If you’ve been reading Kicking Asana for awhile, then you know self-love is my JAM.
It’s not because I love taking bubble baths (I do) or need an excuse to treat myself (I don’t). It’s because I know the intrinsic value of taking a moment to step back, turn inward, and check in.
It certainly was not always this way.
Most of us struggle with the notion of self-love. In a society that pushes us to put other people’s needs in front of our own, we’re never really asked or encouraged to do something for ourselves. We worry it could be considered “selfish.”
After I enrolled in my 200-hour teacher training last fall, my thoughts shifted from thinking self-love is selfish to realizing self-love is self-less.
When it comes to love – in all aspects – you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self love is really where all love begins, but we’re so wired to believe that love is external.
Since my training, I have had the opportunity to connect with many authentic souls that live and breathe by this notion.
One of which, Alisha Olivier Park, has truly left a lasting impression when it comes to the art of self-love and mastery.
Alisha is a Spiritual Mentor and Teacher of her signature program, Healing From Within. She has dedicated her life to guiding others on the path of healing, transformation, and Self-Mastery through her teachings. If you can guess, Healing From Within begins with self-love and emphasizes its importance on our internal and external relationships.
I sat down with Alisha to talk self-love and relationships. From the switch from looking outward to inward, to her favorite way to start practicing self-love today, continue reading to get inspired and fall in love with yourself again and again:
Why do you think there has been such a big push on “self-love” practices lately?
The increased awareness around Self-love practices feels like a sign of more and more people looking inward for a solution to the issues they face in their lives and the outer world. In my work as Spiritual Teacher and Mentor, I guide others to make positive changes starting with gentle acts of kindness directed towards Self, because Self-love is where all love begins.
Where has self-love helped you in external relationships?
All relationships begin within. Before I was aware of this truth, I looked to outside sources for a sense of love and belonging. Through my journey of personal transformation, I have learned how to hold space for myself and cultivate love and compassion from within me.
Thus allowing the flow of energy to move from the inside, out into all of my external relationships. The more Self-love I feel, the more loving I am with others. Being in a loving relationship with yourself drastically changes all of your relationships.
What is one thing that someone can do NOW to start practicing self-love?
It’s simple really, take a moment and get clear on things you love. Things you enjoy receiving, doing, or experiencing. And then do one of those things today, right now if possible.
An example of Self-love from my life is the way I begin each day. I begin by rolling out my yoga mat, lighting a candle and slowly moving through some yummy postures. I keep it free-flowing and easy which naturally opens up my body and prepares my mind for the transition into the quiet and stillness of meditation. After meditation, I like to choose angel cards from one of my decks, anoint my body with essential oils and then do some free writing. This practice leaves me with a deep sense of inner peace, love, and connection. There are many ways to practice Self-love, so let yourself get creative.
In what ways has self-love made you more compassionate towards others?
Through Self-love, I have connected to a deep well of compassion within me, and the more I tap into that energy, the more I feel the release of lower frequency energies like fear and judgment. When we are free of fear and judgment, the vibration of love, compassion naturally begins to flow to us, and through us.
With all the craziness happening in the world, why is it important to come back to self-love?
To begin I would like to quote my teacher and friend Deepak Chopra, “As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm, As is the atom, so is the universe, As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.” Simply put; the outer world is the direct reflection of our inner world.
Do you think that someone who deeply loves themselves and is connected to the energy of compassion can go out in the world and violently harm others? The answer is NO; this is why it is important to come back to Self-love because from this place we will create love, peace, and kindness, not hate, war and violence.
How can we use these practices to create a more connected and loving world?
Each of us has an internal operating system based on our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs of the past, present, and future. This system will either produce nectar or poison, which will become the food that we feed ourselves, others and ultimately the world. If you want a more connected and loving world, then use Self-love practices to look within and see what is ready to heal and transform into the sweet nectar for yourself, and for our world.
Feeling inspired yet?
For more information on how you can learn Self-love practices from Alisha, visit her website and check out the Healing From Within Intro Experience. I’m currently in the first stage and LOVING it.