self love

Self love: Rituals to nourish love, care and compassion

Journey to self love

After leaving a very violent and abusive relationship, I had so little self love that I couldn’t recognise love at all. I couldn’t appreciate the love of my friends. I couldn’t nurture the love I received from the young beautiful man I was dating at the time. I couldn’t see the love I was expressing in my passion – in my cooking, in my dancing, in my relationships. I would always dismiss any compliment addressed to me. I would never allow myself to receive care from other people without feeling unsafe, and wary. It was difficult for me to trust new friends, to trust lovers, and of course to trust myself. 

I was perpetually unsatisfied, which was a drive to continue achieving more, running after an ideal perfection. I was doing a lot. But, actually, I was stuck in darkness.

One night, the beautiful man I was dating asked, “Maud, do you tell yourself ‘I love you’?” I laughed. Did I? Of course not. I told him, “Wouldn’t that be a little arrogant?” He explained to me his practice of self-love, and why it was important for him to care for and appreciate himself. He made me promise to try. I agreed, without much conviction. A few days later, he checked on me, “Have you tried? How does it feel?”. I said, embarrassed, “Hmm yes, a few times. I don’t really think it’s… my thing…I don’t feel it.” And he added, “Continue until you start to believe what you say.” So I did. I tried. I didn’t believe what I said. I stopped. I went back to it.

That was three years ago.

And last month, I did it! I said “I love you” to myself, out loud in my bed room, curled up on the bed. And my heart felt it. I got it.

I am grateful to this beautiful soul for leading the way, for encouraging me to nourish myself with self love.

One of the main practices I’ve integrated into my own life in order to really feel this message of self love is ritual. It has given me greater appreciation for my gifts, clearer understanding of my challenges and helped me be happier and more successful. It also made me a better friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and lover. Try these rituals for self love to cultivate the feeling within yourself.

Rituals for self love

Offer yourself flowers

I go to the bush and pick flowers, or I choose blooms in the shop and compose a bouquet with scents, colours and textures. I admire, and smell the posy at home – a delight.

Eye gaze

Looking in the mirror, into the depth of my own eyes, I gaze with love, compassion, friendliness. I sometimes say a few nice words, like “you are learning”, “it’s okay to feel that way”.

Use the mantra: “Darling, I am here for you.”

I am no longer waiting for anyone to ‘save’ me from my despair, but nonetheless allowing myself to feel supported.

Write a love letter

I have written a few letters of appreciation, like I would write to a friend or to my parents. In these letters, I allow myself to feel proud of my achievements.

Offer yourself a gift

A note-book, a new ensemble of lingerie, a book. Something that says ‘thank you’ and also allows self-appreciation.

Solo love-making

Finding time to connect with my desires, to feel sensual, to appreciate my body and explore pleasure.

Self-love isn’t arrogance – it is the most valuable gift you can offer your friends, partner, children…because if you receive love from yourself, you are able to give love selflessly around you.

About the author:

self love

Maud Leger shares her passion for Yoga to allow people to feel connected to their essence.

Maud believes in a continuous and holistic practice that incorporates, embodiedmovement (Asanas), meditation, breath (Pranayama), Ayurveda (ancient holistic medicine, encompassing Nutrition, Mind and Lifestyle) and self-enquiry (Svadhyaya).

Originally from France Maud is based in Melbourne, you can find her at Power Living Fitzroy, Gertrude Street Yoga, Kindred Movement, Westside Yoga. She also teaches workshops, events as well as corporate and private classes. Maud writes about Yoga off the mat, and shares healthy and delicious recipes on her website:

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