Oct 11, 2022
10 mins read
Love is your birthright.
Your parents had one job.. To convince us that love is for FREE.
It was their job (and probably their intention) to love us freely - no matter what - without conditions, to teach us that we don’t get more love if we are doing good, or less love if we are bad. This was supposed to help us understand that we don’t have to earn love, we don’t have to deserve love - that love is our birthright, that love is infinite and abundant.
When they didn’t adequately convince us that love is free, we became introduced to the idea of something called scarcity. If you have this idea ingrained in you of scarcity - you believe that infinite things are finite, you feel like there’s not enough. Not enough time, not enough money, not enough love… ‘I am not enough.’ This narrative governs everything we do in life - it governs our behaviours with money, with relationships, with our careers, our vices and addictions. Everything.
It’s time to unf*ck your brain.
We can keep looking into the past and pointing the finger at the root cause - you can only chew your food for so long before you just have to swallow and start digesting it. There comes a time for processing and accountability. The best time to start loving yourself is right now.
Meditation and movement are excellent tools for somatic healing, processing, unlearning, rewiring, and integrating new information in the brain. The problem with yoga teachers is that we are given this incredible tool for ourselves and others, but we’re not always taught how to use it or teach it effectively. Many (not all) 200hr teacher trainings barely scratch the surface, and unfortunately because it’s really hard to make money in the fitness industry, teacher trainings become a cash cow and the intention is to push as many people through, as many times a year as possible, as quickly as possible, whilst delivering the bare minimum curriculum. (This is not true for Vital Beat’s teacher training, I’m always so impressed with the amount of information that my co-facilitators provide! I wish my original YTT was half as thorough!) The outcome? A whole bunch of people are let loose into the world with tool belts, but only a small percentage of them know how to use the tools expertly, safely and effectively - for themselves or others. This leads to inflation - where useful and complex spiritual concepts become diluted, shallow buzzwords that are blurted out in every yoga class in the city without anything tangible or useful to back it up.
“Manifest your dreams”
“Practice self love”
These are all useful concepts that have lost their potency. Saying these with no context is as silly as saying,
“Give someone a really stylish haircut”
“Drive a plane”
“Sculpt a statue”
All of those above things are possible, yes, but not in a 60 minute class, without context or practice.
The same goes for self-love. It’s a practice, a skill, an unlearning and rewiring. It really concerns me that we are advertised ‘self-love’ as an image of a woman sitting in a bubble bath with a glass of red wine and a facemask on.
B!tch, that’s a Monday night for me.
Self love is not glamorous, it's a deeply uncomfortable reconditioning of the mind by sitting with all of the bullsh!t trauma and life lessons you went through that had you believing for decades that you’re worthless, unlovable or not enough in some way. That in order to deserve love, you needed to earn it, do better, be ‘good.’
This is why being bad is part of my own self-love practice. It’s the antidote to people-pleasing and the key to unlocking authenticity.
So what is an actual Abundance Mentality when it comes to Self Love?
Abundance isn’t writing positive affirmations on your mirror in red lipstick and hoping love and money just appear out of nowhere. It is getting to a place where you can wholeheartedly and peacefully exist, being you, without needing to add or subtract anything, and believe that you are loved, loveable, worthy and deserving of love, right here, right now, as you are, in the body you have, with the character traits and values you have, the skills you have, the friends and family you have, the job you have, the life you lead. Right now - you are enough, you have enough, there is no scarcity because love is infinite and there is more to come. You can love where, who and what you are right now, and still have goals and desire to grow and move forward. This can come from a place of radical self acceptance rather than a place of not feeling like you are or have enough.
Enough isn’t an amount, enough is a mindset.
What makes someone worthy of love? They just are. We all are. We are born worthy. If you feel like you’re not enough, not worthy, not deserving, not valuable - your whole life becomes about seeking evidence to back up your theories. You pass by and glaze over the incredible people, opportunities, wealth, experiences and other love and life affirming things, because you’re only looking for, seeing, hearing and experiencing the things that fit in with your narrative of not being enough, that love is a finite resource, conditional, that you must earn or prove yourself worthy or it will run out or be taken away from you. If you continue to place conditions on yourself for your own love, you will never feel like you are enough. If you say to yourself, “I will accept my body once I hit a magical weight or dress size,” you are saying there is only enough love for a future, different you.
