15 Ideas for Self-Love & Internal Growth

Between the political campaigns and acts of terrorism lately, we have been plagued with much conflict, sadness, and confrontation. I often worry that we all allow this to take center stage rather than worry about what is most important: taking care of one self. It’s a curious thought as without putting much effort into the idea, the reality is that for this world to be a better place, we each have to start with ourselves for that internal joy, peace, contentment, acceptance, and celebration.

I think back to one of my favorite yoga gurus and what she would say in every single practice. Even though some of the same key words were shared, no practice was the same. Each time she had a new way of teaching us how to take time to cultivate that internal peace, to find that balance, and to welcome compassion for ourselves, most importantly within ourselves. Sometimes I struggled hearing her say to take that time to be selfish on your mat, only brighten your internal light. At the time I recall thinking, ‘I’m just a mom, a wife, a student, a small business owner, a friend, a daughter, a sister…’ In my head all of these things were normal and not extraordinary. I didn’t understand how any of those things could dim my internal light. But the reality is, unless you yourself have a sound mind, open and full heart, healthy and strong body, there’s no way that you have the right to impact or positively influence anyone else’s. So all of those roles that I had at the time were all very much deserving of a strong, bright internal light.

For many, the practice of a moving meditation (yoga) is all about cultivating that internal heat; that whole idea of acknowledging that fire within while the earth sits below cradling the weight of your body. Taking that focus of cultivation, learning to accept who you truly are and what makes your clock tick. Allowing whatever that truly is to actually grow, gain strength, and flourish. Finding a way to allow that insane internal light to shine and not letting anything get in the way of that, especially your own ego. Acknowledging what makes you different from others and rather than judging yourself for the differences, allow yours to be outstanding. Taking those differences and finding a way to teach others how to grow from your strengths. Learning from others’ strengths and own your weaknesses. Learning to look beyond whatever those are. Instead of comparing yourself, looking forward and ahead to what’s possible. 

I know that yoga isn't for everyone, and that's okay. There are many things that you can do for yourself to continue to grow and work on brightening that internal light beyond what happens on the mat. Try a few a things on my list of suggestions and let your heart shine!

1. Make fun a priority. 

2. Maintain your current friendships; make new friends! 

3. Treat yourself how you would like to be treated. 

4. Remember to treat others with kindness; throw it around like it's confetti!

5. Wear lava! It turns out that lava is the stone of self love and internal strength. Allow the bracelet to allow that fire within to shine! 

6. Slow down and breathe. 

7. Keep a notebook full of all of your successes. Check back in regularly to see what you've all accomplished. 

8. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. 

9. Stay present and avoid looking back. 

10. Laugh often. 

11. Exercise daily. Make that commitment and date with yourself and don't cancel. 

12. Set goals for yourself, accomplish them and make a list of new ones. 

13. Don't be afraid to say, "no" if it's something that doesn't suit you. 

14. Make your home a place you want to be. 

15. Meditate! Yoga anyone?

Light + Love,


Maria PannoComment