February is the month of Black History and Love. If you’re a Black woman like me, it’s a great month to celebrate Black Self-Love! And, if you’re not, I still encourage you to come along for the ride! Who doesn’t need more self-love?
So, how do you cultivate self-love when you are part of, not one, but two marginalized communities? Last year, in my blog, Confidence to Dream, I noted: “Both comfort and struggle can create inertia.” When life seems great, complacency can sneak up on you. On the flip side, when you’re constantly riding the “struggle bus,” you can get so busy chasing your next rent or mortgage payment that you lose sight of your talents and dreams.
The good news is that you can infuse your life with self-love, creativity, passion, and purpose without quitting your day job or missing a beat. And, if you do decide to venture down a different road, optimizing your talents and refining your passions can put you on a heart-centered path to your dream career!
Here are my 10 tips to turn on your creative juices, cultivate self-love, and lead you to your sweetest, most delicious life yet. Don’t worry about implementing all 10 at once, just find a few that you can start today. Enjoy!
- Make time for rest. – Getting appropriate sleep and learning to rest without guilt is a gamechanger. Rest heals the parasympathetic nervous system, reduces stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, reduces chronic pain, strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves the immune system, and elevates your mood.
- Figure out what you like. – Think back to your childhood. What did you enjoy most? Was it fixing things, playing sports, telling jokes, drawing, reading, singing, writing? Take some time to remember what set your little-kid soul on fire and think about how you can incorporate forgotten pleasures into your current life.
- Practice daily self-nurturing. – Pause throughout your day and ask yourself, “What can I do that’s most loving for myself in this moment?” It might be activities you loved in childhood or simple acts like reading for pleasure, listening to music, making a cup of tea, calling a friend, or taking a nap. When we love someone we nurture them. Learn to make nurturing yourself a habit.
- Empower yourself through self-talk. – Make a commitment to ONLY speak to yourself as if you were speaking to someone you love. So, that little voice in your head must be both kind and empowering as if you were speaking to your lover, your baby, or your puppy. If you get really good at this, you may find yourself using pet names in your head like “sweetie” or “honey.” That’s when you’re really rocking your self-love self-talk!
- Get still and listen. – Some of your biggest aha! moments will happen when you take the time to get still. Journaling and meditation are two of my favorite techniques. My inspirational journal, 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness offers journaling, meditation, and visualization exercises, and has been endorsed by Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, and Iyanla Vanzant. It’s a great place to start.
- Uncover your superpowers. – Your superpowers are the things you LOVE to do that you do very well. You may love to sing but if you’re not really good at it, it’s not a superpower. What do people ask for your help with? Your superpowers could be throwing a party, cooking a delicious meal, facilitating a group, or being a great friend. Just remember the two components. If you’re really good at playing golf but you don’t enjoy it, it’s not a superpower. And you can still get better at your superpowers. For example, you might be a great cook and you love it. You can still hone your skills and get better and better at the execution of your superpower. The great news is that because you LOVE it, putting in the effort will be fun and exciting!
- Find out what you care about. – Besides your family, what are you passionate about? These might be charitable causes or strong values. I’m passionate about social justice, women’s empowerment, and animal liberation. Knowing what you care about gives your life more purpose and makes decision-making easier. So, what do you care most about?
- Practice visualization. – Visualization exercises force your mind to create new images and sensations that will attract desired outcomes to you. 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness offers 12 visualization exercises. Yoga Nidra also called “yogic sleep” is another powerful visualization practice. Some meditations include visualization as well. As children, “daydreaming” came naturally, as adults this practice of visualization requires a bit of effort.
- Take action. Whatever you decide, make a commitment this February to deepen your self-love. I’ve given you lots of ways to move you along the path. If you want additional motivation and would like to work directly with me, you can join my Mind-Blowing Happiness Circle HERE. Use code FOUNDER50 for 50% off. You can learn about my 1-on-1 Coaching Program HERE. My Passion Quest Mind-Body-Soul Refresh group coaching program begins February 10. Learn more HERE.
- Flex your superpower. – Combine your superpower with something you care about to let it loose into the world! If you love to tell jokes and care about the elderly, why not volunteer for a comedy luncheon at your local nursing home? If you love to sing and care about children, why not sing for a children’s charity? If you love to sketch and care about dogs, why not offer to draw dog portraits to help a local rescue advertise? You get the idea. Once you know your superpower, it’s time to fly your cape for all to see!
If this blog inspires you to reach higher levels of self-love, gives you an aha! moment, or helps you flex your superpower, I want to know. I hope you make the most of this Black Self-Love Month!
I wish you passion, purpose, and the realization of your fullest potential!
P.S. Credit for this beautiful photo belongs to DeAndre Bush from Unsplash. Use code JANREFRESH for $100 off Passion Quest Mind-Body-Soul Refresh. We start on February 10th, so don’t wait to get all the details at https://passionquestcoaching.com