5 Non-Traditional Ways To Love Yourself Like A Badass by Margarita Alcantara

I love me *wink* 

I love me *wink* 

Self-love. 

There are entire sections in the bookstore dedicated to this in the Self-Help section. For a reason!

We grow up being taught not to love ourselves – from our nose, to our hair, to our body type, to our gifts, to our voice. The list is endless!

We see it reflected in the media, magazine stands, Facebook, and in Hollywood. Sure, stores like Abercrombie & Fitch may have some "diversity" in their branding, and now it's "cool" to be more inclusive and aware. But, how much of that is real inclusivity, and how much of it is for show?

Because at the end of the day...

We think our bodies are too fat or thin, so we develop eating disorders to fit into society's packaged image of beauty. We think our noses are too wide or bumpy, so we get a nose job. We think our hair too unruly, so we straighten it or decimate it with chemicals to get it to "behave".

It's no wonder, then, why our self-perceptions are askew!

Beauty and self-love become synonymous. They are concepts to be packaged.

And, then you have the illusion that you're only supposed to choose ONE: either own your beauty and be vapidly vacant, or love yourself fully and you might as well be aesthetically invisible.

NEWS FLASH: You can have it all, because you ARE it all!

I have patients who identify as feminists, but feel guilty for loving high heels and flowery dresses. I have patients who are wildly successful, yet feel bad that they are in their abundance, because others may not be. And, I also have patients who are SO very woo, and gifted, but they are embarrassed to be so, even though their gifts clearly keep them vibrant, on their path, and away from toxic people and situations.

If you're feeling guilty for being who you are (and especially if you are on top of your game), stop it. Just stop it.

You will not garner karma points for putting yourself down. Nor will feeling guilty help you thrive (because, in fact, it will block your energy from getting what you want). In addition, by playing small, you not only grow farther away from self-love, but you take a detour off your path. Not that it would be a bad thing, since some of the most beautiful realizations in life can occur when you step off the beaten path.

Ultimately, in the game of life, there is no such thing as fucking up.

Yes, I am a healthcare practitioner and I just said that.

Because, it's true.

No matter how challenging the experience, no matter how hard it is to find the lesson in the pain, you are ALWAYS being held. We all get many choices in life, and sometimes we choose the easier path, sometimes we don't. It's not a judgment call, and there really is no wrong choice.

Because it always leads you back onto the path (eventually) that you're meant to be on. Yes, even if we feel momentarily lost.

Here are some general self-love tenets that you may, or may not, already know:

When you talk about yourself with love, even when no one is looking, you are sending a clear signal to your Body, Mind, and Spirit. They hear and respond in kind. So, when you speak lovingly towards yourself ("I love who I am", "I am open to receiving joy", "I rocked that presentation!"), even when you mess up, the Body remains open, the Mind remains calm, your Spirit feels honored. Vice versa, when you speak unkindly towards yourself ("Ugh, I'm so fat", "I look ugly in that outfit", "I suck at everything I do!"), your Body constricts, your Mind goes into "fight or flight" mode (that's the stress response, by the way), and your Spirit feels downtrodden. Choose your words wisely!

Many times, depression can be a signal that you aren't listening to your Heart. Because of life circumstances, including trauma, abandonment, physical and emotional pain, and deep disappointment, we may temporarily respond by shutting our Hearts down. This is a survival mechanism that allows us to keep living, moving through life, and taking care of what we need to take care of ourselves. However, when we remain shut down, and lose connection with our Heart altogether, we become emotionally stunted, shut off from our passion and desires in life, which directly affects whether or not we own our power fully in this lifetime, and share our unique brand of fabulosity in this world that we are meant to. So, if you're feeling particularly shut off from your Heart, or feeling disconnected from yourself, start there. One of my patients had been shut off from her joy so long, she forgot what made her Heart happy. When she first started getting in touch with it, emotions poured out of her eyes like a faucet, a release that had been many years coming. At first, she felt a bit raw. But, then she said, "My Heart feels like it's dancing. I never felt that before." That is the Heart being heard!

