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Self-Love 101: The Beacons of Change Guide to Loving Yourself

By Michal Spiegelman

The world will be saved by the western woman,” said the Dalai Lama at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009. I believe that what the Dalai Lama meant is that women bring an important focus on nurturing and connection.

The world needs women who live, love, and lead at full power. Women who find and speak their voices. Women who combine inner strength with vulnerability. Courage with softness. Women who view the world with empathy and compassion and are guided by love.

While it feels like the world has turned upside down since 2009, having women in leadership and political power is more important than ever.

This time is calling us to love ourselves and to teach our children the art of loving themselves.

Are you ready to join the Beacons of Change women on their quest to practice self-love no matter what?

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” —Lucille Ball

What if…self-love is an act of shifting?

You want to accept yourself unconditionally. You want to give yourself the respect you long to receive from others. But is it really realistic not to judge or criticize yourself? The minute you regret the words that come out of your mouth, the decision you made, or the one thing you should have done and you didn’t, self-love goes out the window, and you spiral into self-blame.

What if…you accept that being imperfect is part of your humanness, and you focus on shifting to self-love when you’re off? What if you stop expecting to be loving and nice to yourself at all times, and, instead, you get curious and excited about switching gears? What if one question could take away the pressure of loving yourself and allow you to shift to love right at that moment?

Accept your imperfection, release the false belief that you should always love yourself, catch yourself when you’re off, and shift. Accept this:

Self-love is an act of shifting to a place of loving yourself and respecting yourself unconditionally.

Not loving yourself? Ask: how can I shift to self-love?

What story do you make up about loving yourself?

Before I present different practices and rituals to help you shift to love, I want to share the number one reason women, even those who maintain daily practices, fail to love themselves: they don’t believe they are important or good enough.

I’ve heard it all:

  • Mothers should take care of their children first.
  • Taking care of yourself is selfish.
  • Nobody will take care of you. You are on your own.
  • I can take care of myself only when everybody else has been taken care of.
  • Showing emotion is a sign of weakness. I should protect myself.

False beliefs can limit your ability to love yourself.

You are not your story.

If you grew up believing that you are not important or good enough to truly love yourself, it is time to heal the generational wound.

Limiting beliefs are the stories we made up during our childhood. We wrote these stories based on how we understood messages we heard from our parents, teachers, and society and cultural norms. As we grew up, we started to believe those stories more and more until they became a part of our identity.  

Uncovering limiting beliefs from your childhood stories allows you to create deeper self-love practices.

The belief that something is possible allows us to commit to making it happen.

When challenging an old story, the first step is to realize that this limiting belief may be working against your best efforts towards self-love.

Recognition starts a process of asking questions that allow you to challenge these limiting beliefs.

Be true to your process of healing. Journal, dialogue with your inner child, or simply walk through these questions in your thoughts to rewrite your story. Time and practice will allow you to be able to take yourself through this process quickly in your head.

Not loving yourself? Pause. Recognize the story you made up. Change it.

Create a “self-love chit-chat” that speaks to you.

Write it down on an index card. Have it handy for times of need.

Be aware of the negative inner monologue that is happening when you do not love yourself.

Instead of being critical, try telling yourself:

  • Aww, no wonder you feel so _______.
  • This is hard; you are hurting.
  • It is ok. (Then give a self-hug or soothing touch.)
  • So, what! _______ is not a big deal.
  • You are wonderful.
  • You are always, IN ALL WAYS, better than you think you are.
  • Wait a moment; it is okay to feel the way I am feeling.
  • You are doing the best you can! Hell yeah!
  • You are a warrior.
  • Give yourself a chance to be imperfect. No judging.
  • You are joined by collective humanity in your imperfection.

Not loving yourself? Use the “self-love chit chat” to help you shift.

Release self-judgment

Next time you look back and regret a decision you made, stop for a minute and put yourself in your shoes in the past when you made the decision. You will probably notice that your mindset, emotional state, and even understanding of the situation were different than it is today. Is it really fair to judge your past decisions from the place you’re at today? 

Not loving yourself? Remind yourself that, considering the circumstances, you did the best you can.

Once you take care of your false beliefs and internal monologue, you can start owning this simple truth:

You are important enough to love yourself first, and your inner goddess deserves to be loved. Love her.

Practice #2 of the Beacons of Change 12 Practices for Living at Full Power:

Love Your Goddess 

Your inner goddess is your feminine energy. She’s that part of your soul who is fully connected with the divine feminine. She loves you unconditionally, and she always wants and knows what’s best for you. Once you pay attention to her, she shines. Ready to get to know your inner goddess? Read my previous blog: She’s always with you: your inner goddess.

Here are fun, powerful resources to nurture, feed, and unleash her (your inner goddess) and love yourself more:

What is your favorite self-love tip that I shared? Let me know in the comments.

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