I Heart Me: The Art of Loving Yourself
Season 2, Episode 3 is here!
There is no one on this planet who loves you more than you. Self-love is the barometer of the amount of love that you can experience in this lifetime. The EmPOWERment Couple has once again shown up to dish out a healthy dose of love. You can’t truly love someone until you love yourself.
In this self-loving episode, we will:
- Help you get a better understanding of your, “self.”
- Offer 3 steps to identify who you are
- Cover some exercises and tools to get absolute clarity
- Define what self-love is, and what it is not
It is time to have your cake and eat it too. Of course, when we say cake, what we mean is a double-decker, deliciously decorated helping of self-love. Hug yourself, kiss yourself, get to know yourself, and then love yourself, because your self deserves the best that love can bring.
Love is in the air, so what better time to talk about it. If your someone that has been in a bad relationship or that keeps attracting energy vampires instead of Valentine’s this show is for you boo! Today we are going to talk about the most intimate of all types of love, self-love. Self-love is an umbrella term for different acts of love we perform toward ourselves physically and non-physically. Self-love is the root from which everything grows. The same can be said about self-hate in that however you abuse yourself, you give permission to others to do the same. If you are hating yourself it will grow a tree of hate in your life. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up and the focus will be on finding a Valentine, we wanted to take the time to help you get some real satisfaction by loving yourself first. Be your own valentine today! Our main goal with this two-part show is to get you to rethink your relationship with yourself and empower you to love yourself more than ever!
There was so much to cover on self-love that we decided to turn it into a 2 part episode. In part one we will cover the following in this love-filled show:
Part One Show Outline covers all the defining parts of self-love
- Understanding the self
- 3 Steps To Identifying Who You Are along with some exercises and tools to get absolute clarity
- What self-love is, and what it is not
In Part Two we will cover the application
- How to fall in love with yourself using our step by step process
- The Benefits of self-love
- The best daily self-love rituals
So use this week to absorb all that you learn in episode one so that by part two you’re ready to apply the steps.
Let’s begin this episode with some thought-provoking questions:
- What would happen if you become your own best friend?
- Would you be happiest if you accepted yourself exactly as you are?
- Would radical unconditional love allow you to become more successful?
- Would a self-loving version of you be more of a risk-taker because you weren’t critical or fearful?
- What would happen if you gave yourself the attention you seek from others?
Ponder these or pause the show to answer them if you’re inspired. If you journal with these prompts you will be amazed how much your inner self knows and is available to answer if you ask it the right questions.
Understanding The Self:
So, what is the self? And who are you? When people ask this or you are in a situation where you have to introduce yourself you might have some fractionated version of you that likely has some masks and denial attached to it. Most of us are so many things that we cannot define it in an elevator speech. In fact, the reason we did the episode in season one about finding your purpose is that most people haven’t narrowed it down to a few words that define their fulfillment on this planet. So, for me, mine is I serve love and I came to that after deeply sorting through the shadow side of myself, and locating the little girl in there that was still willing to play after going through so much trauma. I strongly proclaimed, I Am Zuri, Be The Beautiful You as an invitation to everyone to rise up with me. I’m certain of this work because I know I am going to serve you love so you can live your most beautiful life. Everything I am now started with loving myself enough to find out who I am and what I want to do with my life. Nothing can be in my life unless it falls under the umbrella of I serve love. So as you can imagine, certain things just were no longer a match for me.
So when people say, find yourself or describe reaching self-actualization, here is what they are talking about. Finding the self is a mystical concept that has been around since ancient times. The ‘self’ has been described by many names, such as the soul, the oversoul, the atman, the monad, the “I AM” presence, the Christos, the illumined one, and so on. But in essence, you have to figure out who that little girl or boy was before programming. Who are you without external influences, conditioning, control, manipulation, and negative thoughts?
