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Choosing Self-Care is an Act of Love

May 7, 2020

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Choosing Self-Care is an Act of Love

May 7, 2020
I am a huge fan of self-care, so I am excited when readers write to me and ask me about it. It gives me an opportunity to share with them the many benefits I have experienced by practicing self-care and also the various ways we can incorporate them into our lives.

At the same time, I see how many women struggle with this issue and believe they don’t deserve or need to take better care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. To do so, they believe, means they are being selfish or disconnected from others, when it actually means the opposite!

So in the spirit of expanding the circle of understanding about self-care and how to make it a part of your life, I wanted to write this blog for all the beautiful, deserving, loving women---and that means you!---and share some of my thoughts on the subject.
One of the most fabulous things I’ve learned about self-care is that when we learn to turn love inward, it nourishes and energies us, celebrates our sacred Divine Feminine nature, and makes it possible for us to fully express and share our love outward.
That is, once we embrace self-care and learn to better love ourselves, we can give love to others. Perhaps the most important thing you should remember about self-care is this:
Choosing self-care is an act of love not only toward yourself but others as well. 
But not everyone sees it that way.
Chances are your mother and most certainly your grandmother never even thought about self-care because it didn’t exist in their day and no one talked about it. Even when I was growing up in Colombia and then later in Canada, I was taught that working hard was the only thing to do if you wanted to earn money. Giving was more important than receiving, and you just didn’t do things for yourself. Taking care of yourself, in fact, was being selfish.

I was taught that taking care of your husband was essential if you wanted to keep a man. I also had to know how to be a good mother if I wanted good kids, but no one ever talked about how to take care of me.

Society often equates pleasure with sex, yet the female body also has other pleasurable needs, such as nutritious food, sleep, play, laughter, and rituals that make your body feel special. That can mean something as simple as taking a bubble bath or doing oil pulling or getting a massage. These and other activities honor who you are, and your body thanks you for it.
If we walk around with negative thoughts about ourselves or hold on to resentments, anger, shame, fear, irritation, or frustration, then our true loving essence cannot shine through. All of our energy is then spent dealing with these negative feelings. They hold us back from expressing our Divine selves and realizing our full potential. We are drained.
Practicing acts of self-care can help us release any negative thoughts, emotions, and habits and enter the realm of love, peace, and inner harmony.
I’m not saying that practicing acts of self-care will magically remove all of the negative feelings and emotions from your life. Reciting affirmations every morning in front of a mirror, for example, will not suddenly chase away any thoughts of anger against your mother or make you forget the abuse you may have suffered at the hands of a relative or make you like the way your thighs look.

However, incorporating many self-care acts into your life on a regular (translate that into DAILY!) basis are very effective tools to help you overcome these challenges, change your way of thinking, and give you new ways to maneuver through your life.
When you feel better about yourself, that self-love will shine through to others.
The more self-care we practice, the more our bodies and we will come to appreciate the importance of positive self-talk, the power of boundaries, and the significance of healthy relationships with ourselves and others. You will come to realize that self-care is an act of love—of knowing you are important and worth the attention you are giving yourself. 

I have discovered that the more I listen to my body, the more I know what it needs and the closer I get with me—I become my own best friend! Now I have learned to truly enjoy and relish the self-care rituals, such as meditation, quiet time, salt baths, aromatherapy, and other practices that I needed to teach myself.

The result of this effort has been a much better version of myself, and most important a healthier, more vibrant me!

What are some of the self-care things you can begin to integrate into your life right now so you can experience this new joy? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Journaling. I highly recommend keeping a daily journal where you can share your deepest desires, dreams, joys, sorrows, and goals. There is something about writing these things down that makes them more real and tangible. When they are more real, you are more likely to take action on them. Journals are also a great place to record your gratitudes each day.

Eliminate unhealthy relationships. It seems that we all have at least one relationship that does not serve us well. Perhaps engaging with the other person makes you feel anxious, fearful, shamed, frustrated, or lonely. Such relationships drain you of vital energy and harmony and are not healthy. If you can entirely erase the interaction, that is great! If, however, you still need to encounter this person because he or she is a close family member or for some other reason, then perhaps the best you can do is take steps to significantly limit any interactions and enlist others who will help you accomplish this.

Meditate. I realize meditation may not be for everyone, but I truly believe it is one of self-care’s most healing practices. It does take some time to get into the “flow” of meditation, which is why it’s best to practice every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. If you can work your way up to 30 minutes (or 15 minutes twice a day), you may soon discover the sense of stability and calm that can help you get through your day.

Sleep. Working and hurrying for everyone until you are exhausted is not only harmful to your physical health, but your emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well. Good self-care means getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Your brain and body need that time to rejuvenate, consolidate memories, repair cells and tissues, and maintain a healthy weight.

Pamper yourself. Honor your body temple by maintaining it with love. This can mean taking the time every day to wash your face with all-natural cleansers and massaging in gentle oils, dry brushing your body after your bath or shower, diffusing lavender or other calming essential oils in your room, enjoying a cup of calming hot tea while you sit outside in nature, treating yourself to a massage, soaking in a warm bath of essential oils, or taking a short nap in the afternoon. These are just a few examples of how you honor yourself and your spirit.

Repeat affirmations. Positive affirmations can really help boost your self-esteem and self-confidence, but only if you practice them regularly and you learn to believe them. Yes, you may not feel the energy the first few time you gaze into your eyes in the mirror and say “I’m beautiful and worthy of love,” but after a while, as you come to appreciate these words, you will know they are true for you! I recommend doing two to four affirmations every morning and repeat at night before retiring if you can. 
Keep moving. Movement in the form of dance, walking, swimming, running, jumping rope, aerobics, or whatever form works for you is a super way to connect with and honor your body temple. Exercise also relieves stress and tension, which allows your body to flow and move easier.

Eat high vibrational foods. Consider that everything is energy—you, me, the trees, tables, buildings, food—and that everything vibrates with its own minute frequency. For optimal health and wellness, you want to consume foods that provide high vibrations (e.g., good or high frequency). These include all-natural, whole foods (organic when possible) such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and avoiding processed, refined foods, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and alcohol.
This is only a sample of self-care habits you can make a part of your life. I truly believe the results can be amazing once you blossom and realize your potential as a vibrant, strong, feminine presence.
You are incredible!
I want to hear what you think about these ideas. Are you ready to embrace some habits of self-care and move toward releasing your full power and sacred self? Which habits resonate with you? Do you have some of your own you want to share? We would love to hear about them! 
We’re waiting to hear from you! In the meantime, blessing to each and every one of you, dear sisters!

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