You can love yourself now, and love yourself then. Love is Free, accessible, infinite - it isn’t running out, so you can apply it now and then apply it later. You can throw as many things into the void as you like - more work, more achievements, more people, more sex, more possessions, more botox, more goals, more ab work, more children - but you’ll never stop the void until you acknowledge this story and how it impacts everything. If you read my first email, you read that if you feed a void, it gets bigger. So if you keep feeding your love narrative of 'not enough,’ or try to fill the void with more external love and validation - you're wasting your time and energy.
Okay.. I get it, but how do I unf*ck my brain about self love?
I mean - probably go to therapy if it’s accessible. I can’t solve your problems, I can only tell you the lessons I have learned over the grueling journey from pathological self rejection and self loathing, to authentic confidence, freedom and true self love and appreciation.
Upon reflection - this is what I believe Unf*cked my brain.
Regular meditation and Yoga. If you’re lazy - this is a great way to passively process your emotions, if you do it effectively.
I started to let love in, to let people love me. I learnt to receive. I learned to take a compliment (Really, grow up and learn to accept a compliment. It’s like the most basic first step to building actual self esteem). Remember, it’s uncomfortable to re-pattern and rewire your brain, but it is necessary.
I practice an abundance mindset with love in relationships - I trust the people that love me without needing to leash them, without attachment to them, without needing to lock them down into contracts so they won’t leave me, without fearing losing them. I do not withhold my love. I don’t waste my time anymore wondering if or when someone will betray me. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and if they f*ck up, I leave. You cannot control what they do, only how you respond.
Practice gratitude correctly as an evidence based tool to change my mind. Listen to this podcast episode about the science of gratitude
I practice abundance in my language around time and money because I know that how much I let myself earn, and how I use my time directly relates to how much I value and love myself. I say ‘Arigato money’ when money comes in, and money goes out. I see a scarcity mindset in many of my friends blocking their ability to create wealth. This comes from poor self value. Work on yourself first, and then things will flow a little easier. I also make sure that I manage my time and money in such a way that benefits me first. I say things to myself like, ‘My wealth is always increasing’ ‘I will always have enough money, more is coming’ ‘I have enough time to do all the things I need to do today and in my life’ - enough is a mindset, not a number.
I practice deeply appreciating and loving my body and myself and feeling ‘more than enough’ in my yoga practice and meditation practice. This is time I set aside for self reflection, presence and doing the inner work. I use this time well. It is hard to LOVE your body if you HATE your body. Start here: Body Neutrality
Break the negative self talk circuit. When I witness a negative thought happening in real time, I have a circuit breaking code word in my brain - it’s POODLES. Yep, if I hear my inside voice being a judgemental little turd, I internally scream POODLES and just move on. These thoughts are pointless.
Practice setting boundaries and honouring them. Baby steps. “No, I can’t help you move house, I am incredibly busy and stressed and I need to manage my own life.” - chances are, people won’t hear or respect your NO. How you respect yourself is by affirming your NO. You can say, ‘I feel like you aren’t respecting my NO.’ This is so challenging, I am still working on it.
I don’t self flagellate when I f*ck up. Have some self compassion. There is zero point in punishing yourself for your failings.
I actually acknowledge the undesirable parts of myself. Not always externally. I don’t welcome or desire feedback or criticism from untrained people in my life, but I am very aware of my shortcomings. And I have become okay with them. I do not need to be perfect to be loved. These things are a part of me as much as my positive character traits. I have learned to love my shadow.
I learned to have my own back, unapologetically and unequivocally. I will always stand up for myself when I get treated poorly, even if it costs me people, jobs, status etc. I’d rather leave with my head high than stay with my head down.
Tiny Rituals. Skincare routines, SPF50+, changing my sheets often, taking my vitamins, drinking my emotional support hot drinks, exercising my body etc. These are non negotiable. This is how you build self trust.
I stopped dating men who weren’t interested in unlearning their implicit biases, and who did not respect me or my boundaries. You cannot change people. Stop investing in fixer-uppers and invest in a fully formed human.
I learned my values and character traits and I live my life according to them.
TLDR? Don’t worry, next week’s will be shorter.
Remember to Stay Hydrated, Wear SPF+ and Stay Away from F*ckboys!