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As I mentioned in the previous part of this blog series, and in my e-book, Honeymoon Forever: Secrets to Life Long Intimacy, self-love and
self-acceptance are the direct conduits to lasting love success with another.

They might even be the most important prerequisites to any fulfilling relationship.

After all, if you don’t have a high regard for yourself, and don’t practice cultivating self-love on a daily basis, how will you be able
to truly love and appreciate that special “other”?

Now, to help you on your wonderful journey to intimacy, here’s a suggested list of practical and critical ways to take better care of yourself in
preparation for that exciting love relationship you’ve always wanted!

EXERCISE!

Okay, who hasn’t heard this one?

There’s no way around it; we need all the exercise we can get, especially in this increasingly sedentary society of ours. We’re hearing more and more from the media about the high levels of obesity in American society, and all the negative medical consequences of such an unhealthy lifestyle.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of regular exercise if you really want to have that great relationship with yourself or another. Exercise not only tones the body, but also increases energy levels and pumps up self-esteem.

So, if you’re already exercising at the gym, practicing yoga, pilates, Nia, Zumba, or any one of the other available fitness options, keep it up!  If not, start today; it’s never too late!

Healthy partners attract other healthy partners. If you’re not in good physical shape, who do you think you’ll be likely to attract?  I rest my case!

EAT YOUR FRUITS & VEGGIES

And then there’s the notion of “good diet” – the magical brass ring we all desire but don’t always follow that well. Too many of us don’t really eat as healthfully as we think we do.

How many of us are significantly cutting down on our consumption of dairy products and red meat? Are we pushing the organic fruits and veggies? Are we limiting our food portions and general food intake?  Do we require something special, like a gluten-free diet? Are we really paying enough attention to our particular dietary needs?

Again, if you’re already taking good care of yourself through a healthy diet that fits your particular needs, great!  If not, as with regular exercise, it’s never too late to climb aboard the “healthy food express.” Bon appetite!

CREATE SAFE PLACES

We all want to feel safe.

So it’s in our best interest to create healthy, safe spaces in our daily lives where we have the chance to experience peace and serenity. John Gray, in his book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, writes about men needing their own personal “caves” to withdraw to and rejuvenate. Even (or especially) when involved with another, you’ll need safe places in order to re-charge so you can return with positive energy to your exciting new connection.

So what kinds of “safe places” are we talking about here?  For some, it’s about creating a safe place at home, a comforting nook or spiritual area set aside for prayer or meditation. For others, safety and peace of mind can be found in nature – that familiar pond, grassy meadow, or enchanting pine grove. Or maybe it’s a simple stroll by the ocean or a pause at that glassy lake at sunrise. There’s nothing like a quiet walk among the aspens, right?

Some people have learned to create a safe place anywhere, even in their own minds. No matter where your own particular haven may be, to have it is a great way to feel protected and a terrific way to take good care of yourself!

GO FOR THE INSPIRATION

Scoop up all the inspiration you can lay your hands (and precious mind) on!

With all the fluff and triviality of today’s media circus, most of us are starving for true inspiration – to be moved to bigger and better things. Surround yourself with empowering books and movies. Get out there and listen to speakers who have something new and wonderful to say. If you have to, mute the commercials, lay off all those emails, even for a moment, and take in the teachings of any wise person you may come across.

Tune out the manipulative ravings of superficial and dishonest politicians clogging up the magazines and airwaves. Block out anything that takes
away your sense of life purpose, your connection to your own divine reality. Dump all that hype, and feed your soul with a healthy serving of
inspiration.

CREATE!

Write a book, draw something, paint a picture, be in a picture, take a picture, play music!  Act in a play, because all the world is a stage,
right?

Get your hands dirty in the glorious terra firma and grow a lush garden. Help grow somebody else’s garden. Plant new things and
co-create with Mother Earth, the Divine. What an organic and healthy way to keep your connection with the planet.

Be creative in the way you go about your everyday life, your daily work, and leisure activities. It’s never too late to harness and actualize your
own inner, creative source, your magical, precious inner child – your spiritual connection to all life.

So make new things happen, come into being, and create, create, create…

KEEP IT POSITIVE!

A key aspect of continual self-care is the conscious steering of your life events in a positive direction.

We can’t say enough about keeping it positive – staying with the upside. The way you view the world around you should determine your quality of life, not the other way around.

Those who choose to ignore the gifts and opportunities presented to them because of negative life outlook end up with nothing – or at least
nothing that resembles a lasting relationship!

Positive self-affirmations are a great way to keep you happily on track. Here’s a list of my favorites:

  • Just for today, I am open to love.
  • I deserve to be loved.
  • I deserve a loving partnership.
  • Just for today, I accept myself completely.
  • I’m okay just the way I am.
  • I practice self-acceptance.
  • I like myself.
  • I’m taking care of myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
  • I am enough.

Another easy and accessible way to see your world more optimistically is by re-framing: consciously turning around what appears to be a bad
situation and viewing it as beneficial or advantageous to you.

The trick is to know that every event in our lives, no matter how inconvenient or distressing it may seem, is a universal gift, a lesson, an opportunity to learn – some call it karma, some call it grace.

Call it whatever you want – but reframe it!

Good personal boundaries also offer the protection needed to maintain a healthy relationship with self. In order to feel safe, it’s essential to know our personal needs, wants, and desires, and be able to communicate them with clear intention. Yes means yes, and no means no.

That’s keeping it positive!

LAUGH LOUDLY AND OFTEN

Laughter is truly the best medicine. It’ll keep you alive by reducing stress, and will add something positive to your day-to-day
existence. Laughter is an enjoyable and effective way to promote happiness and good feelings all around. By sharing your humor with others, it
will help to ease the sting of life’s tough challenges and scary inevitabilities.

Even if you’re in the midst of grief, laughter can be a helpful remedy; loss doesn’t hurt so much as the pain is happily (and thankfully), allowed to
diminish.

And, needless to say, nothing is as attractive and appreciated as a great sense of humor.

So, tell a joke, laugh at yourself and with others often, and don’t take life so seriously. In the end, no one makes it out alive anyway.  Ha! C’mon,
can’t you take a joke?

There you have it; a few practical actions you can do daily to take even better care of yourself. With mindful practice,  not only will you learn to
be your own best friend, but you’ll also be a better companion to your current lover or that future life partner who’s eagerly waits your love.

So, stay tuned, dear readers, because I’ll be adding to this list of self-love suggestions. Meanwhile, take good care of yourself – God knows you deserve it!


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