Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 37

Health & Wellness

On my journey , I met entrepreneurs — a totally new species for me . And I learned many things about business , all at once . It was scary not to have my safety nets from my previous professional life anymore . Without them , I felt like I was learning to fly after diving off a cliff , without any clear idea where I was going , how I would land , or who would catch me if I fell .
So I decided to ground myself by connecting back with my sole and soul purpose : My purpose on this Earth is to empower others and help them create the lives they crave .
I then made career changes to align with my purpose — first as a life coach and later as a motivational speaker and public speaking coach . I came back into the service of others , which helped me immensely .
But that wasn ’ t all it took to regain my happiness : I still had some work to do in the area of self-love .
THE HEART ’ S RUCKSACK
Do you love yourself ?
It ’ s not an easy question to answer . But it is this question , I discovered , that I would have to address to give myself a chance for happiness in “ normal life .” It is a question I asked the people I coached , and it ’ s a question that I had to answer as I worked with my own life coach , too .
Many of us , I learned , carry a rucksack on our hearts — and it ’ s heavy . How can you tell if you ’ re lugging one around ? If you are , you might be very self-critical . You may encounter challenges in self-esteem , or perhaps a lack of confidence when you speak . You might look at others and think : Look at them . They ’ re better off than me . All this negative thinking , which many of us are familiar with , comes from not loving yourself .
I know from experience that the heart is strong and can give to others , even when this rucksack brings us down . But when we lift this heaviness and create more lightness , the heart is freer to give . And when the heart is freer and lighter , the love we give to others around us enters another dimension — one that is purer , brighter and that flows easily , like river water .
SELF-LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS
The dynamics of romantic relationships show us another way that lack of self-love can manifest :
When you are in the early stages of love , your sweetheart will flood you with compliments and words of affirmation . Everyone enjoys this stage because it feels so supportive and so good . But it ’ s only natural that , as you exit the passion phase and enter a long-term relationship , the compliments your beloved one gives you will decrease . This slowdown will leave gaps that can reveal a weakness in self-love , if such weakness exists .
If you ’ re low on self-love , you might start feeling uncomfortable and anxious . You might wonder why your beloved is not showering you with the loving words you ’ d grown accustomed to — and even dependent on .
You may then begin to complain or become critical of your partner . You might start to see all of this person ’ s defects under a magnifying glass all of a sudden . At this stage , there will be tension that can lead to arguing or even a break-up .
If you find yourself expecting and wanting compliments or assurance from others , this is a sign that you should check yourself for self-love .
Wouldn ’ t it be wonderful to be able to enter the natural and expected cooler phase of your relationship or to enter a new kind of lifestyle — whether it is brought on by a career change , the loss of a loved one , or a move to a new country — without panic and insecurity ?
You can do this by depending on yourself for some of these positive words and love that you need . “ All we need is love ,” they say , and perhaps that ’ s true — but remember that some of that love should first come from you .
Self-love is a continual process — a difficult one , too . But , once you learn to maintain this important life skill , you ’ ll become more resilient . From a place of selflove , with a lightened load on your heart , you ’ ll be able to live with less worry and give your love to others more freely .
SELF-LOVE TIPS
These are some simple techniques that work for me when I need to reconnect to loving myself that you can try , too .
¬ ¬ The first moment in the morning , when I am in the bathroom and my eyes meet the mirror , I make a conscious choice not to criticize any frizzy hair , heavy eyes or wrinkled skin . Instead , I compliment myself with a big smile and lots of love .
¬ ¬ After key professional activities or simply at the end of the day , I reflect on what I gave or what I tried to do , and I think about whether I have succeeded or failed . I reflect on the qualities I displayed to accomplish what I did that day , and I take note of the heart and intention I put into my work and my family .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amelie Yan-Gouiffes ’ s job and passion is inner diamond mining . She is a motivational speaker and public speaking coach who empowers people to uncover their inner diamonds and unleash their full potential through her “ Be and Become ®” programs . To learn more about personal and professional development through public speaking , contact Amelie on www . facebook . com / beandbecome and on her Public Chat www . viber . com / beandbecome .
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