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  • Amy Fox

A Shortcut to Self Love

What I’m about to share with you has proven to be one of the most effective and powerful tools I’ve come across in the realm of Self Help. It truly is a miracle maker and it has changed my life dramatically for the better since I first used it a year ago. The even more amazing thing about it is that it’s so easy, you only need a few minutes to do it, and you can do it by yourself in the comfort of your own space without having to pay for a therapist or someone guiding you through the process.

I’ve come across a number of effective and very powerful healing processes on my journey, but few that come without emotional pain or even sometimes physical pain. Take breathwork for example. This is an exceptionally powerful and profound healing technique but it comes at a price (and quite literally too as it’s very expensive for a guided session!). Breathwork practise can be, and often is, very heavy duty healing work. It’s not for the faint hearted because it tends to bring to the surface incredibly deep wounds which can be excruciating and very difficult to deal with. On top of the emotional demons, it often comes with intense physical pain such as cramping and headaches. However, if you can soldier through then the rewards truly are remarkable. So, although breathwork allows for extremely deep healing, it’s often not a pretty road getting there and isn’t recommended for everyone. Similar could be said for the healing powers of plant medicines which are often brutal, sending you to your metaphoric death before bliss and purification can occur.

On the other hand, this simple exercise I learnt last year has brought such huge shifts to my life, but the process itself is painless and utterly beautiful. I believe that this process would be suitable for anyone to try. There are no demons or symbolic death involved, and there’s no going to hell to get out on the other side, really it’s quite the opposite.

It was this very exercise that I chose to do as my act of Self Love on day one of my 1000 Days challenge. I then did it again on days two, three and four. This exercise is definitely one of the most powerful acts of Self Love so it’s perfect to include in the challenge regularly. I’m going to describe what I’ve seen unfold around me, only in this past week, in the next blog post and, trust me, it’ll be worth a read! But to keep things simple, short and sweet in this article, I’m only going to be describing the steps involved in the exercise.

So, without further ado, here are the steps that make up the process that takes you to the shortcut to Self Love -

Step 1 -

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes. The process I’m going to show you takes around 15 minutes but it can also be done in ten or even less.

Step 2 -

Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. You can be sitting cross legged or on a chair, or if you prefer you can even be lying down on your bed.

Step 3 -

The way I do this exercise is to split it into three parts, spending approximately five minutes on each part (but you can split the time however you want). The first five minutes are spent in a simple meditation. You can do this however you want, for example focussing on your breathing, chanting a mantra, a body scan, or what I do which is trying to focus on nothing at all! The reason I include this first part is basically just to clear my mind so that I can be as present and focussed on the parts that follow as possible. If I were to just jump straight in to the next part, without the first five minute meditation, then my mind might still be busy and jumping all over the place. Quietening my mind first seems to be helpful in maintaining my focus on the subsequent visualisations. So, relax your body and your mind and meditate for approximately five minutes.

Step 4 -

Bring to mind something that makes you feel intense feelings of love. This needs to be the purest love that you’ve felt and it can be love for anything, including your favourite place or experience, a pet, a friend, a partner or a family member. It can even be a look on a loved one’s face or a smile that they give you that feels so deeply loving. When I say ‘purest’ I mean it needs to be untainted with hurt or anger for example. That’s why I think it can be helpful to think of a smile or a look on someone’s face because if we think of the person in general, then we may be reminded of difficult times with them. When I first started doing this exercise I always brought to mind my dog. Björk is the being who most easily stimulates feelings of pure, unconditional love so she’s the perfect subject for me to use for this exercise.

Step 5 -

Visualise the thing that makes you feel love and really FEEL this love. Explore in as much detail as possible the feeling as it arises in you. Where can you feel it in your body, for example? What kind of physical sensations does it bring? Can you feel your heart beating faster? Does it bring a warmth to your being? Really direct your attention to the areas of your body that this emotion is stimulating and allow those feelings to become as powerful as they can. Continue this visualisation and exploration for around five minutes, holding these strong sensations in your body at the same time as thinking about or visualising the object of your love.

Step 6 -

When you feel ready, in an instant, direct this love to yourself. Turn it inwards, holding these sensations of love in your body but directing them at you. I find it helpful at this point to put my hands over my heart, it’s my way of holding the love there for myself. The key here is the physical sensations. The idea is to maintain these physical feelings but to swap the visualisation. It’s up to you how to visualise receiving this love and just do whatever intuitively feels right, we're all unique so this will work slightly differently for everyone. I sometimes imagine being with my inner child and directing the love to her. Or I imagine giving the adult version of myself a big hug. I often chant the mantra ‘I love you’ over and over again too in order to keep my focus as well as strengthen the intention. Hold this for as long as you want to. Five minutes is usually about enough for me but of course, in your process, you can decide what feels right.

By far the best time to do this exercise is first thing in the morning. I’ve done it countless times now, at all different times in the day, and I can tell you for sure that the best I’ve felt has been when I’ve done it in the morning. I guess this is because if you start your day in this kind of energy space then you’re going to attract more positive experiences and feelings throughout the day. The exercise still has incredible effects, whatever time it’s done, but I’ve noticed, additionally, a very good mood and ability to take on any challenge when I’ve done it in the morning, which hasn’t been so noticeable on days when I’ve done the exercise in the evening.

Finally, before I go, here is a brief summary of the steps that you can refer to more easily -

Step 1 - Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.

Step 2 - Sit comfortably, relax and close your eyes.

Step 3 - Do a five-minute meditation in order to clear your mind and focus.

Step 4 - Think of something you have deep feelings of love for and bring those feelings up whilst holding the image in your mind.

Step 5 - For the next five minutes feel the sensations that come with the feelings of love and explore them with particular focus on your physical body.

Step 6 - Now direct this love at yourself and hold this for as long as you want.

I’m so so grateful for discovering this exercise, it truly is a shortcut to Self Love that has had instant effects for me. Again, it’s the Self Love expert, Gay Hendricks, who I have to thank for this and there are links to his books at the bottom of The 1000 Days of Self Love Challenge Step-by-Step Guide article.

I hope you will find this exercise as wonderful and truly magical as I have, thank you so much for reading.


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