I am real about what's real
I don't compare my everyday life to someone else's pristine highlights. Filters and Photoshop are not a reflection of my reality or anyone else's. I vow to always enjoy the aesthetics, the frivolity and the fantasy without losing my sense of perspective. I vow to discern the holy difference between someone's artfully curated Instagram account and who they actually are. Social media is lots of fun but not to be taken too seriously. I will never club myself over the head using the blunt instrument of someone else's 'perfect' body, house or anything else, nor will I think less of my reflection just because it doesn't have a filter on it.
I challenge self-loathing wherever I find it
I speak out against it. I tackle it lovingly on a case-by-case basis. I help other people realise when they're falling head-first into it. I don't stay silent when someone bullies themselves in my presence. I speak up and speak out with warmth and compassion when someone says they hate their thighs or their art isn't good enough or they're not capable of their career ambition or they wish they could be anyone else but themselves. I witness the many casual ways in which self-loathing has become accepted and overlooked and, in my presence at least, it will not be treated as though it's par for the course.
I fine-tune my self-talk every day
I don't shit-talk myself. When I accidentally do shit-talk myself, the last thing I do is shit-talk myself for it. That would totally defeat the object. I am with myself, I am leaning in and listening to myself and I am compassionately and sweetly correcting myself so that I am my constant ally. The task is tough but I've got it in hand.
I create space for my desires
I create space to discover what they are, space to nurture and encourage them and space to let them have the run of the place within me. I respect my desires. I give myself permission to incubate them and kiss their perfect foreheads. I give myself permission to walk them across the vast expanse of my psyche and out through the door into the tangible world. I have fun wanting what I want. What else?
I immerse myself in words and pictures of power
I consistently seek inspiration. I update the database inside my mind daily. I love to find the things that switch me on and plug me in and remind me of just how damn holy I really am when all said and done. I connect to the art which connects me to the beauty of what it means to be me. I create whole Bibles full of quotations and inspirations which instantly bring me closer to the acts of loving and discovering myself. This is not an optional extra. It is absolutely part of the great work and I don't skip it.
I call myself out
I do not shy away from delivering mighty throwdowns when the time calls for it. I do not accept my own BS and I do not perpetuate the little shitty stories that keep me under. I interrogate my own narrative until it falls apart under questioning. I know when to jump the BS carousel. I am not afraid to give myself that all-important real talk. I get crystal clear on whereabouts I'm shirking my work, blame-gaming or avoiding my own accountability. I soon put a stop to that poppycock because I'm better than that.
I date myself
I arrange quality time to be with me. I ask myself questions and delight in the answers. I find out what interests me and then write it down. I enjoy my own responses, thoughts, opinions, curiosities and musings. I hold my own hand in this life. I enjoy my own company.
I set my vibration and intention every morning
I connect with myself before I connect with Facebook. I set my dial to where I want it to be. I decide what I'm aiming for and what I want to experience. I give myself the gift of living consciously. I don't surrender to other people's agendas. I am a powerful co-creator, a sculptor of my reality, and my tool of choice is self-love.
I don't fight fire with fire
My bad habits, negative cycles and repeating mistakes are not excuses to hurt myself or bitch myself out. They are not signs that I don't deserve self-love; they are signs that self-love is absolutely needed. If I engage in an act, entertain a thought or make a choice which does not reflect self-love, I see this as the alarm bell which calls me to nurture, support, bolster and encourage myself.
I follow the compass
When I reach a crossroads or I find myself profoundly lost, self-love is my compass. I go in the direction of self-love. If I find myself wanting to go in the opposite direction, I ask myself why. I make sure I give at least three good reasons for doing something which is not self-loving before I do it. It never gets to that stage. I can never come up with three good reasons. That's how I know I'm on the right track.
If you're reading this, I honour you as a fellow traveler and I invite you to write your own manifesto or feel free to use this one if it speaks to you. Let's make self-love into a little bit less of a nebulous concept and more of a tangible, actionable philosophy which entwines seamlessly with the choices we make and the people we are.
Please share this with someone who may need to read it