Self-love is like a muscle (and intuition), the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Just like an athlete trains for the triathlon, you need to hone your strength, through the intention and action towards your goal, and oftentimes through scheduling things to make them a habit. When you're new to your intuition, and you're initially totally clueless about it, you have to create mindful intent to connect with it, and then start following whatever Inner Wisdom you're getting. When you act on the guidance, your Third Eye gets stronger. Same thing holds true for self-love. It's unrealistic to think that you will wake up one day and self-love will just rush through you like a cannonball, if you haven't initiated any intention or action towards cultivating it. However, if you make the intention that you want to connect with your self-love, ask your Spirit Guides to help you, and create mindfulness and awareness around ways you can talk about yourself (and treat yourself) more lovingly, that starts the ball rolling! Double points if you work on making it a habit!

I always encourage my patients who are feeling challenged in the self-love department to buy themselves roses, or drink rosebud tea (roses resonate with the Heart Chakra). And, aside from the always helpful looking at yourself in the mirror with love (even if you look like a hot mess), there are many great self-love affirmations out there to get your self-love groove on!

So, what if you're looking for more non-traditional ways to love yourself like a badass? Here are 5 suggestions:

Give yourself permission to own your woo. We all have gifts that make us unique. Call it guidance from a Higher Power, your "-claire", your gut feeling, whatever terminology floats your boat. But, whatever you call it, own it and make it yours. Because when you follow the guidance that is unique to you, and only you, life opens up to us more naturally. Accepting all of yourself, flaws and all, is ultimate self-love. So, do yourself a favor: stop making "woo" a swear word, and love it! You know you love your crystals, essential oils, and tapping into the cosmos, already!

Love your natural hair. For those of you who think this is more of an aesthetic, superficial method of self-love, because we're talking about hairdids, think of this: many women (and men) from many cultures and walks of life, have this horrid belief that what they were born with is not acceptable. Hair is symbolic of that. I can't tell you how many people fight with their natural hair, trying to conform to society standards of beauty, only to negate their own radiance within. In my private practice, I see the results of that. In fact, I've treated female patients for alopecia, not due to genetic factors. In one case, it was due to a hair straightening job gone awry – the lye had damaged her scalp so much, that clumps of hair had fallen out, and had started to create a balding pattern. I can identify with the struggle of embracing your natural hair, since I, myself, fought against my curls for the majority of my life. It is no coincidence, whatsoever, that when I started to really love ALL of me, I also embraced my curly grrrl hair, hydrating and liberating them to do what they will!

Be authentic to your voice. This means saying "No" when you mean "No", not saying "Yes" when you mean "No". This also means speaking up for your needs when they are not being met, and surrounding yourself with people who honor your truth. If you're unsure if you're in line with your truth, envision your entire body like a column of crystalline energy, aligning with the Heavens, above, and rooted in the Earth, below. Now, see where your Throat Chakra lies along this line. Is it right in sync? Or, is it off to one side? For some, especially those who are very visual, you will see it immediately. If you are the type who feels your information, it will feel off. Take note of this as a sign that whatever you're considering may not be fully serving you.

Allow yourself to get pissed off. Isn't that the most un-enlightening thing to say? Not if you've had a lifetime habit of not honoring your feelings, or disconnecting from your emotional body! Or, for those who've been taught to sweep "unpleasantries" such as emotional upset, anger, or sadness, under the rug. So many of us keep our feelings and emotions bottled up inside, until life events shake them up so much that we finally implode or explode! Either way, it's not pretty. Always honor your feelings. Of course, having healthy outlets to channel your anger is the way to go! The point is to honor your entire range of emotions, to be in touch with yourself, and maintain a healthy Sacral Chakra.

Love how you stand out. Part of self-love means loving all parts of you, including those perceived "unacceptable" and "flawed" parts of yourself. I put those in quotes, because those are almost ALWAYS based on our own judgments, not reality, and are oftentimes harsh and plain untrue. Perhaps this is due to us not wanting to get too full of ourselves, to keep us safe in mediocrity. But, believe you me, your radiance will not come from you staying in mediocrity. You are meant for much more! When you love yourself fully, you do not recoil in horror at the how you stand out, are different, and unique. In fact, you feel liberated, joyful, and free when you accept all of yourself, including how different you are from others. It is a joy to be in touch with who you are, on the deepest levels.

