Wellness — February 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Love Starts with You

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By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer

One absolute truth in this world, whether in terms of your personal or professional life, people buy into you; the person you are. Not the labels you wear, or the car you drive, YOU.

No amount of money or notoriety is worth it in the long run if someone cannot connect with you. Unfortunately, society seems to be predicated on us layering ourselves up under all these guises and labels to the point where many of us lose who we really are and what we’re capable of, and start to question our worth.

Let’s be honest, this happens to everyone from new mothers to seasoned professionals, and the only way to stay above it all is by practicing love. But just like the new mother must learn, you have to love and take care of yourself before you can best love and take care of anyone else.

Self-love is not something that comes naturally to many of us because it too has been shrouded in negative connotation. You find a disturbing juxtaposition when looking up synonyms for the term and find words like egotism, selfishness and narcissism, where the Google definition is quoted as a, “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).” They still had to throw in that hook at the end, as if having a good well-being or seeking joy is a bad thing.

So, what does self-love look like? It’s a multi-faceted kaleidoscope of differences, reflective of our inherent individuality. What works and rejuvenates one person is vastly different for the next. It’s also not something finitely attained, but a progression as our perspectives change and our awareness grows through life. I personally take a systematic approach that goes a little something like this…

Schedule Me Time – We say it all the time, “I just couldn’t find the time!” So instead of waiting for an opening, build it into the very schedule of your life. The trick is treating each appointment with respect and to honor yourself by showing up. You not only create the habit of prioritizing your well-being but you’ll also be able to see how often you’re working at it. Everyone’s needs vary, but these monthly Focus on Good Health Calendars are a great tool to start building wellness into your life.

Finding Your Joy – Some of us are more in tune with ourselves than others, but a joy jar or journal helps you hone in on those moments, activities and experiences that really ignite your soul. I first heard about this concept through one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert. I create one every year. Not only does it make an inspirational source to re-visit as we roll over into a new year, but when you categorize entries, it shows you areas to work in more, or insights into that which you may not have been aware of before.

Affirmative Thoughts – the Law of Attraction shows us that we get what we think about and concentrate on, and affirmations are like exercises to train your brain. The Affirmation Principle takes you from, “I can” to “I am,” through positively reinforced, habit-forming thought processes. An easy way to get started is by trying Prompter!™, a free, app-based system for people in all walks of life.

Manifest Destiny – As your perspective shifts, you’ll find that you’re drawn to and presented with an abundance of opportunities to flex this new version of yourself; to work from a place of self-love to attain things of which you’ve only ever dreamed. Some ideas are easier to grasp than others, so always keep your eyes and heart open for them.

Self-Reflection – A huge part of any journey is remembering how far you’ve come, seeing the heights you still wish to reach, and asking yourself why. I strongly recommend  taking time to analyze at intervals which best serve your specific needs, but the point isn’t to live here but rather to practice Detachment so you can let it go and keep moving forward as they say at Disney.

Love is what truly makes this world go ‘round, because there’s no greater love than self-love, and it all starts with you.

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. None of the information presented is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is a personal account and individual experiences may vary. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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