Are You Getting Enough Self Love?

self love tree

Are You Getting Enough Self Love?

Take this Quiz:

Start thinking of all the things you love in your life for a few seconds………………………………………

How long before you mentioned yourself????


It’s very common to not think of listing yourself when recalling what you love. We tend to take care of others before ourselves – especially those of us with children, lucky spouses, or aging parents. But practicing self love: loving ourself, paying attention to our needs and wants and desires – makes us more whole and authentic, and in a much better place to take care of and love others. As so many fear, it is not selfish to practice self love. It is nurturing and kind – and everyone else in your life will win as a result of you loving yourself more.



Spiritual leaders weigh in on self love

If you are not yet convinced, consider Buddha’s words,”You yourself, as much as anyone in the universe, deserves your love and affection.”

Or Deepak Chopra, “If enough of us embrace love, the world will eventually be saturated with love. The love in the world begins with the love within ourselves.”

The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself. So where to start??

kripalu retreat

Grace Under Pressure

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a weekend seminar at Kripalu with Christine Arylo –  the queen of self love. She taught me and 13 other women, some powerful secrets to taking care of oneself, going for your dreams, and having “fierce grace under pressure”. Her 2012 book, Madly in Love with Me, The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend, gives the reader practical enjoyable ways to incorporate the 10 branches of self love into living a fulfilled complete life. (for purchase under “Resources”) Each branch is important alone – but they all work together synergistically to create an optimal balance in your life. (Kind of like the Plant Food and Gratitude Wellness Wheel!!:))

The following priceless information is obtained mostly from Christine Arylo’s book and our Kripalu weekend together (with Christine’s gracious permission), with some commentary from my own practice of self love over the last 51 years:) It gets better every year….  Madly in Love With Me goes into detail on each branch of self love with fun practical ways to go deeper, explore within, and make it happen! A new and improved, authentic you awaits you!!

self love tree

 Here are Christine Arylo’s 10 Branches of Self Love:

1. Self Honesty and Self Awareness

A first step toward self love is taking a pause to reflect on who you are and who you are not. Being truthful about this will allow for inner growth in the areas you wish to evolve. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then it is hard to have honest relationships with others.

2. Self Acceptance

The act of accepting yourself for who you are without judgment can be challenging. The pressure to fit into some societal norm is coming at us from multiple vantages on a daily basis. And even though we have all had fantasies about being someone other than ourself, most of us would not consider actually becoming anyone else other than ourselves. But we can aspire to improve upon the aspects of ourself that we recognize need evolving.

3. Self Care

This is the process of taking care of your body, spirit and mind. It involves firstly knowing what you need and then making it a priority so you can take the steps to make it happen. It can be as simple as making sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a nourishing diet and taking time to breathe in the middle of a work day. Or more complicated like ending a relationship that is not serving you, changing careers or attending a revitalizing conference on self-love! Keeping your “energy tank” filled up with self care allows you to be a more loving giving person. As Christine Arylo says, “Never serve from your reserves!”

4. Self Compassion

This is kind of like self acceptance but takes it a step further. Compassion is having the empathy and kindness to embrace who you are with unconditional love – having forgiveness for your imperfections and vulnerabilities. For me, letting go of the “crazy super-woman super-human perfectionistic expectation” is on ongoing battle, but freeing to acknowledge. Let the judgements go and focus on all that you do and all that you are.

5. Self Trust

No one else knows what is right for you better than YOU. Everyone has had times in their life where they made a decision based on the pressure and influence of others, going against your inner voice that was saying “No, bad idea. This doesn’t feel right.” And then you kick yourself knowing that you should have listened to your intuition. We learn from these experiences however and having that renewed awareness allows us to move forward making choices that are driven by our inner most desires, true to ourselves and authentic in nature.
self love

6. Self Esteem

Having a high self-esteem is a belief in yourself that allows you to feel like you can do or be anything. This confidence allows you to proceed in life unapologetically for you know that your thoughts and actions are based in your own truth and others do not have to agree with them. To boost your self esteem, it is important to value yourself and embrace your highest qualities like what you offer to others, what you are really good at, and what positive affect you have on those around you.

7. Self Empowerment

Being a self empowered person means taking responsibility for your actions and choices in order to create the life of your dreams. Don’t blame others for your place in life. Don’t let others be in control of your life and prevent you from going where you need and want to go. Be strong and courageous to reach for your dreams and goals. This may mean taking some risks and acting out of your comfort zone, and perhaps others will be upset by your choices, but it is your life to live, not theirs.

8. Self Respect

Making decisions that respect all the parts of you – mind, body and spirit, are critical to self love. Choose to have relationships with people who are kind, loving, respectful and honor who you truly are without wanting to change you. Get rid of relationships in your life that leave you feeling drained, stressed or badly about yourself. Your body and soul are sacred and you and others you choose to be with should treat yourself with love and honor.

9. Self Pleasure

Live. Laugh. Love. We see it everywhere as it is a concept many of us strive to attain. Pull into your life things and people and situations that create joy, laughter, and fulfillment. Push away those that don’t. Make a point to recognize what brings you joy and feed that notion. Schedule it into your day if necessary but make it happen every day. Fresh cut flowers in your bedroom? Hugging your dog? Taking time to read your favorite book? Listening to music that fills your soul? Spending time with a best friend? Make it happen!

10. Self Expression

Be yourself! Fully expressed without censorship or apology. Living authentically and expressing your true self is freeing and opens your world to maximize your participation in life. Express yourself honestly in alignment with your true self. Practicing self love and working on the 10 branches allows us to get closer to honest self expression.


So I left Kripalu with a renewed appreciation for who I have become and what I have accomplished. I also received a renewed interest in where I want to go in life, what relationships are not serving me, which ones excite me and make me laugh, and what dreams have been squelshed but should be nourished. A few days after I returned home I decided to trade in my stuffy city house for a cottage on the water – a lifelong dream, why wait?


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