What are your favorite non-conventional self-love tips?


Margarita Alcantara is a Licensed Acupuncturist in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, a Reiki Master/Teacher, and writer based in New York City. You can find out more about Magarita's work on her website and hang out with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


Postcards From Spirit: Self-Belief and Worthiness by Brighitta Moser-Clark

Photography by Brighitta Moser-Clark 

Photography by Brighitta Moser-Clark 

A message for us from Angels and Guides, channelled by Brighitta: 

We see so many of you so capable, so able, and yet so stuck in your boots made of fear. They are very heavy boots and they are but an illusion. It is for no other reason than self-doubt that you find yourselves paralysed by this fear. The truth is that it is completely made up – there is nothing to be afraid of – it is purely egoic thought that tells you you’re not good enough, that tells you that failure is even a thing! Your soul knows that the truth is you can never fail, you can never make a mistake, you can never get it wrong. You can celebrate right now in this liberating truth!

Does it resonate? You can’t get it wrong. From your Soul’s perspective, every single thing is delicious new material for lessons. The entire point of your life is expansion, and growth, and learning and evolution. So every little juicy opportunity that comes your way to expand is that – an opportunity to expand! Is that so scary, this expansion? There is a reaching into the unknown that we can see, from your human perspective, can feel uncomfortable because Humans like to know what is coming next. Darlings, the magic – it happens in the unknown. The growth, the expansion, the evolution, it all transpires behind the curtain. Make peace with this. 

Yes we do wish to address this subject of self-belief and worthiness. We notice many of you have the answers, yet you are scared to say them. You know and yet it terrifies you that you might be right. Truly – you think what terrifies you is that you might be wrong, but what you are actually scared of is realising your own power. We are here to tell you that you are worthy. Do not let these invisible, imagined, heavy boots hold you in place any longer. Every ounce of your fear, every single drop, is because you have a lack of self-belief. Your fear is a direct translation of your self-doubt. It does not serve you Dear Hearts, it does not serve you at all.

We see magnificent creatures before us – we see Beings of Light capable of transforming the planet, capable of joining forces together in sweet alignment and harmony, sharing knowledge and ideas, enveloping this world in love, increasing the vibration here on this Earth and raising the light frequency higher and higher. And yet, what holds you back are such small ideas of fear disrupting your confidence. In the case of healing egoic faults such as a lack of self-belief, truly seeing is believing. You need to step forward despite your fears, in spite of your ego, you must own your gifts. You must want to heal this world, more than you are scared of failing in your attempt to do so. You must decide that your want to help is stronger than the little-me fear that keeps you stuck.

We are here today to tell you that you are worthy, that you are made of stardust, that you are starlight embodied temporarily in these beautiful human bodies – darlings there is nothing to fear! You are eternal. You are one with the whole of what is. You are a fragment of Source. You are Godliness. You are holy. You are cherished. You are beautiful. You are wise. You are so very welcome here, you are needed here. You possess the knowledge and the talents and the gifts that are required of you in order to manifest your dreams, in order to live your life purpose, to satisfy your reason for Being. It is all already within you. Do not listen to that tiny scared voice – that is the voice of the ego. Listen instead to the stillness, to the peace, to that blissful surrender deep within you that KNOWS. It feels that you are an essential thread in the infinite tapestry, it knows that you are essential, that you are here in this time of Awakening for a reason! You are here dear Ones, that is a miracle, and anything that life is calling from you, you are more than able to give to life. If life is calling you to be a healer we promise you you are able to heal. If life is calling you to be an artist, we promise you are able to create brilliant pieces of art. If life is calling you forward onto a path that both excites you and terrifies you, then we invite you to step on to that path and we invite you to bravely go forward putting one foot in front of the other every single day, because this is your reason for Being. Life will sustain you, and you will thrive in the stepping forward. Dear Hearted Ones come forward and expand, take our hands, feel your strength, look into each other’s eyes and know your worthiness, know that you are in this together. You are GOD MADE MANIFEST. Of course you are worthy. This world is created for you. Of course you deserve it. Shine your light, be the magnificence that you already are. Come to that space within, feel it, sense it, and know it.

