I wanted to call this article the power of joy, but before we experience joy we must understand that joy is an outcome of self-love.
When I was a child, I remember hearing people referring to others as “selfish” or “narcissistic.” When someone acts selfishly, they are acting in a way in which they can’t see beyond the Self, and they don’t realize the effect and hurt they cause people by their actions. True narcissism is a disease of the mind, and I personally don’t know if people can recover from that behavior. But the point I am trying to make is that these character traits are seen in those who do not feel self-love.
Self-love is apparent in people who are full enough that they enjoy sharing their love with others - they don’t feel drained by helping and loving someone else. But I don’t believe that we can fully operate in an energy of abundance and joy without loving our Selves first. The two go hand in hand.
Sometimes, self-love comes in the form of setting boundaries for your Self. It’s about living in a way that is comfortable to you and not accepting anything that comprises your integrity for the sake of someone else.
When we give our children boundaries, they are happy because they still have the freedom to play as long as they follow the “rules”. But as we become adults, we need to begin to advocate for our Selves and our inner child. We need to slow down and listen to our inner voice when we recognize that something we’re involved with may ultimately hurt us.
We all have inner guides operating within us. And when we slow down enough to listen, integrity will always align with the heart. One thing we all must realize though, is that you cannot make another do their inner work and you cannot do the inner work for them. We can offer support, listen to friends and give our advice, but ultimately, people must be willing to work on themselves.
Sometimes, we lose ourselves in unhealthy people and relationships. Self-love is when you can recognize this and remove yourself from these kinds of situations - knowing you are good enough to save your Self! When you feel as if you are not honoring your Self, you need to pull away, even if it feels good in the moment. Self-love is an act of living in your highest and treating your Self well when no one is watching.
We should all strive to never cheat or lie because we all know deep down we are only cheating ourselves. But we are humans, and we all make mistakes. The most important action to take when you hurt someone else non-intentionally is to be compassionate to your Self and be mature enough to take action and address the issue. Ask for forgiveness but also don’t forget to forgive your Self.
Another way we can practice self-love is by doing yoga, meditating, taking nature walks and contemplating. This is when I personally feel most in tune with my own body, mind and heart. I find self-love through teaching others and sharing with the people who take care of their Selves in the same way that I do.
Self-love is also being in tune with our own bodies well enough that we know when we need to rest or when we need to shut off the phone or when we need to speak to a friend and ask for help or when we simply need quiet time to regenerate.
Taking care of our bodies and minds is important. One practical way to practice self-love is with Ayurveda. After I received the Abyanga Ayurveda treatment, which involves warm oils rubbed into your skin by two practitioners at the same time, I knew other people should experience the same self-love that I felt from the treatment. That’s when I decided to launch my product line.
Now when I need to practice self-love, I often do the treatment at home. I use OSI Ayurveda Manifest Body Oil, which is made with sandalwood and rose oil. I warm it up a bit and put it all over my hair, feet, belly, shoulders and breasts. Then I take a bath to wipe off just enough but keep some of the oil on the body. I put quiet Kundalini music and get the best rest for the mind.
Valentine’s Day is always a good time of year to remember to practice self-love, but we should get in the habit of doing it daily. After reading this, I hope you love yourself each day moving forward, and do something sweet that will open your heart like a rose.
With love and gratitude,