This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply – in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF. – Kamal Ravikant
Now that you know the song I’ve got on repeat, you might as well know the audiobook I’ve got on repeat as well. It’s Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. It came highly recommended by my naturopathic doctor. She said that the strategies he suggests for rewiring your thinking are in line with neuroscience about forming new positive pathways in our thinking.
My doctor described our ingrained thinking patterns, which are often highly negative, as a superhighway. Many of those thoughts are from our earliest memories and experiences and were created out of fear and lack. We’ve practiced them so often that they are automatic and unconscious. Rewiring those thoughts requires us to walk down a new pathway, and we all know what it’s like to walk down uncharted paths. The way isn’t always clear, there are sometimes obstacles, and it can feel like a lot of work to make any progress.
How to Clear the Path
Of course, the more you walk down that pathway, you begin to create a clearing. The way is more clear, the obstacles get removed, and it becomes familiar. That’s exactly what we need to do when we decide we are ready to stop the negative chatter in our heads and replace it with something affirming and positive. As we retire those old thoughts and rewire new ones, our thoughts begin to alter our actions and habits and unlimited possibilities begin to emerge in places we never knew existed.
It’s not a new concept for me, and perhaps not for you either. The thing that compelled me about this book was that my doctor said he has a very simple and clear strategy for clearing the way for that new path.
I immediately downloaded it the night she recommended it and have probably listened to the entire book three times at this point. The book was originally self-published years ago, but was recently updated and released through a traditional publisher.
It is set up in three distinct sections:
1. The Vow
2. The Manual
3. The Lesson
The manual is one of the sections I listen to again and again because it goes into the exact steps he used and still uses to retrain his mind to love himself and live from that place of love.
The Four Practices
He suggests 4 strategies or practices:
Practice 1: Mental Loop
Practice 2: Meditation
Practice 3: Mirror
Practice 4: Question
In the manual, he goes through details about how he keeps the practice every day and also suggests choosing one of the practices as a daily non-negotiable. For him, it’s the Meditation. For me, it’s the Mental Loop.
The Mental Loop is the first practice so that’s where I started. It’s quick and easy and helps to quiet any other brain chatter that might be trying to derail me and drag me down into mental rabbit holes.
It’s a simple practice of repeating “I love myself” on a loop in your mind. You can say it out loud, you can sing it, you can whisper it, or you can just rehearse it again and in your mind. Try it. It takes very little effort.
Our minds are constantly thinking thoughts, and from the research an incredibly high percentage of them are not new and they are negative. Some are downright hostile and cruel. They serve no purpose but to bring us down in mind, body and spirit.
So why not switch that up? Give the mind something to chatter on about. I love myself, I love myself, I love myself. It’s easy to remember. Doesn’t matter whether or not you believe it. Just repeat it. Any time you feel yourself ruminating on thoughts that are not serving you, start it again.
The Worst That Could Happen
Did you try it? Relatively harmless right? What’s the worst it could do? You end up not saying to yourself that you are fat, ugly, stupid, failing at life and don’t know why you did or said that thing you just did or said. I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.
At first it might feel awkward or uncomfortable. Your mind might talk back and say, no you don’t. Or it might get even more cruel and tell you that you are not loveable. Or perhaps it will get creative and ask you questions, like “How could you possibly love yourself after ___________.” Insert whatever thing you have done or said that you regret and perhaps feel some shame about. Leave it to your mind to bring that up at the most unkind and unhelpful moment.
Don’t respond. Don’t engage. Don’t pay attention. Just keep repeating the mantra. I love myself, I love myself, I love myself. Shout it if you have to so you can drown out the other thoughts.
Are you saying it to yourself? Let’s say it together. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. And for the record, if no one has told you today, I love you! Truly, I do. Here you are in your own private space, taking time out of your day or night to read about how to develop your mind. What is more loveable?
Feel any better? Yes? Fantastic. No? Fantastic. Doesn’t matter how you feel. This is about developing a practice, a mental practice that is positive, affirming and uplifting. Maybe you feel like you do affirm and love yourself often. That’s amazing. I’d love to hear your strategies and tips for nurturing that kind of self-love and self-compassion.
For me, I’ll just be over here talking to myself. Or talking to the moon. Rest assured what I am saying are words of kindness and compassion, because what you focus on expands. Who doesn’t need a more expanded awareness and sense of love in their life?