I am a 46-year-old woman (2020 update) who grew up in communist Romania. Since 2013, I have been practicing self-love every day. I have been through a lot, and I am blessed to still be alive today. Hopefully, this article will give you simple ideas about the importance of self-love and tips on how to practice it successfully. Below you will find my personal list of 7 rules I compiled after many years of soul-searching and spiritual practices, and a general, simple list of 7 rules to see more blissful self-love in your everyday life that you may find useful in your spiritual practice.
“Self-love is not a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we accept much better our weaknesses and our strengths, less need to explain away our shortcomings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.” (Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.)
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In 2013 I had an epiphany: I am not my upbringing; I am not a communist anymore. And I started reading about self-awareness and self-love. I read a lot; I mean A LOT. The things listed below are either actions that helped me find inner peace and happiness or effects of applying self-love.
Between 2013 and 2018, I attended yoga classes and self-development programs. I learned that my solar plexus chakra was blocked. I learned about breathing properly and visualization. In 2015, I even did 108 stand and squat uddyana bandas 4 days in a row (as I write these lines, the pain I had in my legs becomes vibrant!). 3 hours of uddyanas every morning. Good for me.
In 2018 I felt fed up with all the teachings, the training, the NLP, the yoga, the spiritual gatherings and yoga sutras, etc. My daughter decided to go study abroad and that was quite difficult for the single mother who felt abandoned (just like I had been before by other family members.) I unconsciously relived past traumas.
In the summer of 2018, a random blood test showed I had a severe lack of vitamin D. Starting taking vitamin supplements (here is a study by Alessandro Cuomo, M.D, that shows the connection between Vitamin D and depression) and, also, restarting my self-love work, helped me gain confidence in myself and be happy for my daughter who had been accepted at a prestigious British University.
First step to self-love
In September 2018, I started buying my first semi-expensive clothes. Previously, I used to buy my clothes in the street or at the metro station, cheap Chinese and Turkish stuff (a blouse would cost as much as a kilo of tomatoes.) I will never forget my first 3 pairs of pants (on sale, of course) from Peek and Cloppenburg. This was my first step to self-love.
In November 2018, after a month of research, I went on the keto diet. To this day, keto is my lifestyle, not only my diet. I have lost 11 kilos so far (2020) and my health has significantly improved. I started compiling my list of 7 rules for self-love.
In December 2018, I published my first Medium essay and returned to writing on The Vivi. I wrote about the therapeutic effect of writing in an article published a while ago:
In January 2019, I started decluttering both my wardrobe and my life. Friends and clothes that did not fit were gone in a month.
Working on self-love, awareness and compassion through mindful attention and therapeutic writing has become my priority. Not only have I started healing past trauma and understanding toxic learned patterns, but I have developed healthy habits that help me live the best life. Reframing situations, slowing down, being more compassionate and focused are some of the benefits of practicing life improvement hacks. Find below a short list of general rules and practices that I recommend for inner peace and the best life.
Here is a list of 7 simple rules to see more blissful self-love that might work for you, too
Take care of your body (hot baths, massages, good sleep, awesome food, great clothes and textures that make you feel good about yourself)
Look after your psychological health (spiritual work, meditation, awareness, mindfulness, slow life, positive vibes). This is a heart-warming post about 5 simple ways to speak less and communicate better that demonstrates the importance of mindfulness in everyday communication.
Be mindful of your environment (surround yourself with friends with good energy, clean and organize your home)
Get rid of the old and unimportant (clothes you don’t wear, people whose presence is not beneficial to you, activities that don’t serve you)
Learn to relax (probably the most important rule of all.)
Attitude to life
Live every day as it is the last.
Preparation for death
Get ready for death so that when it comes, you are prepared and feel happy to have lived the best life.
Self-love is a learned skill. As you mature, you realize that loving yourself is of foremost importance. By loving yourself you show appreciation to the entire Universe you are part of. When you love and appreciate who you are, you become a source of inspiration for others and you send a beautiful message every day: I have learned to love myself, so I can love you too! I hope the list of 7 rules above is useful to you and your loved ones.
Vivi has been writing about the process of self-realization through mindfulness and compassion since the age of six. She has dedicated her last years to helping people know themselves and live their best life. In addition, Vivi has taught around 10,000 students since 1990, and she blogs about the role of cooking at the intersection of food and self-mastery using simple recipes and copyright food photos. Subscribe to this site to stay updated with new posts on living the best life.