The tricky part of this process is that often we hear a voice, you know the voice. The one that is always yammering in there. This is not you. That voice is just a part of the reptilian brain that wants to keep you safe and comfortable. That is not the self. It’s just a part of your operating system and sometimes it may feel like a virus. Listening to that voice is where we see people just check out and decide that loving themselves is sitting on the couch, eating chips and following the rules, and never taking a risk because of fear. That is not self-love. That is actually self-sabotage. If this is a new concept to you, listen to Episode 2 Season 2 to do some reprogramming. I’d like to recommend a couple of great books for identifying the voice and the first is the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and The Seat Of The Soul by Gary Zukav. We also talk a lot about programming in season one so go back and listen to Turning Resistance into Resilience so you can get well-versed in identifying the voices you hear. Guess, what if you hearing voices, you’re not alone. Everyone does. Some of them helpful, some of them not. Get to know the difference. Trust me, it’s worth it a big part of the self-love process.
The entire process of childhood and socialization is essentially learning how to forget who we really are. Our peers and parents scold us when we do something that does not conform to their viewpoint. As such, we learn how to behave in such a way that we can be accepted. Acceptance is a huge part of our cultural upbringing. In fact, being part of a group, family, or tribe is the single most important social norm. This dates back to a time where non-conformity would have gotten us thrown out of the tribe – likely to starve or freeze to death. Pleasing others is ingrained deep within us, but it is also very harmful in terms of spiritual evolution.
Identifying The Self:
If you’re on a self-love mission you’ll have to go through the process of unlearning some programming. Here are a few ways to find the true voice and essence of who you are:
- Begin with quieting the mind, you can meditate, or get into nature, or in trance by putting your body into a specific high vibratory state. Once you’ve reached a state where the mind is quiet, now you can access the heart very quickly. We give you options because not everyone gets to an optimum state the same way. I like dancing, rebounding, nature, swimming, singing, meditating. Mike, what works for you?
- The next step after the mind has been exercised, calmed, or muted is to connect to your heart. There are millions of quotes and suggestions from Disney to your grandparent that has probably said, “follow your heart.” Most of us have heard that phrase but without context and further guidance, it isn’t clear how to execute that for our greatest good.
To access the heart you can meditate on the heart chakra. Meditating on love or focusing on the heart chakra is a chief recommendation among ancient spiritual scriptures. The heart chakra is a doorway to the higher self/soul if you put your energy there for an extended time.
You can also do heart-opening asanas such as the Sphinx pose which opens your chest, allowing you to feel the heart chakra in a receptive position. Camel pose deeply stretches the muscles of the chest. Cat pose softens and releases frequently tense muscles in the neck and back that make it difficult to open the heart.
Another heart-opening exercise is to volunteer at a place where those being cared for have less than you- so animal shelters, women’s centers, orphanages, trauma centers, rahability centers. You may find that you need some touch therapy like a massage or hands-on experience. Maybe you’ve identified some blocks and need external healing support like from reiki or cranial sacral therapist. These can help you rid the body of blocks and allow you access to the goodness waiting to be freed up or you that has been repressed.
Once you stop thinking with the brain and feeling with the heart you will find a different voice. A voice that cares for not just others but cares for you. It usually says something like, I want to do more. I want to help. How can I serve? And when the voice starts doing this, engage in a dialogue.
Stay open to feeling your way to who you are, and why you’re here, and how you can be the lifter of something heavy. It is best when you’ve had a heart-opening to be somewhere without distractions like technology or responsibilities. A beach or a stream where you can just feel and listen and communicate with the real you. The you that has been tired, or depressed, or weary, or overwhelmed, or stressed. That you are in there and waiting to be loved.
For me, it’s been a bit of a purification process of elimination. So, I limit my exposure to things that make me feel bad like media or toxic people for example. I’ll purify my habits, and spend time in nature, meditate, dance, and thankfully I have the gift of writing songs so I can express what is really there. But, early on I absolutely needed support in massages, reiki, Qi Gong, acupuncture, and going to a spiritual center. The further I got away from myself in various times, the more help I sought out to return to a place of pure honesty, and radical self-love.
