Self Love First
It's human nature to desire happiness and to seek gratification from the things we do. Pleasure can come from all areas in life, like going for a run, lighting a new scented candle, or putting on your favourite music and dancing like no one is watching. When you feel like yourself, you can derive joy at any point, and sometimes the more unexpected moments are the most magical. In these times, you get in touch with your inner child, the part that becomes naturally immersed in even the simplest of acts, the part that truly knows you.
Compassionate presence and true pleasure occur when the focus shifts from the art of doing and into the art of being. The way you seek and achieve pleasure will impact your overall perspective; suppose you are constantly looking after the next moment of satisfaction, the next up. In that case, these end feelings will eventually become diluted, and the desperate desire for the destination will blindside you from the fun of the journey. It’s all about stripping back, listening to your instincts and allowing yourself to just be.
Being out in nature, even for short intervals, is a great way to produce positive energy; surrounding yourself with purity and fresh air can totally transform your mood. Whether you are an avid hiker, waterfall hunter or professional beach layer, it is the best way to re-set. Even if you can only fit in a short walk, it should be high on your agenda. Spending a little time in your garden, nurturing your plants and herbs, is another excellent way to be amidst the natural world; when you look after another living thing, there is a sense of reward that sparks a reminder for your own self-care.
You cannot beat simplicity when it comes to self-love. A night at home can often be just the remedy one needs at times, lighting a fire on the colder nights, getting into your favourite pyjamas, curling up with a good book and hitting the pause button. Or maybe cooking an old beloved recipe is your preferred way to unwind, and nourishing yourself is a fabulous way to find pleasure. It is in these moments that you can return to that childlike mindset where your focus is in one place, and any worries outside of it can be put aside. The greatest lesson is that if you can align yourself with your needs, patience and calm, then finding pleasure will come naturally because it will come from you. You can learn to prioritise what it is that helps you find balance, that gives you that goofy smile or makes you roll on the floor laughing, whether you are with friends or enjoying your own awesome company.
Don’t let a day go by without encouraging yourself to be a little freer, to allow yourself to go with your gut and embrace whatever is next that you want to do. An important reminder is to remove the narrative of ‘guilty’ pleasures because this oxymoron confuses our consciousness; how can we enjoy something entirely if there is an underlying shame? The bottom line is, pleasure is pleasure; there should be zero guilt.
You need your own love to save your heart.