It’s all about mirrors in the second chapter in Cheryl Richardson’s book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care. Learning how to love yourself, which is not always the easiest thing to do. Instead, we tend to shoot ourselves down with horrible self-talk. I’m lazy, I’m ugly, I can’t write or love or find happiness or…We need to learn to stop that and start loving ourselves. Are you ready to love you?
The practice for this month seems so easy. But it’s actually very difficult. It’s time to look yourself in the mirror and say, I love you. Yes. To yourself. Look yourself in the eyes and say it.
It will feel awkward. But that’s ok. In the attached calendar I only have you doing it once on the first day of the month, but you’ll notice that on Sundays I have it listed in increments of 10. And on the last day of the month, you need to look yourself in the mirror and keep repeating it until you believe it. I don’t have it listed every day, but I want you to practice it every day. In fact, anytime you find yourself looking in a mirror, then say, I love you. But you need to look yourself in the eyes, look into your soul and say it.
It’s going to be so hard at first because we need practice at loving ourselves. You might notice your flaws when you first start doing it. Those wrinkles or anything you don’t like about the way you look. But keep going. In The Art of Extreme Self-Care, Cheryl Richardson talks about going through all of those thoughts herself. Even a Life Coach like Cheryl Richardson found this practice awkward, so you know you will too. But practice it anyway. Eventually, Cheryl was able to move past her looks and after a week noticed that the critical thoughts were fading into the background as she connected with her soul.
You’ll notice that the calendar doesn’t just include saying I love you each day, although you should practice it each day. But I also filled the calendar with other things that will hopefully teach you to continue loving yourself. They include things like buying yourself flowers on Valentine’s Day, making a list of what you like about yourself, writing a thank you note to you, and even wearing that outfit that you’ve been saving for a special day.
That last one is something that I think is important for us to do. Don’t save the perfect dress or the perfect table setting for “someday.” It might not come. I remember reading a story of a man who was going through his wife’s things after she died and he found the outfit that she was saving for a “special day.” He knew that she never meant it to be the clothing that she’d be wearing to her grave, but that’s exactly what it became. He truly regretted that she never thought herself special enough to wear the outfit while she was living.
That story stayed with me. Especially because I read it as my first marriage was falling apart and I noticed it was something that I was doing. When I got married to my first husband we received a special gift of Irish linen from friends of my parents. When I got divorced, I realized that I only used that set of linen once in the 15 years we were together. Once. It made me sad to realize that only once in 15 years did I think any dinner was special enough to use the linen. I looked around and saw other things that I kept saving for special events and knew that I was going to change that pattern.
My husband and I use the “good” silver to eat from each day. We use the plates that my mother only brought out at Thanksgiving and Easter. And I drink my wine from the fancy crystal goblets that I got for my first wedding. Why? Because I’m worth it.
The best way to use the calendar is to read all of the items first. Find out where you might need to make plans in advance like getting decorations ready or making appointments. Below is the calendar and here is a link to the February Calendar of Love.
And a Pin to save this for later.