So, these are things that have worked for us to find the self but keep in mind our methods worked for us, and we don’t want to limit your individual empowerment. This means that when you are finding the self, the practices that you use, and the philosophy that you adopt will be yours alone and it fuels you. It will give you certainty and then you’ll take action and gain momentum. We are purposely all slightly different and unique in our expression but at the same time, we carry a lot of similarities. If you don’t find your own way to identify who you are, then you are already disempowered and may give up before getting there. Without making decisions of your own volition, you are not giving yourself any power. So that is why we are going to give you suggestions as leaders in the self-love space, but the journey is yours. Surrender to the process and be willing to experiment.
What is self-love?:
Now that we’ve discussed what the self is, let’s discover what self-love is next. Self-love comprises four aspects: self-awareness, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-care. So if you’re not already confident in who you are, let’s pretend that now you know who the self is and you’re ready to love upon it. It, meaning you.
Let’s break down the four aspects of self-love: self-awareness, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-care.
- Self-care is all the acts we do to keep ourselves healthy
- Self-worth is the beliefs we have about ourselves, and often we struggle to believe in ourselves.
- Self-esteem results from self-worth. A high sense of self-worth results in high self-esteem.
- Self-awareness is being aware of your thought processes: your thoughts, how they affect your emotions, and how emotions cause you to act.
Self-love is the key to happiness. You’re literally setting yourself free when you give yourself radical acceptance and unconditional love. Self-love requires listening to your heart and following it wherever you choose to go. Because success is truly an inside game and so is fulfillment.
If you pause and tune into your being, you’ll want to be kinder to yourself, to that little person inside. And when you’re being kinder to yourself and embracing the person you’re becoming you will come alive with more courage and passion for your life. You will have certainty that your happiness is always reliant on learning how to love yourself and live joyfully with that little version of you inside. If you choose to love yourself unconditionally, then your happiness, success, abundance, wealth, and fulfillment is in your hands not in the hands of others who might not be loving themself, who might not be loving you the way you need to be loved or worse are abusive and operate from a taking position rather than a giving power.
But, if you don’t really love yourself, you can’t even guide someone else to your happy place. It’s like you have the dream house, but not the keys. As reminder scientists have calculated the odds of someone born with your exact DNA, on this planet, at this time and estimated the number to be 1 in 400 trillion. Your job is to find out how to love your 1 in 400 trillion self best and get to know that unique being that you are. As Suzy Kassem says, “stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.” If you look outside yourself and try to mimic happiness by being like someone you will miss the magic in being you. I like to pose this question sometimes to myself, who am I not to love myself? Your life is a gift so love every piece of it.
What Self-Love Is Not:
In our society we see people get so wrapped up in negative relationships and it’s easy to point the finger at the person that is acting out negatively but it’s always two parties, one person allowing or enabling bad behavior and one person acting out. “Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” – André Gide
We’ve been programmed to believe that loving yourself is conceited or selfish or stuck up, or “she thinks she’s better than me” and what this does is set us up to lower our vibration and meet people where they are. If someone wants you to feel bad about you, it’s because they feel bad about themselves. So, as we are programmed not to think good thoughts about ourselves, or we are witness to judgments, comparisons, and criticisms we then start doing that not only to ourselves but to everyone else. We do it in a way that then sets us up to be codependent on others’ approval. The fact is, you are as good or loved as you allow yourself to be. The ownership for how you love and how you are loved is always about you. It is always up to you. In the simplest terms, loving yourself makes you loveable. Let’s break down that word, love-able. If you love you nothing else really matters. You will attract people who love themselves too. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is how to say no and set boundaries. I grew up around caregivers and people pleasers and just societal programming to put other’s needs before my own. Which in my experience my parents were absolutely amazing and giving people but in watching them care for my two brothers with terminal diseases I saw that life is really about giving but you cannot give only to others. You have to as my daughter says from her Waldorf schooling “fill up your own cup” so that you can fill up others. For some reason, I didn’t process this, and I developed negative habits that wore me out and set me up for making others happy and saying yes when in my heart it was really a no. As a songwriter, I wrote so many sad songs about being in a bad place but it was because I didn’t think loving myself was an option because it would be a selfish act.