You do not need to believe when you know.


About the contributor: Brighitta is an Artist, a Spiritual Channel and Medium, as well as a Reiki Master Practitioner, based in London. You can find out more about her work on her website and hang out with her on Facebook and Instagram


Are You Saving "The Good Stuff'? By Lisa Rose

Where’s your “good stuff”?  Are you saving “the good stuff” for later?  Why deny yourself  “good stuff” pleasure?

Decades ago, I read a story written by a woman who wanted to encourage others to not save our “good stuff” for use only on some special occasion at a later, who-knows-when date.  But, rather, to enjoy the “good stuff” right now.  She was specifically writing about women who buy beautiful things for themselves but never allow themselves the pleasure of enjoying them.  The author’s sister always saved her “good stuff” to wear on some future special occasion.  Her sister’s beautiful, sexy bras and panties were carefully folded and placed in the back of a drawer to be admired but not worn.  A gorgeous dress that set off her sister’s best features in way that even she couldn’t believe in the mirror was carefully hung in the closet with it’s tags still attached.  She planned to wear the dress with her sexy underclothes on Someday.  When her sister died suddenly, having never worn her treasured garments, her family gave them to the funeral director to place on her body for her final presentation and burial.  It’s an obvious lesson to not save the “good stuff” for later.  That article resonated with me that day because I had loads of “good stuff”, too, that I denied myself the pleasure of enjoying. But not anymore!

These days, I wear and use it all!  My good stuff is out of the cabinets and closets.  I recall times, however, when I would buy something and save it because it was “too good” for me to wear without a special occasion.  Truth is, I was projecting onto those objects my own feelings of self-worth or lack thereof.  I wasn’t valuing myself.  I wasn’t giving myself the best I deserved, and I wasn’t willing to receive when it was gifted. 

I remember receiving a beautiful, copper-colored, silk nightgown as a gift, and instead of enjoying it, I carefully folded it in tissue paper and placed it in a drawer where I occasionally touched it and smiled at it.  I was waiting for just the right occasion to wear it.  It’s amazing how someone else’s story has an immediate effect; an a-ha moment that changes one’s perspective instantly.  The same day I read the author’s story, I wore the silk dress to bed and enjoyed the feel of it against my skin.  All of the things I’d been saving or not allowing myself to enjoy came out of the closets and cabinets immediately.  I knew I turned the corner on self-worth when one of my guests at a dinner party dropped a gorgeous crystal wine glass on my stone patio by accident.  I closed my eyes and sighed “aaaaahhhhh” at the beautiful sound the crystal sang as it broke and splintered into pieces.  Some of my friends gasped in horror; and others aaaaahhh-ed with me.  I knew right then who was saving the “good stuff”!  

My Paris purchase - that I didn't save for a "special occasion" but wore the very next day. 

My Paris purchase - that I didn't save for a "special occasion" but wore the very next day. 

And now, that’s how I roll.  Everything is temporary.  Ev-er-y-thing!  So, enjoy it all now; no more waiting! 

Last summer, I was window shopping in Paris and felt drawn to this lingerie display.  I thought about that article I had read so many years ago, and went inside the shop, and bought this beautiful lace lingerie set for myself.  I wore it the next day.  For me.  I wore it for me.  And then I decided to write about it to encourage you to do the same.  Gift yourself something that turns you on, light’s you up, something that makes you feel great!  Whatever it is. You deserve it! And pull the “good stuff” out of your closets and cabinets.  Today!  Let them give you the joy you desire and deserve. 

 

About the contributor:  Lisa Rose is an intuitive, soul coach, spiritual teacher and mentor lighting up souls one spark at a time, and inspiring everyone to live truly to truly live. You can find out more about her on her website and hang out with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

HOW TO GET OVER YOUR EX: DO THESE THINGS BY LAURA YATES

If I think about the amount of time I’ve spent thinking about exes during my most significant break-ups, I’d dread to know how many days and hours that actually adds up to. I also know that one of the most painful things about break-ups is getting so totally consumed by our ex. What they’re doing, why they haven’t called/text, who they’re out with tonight, what we could have done differently, what they should have done differently. All of those things and more. I’m sure you know what I mean.

