Yours Truly: 5 Languages of Self-Love

To fully love another, you have to love yourself. As we step into February, the quintessential month of love, we are constantly reminded of all of the ways we “should” want to be loved by others. Gifts, dates, cards, candies - constant expressions of affection. There is a misconception around February that part of our worth is dependent on the expressions of love we receive. This month, I am challenging you to channel some of your love inward, and love yourself in the same way you enjoy being loved by others. 

At the beginning of the year, I took Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages quiz, to discover how I prefer to be loved by others. As it is, this quiz is impressively enlightening, and provides actionable ways to help both you and your significant other understand how and why you respond to certain expressions of affection. I have taken the quiz before, a few years ago, but this time around, I shifted my perception of the results. Instead of thinking of my Love Languages as a guide for my husband, I considered them as a guide for myself - 5 Languages of Self-Love.

The Original 5 Love Languages
Words of Affirmation: Unsolicited compliments & verbal expressions of love
Acts of Service: Personal favors and nurturing actions
Receiving Gifts: Tangible tokens of thoughtfulness and affection
Quality Time: Undivided attention and one-on-one time
Physical Touch: Connectivity through physical displays of affection

The Reimagined 5 Languages of Self-Love
Positive Inner Dialogue: Self-talk centered on positive attributes and kindness
Acts of Independence: Getting things done how and when you want to
Personal Value-Adds: Making purchases that truly increase quality of life
Quality Alone Time: Dedicated moments of solitude or reflection
Physical Wellness: Body awareness through fitness, nutrition and personal care

I've spent the last few weeks applying this simple tool of reimagined Love Languages to harness my independence in nurturing a happy and healthy heart. Using my new, self-care focused Love Languages as a framework, I have made a significant effort to spend quality time alone with my thoughts while independently doing and accomplishing things I enjoy, connect deeply to my physical presence and wellness, and remind myself of all of the reasons I am grateful to be exactly who I am.

When I first set out on this little self-love experiment, I couldn't help but think it might be selfish. I was actually worried about carving out quality time with myself, and wondered if all of this self care might get a little overwhelming, and a little expensive. But what I realized is that self-love is so much more about perception and mindset than it is about doing things or buying material items to find happiness. By simply deciding that you are going to be kind to yourself, your whole outlook can change. Being aware and conscious of negative self talk helps you shut it down. Making an effort to see the small moments in life as “quality time” helps you appreciate those moments more - even just grabbing a coffee from my favorite cafe has felt special to me over the last few weeks, simply because I decided it is. And of course, getting out there and doing things that are good for your body and mind does have an incredible impact on your mood and overall happiness. I finally scheduled the facial that I'd been “too busy” to find time for, and finally booked a hair appointment at a salon I've been dying to visit (thank you Calm Skincare Studio and bex+Co.!). I slowed down my routine and stopped making excuses to put off doing things that make me feel good.

At Moderna Muse, we’re in the business of personal growth, achievement, and development. We take this view not only for our clients, but also for ourselves. When a huge part of your life is focusing on all of the ways you can improve, it is easy to lose sight of all of the amazing things that you have already accomplished. It becomes natural to be hard on yourself, tear yourself down, and constantly tune into your failures and how you can fix them. When you're trying to go up and up and up, self-love and self-care often take a backseat. This is absolutely detrimental to your journey toward success. If you are not operating with love for yourself at your core, all of that work and every struggle, big and small, will wear you down. Tony Robbins said it best: “Push will wear you out. When you’re pushing to do something, you only got so much willpower. But when you’re pulled, when there’s something larger than yourself that you’re here to serve and that you believe you’re made for, that brings energy.” The key here is the part about belief - honestly buying into the idea that you were made for a specific purpose. That belief in your power opens you up to self-love and respect. If you're going to push yourself, you also need to address and nurture the things that pull you toward your inspiration, and balance out the pressure with a foundation of positivity and love for yourself. 

So, why is this foundation of self-love so important? For most of us, when we hear the word “love”, we immediately think of our feelings towards others and the affection we receive from them. But the one thing in this world that you can 100%, without a doubt count on - with a little practice and patience - is yourself. You can’t run away from yourself. You can’t take a break from yourself, or go off on a journey and leave yourself behind. You are stuck with yourself, whether you like it or not - so you might as well learn to love you! Life is full of curveballs, and unfortunately, we often have to receive those curveballs from people we care about. This is not to suggest that you build up walls or distance yourself from love out of the fear of heartbreak, but it’s important that you develop personal strength and love for yourself to survive those surprises that life may throw your way. It all comes down to planning, out of respect for your own heart. There’s no need to sit around worrying about the worst things that could happen to you or the idea of being alone, but there’s strength in being prepared with an arsenal of independence. If you’ve only ever relied on others to provide love for you, then the symptoms of withdrawal will be at their absolute worst when you inevitably have to experience solitude. This isn’t limited to breakups - being alone is part of everyday life, no matter what kind of relationship you are currently in. From work to carting kids around to juggling finances and workouts and friendships and personal aspirations, life gets crazy, and you won’t always be able to sync with a significant other. You’ve got to be comfortable with just doing you when you have to and find the joy and love in simply being with yourself.

