FACT: The word LOVE has been hash tagged over 1 billion times on Instagram.
When look at the pictures of LOVE above, you start to realize that LOVE permeates our society. You can take this as an opinion, of course. After all, if you’re not looking through my rose colored glasses, you could easily also deduct that the opposite is true.
It is all about perspective. You can choose to sit in a space where you can see love. So where is this starting point in being able to sit in that space, you ask? Choose to open yourself up to the vulnerability of giving love. Love moves in one direction…out of you. In order to possess the capacity to manifest such love one must also find self-love and acceptance first.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." ~Buddha
Holding space for yourself first thing in the morning is of great importance in the kind of energy you’ll cultivate throughout your day, week, month, year…life. Create a space for love.
Create your own morning ritual of self-love:
GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF TIME
Wake up early. Early enough to create a foundation for your entire day. Being frantically in a hurry doesn’t lend itself to loving yourself or anyone else for that matter. It usually ends up affecting you and others negatively throughout your day.
STOP: Before we move on to the next step, think about this step. Think back to a day you had plenty of time and alternatively to a day you overslept. Which day was more conducive to feeling/spreading love and kindness?
I remember reading about a successful + well-balanced CEO leaving his cell-phone powered off until he left his house for work in the morning. I love this idea! Constant notifications and distractions take away our ability to be mindful. It’s much easier to follow your morning ritual (and truly enjoy it) if your phone isn’t buzzing with the latest email or Tweet, that can wait until later to be seen.
HYDRATE + NOURISH
Dehydration will make you tired, tossing back a full glass right away will help give you the energy to tackle your day with excitement and mindfulness.
What we put in our body is in and of itself an act of self-care. When we care about our physical body we are thoughtful about what we eat to fuel us, placing us in a positive state of mind. Mind and body are interconnected. What you put in you get out; put in crap…and…well you know.
MEDITATE YOUR WAY
Meditating is different for everyone so don’t be discouraged because you feel as though you don’t ‘know how’ or have never meditated before. Begin by going for a walk in the woods or even just around your block. Heck even just take a few minutes in your own backyard! Even if I don’t have time to take a walk I take a few minutes in my yard, take deep breaths, inhaling in the fresh crisp air, pick a few sprigs of lavender (It’s February and that plant still smells amazing, it is hearty as hell! I’ll be planting a ton this Spring!) and inhale the calming scent. You can walk or sit in a special place, it’s just important to honor yourself by having this personal time to connect with nature, for you and no one else.
OR if you’re not down with meditating outside because it’s so cold…try taking a few minutes to focus on your breath. Check out this video that introduces a great breathing technique that helps you to focus on staying connected to the present:
MAKE POSITIVE YOUR PATH
Make a list of your best qualities and accomplishments and tape it to your mirror so you can look at it every morning while you get ready. I keep my half and full marathon medals hanging on my door so I see them every single day.
Seems like a trend right?! Like – everyone’s doing it. Well, that’s because being thankful for your life is bound to make you feel those sweet, loving feelings! Write down five things you’re grateful for and then think (or even sing) about them while you’re in the shower and pretty soon you’ll be too joyful for negative self-talk.
Through these rituals we create around self-care + self-love, we can start to deconstruct the walls we’ve put up and instead build a life in which it is easy to lean into the comfort of infinite love. Only then can we begin to let that love flow through us and out into the universe.
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built." Rumi