A Year of Self-Love
Doing things you love
To truly transform every aspect of our lives, we first need to cultivate a deep sense of self-love. Transform the relationship with ourselves first, and then allow that powerful shift within ourselves to help us with the outer changes we want to make. Connected relationships, fulfilling careers, exciting lifestyles… all of these external wants and wishes are more meaningful, and more sustainable, when we feel good on the inside. Self-love is not selfish; in fact it is a selfless act. The more we fill ourselves up, the more we have to give to others.
We’ve explored many different aspects of self-love so far in this series, and this month is all about tapping into our joy. That is, the link between self-love, and doing things we love.
Doing things we love is about actively bringing more joy into our lives. And when we do this, we feel good from the inside out.
Finding your joy sounds simple enough. But how often do you actually do it?
Having fun purely for the sake of fun itself. Things that have nothing to do with your work, no financial gain, or other long-term effect. Fun just because.
For many adults, fun purely for fun itself is a foreign concept because we rarely do it. We don’t give ourselves this important time that we often did when we were children.
So if it’s hard for you, try tapping into your childlike nature.
The curiosity you had as a child. The you that wanted to just explore and see what you could find.
This level of curious joy transforms the way we feel. Our days are more exciting when we do things that make us feel good. This shifts the way we feel about ourselves, and hence our lives.
By choosing to do things we love, we are declaring that we are important enough to make our joy a priority.
If you find that you’re not doing enough things you love, you can start small. It doesn’t have to mean a drastic change of job or life situation. There are easier, smaller ways to bring more joy and love into each day.
So ask yourself:
What hobbies did you used to do as a child/ teenager/young adult that you decided you no longer have time for?
What do you sometimes want to do more of, but it gets pushed down on your list because the more serious stuff comes first? Write a list of all the things you love doing.
Things that make you feel good.
And once you have this list (and they can be absolutely anything – it’s your list after all), schedule them into your diary. At least one a week at a minimum. Make them a non-negotiable commitment, like a meeting you’d schedule with someone else.
You wouldn’t cancel an important meeting, so start to see doing things you love as just as important. For you, your wellbeing and your life. Make your joy a non-negotiable.
Sabi Kerr is a yoga teacher and life coach. It’s her passion to support people in developing deep levels of self-love, so that they can move forwards and create their fullest lives (sabikerr.com)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.