When you change your life, it isn’t to become the new you. It’s to become the real you—the one-of-a-kind diamond that will never exist again and can never be replaced.
~ Dr. Edith Eger, Psychologist and Holocaust survivor
Hello Sweet Baby Angels!
Welcome to February, the month we celebrate love, Black history, and longer days.
If you’re like me, you may have a stormy relationship with Valentine’s Day.
Maybe you see it as a commercial holiday that thrives on high expectations and tends to highlight what we don’t have rather than what we can be grateful for.
I feel you.
Valentine’s Day used to conjure mega anxiety for me. In fact, for a long time, Valentine’s Day would always bring unfortunate events. I’d drop an expensive piece of glass, get food poisoning, or my car would break down.
I thought this was a sign that Cupid was my enemy. But that all changed when I learned about radical self-love.
What is radical self-love?
Radical self-love is like giving yourself the unfettered attention a tween might bestow upon their crush.
It’s feelin’ yourself like will.i.am
I’m not sure who coined the term, but I first heard about RSL from Gala Darling, who wrote a book on the subject (a quick and delightful read, IMHO).
More recently, I read about RSL in Sonya Renee Taylor’s book, The Body is Not An Apology (which I’ve mentioned here before and will continue to do until you’ve all read it and tell me what you think!)
RSL is deeper, juicier, and more expansive than self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-acceptance.
How do I get started with radical self-love?
If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start a practice of radically loving yourself. I call it a practice because it’s not something that comes easily to most of us.
Like yoga or meditation, RSL is work that requires ongoing commitment, but the payoff is major.
To help you out, I made a list of my favorite, quarantine-friendly, self-love activities right in time for Valentine’s Day.
You can do all of these on your own without spending a ton of money.
Go for a walk in nature
Walking outside is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It’s my go-to remedy whenever I’m feeling stressed, depressed, frustrated, confused, creatively stuck, or any other way that isn’t good.
Even if you live in a city, there’s probably a park nearby where you can enjoy some green scenery.
Much as I love spending time with my dogs and podcasts, I find that walking alone, without headphones, offers the greatest mental health benefits.
Take a bath
Add bubbles, a bath bomb, or Epsom salts. My personal favorite is a mix of Epsom salt and sea salt combined with aromatherapy oils like lavender and rosemary. Light a candle, incense, or use an essential oil diffuser. Play relaxing music (I love Bjork or Mozart in the bath).
Buy/gather/order flowers for yourself
Or a succulent. Or a venus fly trap. Whatever speaks to you.
This doesn’t have to be expensive. This week, I bought myself a dozen pink roses for less than $10. I love the color and feel so good whenever I look at them.
Have a dance party
Put on your favorite playlist and turn your living room, kitchen, or bedroom into a club.
Dancing is more fun than most forms of exercise while providing the same benefits, like, reducing stress and anxiety, improving cognitive functioning, and strengthening your cardiovascular system.
It’s even better if you get dressed up and/or cover yourself in body glitter.
If you want to learn new moves and integrate dancing into your fitness routine, I highly recommend Keaira LaShae’s workouts. Full disclosure, I’m a Team LaShae affiliate, which means if you make a purchase through this link, you’ll also be supporting my creative work at no extra cost.
Make yourself a valentine
Gather your glitter, glue, paints, sequins, magazine clippings, etc., and decorate a cardboard heart in any way that pleases you.
The last time I did this with my BFF, I ended up keeping my heart on display through the following Valentine’s Day. It always made me smile to see my own third-grade art skills proclaiming how awesome I think I am.
Bonus tip- book a self-love tarot reading with me
Shameless plug: I’ve been doing email tarot readings for friends and friends of friends. I thought it’d be fun to do an RSL special this week!
I’m offering 3-card tarot readings for $14
Reply to this newsletter to book a reading, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “tarot” somewhere in the subject line.
[note] you can always reply to this email just to say hi and let me know how you’re doing!
Please share this with your friends and lovers who may be interested.
I’ll respond with your reading within 2 days after receiving your email.
Payment via Venmo @Lauren-Steinheimer-1. I also accept trades and offer discounts for anyone in need.
You don’t need to have a question. This reading provides an overview of your relationship to radical self-love. It’s perfect for people interested in dipping their toes into tarot!
If you have a specific question or want deeper insight into a particular situation, I’m happy to help with that, too. However, the $14 price is only for 3-card spreads. More extensive readings range from $35-$75.
My big news this week is my six-month soberversary, which happened on February 3.
Sobriety is easily my favorite act of self-love. I feel more aligned with my authentic self than ever before. My skin is brighter (yes, that’s an IG filter in the photo so you’ll have to trust me), my moods are more stable, and I can read much faster. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I’ve replaced beer with books.
Shoutout to Athletic Brewing Co. for making non-alcoholic beer that tastes better than any “real beer” I’ve had since leaving the West Coast!
I’m not sponsored by Athletic Brewing (yet!), but it may be on my vision board…
That’s all for now, loves!
As always, I appreciate you spreading the word and sharing this newsletter!
Every little bit helps so much.