Fill Up Your Cup

Cultivating Self-LoveWhen we focus on filling our own cup, nurturing ourselves regularly, we are more adaptable and joyful. From that space of empowerment, we can be open to sharing our love and nurturing with those in our community. Self-love is arguably the most basic form of love, the obvious place to start. It brings us joy and pleasure, which puts us in tune with the natural flow of energy. We are more able to experience life’s fullness, and the expansion that comes with really feeling what is happening in each moment.

Self-love forms a clear foundation for being present in each moment, for ourselves and those we love.

Pause for a moment, and acknowledge that you are worthy of love and respect, just as you are right now. You are constantly learning and growing. You are connected with the eternal, even as you explore life in your physical body, in this particular time and space.

You are loved.

What do you feel when you hear those words? Sit with them for a moment, right now. You are loved.

What comes to mind?

One thing that we are trained to do is to seek love and approval from external sources. We look for it from our family and friends, our romantic partners, and perhaps from society, in the form of acceptance and validation. When you hear those words, you might think of those who love you: your partner, your children, your best friends, your parents, your pets. Those bonds are true and lovely, yet they are not the whole story. When you look for love from another person, you are depending on their capacity to show it in ways that lift you up.

When you embark on a spiritual path, you might still seek love from a source that you perceive as outside of yourself. You wish to connect with God, Goddess, or the Divine energy of the universe, and feel that you are loved and cherished by these outside forces. And you are. Yet that is still not the whole story.

The deepest wellspring of love and approval comes from within yourself, where you are directly connected with your eternal spirit. Your inner source is always there, and always loves you, unconditionally. This love is available to you all the time; you need only tap into it. This is a concept that may make you squirm, or doubt, or want to shift the focus back to the external world you can see around you. Lean into any discomfort that arises, just for a moment, and ponder those words once again. You are loved.

When you learn to inquire within, you tap into a vast source of energy and freedom that you might not have known existed. This self-love will sustain you through all of life’s joys and challenges. No, it’s not likely to be a never-ending tale of bliss and rainbows; you’re still here in this life to learn and grow, and challenges will still arise. But as you walk your path, you’ll have a strong connection to your inner compass, and as you learn to trust your intuition, you’ll more easily release your fears and unleash your powerful creativity.

– Excerpted from Cultivating Self-Love: Your Path to Wholeness by Nikki Starcat Shields. If you’re ready to read more, the full-length e-book is available in our Shop, on Amazon, and on Smashwords.

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