February is the month of Love!
So many of us have negative experiences and feelings associated with Valentines day. While is it a commercialized holiday and many choose to just skip it, I’d like to invite you to consider a different approach to the month of love.
Why not make February the month that you commit to curate love in your life- starting with YOU.
In the book Emergence, Derek Rydell discusses the value of recognizing what we need and giving those things to ourselves. This concept has been transformative for me. I used to seek to meet my needs in outside relationships- with my spouse, my friendships, my children, the world. Sometimes my needs would be met, I mean, I have some pretty great people surrounding me who want to make me feel good and who love me deeply…..but sometimes they wouldn’t. Now I feel empowered to connect to my spirit and learn just what I truly need and how I can provide it, for myself.
Love is often equated with a feeling. However, it is my belief that love is an action. To allow ourselves to accept love and feel loved, to know that we are valuable and worthy of love is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves. This giving and receiving is accomplished by caring for ourselves at the deepest levels. It is an action we must take over and over again, a practice of daily self-care, that teaches us we are lovable and loved.
This month, I hosted a free self-care challenge week. It was a beautiful group of women who were ready to focus on themselves. The “challenges” were small daily activities that were designed to fit into our schedules. It was so inspiring to watch them each own it. To show up for themselves. To fit it in where they could and love themselves more. This is work that truly fills my cup. It is one of the many ways I love myself, by giving myself permission to do work that is fulfilling.
Last but not least, when giving yourself the gift of love, be sure to tailor it to what YOU want and need. Each person is unique in what makes them feel loved. When I ask a group of women what loving themselves means, one might say having solid boundaries, another might say working out regularly, another, getting massages. A fun and helpful way to explore this is The 5 Love languages, by Gary Chapman. This is a great book (and online quiz) that helps you to understand the unique way you like to give and receive love. My top two love languages are- words of affirmation and acts of service. For words of affirmation- celebrating my wins, daily positive affirmations and being mindful of the tone of my internal dialog is important for me. Acts of service are a bit more challenging to “give” to myself. It usually shows up in one of two ways, taking the time to care for myself in small ways, turning on music, lighting a candle or wrapping myself in a sweater. The second way, I give myself this gift is investing in acts of service, such as hiring support for my home (house cleaning, organizing) or paying to have my car washed are things that take stress off and make room for more “me” time. Check out the online quiz here- http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
Hope you are inspired to bring more love into your relationships, starting with YOU!
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