Self-love; my heart is humming to share this message with you. It’s a topic that I could speak forever about and one that I’m fiercely committed to. Self-love is a huge priority in my life. That’s because it matters.
Without self-love you could be the most righteous woman on earth, yet a simple test from Allah will shatter you into pieces. You can sip on all the kale juice in the world, yet without self-love you won’t truly thrive or flourish in your health or any aspect of your life. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom in 2012 with severe depression, after which I realised how non-existent my self-love was!
It’s now been a wonderful, heart-led journey of 4 years to rebuild, restrengthen and recommit to creating a healthy foundation of self-love. It’s pushed me to my knees. I’ve had to re-evaluate and sit with myself hundreds of times to quieten down my inner mean girl and connect with that innocent, open-hearted, vulnerable girl – that we all have inside of us. I’m sharing with you 5 ways to amp up your self-love and take it to a whole new level. Grab yourself a cup of organic, herbal tea in your favourite teacup and let’s dive right in!
1. Choose love over fear
Every choice you make, can either come from a place of love or fear. Trust or desperation. Abundance or scarcity. That’s it. Love or fear. It’s as simple as right or left, up or down, cold or hot. At the heart of self-love is choosing love in all that you do. Love that’s open, free from judgement, guilt and desperation.
You can exercise out of fear of getting fat or you can exercise because you love the exhilaration it gives you. You can give to your spouse out of love and joy or you can give out of fear that he’ll loose interest in you. Every time you come from a place of fear – there’s always a price to pay. People sense your desperation and begin to back off. Worst of all – when you come from a place of fear you compromise your own sense of well-being. Instead of selectively choosing your friends, you hang onto negative people (that are misguiding you on your deen) out of fear of being alone. Instead of being grateful for the money you do have, you become stingy, holding onto every penny you make out of fear of not having enough. As a result, you’re always looking for ways to scrimp and save – even when you’ve been blessed with abundant wealth.
2. Have Your Own Back
Nobody will back your dreams unless you do. Be your own biggest cheerleader! If you want your family, friends, employees, investors to support your dream, you need to believe in it first. 100%. Being your own bestie takes self-love to a whole new level. It encompasses being kind to yourself, holding yourself gently through pain and endless positive encouragement. People will come and go in and out of your life but you’ll always have ‘you’. You’ll be with ‘you’ for the rest of your life. Develop a relationship of trust, integrity and kindness with yourself. When you say ‘”I’m going to study after Fajr today’ or ‘exercise for 30 minutes’ – follow through, otherwise you begin to lose trust in yourself.
3. Get In Touch With Nature
I’ve dedicated a whole article to exploring how healing is found in nature, which you can find here. The Prophet (peace be upon Him) spent months retreating in Mount Hira secluded from people and hidden between the magnificent wonders of this world. There is healing in nature. Your soul rejuvenates when you play in nature.
There’s this misconception that pious women are supposed to stay home all day – uh uh not buying it. You were not created to sit in four walls all days. Have you ever noticed how you feel cranky, moody and exhausted after a long day at home? Or how a simple walk in nature cleanses away your worries or a gaze into the moonlight that suddenly makes you realise how small your problems are. Connecting with nature seriously lights you up.
4. Positive Affirmations
When I was healing through depression, any time a trigger would occur (i.e. a negative comment which would lead to a whirlwind of emotions and depressing thoughts), I would instantly leave my sitting and take a walk in the garden/around the house and say positive affirmations to myself. It may sound simple but it was a huge part in healing and strengthening my self-worth.
If your doubting the power of positive affirmations, consider this: how many times have you called yourself ugly, fat or stupid? How many times has your inner mean girl said to you ‘why do you say the most dumbest of things?’ or ‘don’t even bother with that, nobody is going to buy your ebook anyway’. We say the most awful things to ourselves yet we’d never say that to our best friends or daughters. Positive affirmations is all about replacing those negative thoughts with light, ease and love.
During the most severest stages of depression, one negative comment would tear me apart – literally. (I laugh about it with my bestie now) That’s because my self-worth and self-love was at it’s lowest – despite studying an alimiyyah course for 8 hours a day! Despite sitting and learning with the most amazing scholars all day, studying arabic, Quran and Hadith for years – my inner foundation of self-love was lacking. So when I was faced with the test of depression, everything that I had built over the years came crumbling down.
Positive affirmations was a tool that I used to rebuild a healthy foundation of self-love. I would literally practice affirmations everywhere. In the shower, whilst bathing, sauna, on my yoga mat, walking outside, shopping, cooking, going to sleep – everywhere. (Yep, I’m that crazy woman speaking to myself 😉 ) But hey, it works!!
Here are a few of my favourite affirmations. When things get really tough, I’d gently place my hands on my heart and say these to myself:
– I am a radiant being of joy and light
– I spread my light to the world
– I love and forgive you, I love and accept you
– I am worthy of abundance
– I am willing to let go. I release. I let go. I release all fear. I release all guilt. I release all sadness. I let go and I am at peace. I am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the world. I am safe
– All is well in my world
5. Schedule In Self-Love Rituals
When you fill up your self-love vessel, you can give from a place of overflow. There’s no way you can truly nourish and serve the world around you if your empty inside. If your running low on emotional fuel and on the verge of a mental breakdown, you need to park up to nearest station and fill yourself up. Even better is to have self-love rituals in place which shield you from reaching that low.
Here is an example of my self-love rituals:
Daily: body brushing, oil pulling, journal writing, reading quran, body toning, exercise, yoga and meditation.
Weekly: facial mask, long epsom salt baths, girl catch ups with my extended family and friends, sauna, take a day off work with no guilt, long walks outside, buy pretty flowers for home, review goals, wear makeup (I love a brown smoky eye and flushed cheeks!)
Engaging in these habits make me feel light, glowy and at ease with myself. When you come from a place of love, everything that you do is an extension of self-love. Everything that you radiate enriches your soul and body. That inner light that comes from committing to your happiness, illuminates to those around you. That’s the BEST thing about self-love. When you fill yourself up, the people around you are magnetically drawn to your energy. You share your happiness and love with them. Isn’t that beautiful?
- Nature Is A Woman’s Best Friend
- 5 Way To Stop Fear Ruining Your Life
- Self-love: Why You Need It & How To Get It
- Honour Yourself As A Woman
- Love OVER Fear