What is Self Love?

Last year I was honoured to help a wonderful friend (and author of Not From This Planet’s upcoming release, Burglar to Buddha) to publish a book that he had compiled, called Self Love Now. Simon had asked the question – Why is Self-Love important at this time in humanity? and the book contains answers from 54 visionaries, and is beautifully illustrated.

Working on the book with Simon got me thinking. What is self love anyway?

Some would say it’s setting boundaries in relationships. Others might say it’s eating healthily. Or buying yourself treats. Or saying no to things that don’t serve you.

I think it may well be different for everyone. For me, self love is acceptance. Of my body, my flaws, my finances, my relationships and my current situation. And it’s not a one-off deal. It’s a daily occurrence. Every time my body changes, I need to accept it all over again. Love it completely again. Whenever my home changes, (which is way too often) I have to accept it again. When my relationships evolve, grow or die, I have to accept those new changes again. Self Love is not berating myself for making mistakes. Self Love is knowing that I am doing the best I can every day in every way. Self Love is never speaking an unkind word against myself, even in jest. (still working on this, self-deprecating jokes are deeply ingrained!) Self Love is a quiet joyfulness. It’s my trust in myself to cope with whatever transpires. Self Love is knowing that I am worthy and deserving of love, abundance and joy, regardless of my productivity or creative output. Self Love is knowing that I have my own back. That I am the sole creator of my own happiness. It’s taking responsibility for my emotions, and not blaming someone else for making me feel bad.

The thing about Self Love, is that it is limitless, it is abundant, and when it is felt in every fibre of your being, it spills out from every pore, and shines on others too. And it is effortless. To truly accept and love yourself is to release all resistance. And when resistance is gone, so is effort and struggle.

So tell me, what is Self Love to you?

On the Smugness of Minimalists

I’m in a slightly ranty mood, so take from this post what you will!

I have stuff. And I like all of it. I’m not a hoarder in the sense that I keep absolute rubbish, but I do get sentimental about things. I come from a family of hoarders, so in my defence, I never had a chance.

I get that energetically, it’s better to have less ‘stuff’. To have a clear space is to have a clear mind, and I have to say, every time I watch a decluttering program (I do love Marie Kondo!) I have the urge to clean, tidy and purge my stuff. And some things have improved – my drawers contain all Konmari style folded clothes now, and have done for months. But some things don’t change.

And one of those things is, I like my stuff.

I’m not just a writer. Or even just a reader. I have a LOT of interests and hobbies. I knit, crochet, scrapbook, sew and create all sorts of crafty things. I love stationery (washitape is my current addiction) so I have a lot of papers, pens, stickers, notebooks etc. I run my own business, so I have stock, packaging, and equipment like lighting etc for filming videos.

And you might be reading this, thinking – so what? Why is this an issue? Well, the issue is, I don’t own my own home, and in the last 12 years, the longest I have stayed anywhere is my current home for the last 13 months. So I have moved, a LOT, and every time, I get so many comments from people on just how much stuff I have. Yet I bet any of them would struggle to move their belongings every few months!

I honestly do wish I could be minimalist, and believe me, I have done energetic work on having too much stuff. But the things is, I love the things I own. In the words of Marie Kondo – they bring me joy.

What doesn’t bring me joy is having to pack them up and move them all the time! So of course, the easy solution is to have a permanent home. But unless a magical unicorn that poops gold bars drops out of the sky right now, that’s not really an option.

There’s not really a point to this post, I was just feeling ranty because many minimalist people seem so smug about not having so much stuff, and to be honest – if I were minimalist, I’d probably be smug too. It does seem like an easier way of life!

But until I find the magical minimalist pill, or a gold bar pooping unicorn, I guess I better just get used to packing a lot of boxes…

(This image may seem completely random, but it shows one of the many craft projects I have done in my life and had a fun quote on it!)