That’s a fun game. The reason we named the lifestyle company we own I Am Zuri is that Zuri means beautiful in Swahili and I Am is a powerful statement because whatever you place after it affirms that to the universe. It’s like making a wish to the universe.
Yeah, good thing my parents didn’t name me Jane. I Am Jane doesn’t have a double meaning. Thanks, Mom and Dad for giving me a powerful name.
Saying something positive is empowering but saying something negative is disempowering and detrimental to your inner self. So, resist saying things like I Am depressed, etc because that creates more of it in your life.
Self-love is not about engaging in destructive patterns of behavior and denying your unhealthy state. It has nothing to do with arrogance or narcissism and everything to do with becoming a healthy and integrated individual.
Many people are afraid of leaving a job they hate and pretend that they have to stay there to pay the bills. But nothing is worth having your energy drained and living like a zombie with no purpose or intention. What happens is that you are pretending to be someone you are not, which is the polar opposite of authenticity. The goal is to free up your time and energy. Most people have heavy stress from either energy vampires or from work they no longer align with. The best scenario, if at all possible, is to simply exit a toxic relationship or environment.
If you’re new to this you can identity self-loathing habits easily these come in many forms from self-medicating to self-criticism. Here are some destructive behaviors:
- Excessive Complaining
- Pity or victimhood
- Inferiority complexes
- Guilt feelings
- Oppressing or shaming others
So, now that you know what self-love and self-loathing is and you learned about the self, it’s time to do a little bit of the following before next week’s episode and that is:
- Get clear by getting quiet
- As you get quiet in nature, or meditation or purify
- Challenge yourself to do the journal prompts.
- Listen to our 100 empowerment incantations which will help you identify what resistance you have in your subconscious and what limiting beliefs come up for you.
- Get yourself embodying an incantation that says exactly who you are. Use our guidance in Episode 2 to write an empowerment incantation.
- Once you have your incantation go for a walk saying it out loud over and over again or jump on a trampoline or ride your bike saying it.
These exercises will supercharge you for next week’s loving show. If you’re pumped, take action now and create some momentum. We believe in you, we see you and we are honored to guide your self-love journey. Thanks for being our valentine this season! No go on, find out who the fuck you are and how you’re going to love your way through the love season!
We love you!
Part 2 is here!
Have we made you a glutton for self-love? There is no way we could cover the topic of self-love in just one episode. Oh no, you are much too lovely for that! So, The EmPOWERment Couple is dishing up a second helping of self-love. It’s time to fatten you up with the thickest, juiciest, and most delicious helping of self-love. It isn’t enough to learn what self-love is. Love is all about application. So, now is the time to look deeply into the mirror, and get intimate with your reflection. If you don’t love yourself, no one can love you.
In this second helping of self-love, you will:
- Fall in love with yourself again using an easy to follow step by step process
- Unlock the benefits of self-love
- Create the best daily self-love rituals
Mirror mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? The EmPOWERment Couple says, “you are!” You are an amazing collection of miracles whose sole purpose is to spread love. So unleash the love monster and let it love all over your mind and body.
So tell us, Pod fam, how did your meditating, journaling, moving and incantations go last week? If you didn’t listen to part one, get active and listen in to part one first. If you did listen and you’re really clear on who you are and what you want out of this life, let’s get into this!
We are going to go over the following in this episode:
- How to fall in love with yourself using our step by step process
- The Benefits of self-love
- The best daily self-love rituals
Here are the self-love steps to take to fall madly in love with you.
So the self-love steps would be similar to developing an intimate relationship:
- Step one: Get clear on who you are. If you don’t already know, then take time to journal your story, identity, and challenges. Dig deep and discover who you have been and who you want to be. This will help you create a version of yourself that you can fall in love with. If it’s helpful, name it so your mind can discern between the two.
