and you can be easier on her. All ways that we interact with people are a reflection of how we’re interacting with those components within ourselves. That’s empowering, right, to know that you actually have the power to fix a lot of your relationships just based on your ability to love yourself and specifically the parts of you that you don’t particularly like.
Let’s now talk a little bit about the how, right? How can we learn to love a part of ourselves that we don’t like? I’ll tell you a little bit about how I work with it, how I do it, and then kind of share really some of the overall practices in general. The first part of learning to love the parts of you that you don’t like is around recognizing the goodness underneath the bad behavior. What I mean by that is that when somebody is acting out of integrity, when I’m acting out of integrity for example, when I’m yelling at my partner because I don’t feel heard, I’m yelling at my husband and I’m saying, “I don’t feel like you’re listening. You’re not paying attention. You’re not giving me what I need.” If I’m yelling at my partner because I don’t feel heard, I eventually fall into regret and remorse about that, right? Why am I yelling? Why am I screaming? How is that supposed to make him going to want to listen to me anymore?
How is this … and I’ll end up really not liking that version of me that’s screaming at the top of my lungs or yelling at my partner. What I do is I look at underneath that yelling crazy version of me and I say, “What was the good intention there?” Well the good intention there was to be understood, right? Ultimately, that’s what I longed for was a connection and understanding between me and my soul mate, my life partner. When I can soften around the intention, of course it manifested as a bad and kind of yelling behavior, but the intention was good. The intention was loving connection. I have to re remember that even that part of me that is acting out of integrity is still good and worthy of love. That’s the first part. The second part is to actually recognize the gifts that are brought into your life from this part of you that you don’t like very much.
Again, reflecting back to my situation, I remember the first time I ever lost it on my husband, the first time I ever yelled at him. I remember he told me at the end of our fight a few days later, “I’m really glad that you yelled at me today because made me realize you’re not perfect either, and you’re a human. I feel a lot more comfortable around you now being a human myself.” I think that’s one of the most important hidden gifts of this kind of allowing of the parts of you you don’t like is that you get to connect with people because we’re all humans at the end of the day. We all make tons of mistakes at the end of the day. Learning to love ourselves allows us to learn to love other people in their kind of vulnerability as well. Being imperfect allows deeper connection believe it or not through that kind of human condition, and it also enables me to yelling and screaming in that way, it also the other gift of that is pointing attention to me in a need I need to get met more often.
I need to hear, I need to express my ideas in a more rigorous way in my own life and in my own home, and I need to create a practice around that. It’s actually a signpost to my life of what I really need and how I should be living and expressing myself better in the future, and just helps me pay attention to that. That’s how I start to love again that version of myself which I don’t like is I realize that she’s actually bringing many gifts my way, and I’m thankful for her. The third part of starting to love yourself and really practice self love is around asking that part of you you don’t like what she or he needs. Very specifically in my case, right, there’s this again I’m screaming, I’m yelling, “I’m feeling like you’re not listening. I asked you to do something 10 times, you’re still not doing it. What the hell?” I’m yelling, and I don’t like that version of me, right? I ask her, if I show up to her and I’m like, “Hey babe, what’s going on? You’re yelling at the top of your lungs. What do you need?”
Well she’s going to say to me back right, “I need understanding. I need love. I need to be heard. I need relaxation maybe. I need to feel connected to my partner. I need something like that.” In order to create that in the physical world and be able to offer that to that insecure part of me in the physical world, I first have to do it mentally and emotionally in my body and my mind. What that means is saying, “Okay baby, you need connection right now? Let’s close our eyes and remember 10 times that you felt super loved, super connected, super supported, super connected to the world right? Remember those things. Remember how much your partner himself has tried to feel love to you. Remember all those times you felt connected to him.” Really create that physical and emotional landscape inside, and then I can open up to creating it on the inside once I’m connected to that and those memories and those feelings and those experiences from the past.
Asking the version of you that you don’t like whether she’s yelling like me or she’s depressed or she’s anxious or she’s over controlling or whatever it is that that side of you you don’t like, ask her what she needs and bring it to her emotionally and mentally through memories and meditation, it’s really powerful practice. Then she’s going to be much more open to receiving that in a gentle way in the present moment when she’s kind of acting out of integrity. Then the final I think part of learning to love yourself and really practice self love is just being willing to deal with the mistakes that this part of you is making on their journey. What you have to realize is this part of you you don’t like is a neglected part of you. You’ve developed all these things, you’re probably a bad ass at your job, you’re probably really, really doing well professionally. Maybe you’re doing really well in terms of your health and taking care of your body, but there’s one part of you inside that has not been taken care of.
Maybe that’s the part of you that needs good high quality friendships. Maybe that’s the part of you that needs to have a sense of a spiritual relationship. Maybe that’s a part of you that needs to be able to express your ideas and be more outgoing or something like that, well she’s been neglected and so she’s still just a child. She never got to grow up. In her journey to better be in alignment with you, and this high level version of yourself that you see, it’s going to take her some time. She’s going to make some mistakes. You have to be willing to love her and be compassionate to her the way you’d be treating a one year old who is trying to learn how to walk, I think a one year old. I’m clearly not a mother yet.
The point is, they make mistakes a million, a million, million times, and you just encourage them and continue to walk them down the road, right? For again coming back to my example where I’m screaming at my partner, saying, “Why aren’t you listening to me? You can’t hear me. You’re making the same mistake. No matter how many times I tell you how important this is, you’re doing this over and over and over. I’m going to kill you”, I hate that version of me that screams, I don’t love that. In that, I really feel filled with regret when I do that and remorse when I do that, when I start yelling. I do realize that I’m better than I was a year ago when we first got married, much better number one. Number two is that this part of me of actively being able to express the fact that I need support was abandoned and neglected for years, for years. For years I believed I had to do it all myself.
For years, I believed I needed to be number one and a total perfectionist and be able to handle everything without ever asking anyone for help, okay? This part of me is young that is asking for support, that is trying to create partnership, she’s a baby to be honest with you, she’s a small child. My relationship with her has to be around, “Hey you’re still small and in development. What do you need?” I turn toward that version of myself and I say, “Hey first, what do you need” and say, “Okay great. You need to feel understanding, loving connection. I understand that on your journey to get what you need, you’re going to make a bunch of mistakes.”
“That’s okay. Let’s get back up and try again. It’s okay, let’s get back up and try again.” It’s the moment you decide to give on that side of yourself, to say, “I just can’t change. I’m always going to be like this. I’m always going to be out of control or unable to do this, or not strong enough, or not courageous enough, or too anxious”, the moment you decide to give up on that side of yourself is the moment you banish yourself to a life of anxiety. You cannot live fully, happily, joyfully unless you love every single part of you. That is something I know for sure. I really, really encourage you guys as you’re practicing self love in the days to come, when you’re trying to think about how to love yourself more, how to be more there for yourself, really go beyond just the physical stuff which is also super important, and really start to make it an emotional journey with how you treat all parts of you, but especially the parts of you you’re not super crazy about.
I promise you when you can integrate all of that into your heart, you are going to feel a tremendous amount of healing, a tremendous amount of love, and of course a real sense of wholeness within. Hope this was helpful guys, namaste.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you embrace self-love and build bulletproof mental health:
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