We often only think of love as loving others, caring for others. This is especially true for women. What if this February we were to stop and spend some time with ourselves, feeling what it means to love ourselves? We can start by giving ourselves appreciation for all that we accomplish in our days, we can see how much we've changed, how beautiful we are, and we can peer into the future and pull up some dreams!
One big way I've found to treat myself is to take exceptional care of all of myself -- to feel myself as a whole being, not just a mind in here, and skin out there on the surface, but all parts joined. My skin is connected to my heart, and it is beauty that connects. When I take care of myself, I try to include all of me. I try to balance my life, with getting enough sleep and enjoyable exercise, wearing comfortable colorful clothes, making enough money, and having time to play and laugh with friends.
I eat lots of fresh, organic fruits, veggies, and grains, and drink clean water. I take time to treat myself to a hot bath with a honey mask on my face, Rosemary oil on my hair, and Lavender body oil slathered on my limbs. I emerge dripping with joy!
When I choose foods and drinks for inside me, or luscious creams and fragrant toners for the outer side, I always choose high quality, organic. I feel there is an intention that extends through the whole process, beginning with the soil and the growing of the plants. Is the soil rich and full of life, or chemically sprayed and eroded? When the plants grow, are they healthy and open-pollinated, or just a "factory"? Are they harvested with care? When these plants are prepared as food or as skin care products, is it in a stressful factory environment, or in a warm atmosphere with music and respect, where people love what they are doing? When we buy a moisturizer or a bottle of fresh fruit juice, we accept the intention that is behind every single step of it's production.
I've made a list of four ways that you can be good to yourself, and show yourself the love that you so need and deserve. These are just the beginnings of what could become your own Valentine ritual. Dream as big as you want, after all, who knows what you want... more than you?
Four Ways to Love Yourself
Schedule a luxurious professional facial, haircut, or massage. If money is an issue here, prepare a luxurious spa environment in your own bathroom. Create a relaxing mood using candles, flowers, and soft music.
Beautify your bathroom counter or vanity table. You can clean up the bottles, and maybe add some sea shells or colored glass bottles, loofah sponges or baskets, and maybe a new potted plant or some colorful hair ties or headbands. For Valentine's Day, you might want to add flowers, photos of your loved ones together, hearts, etc.
Go through your clothes with the eyes of one who is beautiful. Pull out the thing that don't fit this image of you, or that you just don't like anymore, and pile them in the donation box.
Men don't seem to find facials very romantic to look at, but women just love doing them together. How about a night with the girls, putting a mask on each others faces and massaging each other's feet?
Here's a great nourishing and softening mask recipe:
Yogurt and Honey Face Mask
1/2 cup rolled oats, ground in the blender
1/4 cup yogurt, plain or any kind of fruit
2 Tablespoons honey
Mix these together in a bowl with a spoon, and add pure water, a little at a time, to get a nice spreadable consistency. This is enough for several friends or daughters, and you can keep the extra in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leave the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
Make certain there is time in your week for you. Do whatever revives you, whether it's a walk in the trees, a nap, meditation, writing in your journal, or sitting and pondering your life. Make a whole day of it, or set aside a few hours for yourself. You may want to write these and other ways of being good to yourself into an actual schedule. Typically, we put ourselves last, and if something else comes up that seems more important, we'll drop our own needs, for the wishes of others. Don't do this! Make your list, and stick to it. Loving yourself is more than just a need, it's a necessity. Doing nice things for yourself is a way that you can feel this precious love of self. The nurturing that your spirit will receive will be a gift to everyone around you. In other words, learn to be your own best friend, so that you can be a true friend to others.
This February, let's choose the intention of love and respect for ourselves and our earth. When we give to ourselves all that we deserve, our love will overflow all around us. We will be able to share delicious foods, steamy fragrant baths, and loving hugs with our family and friends!
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