- Step two: Date that person. Woo them, wow them, be adoring, and seize the day.
- Step three: Build trust. If you’re breaking promises to yourself, you’re setting yourself up for self-loathing. Be honest and keep your promises. “Each moment of self-honesty builds intimacy, trust, and compassion. The more you look, the more you’ll love.” – Vironika Tugaleva
- Step four: Fall in love. Madly, deeply, wildly, and this is the fun part.
- Step five: Take out the trash. Forgive yourself, do the shadow work and offload any old baggage.
- Step six: Have fun in the same way you’d build an intimate relationship. Only this time it’s with yourself and so it’s double the fun.
You have to love you and it’s a journey to figure out how you liked to be loved. First. Then magically you’ll love everyone. You’ll accept everyone where they are. You’ll have compassion, empathy, sweetness, a balance, certainty of life because you will have figured out how to live inside your own house and be fulfilled. You’ll be able to self-soothe and not rely on anyone else to make you happy.
As Charles Bukowski says, “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.”
The coolest part is you’ll be able to give someone else the manual for how you want to be loved and give them permission to go wild within your self-love boundaries. For example, Mikey knows I don’t respond well if he raises his voice or gets too close to my face when we are disagreeing. So that’s an example of a self-love boundary that he has been shown and respects not to cross. He also knows that when I’m out of habit that he has permission to help me by giving me a massage or some physical touch because it helps me get out of my head and back into my heart. Sometimes it’s a hug or sometimes he comes into my office gently and says, I set up the massage table and made you a bath, get in. That would be an example of him reminding me of my self-worth and how I treat myself when I am in habit and taking care of my inner Zuri. Find out what your fun list is for that child inside- I teach this in my upcoming habits course so stay tuned for that.
Benefits of self-love
We are going to list a few benefits but let’s be honest, we could list 100 benefits but the main one is if you want to be happy, you better love yourself.
- Sexual Chemistry
It has been said that everyone likes a confident partner and this is basically the same as saying, everyone wants to be made love to by someone that knows how to love. If you love yourself, you will become very attractive to a mate. And not just anyone, but a quality match. The other side of this is that you won’t feel guilt or shame for being a sexual being and getting sexually satisfied. Sexually repressed mates are no fun at all! Why deny yourself satisfaction? The best orgasms come from being free from any self-loathing hang-up. When you can just release all your womanly goddess on your man or vice versa.
- Less Stress
When we love ourselves, we are less likely to be trapped in situations we shouldn’t have said yes to so we are enjoying the ride more. We are not in self-denial due to a current situation or minor failures. We become less focused on the small stuff and more laser-focused on how we feel. When the heart opens, your body wants to go back to it. It’s orgasmic. And since you’ve listened to our sex medicine podcast you know how good orgasms are for your health. So, get that O!
- Stability and certainty
You will also have much more stability in your life as you will no longer depend on others for fulfillment. Your emotions and reactions will not be volatile and you will actually become detached (but not uncaring) from a lot of stuff that goes on in the world.
You won’t feel guilty for doing what you want to do. Put yourself first with vacations, massages, fun time, concerts, whatever makes you feel like a little kid. Build a sandcastle or fall in a pile of leaves, have a snow fight. We didn’t come to work, get fat, sick, and die, we came to enjoy the ride.
- Improved Relationships
“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” -Tony Robbins And my saying is, show me your relationship with yourself and I’ll show you your past, present, and future.
As we hinted earlier if you have a good love for self you will be lovable and all other relationships will improve. Start with you, just as they tell you on the airplane. Put the mask on you first so you can help your child.
Alexandra Elle has that great quote, “We can’t be so desperate for love that we forget where we can always find it; within.”
