I cannot believe I have reached 30 years of breathing, learning, and growing. I am so excited for this new chapter in my story on my self-love journey. I have learned so much about myself in these 30 years, but the last 5 years have shown me so much about myself and how much heart work I needed to do in my wellness, relationships, and gratitude.
Self-love has shown me who I am and who I am not; it has given me permission to trust, express, accept, and take care of myself. Self-love is my daily choice to check in with my heart, speak power and truth into my day, and to show up for myself in every moment. By understanding the foundations of self-love through The Path of Self-love, I have witnessed who I have always been and who I am becoming.
Self-love is not pretty but it is beautiful.
My journey is not perfect; practicing self-love is an active choice that I am making every damn day and life doesn’t stop just because I am paying attention to my heart. With self-love, I am able to react differently to heartbreak, trauma, self-doubt, and fear than I was able to in the past. I am a growing Heart Advocate and I love where my journey has led me and it’s all because I am choosing to do the work. Here are the 30 ways that I started loving myself:
1. Saying “no”
When I don’t desire to do something or it is not in alignment with my purpose, I am saying no, sometimes hell no, because the truth is, stretching myself thin is something that I did in the past and I found myself exhausted. Self-expression is all about speaking my truth and I take care of myself by saying no, even to myself. I can’t do everything and that’s okay.
To be honest, I grew up never taking naps. My mom never did, so I never did. I have a busy ass spirit who always wants to be moving or doing something. I have been making sure that I have time for a one hour nap at least two times a week. It is not always easy to find the time, but my physical and mental health are so much more in alignment when I have the sleep that I need.
3. Taking myself out on dates
I haven’t been taken out on a date since 2017 so instead of waiting on the wine and dine, I have been giving it to myself and it feels damn good to get dressed up, buy myself a drink, eat something that I enjoy and to do it for myself.
4. Kinda Yoga
Yoga always seemed boring until I stopped putting myself into a box. Combining yoga + dance has made my love of practicing yoga even greater. I have made the commitment to becoming a Yogi to strengthen and stretch my body in ways that I have yet to explore (to check out my Yogi journey, follow me on Instagram HERE).
5. Color Therapy
I love black but too much black can be detrimental to my wellness. The color scheme in the various apartments I have lived in have been black and grey since I was in college. I made a commitment to color and it has been so beautiful. My mood has shifted when I am in my apartment and I just love being in my space. I believe in the power of color.
6. Listening to my inner-wisdom instead of my inner-critic
My inner critic is a perfectionist who is afraid of rejection, failing, and for being too much or extra. Shutting her ass up is never easy but with self-love I have been able to focus on my inner wisdom and control my inner critic. Listening to the voice inside of me that knows what is rooted in self-love instead of self-hate has allowed me to be grateful for my life no matter if I am up or down.
7. Asking for help
It is a fact that I am stick of the me who will struggle try to figure out the answer instead of just sliding into someones DMs or calling a friend or family member to ask for help. It’s exhausting to think about the amount of time that I wasted trying to look like I have it all together. Now, I am leaning on my team and have so much space for myself because of it.
8. Speaking affirmations
Writing affirmations is a great way to practice self-care but speaking affirmations out loud has taken my self-care to a new level. There is a level of vulnerability that comes with speaking affirmations out loud as opposed to writing them down. Here are a few of my favs to say out loud:
- Today I choose to listen to myself.
- I am powerful. I am capable. I am here. I have purpose.
- No more settling for anything less than I desire.
9. Giving my body compliments
My negative self-talk about my body has been something that I have struggled with since Middle School. I remember getting so down on myself about my body that I wore the same red sweat suit for 2 weeks straight. I decided to start complimenting my body while looking into a mirror a few months after I gave birth to my daughter because I was sick of being my own bully.
I struggle to sit still so mediation helps me find the calm in the chaos. I do love to practice sensual body touch while I meditate but I also try to challenge myself to sit still and clear my mind as much as possible. Perfectionists like myself have brains that are always overloaded and finding the time to just be is essential to my self-love.
11. Wearing crop tops
In 2018 I started wearing crop tops because I hated my belly so much that I avoided them for all of my life. I have been deliberately showing off my belly as often as possible because it reminds me to appreciate my stomach; my stretch marks, rolls, craters, and dark spots deserve to be accepted and to end my personal body shaming.
12. monthly Girls night
Isolation is a part of depression and making myself go out and be social is a part of my self-care. I love dancing, I love laughing and I definitely love spending time with my girls. Cheers.
13. Business boundaries
Here are the 3 boundaries that I have manifested in my business that gave me space for me and spending time with my daughter:
- no more free speaking engagements
- a clearly established cancellation policy
- no appointments on Sunday’s
14. Choosing to be single
No woman desires to be a single mother, but life happens. I don’t desire to be single but I made the choice to be a single woman and mother for my inner-peace, mental health, and most importantly, for my daughter. I am single for all the right reasons.
