When I think about the aspects of our lives that tend to bring us stress, the first thing that comes to my mind is relationships. Thinking back as far as I can remember, it has been the varying of feelings that comes in relating with people in many different circumstances, that has brought me the most stress, confusion, and uncertainty. Relationships are everything. For many of the hours in a day we are engaging with people. Relationships are our biggest assignments. So, how can we become “good” at managing our relationships? How do we become a magnet for the kinds of relationships we truly desire? How can we be the best friend, partner, spouse, parent, and relative possible? The answer is simple, yet incredibly powerful.
It all boils down to the relationship we have with ourselves. We must have the relationship with ourselves that we wish to see in our relationships with others. We must become our own best friend.
I have found that many beings would rather spend time with people they don’t even like, than spend time alone with themselves. Think about this. I believe self-loathing, self-hatred, and self-deprecating are far too common in our world. How can we possibly be the amazing person we are meant to be, when we embody so much negativity towards ourselves. How we relate in the world starts with how we relate to ourselves, so this week I want to encourage you all to begin cultivating a beautiful friendship with you. Not sure what I mean or where to begin? I have you covered with some simple steps to get you on your way.
1. Make a conscientious effort to spend solo, quality time with you daily. This basically means cultivate a meditation practice. We spend so much time connecting with outside sources, how often do we spend time connecting with ourselves? Take a few moments daily to sit down in a quiet space, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Marvel in the miracle that is your life. Have gratitude for your body and mind. Connect with yourself so that you can go out and successfully connect with the world.
2. Take inventory of your thoughts. Just like we have conversations with the people around us, we also have conversations with ourselves. What thoughts do you think to yourself, about yourself daily? I know for a fact that you are way harder on yourself than you are on everyone else around you. Simply notice that. Don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up. Awareness is key. Notice it, and redirect it to something more positive; more loving. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a child or loved one.
3. Know yourself. We often know so much about everyone else, and so little about ourselves. Who are you? What do you want? Who do you want to be? Can you answer these questions with confidence and ease? Be curious about your own true nature. Explore the real you, and own who you really are with pride and courage.
4. Take care of yourself. Be considerate of your needs and desires. Just as you would drop everything to care for a loved one, make yourself a priority in mind, body, and spirit. Know when you need rest, remember when it’s time to get moving, and nourish your body with foods that feel good for you.
5. Forgive yourself. When we have disagreements with loved ones, we feel the feelings, go through all the emotions, and ultimately we begin the process of choosing to forgive, and we move on; but do we actually do this with ourselves? How many of us are holding on to the mistakes we made from years past? It’s time to let yourself off the hook for being human beings. Set an intention right now to forgive yourself. Let the past be your teacher. You can’t really love yourself when you feel disdain for the person you used to be. Forgive and set yourself free.
6. Remind yourself daily of your value and worth. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, you matter, you are important, and you have something incredibly valuable and unique to share with this world. Remember this, just like you would remind a friend. Become your own cheerleader. Root for your own success. When you believe in you, others will believe in you.
Becoming your own best friend is a sure fire way to cultivating the very best life you desire. Everything around you will change when you start to view yourself in this positive, loving way. I’m excited to hear the shifts that happen for you as you walk this journey of self-love. Keep me posted in the comments below!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org