“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.”

– Alan Cohen

Today (and every day), I encourage you to practice radical self-love. Be the best lover to yourself that you have ever known.

When we care for our own needs and show up as happy, whole, complete, fulfilled people we can freely give our love and energy away. If we don’t fill ourselves up, we start looking for people, places and things outside of us to do it for us. The truth is that void inside, that emptiness, that deep dark hole can only be filled with self-love, everything else will only act as a temporary fix requiring more and more of that thing to feel complete.

“But, I can’t love myself”, you say, “You don’t understand. I did _______. I am not _______. I do not have _______. I haven’t achieved ________. I lost _______. In the past, I ______.”

Excuses. Lies. False beliefs. NOT TRUE.

The truth is that NO MATTER WHAT you are deserving of your own love RIGHT NOW.

The truth is that at this moment right now you are perfect as you are and you deserve all of your love, compassion, and kindness. Period.

At our core we are all Love.

The day that I woke up and realized that it was up to me treat myself well and to love myself was the day I found freedom. Wherever we go, we take ourselves with us, so if we aren’t our own best friends and lovers than we are going to forever be traveling with the worst company.

If you are anything like I was, you say the worst things to yourself. You let that voice in your head belittle you, abuse you, and torment you. Perhaps you even go as far as self-sabotaging, self-harming, or self-destructing. At times of my life, I have done all of these things.

We would never treat a friend or loved one that way. Why do we treat ourselves that way?

I have found loving myself well to be a far better path to change then berating, criticizing, and punishing myself ever was. Loving myself well is fun, pleasurable, and it actually encourages me to accomplish all I set out to with ease and grace.

On this special day to celebrate Love, I wanted to share with you 7 Ways to Love Yourself Well.

Try them and please hit reply and share how loving yourself well is improving your life. I would love to celebrate you feeling good, vibrant, and full of love for yourself. 🙂

7 Ways to Love Yourself Well

1. Schedule time to do activities that you love and that energize you

In your calendar block out time to play, have fun, and nurture your body, mind, and soul. The only criteria is that the activity can’t be “productive” in the traditional sense, it must make you feel happy to be alive and full of pleasure. Ideally, you will lose sense of time because you enjoy yourself so much. If you don’t feel you have time, start small. Schedule 30 minutes a week and increase it from there. Make space in your calendar by saying no to “should’s” and eliminating busy activities that are not productive and don’t bring you joy.

2. Embrace your personality

Do you love to watch sci-fi movies? Are you an avid book reader? Perhaps you are a social butterfly, the life of every party, quick to make a joke and talk to everyone you meet. Awesome. Own it and love it. Don’t feel bad because you are who you are, enjoy the uniqueness that you bring into the world. I used to get so upset with myself because I would rather sit and read a book at home then go out to a bar or a club and meet up with friends on a Friday night. I would make myself go and be miserable and then be mad at myself for not having fun. Pointless. Get to know yourself better by taking a free personality test online. Honor and nurture who you are and stop trying to make yourself do things that you think you should do and that don’t make you happy. Celebrate you and do what makes you feel good. If it excites you, brings you pleasure, and makes you smile, do it!

3. Embrace your body

After working on hundreds of bodies (maybe even a thousand) as a massage therapist and being a model and actress for over ten years I can tell you in both careers that I’ve met less people than I can count on my fingers who are happy with their body. It’s sad and harmful to our health. Whatever your body type is, love it. Be grateful about all you can do with your body. People tell me that life is so much easier when you are tall and skinny. This is not true. My body type does not make me happy, loving my body as it is does. No matter what you look like there is going to be someone out there who will tell you that you eat too much or too little, that you are too skinny or too curvy, that you are too tall or too short, that your hair is too short or too long. Accept, love, cherish, and embrace every single piece of your unique body because you’re alive, you can move around and do fun things with it, and it’s the only body you have, so love it well.

4. Honor your feelings

Do you feel sad? Happy? Anxious? Afraid? Annoyed? Disgusted? All of the emotions in one day? Great, you’re a normal human being with a healthy range of emotions living a wholehearted life. Honor your feelings, just don’t let them dominate you and choose your actions. Telling yourself that you should not feel something is not productive and will only cause an inner battle. Telling yourself to stop the feeling, suppressing it and running away from it will never work. (I know, I tried this method for a long time and it didn’t work.) Be curious about your feelings. Ask yourself why you feel them and support yourself through the feeling in a healthy and nurturing way. Our feelings are there to help us discover things about our self and our world.

5. Nurture your body with nutrition rich food and fun, joyful movement

Society likes to tell us that if we want to lose weight we have to deprive, punish, shame and otherwise be completely miserable in order to reach our goals. Or that if we want to be physically fit we have to do grueling, intense, rigorous workouts. I can tell you this is merely one way and there’s far more pleasurable ways. Instead of focusing on how many calories you’re consuming, focus on the quality of food you are eating. Nourish your body by eating whole, organic foods. A good rule of thumb is to eat 80% nutrient dense, “healthy” foods and to allow yourself 20% pleasure foods. Do try to find the most nourishing, highest quality pleasure foods so that they satisfy your cravings and your body. Don’t like running marathons or insanity workouts? No problem! There’s so many ways you can move your body to be fit. Listen to your body and don’t push it past its limits. Pick three or four things that are fun and make you happy and do them. It’s important to switch up our movements to get full range of motion through many different types of activities.

6. Forgive yourself

No matter what you’ve done or said, let it go. We can’t change our past actions no matter how much we wish we could. We can only move forward, let go, forgive ourselves, and learn. Forgive yourself for whatever you’ve done, have compassion that you made that choice at that time, and write down what you learned from the experience. It can be helpful to do a little ritual and write everything down that you are mad or upset with yourself about and then burn the piece of paper with the intention that as you burn it you will let go and surrender it to the past. (Naturally, choose a place to do this where you won’t set something else on fire. I like using a small bowl or bucket with sand.)

7. Celebrate your achievements

I’m certain you’ve done something this week that improved your life or someone else’s. Celebrate that. Set small goals and pat yourself on the back every time you complete them. Start focusing on everything you do right, all you’ve achieved in your life, and all the lives who are made better because you’re a part of them and you have made a positive contribution. Do yourself a favor and every now and then compare yourself to someone who has not achieved everything you have. We often like to look at people who are at the pinnacle of their success and notice all the ways we don’t measure up. Do the opposite one day and compare yourself to someone who is at rock bottom and be grateful for all the ways your life is not that. Where were you ten years ago? I’m certain that today you have grown a tremendous amount and done so many things that you had not then. Celebrate that. Give yourself some credit for all the things you do. Life is much more fun when we actually enjoy our accomplishments and achievements instead of constantly pushing ourselves to complete the next one. It’s much more fun to focus on all that we do well, instead of all the things that we could have improved or wish we had done differently.

With Love and Blessings,

Morgan Sheets