How Do You Show Yourself Self-Love — Without Buying Stuff?

photo credit: Grid Vongpiansuksa
photo credit: Grid Vongpiansuksa

Megan is a Chopra certified meditation teacher and author of Don't Hate, Meditate. Over the last decade of teaching she has taught thousands through her global platform and partnerships with Chopra Global, Wanderlust, Lululemon and Unplug Meditation.

I started consistently buying myself flowers in my early twenties when I moved to Los Angeles after graduating college. I've always loved flowers. I can recall the first time, at a friend's home as a child, when I saw fresh flowers in every room of the house, including the bathroom! Can you imagine?! Fresh flowers have always represented a sense of beauty, abundance and possibility — almost as if they were windows into a life that I might have. The kind of life where there's fresh flowers everywhere. It only makes sense, then, that as I started to curate my adult life, a weekly flower haul was very much part of the vision.

This ritual has continued with me for the last 15 years. (Don't do the math!) It has been a flex of self-love — perhaps the most consistent, tangible example of one — in my life. The type of flower and the number of bouquets I acquire as part of my weekly tradition has evolved with me, but the underlying intention for their existence in my life has remained the same. I love myself enough to buy myself flowers. I love myself enough to surround myself with the beauty that I deserve. I love myself enough to believe in the vision I have for my life. Regardless of what my weight is. Or what my bank account says. Or what my relationship status is. I love myself enough.

This week is the first week in a very long time that I didn't buy myself flowers. The one bouquet I was able to source last week from the frighteningly barren grocery store is dying and I'm resisting throwing it away. My desire to keep the flowers around lies solely in the anticipation of the discomfort that may follow if my home is deficient in those floral reminders of worth, beauty, and possibility. That fragrant affirmation that I believe in my enough-ness. What do you do when you can't buy flowers?

This is the perfect time to check in on how you feel about you.

Our internal world reflects externally. How we feel about ourselves is what co-creates the reality we experience in our relationships and in the things we pursue. Whether it's conscious or not, we externally source what we want affirmed internally. Those repeated rituals stoke the fire of the inner truths that our heart needs to remember. I've been reminding my heart for 15 years of my inherent worth and value. What have you been looking for reminders of?

During social distancing, we are given the unique challenge and opportunity of having our world stripped down to literal "essentials." Without the add-ons, we're left with only ourselves. This is the perfect time to check in on how you feel about you. How whole and complete do you feel? What were you relying on for those reminders? Your self-love mission, should you choose to accept it (but like, you definitely should) is to create an affirmation that represents the reminder you need. The one you get when you go to that workout studio, when you're with friends, when you go on a date, when you make that purchase. Can you use this time to be your own internal reminder? Can you lean into yourself when you can't buy flowers?

I know what you're thinking, "Megan! That sounds like such a great practice, but I don't know how to meditate or how to write an affirmation!" I've got you.

To prep, grab a pen or paper, or open a new "note" on your phone and set an alarm for five minutes. (Bonus points if you choose a soothing chime or something as the alarm sound.) When you're ready, start the alarm and with your eyes closed, silently repeat "I" as you inhale and "AM" as you exhale. Just spend a few minutes with your breath, allowing your attention to rest in the physical sensation of your inhale-exhale and the silent repetition of I-AM. When your alarm goes off, ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?" Write down anything that comes up. Acknowledging where there's fear and constriction is where my most potent affirmations always lie. Once you've exhausted all the ugly thoughts and big feelings, take a look and find the one that you want to love up the most. And simply write down the affirming version of it. For example, I bought flowers because I had to be "enough" to receive love. So my ugly thought was "I'm not lovable as I am right now." My affirmation was, "I am lovable exactly as I am right now." Extra credit: use an app like Word Swag to create a lock screen for your phone with your affirmation.

If a guided meditation is more your speed, check out the video I created below: