The Most Important Person in the World

Consider this for a moment: Who is the most important person in your life?

Hmmm. Often when asked this, we say the people we love – our children, partner, friends or parents. I wonder how many of you said “I am”.

You are your world. And if this is so then it makes sense that you must be the most important person in your life.
However, we are not raised to put ourself first, to really love ourselves, to know we are special and worth caring for.

If you make yourself the most important person in YOUR life, then loving and truly caring for yourself becomes a high priority. Loving and appreciating yourself comes naturally. You become your number ONE and from there you are able to make the people you love the most important people in your life. Only when you truly love yourself can you love another.

For there to be more love, connection and care in our lives, we need to place our focus on developing a consistent practice of self-love and self-care.

If you don’t know where to start then here are some simple, practical tips you can use in your daily life.

1. Appreciate and Adore Yourself.

A great way to start practicing self-love and care is through appreciating who you are, what you do and your own unique qualities. Instead of criticising yourself focus on the things you like about yourself and constantly remind your self how special you are. Focus on the things that make you feel good or bring a smile to your face when you think about yourself.
Be gentle with yourself, practice kind thoughts and don’t be so hard on yourself.
Practice looking into your own eyes in the mirror and adoring who you are as if you were looking at a baby or a sleeping child.
Remember you are perfect just the way you are, you are beautiful inside and out, you are worthy of of love and that you love yourself.

2. Nourish your body, not just your taste buds

Instead of eating food that just tastes good, try finding the right foods that make your body feel exceptional. A great way to do this is to check in with yourself during and after you eat, see how what you are eating is making you feel. Is your energy high or low? Is your stomach feeling good or a bit off? Has your mood changed? Do you feel revved up or sluggish?

A great place to start is to cut down on your sugar, wheat, or dairy intake. These things tend to do more for our taste buds and less for our body and over all wellbeing. They also tend to alter how we feel, our moods and energy levels.

3. Exercise your body in ways that feel good

Find a form of exercise or movement that actually makes you feel good both during and after and you have fun doing. Often times we think of exercise as a chore or something we don’t enjoy but we do it because it benefits our health. We perceive exercise as flogging ourselves at the gym or pounding the pavement until we are totally out of breath and exhausted. But it doesn’t have to be that way – gently exercising and moving the body is all that is required. Try walking, swimming and light weight training.

A big part of self-love and self- care is looking after the physical body. Exercise gently and when your body says it has had enough, listen, honour and respect it – don’t push on stop your workout knowing you have done enough. Your body will thank you for it and love you back in return.

4. Pamper and nurture yourself

A true sign of self-love is treating yourself as if you would treat a loved one in your life. We often put ourselves out for others and forget about our own needs and desires. Give yourself time to pamper and provide ultimate self-care for yourself.
You don’t need to get a massage or spend the day at the spa. You can nurture yourself with a hot bath or long shower, by applying moisturiser or giving yourself a foot rub or self massage.
By all means go for a massage or a facial. But don’t forget to pamper yourself everyday.
Develop a consistent practice of giving yourself what you require to make you feel you are worth caring for.

5. Go on a date with yourself

Yes I know it seems odd, what do you mean go on a date with myself? This may seem uncomfortable because we’re not used to spending quality time with ourselves nearly as much as we are with others. Find something that you really want to do but have been putting off because you haven’t found someone to join you. Go out to a nice restaurant, watch your favourite movie, go to the theatre, go dancing, or get out into nature, have a walk along the beach. Make yourself breakfast in bed. Get creative, the options are endless.

6. Hug

Hug yourself. Try giving yourself a hug by wrapping your arms around yourself. Hold yourself gently, be delicate and tender with yourself.
Or just simply place two hands on your heart and take gentle breaths in and out through your nose. This helps you connect to who you are and lets the love start to flow again.
If you need a hug don’t be shy to ask for one.

7. Write yourself a love letter

Close your eyes and picture yourself as a child. What would you say to that innocent, beautiful girl or boy. What would you tell them about how great they are, how beautiful they are, how much potential and love they have inside. How they can do and be anything they want. You are that child.
From here, write yourself a letter expressing how much you love ALL aspects of yourself, how amazing you are. Let yourself go deeper and grander with every sentence that you write. Don’t hold back for you are incredible.

8. Stop beating yourself up

We cannot begin to truly love ourselves until we release any grudges or burdens we are holding onto. In order to be kinder to ourselves we need to release and dissolve the habit of being hard on ourselves. Be aware of when you do this, what negative self talk you have and reframe your thoughts. The more you practice this the more you will begin to feel at ease with who you are. We are not perfect, we make mistakes but don’t bash yourself for them as after all we are here to learn.

Practice being self-caring and self-loving everyday in all that you do. Soon it becomes more natural and consistent and the more you love yourself the more space there is for love!

Love is boundless and infinite, don’t be afraid of love because love can only ever love you back.

Reflecting On The Year So Far

Sorry to sound cliched but wow has the time gone fast! It seems only a couple of weeks ago that it was Christmas and we were talking about our resolutions for the New Year. Then all of sudden Easter has been and gone and we are a third of the way through the allotted 12 months of 2013 and those resolutions have often long since been forgotten.

Recently I had the pleasure of spending time with many of my friends from overseas on a retreat when one lady asked me how my wishes for the year were going. This made me stop and reflect that now was a good time to reassess and refine my choices.

So I took the time to return to my list and make some observations:

Tone my body and build some muscles backbeen gently working out at home and having more protein, my body is feeling stronger and leaner. There is quite a way to go yet but I am in not hurry as there is no need to push or drive my body to be or look at certain way.

Join a gym and perhaps go more than oncenot happened yet as I could feel my body was not ready for such exertion and actually needed recuperating and rebuilding after a very intense period of my life.

Spend more quality time with my familybig tick in this box, we schedule family weekends in our diary now and do not plan anything else for these days, in fact we fit our social life around these dates rather than trying to squeeze a free weekend in between everything else. Family weekends do not involve rushing here, there and everywhere but taking time to share meals, cook together, go for walks, chat, play, watch DVDs and enjoy one another’s company.

Become a better boss, lead by example and mentor morehave shown improvement in this area with more staff training and taking time to support my team where they need it rather than trying to micromanage and control the way they work. I want to bring out their skills, let them shine and have input to the way we work.

Say what I’m feeling rather than expecting people to read my mindexpressing and communicating what is there to be said at the time it needs to be said rather than bottling it up and getting frustrated. This process becomes easier and more natural the more I allow it. I may not always get it right but at least I know that and can learn from my mistakes. It is actually very freeing to say what I’m feeling and I notice the more I do it the more others are open to hearing what I have to say and how they feel comfortable to express themselves as well.

Nurture myselfthis is now something I apply in everything I do, from my posture to the clothes I wear, how I prepare for my day, my meals, hot baths with Epsom salts and lavender, learning to start from love and put that love into all that I do; rather than doing things so then I can stop and be love once they are completed. There is always room to go deeper with this.

Work on eating only when I am truly hungrynow this has been interesting as in hindsight I am going to re imprint this one to be “feel when I need to eat and what is needed to support my body”. I have realised that sometimes I don’t feel hungry and therefore I didn’t eat. But had I felt what was needed then I would have seen that my body was actually very depleted and in need of rebuilding and thus I needed to be eating more and more simply. I had fallen in a to a mentality that if my tummy wasn’t grumbling I didn’t need to eat when in reality my body needed more support to withstand the pressures I had been working and living under. So now I am having more protein, supporting my body with additional minerals and supplements and drinking much more water.

Be deeply caring of myself and othersthis falls under a similar umbrella to being nurturing but with being caring comes a deeper understanding and clarity about myself and other people

Work smarterthis has been interesting, by managing my time wisely, nurturing and caring for myself I have more energy and focus which allows me to work in a rhythm with my body. In this way I understand what is a priority and what can wait instead of trying to get it all done in one go.

Do more writing if you have been following this blog it may appear that I have been doing less writing, however I have been writing copious amounts for my dental blog, talks and other projects which I felt needed my attention

Start podcastsI bought a microphone and have some ideas but haven’t actually got this off the ground yet – that’s fine there are 7 more months left in this year!

Relax, take things slower, pause for breath and savour the momenta very important part of developing a rhythm with myself has been to stop and smell the roses and boy oh boy they smell sweet! I find when I am in the moment my body and breathing naturally relax and find their own rhythm leaving me feeling full of energy and ready for the next thing that comes my way.

Make new connections and cherish the ones I already haveI have deeply enjoyed sharing more time with friends and family and building new relationships. By meeting new people I get to learn about myself, deal with any issues that come up and evolve as a human being.

Accept myself for who I am despite my faults and flawslovely to see that I am beautiful, precious and gorgeous and actually very amazing – and so are you!

Marvel at the amazingness of the untapped potential that lies deep inside us all just waiting to burst out.magic is all around us we simply have to take the time to acknowledge it, appreciate it and let the magic that is within us come out.

Have lots of fun along the way! – haven’t laughed so much in ages, playfulness and silliness is quite contagious.

How have your New Years resolutions played out and what have you learnt about yourself along the way? I would love to hear about it.