Let me ask you a question; do you love yourself? Now set the ego aside if it made an appearance and ask yourself that again, do you love yourself? I’ll be honest, there are moments and days when I do and times when I don’t. Although I’m thankful to say that there are more days where I do now than there used to be. Well part of loving you is making sure your cup is full. Taking action and doing the things you need to love you. Self-Love has become such a hot term lately and more people are taking notice. However many only know one or two sides of it. There are more aspects to self-love than just treating yourself to a massage or time to read. In this episode I talk with expert self-love coach, Keyla Mercader about how we can truly love ourselves and what we can do to keep our cup full!
As I mentioned Keyla is a self-love coach and self-love is something that we all need, and it often gets forgotten, especially in our go go go kind of society. Keyla was born and raised in Venezuela, which was famous at the time for the number of beauty queens that it had. It still holds the record for the country with the most Miss Universe and Miss Worlds. Growing up the events of the year were the beauty pageants, much like the Super Bowl could be considered the event of the year in America. Keyla has always been a bit on the chubbier side, and she has curly hair that she didn’t want to straighten even though that was what the beauty pageant stars did. She thought that if she could look exactly like the beauty pageant girls her life would be better and she would be happier. She lost seventy pounds so that she would look skinnier, but life didn’t change, it didn’t make her happier. During that process she wound up with depression because she thought that nothing could make her life better. Then she started taking pills to help with the depression. They helped because she was also doing work to help herself. The pills just gave her a boost so that she could get to a point where she could work on herself. A common saying when trying to find a romantic partner is looking for your better half. Keyla wanted to be whole in herself, she didn’t want to be anybody’s half. She started trying to figure out how to be a whole, and she started looking inside herself. She realized that if she could figure out how to love herself fully then she could find someone who could love her unconditionally, but it had to start with her. Keyla started taking classes and reading books to find different tools and techniques starting from the outside and moving into herself. Once she got further along the path, she decided that she wanted to give back, so she became a self-love coach. Her mission is to leave everybody better than when she first met them.
What does it mean to embody self-love? When Keyla was growing up in the 1989’s they always talked about self-esteem. Self-esteem is based on how you think you feel about yourself, it’s all about the brain. Self-love is emotion based; it goes down to the heart. You don’t need to convince your brain that you love yourself, you need to actually love yourself. It’s so much a part of you that you don’t think about it. You are being self-love, it emanates from you, you are one and the same. It’s not a flip of the switch, you need to work on it. The first thing Keyla needed to work on was all the negativity in her brain. When you’re depressed you feel like everything and everybody is against you. You believe that everything sucks. She had to force herself to find the positivity and the silver lining in the bad things that happened. You need to squish the negative thoughts. If you stand in front of the mirror, the first thing you may think is that your hair looks horrible, but you need to find the positive. Maybe you have a brush or hair products that you can use to fix it. You could call it a crazy hair day and embrace it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect positive, it’s whatever works for you. If you can’t find a positive, because there are times when there may not be a positive, try finding a lesson or a blessing in the situation. If there really isn’t anything, start looking around and thinking of other things that you are grateful that you have. You can be grateful for your health, or the sunny weather, or your cat. You can be grateful for anything; it doesn’t need to be big. I personally think that there are positives in every single situation, however they might be very difficult to see, however I can see Keyla’s point. Sometimes you can be so far in the dark that you can’t see the positives even when they’re there.
The two things that every self-help book say to do are mirror work, and self-affirmations. We as humans tend to look at everything as having pros and cons, whether or not we realize it. If we look at ourselves and see more cons than pros then you are leaning more towards self-hate than self-love, and vice versa. By squishing away the negativity, you eliminate the cons. That’s how you can switch slowly but surely from self-hate to self-love and positive self-talk. How do you show love to others? Say you have a partner, maybe on their birthday you fill the room with balloons, make them a nice meal or a birthday cake, you may give them presents, or plan a weekend getaway. Now think about how you prepare for your birthday. Do you make yourself a nice meal? Do you get yourself a nice present? Treat yourself like you would treat a partner. You could try finding out what your love language is, the ways that you want to receive love. Maybe you feel love every time someone gives you a gift. You can give yourself a gift every so often, make it special. If there’s something you’ve been really wanting for three months and you have the money to splurge, buy it! You’re worthy of it! Your love language could be quality time, take a moment to spend time for yourself. If you love coffee, you could take some time to sit down and drink your coffee without worrying about doing something else at the same time.
Another part of self-love is a part that Keyla calls the dark part. That includes setting boundaries, and saying no. For example, if you have a child that you love, you want them to learn and improve. You can’t just let them do whatever they want all the time, because they will end up hurting themselves, that’s why parents set boundaries. Bring that back to yourself, you need to set boundaries for yourself. Say there’s somebody that you really want to please because you really like them, but they don’t have any respect for you. Set the boundary and tell them that you don’t appreciate them treating you poorly. Know your boundaries and don’t allow other people to cross them. It is a struggle for so many people because part of human nature is the desire to be accepted and please other people. Focus on yourself when setting your boundaries. You need to make sure that you meet all of your needs. You can’t fill somebody else’s cup if your cup is empty. It’s not being selfish to fill your own cup first, it’s a necessity.
Since Keyla has been working on this, the biggest improvement she’s noticed is she no longer cares about other people’s opinions. She has her own opinions about herself, and it doesn’t matter what other people think. Of course, if somebody calls her an idiot, she can think back on the reason why they may have said that and if she had made a poor decision, she can recognize that and grow from it. The negative opinion that person has about her doesn’t stick with her though, she knows that she’s not an idiot, she just made a mistake like every other human does at some point or another. She doesn’t pretend to be somebody else to please other people. When she’s with her parents she’s not trying to be the perfect daughter, when she’s with her partner she’s not trying to be the perfect partner. She’s just trying to be the perfect Keyla.
If you would like to work with Keyla you can find her on Instagram @KeylaMerc and on Facebook as Keyla Mercader. I would love to hear what you think about Self-Love! Send me a message on social media @Jonesinfor or send me an email at [email protected]