15. Wearing waistbeads
When I first started wearing waist beads it was to give my belly something pretty to celebrate my body. Wearing waist beads has turned into so much more than body jewelry for me. Waist beads are a holistic approach to mindful eating, body empowerment, and Chakra awareness (I discuss balancing my Root Chakra on number ). I feel more connected and in tune with how my body feels more than I ever have. To learn more about waistbeads follow Alaiyo Waistbeads on Instagram and visit their website HERE.
16. Expressing my feelings
I spent too much time keeping my feelings to myself, especially with my loved ones. Now, I say what I am thinking when someone I care about says or does something that hurts me. I advocate for my heart by speaking up for my emotions.
17. Quitting tobacco
I started smoking tobacco in college. I have never disclosed this fact but smoking was something that I never thought I would overcome. It is nothing I am proud of but I am no longer ashamed, No more nicotine and no more tobacco and I am so proud of me. Going into age 30 with no desire to smoke tobacco is more than enough to make my heart smile.
18. no makeup mondays
Each week I go one day without wearing makeup and host a challenge on Instagram and in my Facebook group H.O.E. (Healing Over Everything) where women post a selfie wearing no makeup. What began as a personal challenge turned into a lifestyle for my self-acceptance.
19. Touching myself
Get your head out of the gutter. HA! I mentioned this earlier talking about meditation. I have incorporated sensual touch in my self-love journey. Caressing my skin gives me physical stimulation, acceptance, and empowerment. I give myself permission to know my body and show her love every day.
20. Giving away clothes that do not fit me
Thanks to Yesenia Guadalupe aka @mxxfly, I have been more mindful of waste, over consumption, and hoarding. Learning that I hold on to things with no true meaning or purpose has shown me that I need to let things go in my life. Giving away clothing and items that I am not wearing or using and shopping at thrift stores and limiting my consumption is liberating.
21. Going to events by myself
In the past, I hated going places alone. I avoided so many events because I didn’t have anyone to go with me; I can’t help but to think about the opportunities that I missed for my fear of being by myself at an event. Now, I just go.
22. Logging off of social media
Social media is toxic af. Enough said.
I struggle with sitting still. I always feel like I have something to do or somewhere to be, and I probably do, but when I am overwhelmed, I am listening to my body and giving her what she needs by just sitting still, I do not have to be sleeping to rest.
24. Being compassionate with myself when I am imperfect
I tell myself every day that I am not perfect and that’s okay. I am imperfect and flaw-some and that is more than enough. When I don’t have the correct answer, when I forget, don’t follow through, make a mistake, or even fail at something, I speak to myself the way that I would speak to my best friend. It’s not easy because like most of us, I am my biggest critic, but I pause and say what I need to here. I’m not beating myself up; bullying or bashing myself.
25. Mindful eating
Stress eating comes naturally to me and eating at night is something I do often. I am an expert snacker. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the deliciousness of this world, but over consumption of anything can be toxic. This is something that I still struggle a great deal with but I am aware and do my best to eat cleaner, drink more water, and try meatless meals.
26. Smudge + healing Crystals + herbs
Positive energy is so important to me because there is a strong part of me who is a pessimist. I use to struggle to see the good, but creating spaces with positive and powerful sacred energy is grounding. I love drinking loose leaf tea at night and learning how to use healing crystals to manifest positive affirmation. Smudging is a new exploration and removing toxic and positive energies from my space has helped me become more focus, centered, and mindful.
I have a fear of being alone and the night-time is definitely the hardest. I am celibate on purpose. It’s not easy, it’s not a choice, it’s because I am not in a space where I can disconnect physical connection from emotional investing in someone.
28. Motivational Speaking
Did you know that I have a fear of public speaking? I get so nervous, I shake, and sweat but with self-love I don’t avoid it. I am going for my desires in a way that I never did in the past. I am facing my truth and embracing a part of me that I love, which is advocacy and counseling individuals to be their own heart advocates for mental, physical, and emotional wellness.
29. Chakra Balancing
Self-love and wearing waist beads has led me to the desire to fully understand how to maintain the balance in my Chakra’s. I am loving this work to stabilize my root chakra and I plan to learn more about a new chakra for each month. Next month is all about the Sacral Chakra (Orange Color)
30. Celebrating Me
(to be honest it took me so long to write this section …)
I am always cheerleading. I love that about me! I love praising women for all they are and showing them how powerful, awesome, unique, and capable they are, but I am guilty for not always doing that for myself. I celebrate myself on social media but in live action, I don’t always celebrate my wins. I don’t celebrate myself enough. It does not have to be a huge party, but just the acknowledgment and congratulating myself like I would someone I love; I have attempted to celebrate me in the moment and enjoy the big successes and the small triumphs.
I am so excited for my 30’s. I don’t know what the hell my life will bring in the next 10 years, but I know self-love will be an active part of my journey.
copyright, 2019 Ta’lor L. Pinkston, The Heart Advocate