Embracing Self-Love

My Key to Kindness Towards Others
a woman hugging herself warmly

February is the month of love.

It is definitely the month of love for me since it’s my son’s birthday and my birthday too! When you throw in Valentine’s Day, love is everywhere for me.

As much as I strive to show my son loving-kindness as his mom, I've learned the crucial importance of first practicing loving-kindness towards myself.

My exploration into self-love has shown me that by nurturing compassion within, I can more naturally extend it to those around me.

Let me share with you how nurturing self-love has transformed my ability to connect with others.

My Experience with Self-Love

For me, loving-kindness, or “Metta,” starts with accepting and loving myself, embracing my flaws and strengths alike.

I've found that this isn't about being self-indulgent but about recognizing my worth and humanity.

When I am kind to myself, I create a foundation of love and compassion that effortlessly spills over to others.

Mindfulness: My Foundation for Self-Love

My self-love journey began with mindfulness.

Being fully present and accepting of my thoughts and feelings without judgment helped me observe and gently shift my self-critical thoughts to more nurturing ones.

It wasn’t always easy. When I made a mistake or acted in a way that didn’t honor myself, being fully present was a challenge.

Non-judgment is key to building a strong foundation in love.

Practicing Metta Meditation

Metta meditation has been a transformative tool for me. In a quiet space, I close my eyes and focus on sending love and kindness.

I use phrases like “May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe, may I live with peace and ease.”

I extend these wishes to others, feeling the warmth of this practice grow.

You may want to try this practice.

Journaling: A Path to Self-Discovery

Journaling serves as my reflective ally.

I typically read articles or do a meditation and then write about what it means to me. I reflect on my successes, challenges, and feelings about the topic and this helps me celebrate my strengths. It also helps me approach my weaknesses with compassion.

This practice deepens my understanding, acceptance, and focus on honoring the highest form of who I am with loving-kindness.

How Yoga Strengthens My Self-Love

Yoga connects me to my body, teaching me to appreciate its strength. This physical connection reinforces my mental and emotional well-being, bolstering my feelings of self-love.

Life hasn’t always been easy, yet I’m able to honor both challenging emotions and comforting ones.

I learn through yoga to be less rigid in my expectations of myself and more flexible to being open to possibilities I never considered before.

Setting Boundaries as an Act of Self-Love

I've learned that loving myself means setting healthy boundaries.

Recognizing what drains and replenishes my energy leads me to have a choice in what I do or don’t do. I’ve learned to say no to harmful situations and yes to nurturing ones.

This leads to relationships with others that also serves to build strong and satisfying connections.

The Ripple Effect: Sharing Love with Others

Filled with self-love, extending kindness to others has become a natural extension of my being.

I find myself empathizing more, listening better, and being more present in my interactions. I can be authentic in a way I couldn’t be before.

Celebrating My Progress

In my journey, I remind myself that it’s about progress, not perfection.

Every step and moment of self-kindness is a victory, a part of a continuous process.

Knowing I am a work in progress helps me understand that all beings are works in progress. This naturally leads to more loving-kindness.

My practice of loving-kindness towards myself is the foundation for extending genuine compassion to others. Through mindfulness, Metta meditation, journaling, yoga, setting boundaries, and celebrating every small step, I’ve cultivated a deep love for myself.

This self-love has become the source from which my kindness towards others flows, enriching not just my life but also the lives of those I touch.

I encourage you to embark on this journey and witness the profound impact it can have on your life and the world around you.


Alyson Phelan

Alyson Phelan founded Present Moment Mindfulness and Yoga to transform lives.

She teaches science-based mindfulness solutions to individuals and organizations. She holds various degrees and certifications that support her work in the community to help build practical, accessible, and sustainable methods that work.

She is a Certified Yoga Teacher, Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, and Trauma Responsive Care Certified. Visit her blog or try an online class.