And of course, there’s the pain of missing them. Even if we’re in a situation where we know they treated us like crap, it doesn’t lessen the pain or stop them from running around in our heads, taking up every inch of mind-space on a 24/7 basis. It’s exhausting but we can’t seem to make it stop.

But what I found in my own experience and what I’ve found by coaching people through this stuff is this: you might not be able to stop thinking about your ex, and the pain and heartache might be unbearable BUT there are things you can do WHEN you decide to be ok with the fact that this IS temporary. And the longer you stay where you are in the same mindset, the longer it will take for that pain to subside.

Here are a few things that I know can really help.

Don’t fight it

I’m betting that part of why it feels so unbearable now is because you’re desperate to not feel so terrible. So the dwelling and obsession is almost like a distraction from admitting to yourself that you feel bad. We never fight the good feelings. But bad feelings are just as valid and you can’t really have one without the other. So just allow yourself to feel bad and accept it. When you accept it, you’re able to move through it MUCH quicker. Sometimes I try and remind myself that good and bad feelings don’t require me to put such a contrast on them as it then makes the ‘bad’ stuff seem even worse. Feelings just are what they are and right now, you just need to accept the more uncomfortable ones and trust they will pass.

Change your environment, habits and routine

Keeping things exactly the same as when you were with your ex isn’t going to help you get over him/her. It will only remind you of what you feel you lack now they’re gone. So switch up your space and create it into something that makes you feel brighter. Clear clutter. Get new furniture or a few fresh bits and change things around so that when you wake up and when you come home, it represents something different. Visit new places, walk or drive a different way to work, start your day differently and end it differently. This helped me so much during my last break-up and it’s something I do when I want to shake things up in my life in general. It’s a bit like starting a new chapter. (I feel like I’ve used the words ‘new’ and ‘different’ a million times here but they’re very important!  )

Write down the possibilities

Ok, right now it might seem like the.most.impossible.thing.ever to imagine being without your ex and you feeling good, happy and able to get on with your life with ease. But the imagination is an amazing thing and instead of ruminating over your ex (which is also your imagination at work), use it for something positive that’s going to shift you forwards. So, brainstorm what the possibilities of being without them are. What can you do now, what opportunities does it give you? Write them all down. Even if you don’t feel like you could see any of them through, it’s amazing what forcing yourself to change perspective can do. It can help create that glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel that you’re desperate to see but can’t.

Look at what history has already shown you

Think back to the times where you were in a place that you’d never though you’d get past. Other break-ups, losses or just hard times that left you feeling in pieces. You got through those. So work out what you did and do the same things (or same sorts of things) again. For me, it’s setting new challenges, finding ways to work out that I enjoy, being around inspiring, fun people and knowing it’s ok to feel crap instead of fighting it, like I mentioned in the first point.

Set some kind of goal or challenge – for you

Do something for you even if it’s the last thing that you feel like doing. Motion creates emotion and doing something positive that makes you feel like you’re accomplishing a goal that’s all yours and in no way associated with your ex signifies a new chapter and ignites renewed feelings. It also gives you something consistent to focus on where you will get to see results. Many people I work with totally surprise themselves what they’re capable of when they do this, or the opportunities that start to appear and it’s incredibly empowering for them.

Go on a social media sabbatical

This is a big one that I cover in my program (coming soon!). Eliminate all those things online that will expose you to your ex and what they’re doing. It’s not helpful looking at them on social media. It’s a bit like going cold turkey as you might have been stalking looking at their Facebook page as a crutch but be honest, does it ever help you to move forwards doing that? Does it make you feel better? Probably not. (It’s a bit like the high of drinking too much and then the low of a hangover.) We can also use the online world in general as such a distraction from feelings of discomfort. We feel shitty and before we know it we’ve spent 20 minutes scrolling on instagram looking at people we don’t even know, whose pictures aren’t even a true representation of their real lives. This form of numbing what we’re feeling via digital outlets does nothing for the soul so I am a real strong believer that getting outside in the real world, amongst real people is one of the best ways to move forwards.