Here are 7 self-love rituals we recommend to empower that primary relationship:
- Practice gratitude! Start and end your day with loving thoughts of gratitude. The waking and sleeping hours are a prime time to master your thoughts and emotions. In the place between sleeping and waking, turn your thoughts to gratitude. These states are more powerful and set the tone for the rest of the day and the sleep you get each night. Put your hand on your heart and feel the gratitude as you think of each thing. This becomes extremely powerful for your self-love journey of you think of things that you like and are grateful about yourself. You can also do an exercise of thinking of things you’re grateful for and stacking them one on top of each other. That exercise comes from Tony Robbins and it often brings me to tears when I perform it because my heart overflows with gratitude.
- Practice courage! Each day I do one thing big, or that scares me or propels me forward. Often that means I have to fail at something or come up short. But, the more I do it, the more resilience I build and I’m no longer afraid of it. And if it takes me 365 days to achieve it or in some instances years then my courage muscles are fortified for the moment that the universe gives me the monumental thing I’m asking for. What I realize is that the more I achieve the bigger the goals become so build your courage muscles. When you’re courageous you get to then feel one of the best feelings which are pride but it’s for that little she-ro or hero inside of you. Use our bonus episode featuring 100 empowerment incantations to build up your courageous mindset.
- Move your body! We are not meant to be stagnant that’s why we have these beautiful fast, nimble, elaborate bodies. Science tells us that when we change our physiology our biochemistry changes and stimulates all the feel-good hormones. It’s as easy as taking a walk, doing yoga, or wrestling with your kid. Get your heart pumping so it fills you with love. Blood is not the only thing that pumps when you get physical. Loving feelings literally flood your body.
- Mirror work! The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, so pick a mirror and do some soul gazing. Saying I love you as you gaze in the mirror is challenging for most of us to start and really commit to as a daily practice. But, this is a powerful tool. When I started really refining my self-love relationship I learned a lot of techniques from Louise Hay who has excellent content on mirror work. We will link to her exercises, books, and youtube videos so you can dive into this important ritual. Now, I practice mirror work when I do my self-care in the morning. I usually put on some empowerment music and either sing along and do gua sha or listen to comedy so I can see how great I look when I’m laughing. This sounds weird but I don’t care. That’s the beauty of loving myself, I’m free from giving two fucks about anyone’s opinion. Remember, the main reason that you do not love yourself is that you cannot really see yourself due to a lack of perception. So look in the mirror and fall in love!
- Do The Work- This is one of the most important rituals and it cannot be said enough, do the work. You must figure out how to expand and grow daily and become increasingly more lovable. Sometimes the work is paying it forward or treating someone to something because you’re mastering generosity. Maybe you’re unraveling some trauma in your body. Fall in love with CANI which stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. If you’re still alive, there is much to learn and improve so be a vehicle for growth. The act of focusing your energy on daily growth emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and as we covered physically will fuel your love for self.
- Guarding Your Energy– What are you putting in your body, what are you listening to, what are you surrounding yourself with and what are you saying no to? Who do you need to reset boundaries with? Tuning into your energy and shifting towards alignment rather than imbalances and dis-ease. Jim Rohn has this quote that says “stand guard at the gates of your mind.” and I’d like to propose you stand guard at the gates of your energetic presence.
- Celebrate daily! This doesn’t mean get drunk or high or lose yourself in a pill. This means really celebrate by doing something you love, maybe it’s a hike, a dance break, a fun game with your kid, a bubble bath, or anything that lights you up. “Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.” – Amy Leigh Mercree
So now that you’re all filled up with knowledge on how to love yourself it’s time to take action. So, think of one thing you’re going to do right now! We are going to play talking mirror with you- It’s time to pick yourself up, dust off your crown, empower your life with love, and vibrate higher. Believe you deserve it and the universe will serve it. I deserve love, I serve love, and BOOM it comes back to me so massively. You were born in love and you are meant to feel love, radiate love, and be loved. Start with yourself today and set a new standard. I’m going to set one with you, I’m going to be more courageous and think bigger when I set my goals. Mike, you have an action you want to take right now?
Ok, go on and walk this planet, loving yourself and knowing who the fuck you are!