How To Stop Complaining and Love Yourself Already!

Last summer I entered into a personal challenge to up-level my practice. I call it "A Year Of Self Love". Over the past 6 months, I have been posting to social media almost every day, sharing one act of self-love. I have learned SO much through this journey and I'd love to share some of my insights with you so far. 

Self-love is a practice that takes discipline.

Yes, discipline. As an artist, I am familiar with the myth that creativity flows when you are feeling "inspired". Working artists find out that this "inspiration" is not something you can rely on every day. When you are working with a deadline and need to be creatively productive, suddenly you don't feel like painting. Being an artist requires practicing creativity as a discipline, not just waiting around for inspiration to hit.

Well, self-love, it turns out, is the same as creativity. It doesn't always come naturally.

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning with a bad attitude. Sometimes, I don't feel like getting out of bed let and the thought of rolling out my mat to practice yoga is too much. On some days, taking a deep breath feels like a tall order and I'd rather sit and stew in my toxic thoughts. I'd rather scroll mindlessly and numb out and NOT feel my body thank you very much.

It's times like these when I become my own worst enemy. 

I get in my own way because some part of me is afraid. My body remembers how risky and painful love can be. It is full of horror stories about what will happen if I step into love, if I feel my body, if I claim my power. It tells me that that the vulnerability of connection is too risky, that self love is selfish, that I'm not good enough.

At a basic level I don't feel safe. 

If, like me, you have experienced any type of trauma or deep pain, your nervous system can become accustomed to the chaos. Any hint of peace, clarity or love can be so uncomfortable that you can't stand it. You'll reach for another hit of intensity because you are simply more used to it and honestly, you are probably addicted. If you are an adrenaline junkie, how do you slow down enough to choose love instead?

A wise man once told me that choosing self love over chaos is akin to "choosing broccoli over crack". 

Especially when you are addicted, this can be a challenging choice to make. Sometimes when you stop to feel your body or be in the present moment, it might just feel really boring or disappointing... like broccoli. 

So a great way to make it more appealing is to add flavor and SPICE up your broccoli!

The more often I do things that make me happy, the more likely I am to feel happy more of the time (duh). It's not always easy to make a healthy choice (because of reasons I just explained). I have discovered that I can tap into a state of love with a positive thought, a healthy action or an affirmation of my worthiness. The more I practice, the easier it gets. Like any practice, love is a pathway that can become more deeply engrained into my heart and mind. My goal is to engrain the love pathway so that it becomes stronger than the collapsed pathway. 

It is helpful for me to remember that what I REALLY want, (more than the thrill of drama or the high of intensity) is inner peace.

So I am committing to another six months of Self Love as a practice. I am committed to strengthening the neural pathways to LOVE so that they become stronger and more powerful (and eventually my natural default state). 

Follow my journey on instagram @SHAKTIBLOOM

I am committed to teaching all about self love through my yoga offerings. These teachings are all ways of spicing up your broccoli so that you can fall in love with yourself and your life sooner and BE HAPPY :)