2 Steps to Reclaiming Your Self-Love

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Self-love. It’s an allusive thing. Some days we think we have it, confident we’ll never turn back. We wake up feeling great, throw on our favorite jeans or sundress and just know that we are amazing. Other days, it doesn’t matter what we do, that feeling of joy and confidence in ourselves slips straight through our fingers.

This time of year, those moments of self-love can feel especially allusive as we watch the couples everywhere snuggle up for Valentine’s Day dates and dinners. It feels like everyone and everything around us is saying, “You aren’t part of a pair. You aren’t worthy of love.”

That makes this the perfect time of year to call B.S. on the idea that we need to be part of a couple to be truly loved. Why? Because you can’t give away what you can’t give yourself. It doesn’t take a life partner to teach you how to give unconditional love. It doesn’t take forgiving your parents for their mistakes to know forgiveness. You have to start with your own complicated, damaged, unapologetically beautiful self.

1. Start practicing unconditional love for your Self (and yes, that includes your cellulite, your social awkwardness, your terrible form in warrior III, all of it), and suddenly it will become easier to accept other people as they are.

2. Look back at your own life mistakes, your own moments of weakness and realize that you were only doing the best that you could, just like the rest of us. Soften towards yourself, and you’ll realize that you don’t feel such a hard grudge towards others that have hurt you or done you wrong.

These are the first steps back to reclaiming our self-love. Practice this and you’ll find that the mornings you wake up feeling wonderful and confident will start to outweigh the mornings of doubt and self-criticism.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that with this practice we’ll never have moments of doubt and fear. The point is to see those moments and realize they’re temporary and necessary.  Those moments of doubt are critical. They keep us balanced. They give us the space to step back and say: “What can I be doing better here?” “What am I allowing to affect me more than it should?” “Where can I show up more fully?” Or, “Am I really living with as much compassion as possible?”

My challenge to you this Valentine’s Day is to accept the challenge the world is giving you. Shift the perspective back to yourself. Keep these two practices in your pocket and ask yourself out on a date. Treat yourself to a spa day without waiting for someone else to gift it to you. Allow yourself the space the take the day off and do that one thing you love, that makes you feel so immensely alive, but that you’re always too busy to do.

Don’t wait for permission to love yourself as well as you would love that dream guy. Start now. Do it today. Permission given.

Finding Truth and Releasing Fear


I was sitting in a tepee, a strangely new tepee made with cream canvas and PVC joints. My floor was foam pads and a faux bearskin. I was supposed to be meditating, but all I could think of was how this felt nothing like I had dreamed in my childhood.

In my head, words passed through: “Find your seat, find your breath.” I took one more look at the brand-new canvas in front of me and vowed to release my judgment and open my mind. I could hear my teacher and teachers past reminding me that the things we hold in our life are nothing more than the intention brought to them. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and intended: Mother Earth’s womb.

It is a funny thing, walking into our own self-awareness. In theory, it is something we all want—to be more connected, to know more about our selves and why we are the way we are. When we have a moment of coming into our selves, of seeing a piece of our true nature, it can be a magical and rejuvenating experience.

The space within a tepee is powerful. It is perfectly balanced, leaving no room for extremes or lies. Whatever you feel will bounce around in the space until you’ve felt all sides of it and come to the center of that truth. But truth can be difficult. For me, it brought fears and regrets, memories of moments, and people I didn’t even know I had forgotten.

I felt myself swing from giddy elation to sobbing in a matter of seconds.

Eventually, my teacher came out and joined me. I felt numb and overwhelmed. Something had been tapped. All I could do was sit in my numbness and listen.

That night, as I arrived home, I couldn’t go in. Instead, I walked out to the riverbank and stood under the stars. The light of the stars glistened on the mud. I pulled my scarf closer and sobbed a hysterical, breath-stealing sob that is usually reserved only for moments in childhood or mourning. The fear and sadness came pouring out and seemed to melt down into the sand.

They say that if you meditate inside a tepee, anything is possible. The lack of corners brings new energies to light, taking away all the darkness within which they would usually hide.

It was days later, as I sat on my apartment floor, staring at the brick wall, that I realized the change. A deep sorrow and fear were gone. In that tepee, I had found them, stared them in the face, and, by doing so, let them go. I found my truth and my fear. That fear I had carried for so long was suddenly in my hands. Under that clear winter sky, it was released. I walked away lighter and ready for more.

– This piece originally appeared in Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine. See more at: http://mantramag.com/renee-lamb-finding-truth-and-releasing-fear/