And if you are going to turn to an outlet that isn’t outside in the real world, make it something where you’re learning. There’s nothing wrong with immersing yourself in a book that feeds your imagination in a good way or learning something that inspires you. There’s something about learning that really makes you feel like you’re taking responsibility for yourself instead of being passive, which is what dwelling over your ex and things from the past that you can’t change, essentially is.

I hope you find these helpful. And if so, I have a course coming out very soon, which is going to guide you right though your break-up. Make sure to get on my list if you’re interested as it won’t be long until that’s launched!

Have a great weekend my friends and as always, reach out to me on contact@laurayates.org if you would like to. I’m also now on snapchat sharing snippets of advice and bits of my life! Find me there at laurayatesuk and snap me!

Laura xx


HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF AFTER A BREAK-UP BY LAURA YATES

Love yourself. It’s a bit cringey that phrase isn’t it? Not that I don’t agree with it because it’s absolutely true. But when people advise that you ‘learn to love yourself’ after a break-up, it’s a bit of an alien one to grasp after nights of ugly crying, too much wine and struggling to even put a comb through your hair. If your self esteem is at an all time low, going and doing something nice for yourself just isn’t going to cut it.

So how do you actually learn to love yourself after a break-up? In my opinion, there is only so much you can do with feel-good affirmations, talking to yourself kindly, getting your hair done or even working out. Don’t get me wrong, all of that is valuable and will help, but when it comes to building your core self-esteem, which is where loving or at least liking yourself derives from, all of that has it’s limits.

You need something more than that. You need more of a foundation.

A huge part of loving yourself comes from setting your boundaries and then walking your talk and living by them.

Say you’ve been cheated on and you’re feeling rejected, hurt and maybe a bit victimised. Loving yourself will come from not going over and over what happened but looking at where you might have missed or ignored the signs. Were you turning a blind eye to bad behaviour, did you have doubts that you didn’t communicate or were too afraid to voice in case you got the answer you dreaded? Well, loving yourself now is all about dissecting where all of that came from and setting those boundaries to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It’s taking everything you learned and enforcing some inner ground rules for yourself for the future.

Loving yourself is having the respect for yourself to not be a victim and not let this experience filter into your next relationships.

When we love someone so much that we let bad behaviour slide or let those gut instinct or hunches go, our boundaries drop quicker than a dodgy facelift. And then when it’s over, we place the blame on the other person and can go into this victim mentality, which isn’t congruent to learning to love ourselves at all. We listen to empowering songs to build us up and tell our friends that he/she can go to hell, but then secretly we’re texting them telling them how much we miss them or gravitating towards people who will also treat us badly. We have no boundaries and therefore our emotions and self-worth becomes a free-for-all for others to just do what they want with. This all starts with what we allow in. It’s not actually the fault of the other person or people. It’s inevitable we’ll all meet some prize tools when it comes to matters of the heart but we can love ourselves enough to learn from that moving forwards, and take responsibility for our part.

What setting boundaries and loving yourself doesn’t mean is putting up walls and refusing to let people in or have fun. Or to not be able to go with the flow and be spontaneous. And of course, things will take us by surprise and come out of the blue where we might not get the outcome we want and wind up hurt.

But when it comes to loving yourself throughout these things, it’s having the respect for yourself to know what you will/won’t put up with and in turn, others knowing that too. But they’ll only know that when you act upon what you’re saying. You don’t need to tell someone. You just have to show them. So it’s having a word with yourself when you might convince yourself that going and meeting that guy at 1am (that you already know won’t commit) is just a bit of fun, but knowing deep down that you’ll wake up the next day and feel like crap because he didn’t even walk you home last time that happened. Or knowing that girl is only texting you last minute to see you because her other plans fell through and you’re the backup.

Loving yourself is being stronger than giving into the temptation of something that you know isn’t good for you. It’s looking at what hasn’t worked with previous men or women you’ve dated/been in a relationship with and committing to change those repetitive patterns that have caused the same situation to keep happening again and again. Loving yourself is taking full responsibility for yourself and not allowing your self worth or how good you feel to be determined by others.

And once you get working on this, doing the surface stuff when it comes to loving yourself will seem all the more sweeter 

It’s not an easy one and it takes time, but it’s so so so important.

Hope you found this helpful in some way! Do let me know what you think, As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts 

Laura x