How do you learn to love yourself?

With Valentine's Day approaching and love on everyone's mind as we peruse aisles for cards and candy, we often to forget to love on the most important person in our lives to take care of: ourselves.  Wouldn't it be nice if at least one manufacturer made some sort of love card, or affirmation card, we could give to ourselves, giving us a pat on the back for trying our very best day to day?!  The cards could be as basic as, "You did it!  You put pants on today!" to "The sink is empty, GOOD JOB!" or a coy, "Who washed, folded, and put away all the laundry IN THE SAME DAY, tell me it wasn't YOU ;) !"  Or, even as extravagant as, "CONGRATULATIONS!  You drank more water than wine or coffee combined in the last 24 hours!"  I would actually love a card like this...am I onto something?

...I digress.  Now that I'm in my 30's I find myself doing a lot of life reviews lately, and having children often makes me reflect on my own childhood.  Loving myself has always been a struggle and I think most people are harder on themselves than anyone else in the universe.  We all have insecurities, magnify our shortcomings, and doubt our decisions.

Flash forward to having my own children.  It means everything to me that I support who they are and celebrate their strengths.  Which is probably why I have 6,000+ photos on my phone of them, doing everything from smiling, to dancing, to laughing, and also doing absolutely nothing because I am OBSESSED.  But as they say, you can't pour from an empty cup and you need to take care of yourself, too.

Along these lines of taking time for yourself, when a good makeup artist friend of mine, Victoria, asked me last year if I could model some makeup for her portfolio I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to indulge in some fun girly time.  She also asked if my bestie Dani would model for her too, and I accepted on Dani's behalf before even asking permission because that's just what you do for your best friends: you answer for them because you know what's best for them ;)

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We set our day, and Victoria came with her good friend Kimmy, and photographer friend Alison.  This trifecta of creative women was a BLAST to hang out with.  Victoria did makeup, Kimmy did hair, and Alison took our photos.  All 3 of these beauties practice their craft professionally, and have collaborated often, even on the set of the calendar for Preston & Steve.  Their creative rhythms were seamless, their styles complimented each other well, and we spent most of the day laughing.  These girls were so warm and personable and fun I felt like I was in 7th grade all over again at a sleepover rather than getting overall fanciness applied to my face and hair.

Check out some of their handiwork below:

 

All of these women are up for hire for their services, and I've linked how to get in touch with them below:

Makeup by Victoria   Visit her website:  Beauty by Victoria C.   Follow her on Instagram  @beautybyvictoriac

Makeup by Victoria

Visit her website: Beauty by Victoria C.

Follow her on Instagram @beautybyvictoriac

Photography by Alison   Visit her website:  Alison Dunlap Photography

Photography by Alison

Visit her website: Alison Dunlap Photography

Hair by Kimmy   Follower her on Instagram: @kimberlymarieartistry

Hair by Kimmy

Follower her on Instagram: @kimberlymarieartistry

More importantly, this day was so much more than just taking photos.  We laughed, we drank wine, we had so much fun, and I realized that taking time for "Girl Time" not only makes me love my friends, but helps me love myself by taking the time to take care of myself or do something special.  Those moments of laughter, encouragement and love from others helps your soul grow.

I'm going to "Go There" and get spiritual for a minute because this is my blog and I can write what I want: one of the many things I love about practicing yoga is the study of the universe and the history behind it.  When you study the Totality and understand how we are all from the same solitary consciousness, you begin to understand how in essence we are all responsible for one another, because we are all connected to each other.

Physical representations of this can be said when you look at the science behind stardust and "...everything in us originated in cosmic explosions billions of years ago" (source).  This is absolutely fascinating and here is a link to an article by National Geographic if you want to learn a little more: 

How 40,000 Tons of Cosmic Dust Falling to Earth Affects You and Me:  Our bodies are made of remnants of stars and massive explosions in the galaxies.

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We often feel alone.  When we experience emotion, we express ourselves because we feel alone in that feeling.  If I am angry with someone, it's much more than that.  I am angry because I feel alone and I feel as though that person doesn't understand me, or worse, is trying to hurt me.  When I am feeling sad, its because I feel alone in my sadness and as if no one can relate to me.  But in truth we are never alone.  We have our own inner strength, we have those around us that love us and that want nothing more than to see us happy, and we have our religious beliefs that we lean on for words of enlightenment.

...Back to makeup and hair.  This day was wonderful and uplifting, and there is something to be said about spending some time with a strong sisterhood of creative women.  By the end of the day my joy had my cup far from empty, it runneth over.