"I love and approve of myself. Say it every day, about 400 times a day. No, it's not too many times"
So writes Louise Hay in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. The first time I read it, I felt as though all the fear I'd ever known rise up inside of me.
It seemed such a wonderful idea yet extremely dangerous - filled with possibilities to become arrogantly selfish and self-centred. I thought I would become a person who didn't think about others and everyone would despise me.
That didn't happen.
The reality is many people, men and women, have very little sense of self.
They have been taught, or abused to the extent that they believe or live in fear that they must put others first, and that they must consider their own needs, wishes and desires last, or not at all.
We thrive with balance: considering BOTH the needs of others and our own to live successfully.
Giving and receiving creates the flow in life - we feel that truth in nature - in our bodies, our breath, our bank accounts and our relationships.
So many of us are out of balance.
Receiving from ourselves is an alien concept, which is why when we are frustrated, powerless, coiled up with anger and suffering that results we need to reclaim our own love for ourselves through our thoughts, words and deeds. Self-talk can be the easiest one to forget.
When I began to (secretly - I was afraid to trust such an 'outrageous' idea) start using this practice for myself, rather than become too selfish, I found that it opened up possibilities for me.
Whilst before I would rant and rave at situations and circumstances I would find myself in (because I thought I 'had to') I realised that approving of my own decisions allowed me to give MORE to others.
Approving of my decisions - even though I can't say they were always the best decisions! - allowed me to stop judging myself on what I 'should' have done, but what I COULD do in the next scenario.
It made for a more gentle learning process, and opened up new possibilities and insight. I shifted from becoming hyper-aware of all possible actions being judged to realising that life is an experience and we enhance our experience through learning.
How easy do you find it to look in the mirror and say 'I love you'? Or approve of every single decision you make?
I have limited places opening up in April for one to one coaching to support you around developing such a deep, trusting confidence in yourself that saying 'I love you' to the mirror is a breeze.