I talk to a lot about self-love and while we all agree on the importance it's easy to get stuck on the follow through. One of my clients shared with me a beautiful acronym for HOW, she said you have to be Honest, Open, and Willing. I want to share with you HOW I practice things like self-love and experience more joy and peace in my days!

Honest.

When I am stuck, angry, scared or hurt I know that my only way out is love and compassion. Trying to control the situation usually ends up dragging it out. Becoming the victim is like digging a bottomless pit. Seeking revenge is like taking the wood from the frame of my house and using it in my fireplace. Those feelings of being stuck, angry, scared or hurt are a part of the shared human experience. Compassion is recognizing that human experience. Compassion is not a relationship between the wounded and the healer. It’s a relationship between equals.

What’s the most compassionate thing you can do when you feel small and hurt? For me it's recognizing that we are not all so far removed from each other. And asking myself "what do we have in common?"

Open.

I have to be open to vulnerability, growth and connection. When I am being my authentic self it puts me in a very vulnerable position, some people won’t like me, but it’s in that vulnerability that my authentic self lies and that is my most powerful self. Being open to growth meas I’m open to discomfort. That means I have to challenge the stories I tell myself and my limiting beliefs. When someone shares something uncomfortable with me, or calls me out on my BS, I am open to listening and putting in the work because growth is my M.O. Being open to connection means accepting and loving myself AND others, just as we are!

What do you need to be more open to? I found that getting suggestions from my husband were the most difficult to listen to so we created a way of preparation. We use the word cinnamon (because I don't pronounce it well and it's funny). For example, he'll say cinnamon and whenever I am in the right mindset and prepared for a suggestion, whether it's that minute or two days from then I'll tell him I'm ready to listen.

Willing.

I have to be willing to let go of shame and practice my rebound rate. Shame is that painful feeling or experience that we are flawed, broken and unworthy of love. It’s different from guilt because guilt says “I did something bad” and shame says “I am bad.” Compassion reminds me that my imperfections aren’t shameful; they are simply reminders that we’re all in this together. Since I’m not meant to aim for perfection I aim for a better rebound rate. I realized that I’ll always have negative experiences, the goal isn’t to avoid them but to work on closing the gap between my negative experience and getting back to my true self.

Willing is the hardest piece of the puzzle because it looks a lot like action. One of my favorite actions is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Ho’oponopono, is a gentle practice where you simply say: I forgive you, I’m sorry and I love you.

I'd love to hear about HOW you all are practicing self-love in your day!

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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