Easier said than done, right? Loving yourself is hard. So take the 5 Languages of Self Love challenge! I have felt everything in my life get a little easier by consciously placing self-love at my core. It has helped me move past setbacks faster, learn lessons quickly, and move forward with more energy and light in my everyday life. Take the quiz. Reimagine your Love Languages. Remind yourself how you want to be loved. Then make it your goal for the next month to give yourself that love and #liveyourmuse.

Shannon Pike
COO & Executive Brand Curator
Moderna Muse

My Languages of Self-Love: 1) Quality Alone Time 2) Acts of Independence 3) Positive Inner Dialogue 4) Physical Wellness 5) Personal Value-Adds

My Languages of Self-Love: 1) Quality Alone Time 2) Acts of Independence 3) Positive Inner Dialogue 4) Physical Wellness 5) Personal Value-Adds

Source: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

In the Midst of Chaos

We are in the midst of complete chaos.  Humanity’s ability to perpetuate evil and hate continues to plague us, our communities, and the people and places that we love.  There has been heartache, compassion, devastation, and a list of other feelings so long it can only be summed up as utter confusion.  Many of our fears and beliefs have been confirmed, as well as challenged. Amidst the complexity of recent domestic and global events, we are struggling to feel whole and united under any particular group. In every pocket of love, there is a figurative and literal stray bullet, marring our belief systems and poisoning our platforms for change. 

In this state of chaos, we are forced to come face-to-face with our own internal thoughts and prejudices.   We are rocked to our core when an act of hate is committed against those that we relate to and defend.  We see the headlines, and so many of us, from many walks of life, are thinking, “That could’ve been my brother, my aunt, my friend…me.” The emotions are a rollercoaster of social, political, and philosophical dialogue. We jump from one angle to the next, trying to find this feeling’s place, its home, its path toward a stance in the midst of so much confusion. Yet we often remain quiet, letting the stories fade from our newsfeeds, die down and become forgotten, until the next big event arises and takes over the headlines.  

Wake up, musa.  This is our world – YOUR world - we are living in. Your children will inherit this world that we have allowed and created.  You may feel helpless, or fear that you lack the knowledge to engage in difficult conversations, but we all must start somewhere. Embark on your journey with one of our simplest tokens of wisdom: start at the beginning.

At the beginning, there is love. Love in its purest form. You’re held by the being that created you, or accepted you into this world, and there is only love. Once you know love, you start to learn. And as you learn, you grow. Love. Learn. Grow. Repeat. 

The problem is, as we learn of all the beautiful things this world has to offer, we also learn of its many evils. We tend to let these evils wedge themselves between us and our ability to love, and instead of growing to love, we grow to hate. Hate is all-consuming. It spreads like wildfire. Hate clouds our ability to learn, and therefore, we stop growing. 

When is the last time you learned something? If you are asking for a better world, you must actively participate by loving and learning. You owe it to yourself and others to become educated.  You may not know exactly where you stand right now, but if you educate yourself and take the time to open your mind, listen, and relate, you will find your place.  Taking the opinions of others and adopting them as your own will not suffice.  Even if you are hearing your family or closest friends, stop and listen to your soul. Then start living what you hear. We’re willing to bet, if you look deep enough, you’ll start living primarily from a place of love. 

It is incredibly difficult to speak or advise on how to fix this chaotic mess we are in. At Moderna Muse, we know the complexities of violence and turmoil require an overhaul of our collective conscience – a seemingly impossible feat. It won’t all fall into place overnight, or in a month, or in a year. But our hope is that by starting at the core of the individual, we can slowly pick up the pieces of our society and put them back together, more united in love, education, and growth.

Pause. Question your own prejudices. Be honest with yourself. 

We are calling love into action. We want to be clear that living your muse goes far beneath the surface. It’s about becoming an enlightened, powerful, and loving human being. You have a responsibility to overcome the chaos.

With love,
Rashanna Moss & Shannon Pike
Moderna Muse