What is self-love?
If you looked up the rather dry dictionary definition it will tell you that it is ‘regard for ones own well-being and happiness.’ Yes it certainly is, however of course it’s so much more than that.
What is undeniable is that the path to deep care and love for ourselves is chiefly an inside job. It involves developing positive and loving thoughts about ourselves, caring for and protecting our energy, embodying the truth and beauty of our soul essence and having faith and belief that we are whole and living with purpose. Oscar Wilde said “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” And I think he’s absolutely right. A lifelong romance and internal alchemical dance.
What is not spoken about so much in our journey with and to self-love is our outside world and being. And to a certain extent I think this is due to the fact that no one wants to give the impression that dressing a certain way or spending money on fancy treatments or products, is the heart pathway to self-love. Of course it isn’t. However I also think its a falsity to say that self-adornment in things that make us feel beautiful or simply to our eye look beautiful – is not a part of self-love. It is. We have all known that feeling at least once in our life of looking in the mirror and smiling back at ourselves feeling a sense of loveliness at what we see. In that moment we found ourselves to be glowing and beautiful. And how can that not be a part of our journey with and to self-love? It absolutely is.
And I find as a woman who is now in her mid life a strange polarity about the way I look. On the one hand I care less about how I look because I know of its deep impermanence and lack of importance in the essence of who I am. It is simply the gift wrap to the gift. And then on the other hand I care more about how I look.
On my priestess path I have come to understand how truly wonderful it is express myself in a richer and more meaningful external way. The result is that I have found myself doing things like getting facials, (having had one in my life prior), painting my nails more, being slightly obsessed with the heady power of organic scents and let’s not talk about my (ahem) penchant for crystal jewellery. To ancient priestesses self-adornment was a part of their expression of the divine feminine. Sacred objects. Alchemical oils. Elixirs. Crystals. Feather Wands. These things were not seen as vanity or more important than their internal world, rather a representation of their essence and self.
There are so many ways we can adorn (and adore) ourselves in every day life to boost our feelings of beauty, embodiment and self-love. Self-adornment does not have to be expensive or time consuming, although if it is both of those things that is of course ok. It’s all ok. To me the practice of self-adornment comes from a place of intention. As a priestess I am committed to thinking about how every thought I express, or action I take, contributes or detracts from myself and others. And therefore adorning and adoring myself comes with thinking very consciously about what I purchase and whether something has been made ethically or exploitatively and whether it has unnecessary chemicals and fillers in it. And I want to absolutely love it. When I touch it, smell it or look at it I want to feel joy. I want to feel as though it is an extension of me.
For me I am finding adornment right now in…
Wearing lipstick or gloss every day. Even at home when no one else is looking or around. Always chemical and cruelty free. The adorned feeling? Sexiness, fullness, readiness.
Going out at night – false eyelashes. Just little ones but holy goddess do they make my eyes pop and sparkle. In truth I don’t go out a great deal at night anymore to parties and the like – but when I do – the falsies are out. The adorned feeling? Luscious, daring, captivating.
My love affair with crystal jewellery runs deep and you will find me with an intentionally chosen ring, necklace or pair of earrings on that I feel matches my mood and desire most days. I especially love the power of rings and their placement right on such an expressive part of my body. The adorned feeling? Powerful, feminine, strong.
Coconut oil massaged through my hair. My hair never used to be dry but it is now. My hairdresser gave me the simple and non-expensive tip that wearing coconut oil in your hair all day on the day you are going to wash it will nourish it and then wash out easily. Doing this care for my hair and piling it high on my head makes me feel and smell like a Tahitian princess. The adorned feeling? Rich, sensual, flowing.
I have not been able to wear commercial perfumes for many years now. Instant headache. Instead I have turned to wearing alchemical oils, floral essences and chakra sprays all of which I adore. I wish more women were aware of the amazing smell and power of these anointing products. I have come to believe they truly help me to increase my intent at any time whether that be to feel energised, calm, sensual or forgiving. The adorned feeling? Light, abundant, rich.
How do you intentionally adorn yourself? If you feel you’re not right now I can truly attest that doing so in even subtle or small ways can make a huge difference to how you feel about yourself. Small acts of self-love, self-adornment and intentional care can add up over time to a more nurtured and whole you.
And that’s a beautiful thing to behold and be.