6 lessons I learned from 6 years sober


Today I have been sober for six years! I should be used this word -- sober -- by now, but sometimes it still shocks me that I'm the one saying it. That I've been saying it for six years. Over the past six years, I've taken away some pretty big life lessons from living sober. Here are the top six lessons I've learned. Even if you're not sober or trying to get sober, I hope they'll inspire you!  



It took me a long time to get and stay sober because there wasn't anything I wanted more than the rush of going out and drinking. It wasn't until I started Positively Present and started seeing a wonderful therapist that I realized that my alcohol-fueled behavior wasn't at all in line with the kind of life I wanted to be living: a positive, present one.

Once I had something that mattered more to me than drinking and the exciting possibility of having a wild night, I realized I had to change. I wanted to be more at peace with who I was and I wanted to make positive choices. With that at the forefront of my mind, I was able to begin making changes and, ultimately, was able to quit drinking. 



Cliche? Yep! But it's a oft-repeated phrase for a reason: it's true. What scared me most about the thought of sobriety was that I'd never, ever drink again. Telling me I can't do something is one of the quickest ways to get me to want to do it. So instead of focusing on the never, ever, ever part of sobriety, I choose to focus on a single day.

Whenever I'm struggling, I tell myself, "I'm not going to drink today." Today seems much more manageable than thinking I'll never drink again. This present-focused trick works for any negative behavior. If you're struggling to stay on track, tell yourself, "I'm not going to drink today" or "I'm not going to text him today" or "I'm not going to eat a whole bag of junk food today." If you're still struggling (as I sometimes am), break it down further and promise yourself not to drink, etc. for an hour. 



Sobriety comes with a variety of level of loneliness. First, there will be people who don't get why you're getting sober. Because you're not waking up in a gutter or destroying your life, sometimes people will have trouble grasping just how negatively alcohol has impacted your life.

There will be people struggling with their own addiction issues. Admitting you have a problem means they might have to take a look at their own actions, and this might be difficult for them. Rather than do this, they'll simply shrug off your sobriety as something dramatic rather than necessary. 

Also, being the only one at the party not drinking can be lonely at times. No one seems to care that I'm sober (people I know well are used to it and new people are usually impressed or curious), but it's still isolating, particularly when drinking used to be my go-to resource for easing my social anxiety. But, for me, the little bit of loneliness is worth the positive benefits of being sober. 



By far the hardest lesson I've had to learn is getting to know who I truly am without alcohol. When I drank, I became a lot of things I'm normal not: brave, social, adventurous. Through sobriety I've had to learn which traits are truly me and which were fueled by alcohol. And, in some cases (like socializing), I've had to learn how to cope with my anxiety sans alcohol, which has been challenging at times. 

Also, without alcohol to numb emotions, sobriety requires that you really get in touch with your emotions. Sobriety is scarily real. There is no escape from who you are or how you feel. My flaws and my feelings are glaringly obvious (as are my mistakes, which now can no longer hide behind the words, "Sorry! I was so drunk!"). 

Feeling all the feelings and being who you truly are is hard, but it's made me stronger than I ever was before. I'm more self-aware and much more in control of my choices than I was six years ago and no amount of partying could ever feel better than that. 



Triggers sounds like a word that should be reserved for hard-core drug addicts, but was all have triggers -- situations, people, or things that prompt us to behave in ways we'd rather not. Sobriety has taught me how important it is to recognize those triggers and avoid them if possible. 

Some triggers -- like a wine tasting -- are avoidable for me. Others, like a stressful day or a beautiful summer afternoon, are not. I do my best to avoid situations that will be difficult for me. And, for those that I can't avoid, I do what I can to make it easier on myself. For example, I know Saturday nights are hard for me so I'll make plans to keep my mind off of drinking or, if I have to attend a triggering event, like a wedding, I might leave a bit early if I feel heightened temptation. 

I'm not sure why this is, but simply being aware of a trigger makes it easier to cope with. Maybe it's because you have an idea of why you're feeling the way you are and, with a solid explanation in hand, you can better choose how to react rather than impulsively responding. For example, let's say when you're really stressed at work, you're more likely to snap at your children when you get home. If you're aware of this, you can do a few things to make it better: try to lessen the stress at work, try to minimize stressful feelings by calming yourself on the ride home, or explain to your children that you've had a bad day and you might need a little less interaction that night.

Knowing your triggers is incredibly helpful, even if you can't always avoid them. And this goes for all kinds of situations -- what triggers you to feel angry at your partner, what triggers you to feel extra stressed out, what triggers you to eat an entire gallon of ice cream. So often we're impulsively reacting instead of thinking about why we're making the choices we are. 



Wallowing in the past does absolutely no good. You cannot go back and change it (no matter how much you might like to!). To be truly present, you have to accept what's past. But accepting isn't the same as forgetting. And, when it comes to sobriety, it's critical not to forget the bad things.

Yes, that sounds exactly opposite of saying positively present -- focusing on the negative aspect of past -- but romanticizing the past, especially if you're trying to get or stay sober, is dangerous. It's hard sometimes not to long for the days when I was laughing with friends, a cold beer in hand, or hitting the dance floor with my Red Bull-and-vodka-fueled confidence, but I have to remind myself that it wasn't all laughter and dancing. 

Drinking had serious consequences for me and, while I certainly don't want to dwell on the past, sometimes I have to recall some of the negative situations I encountered as a reminder to myself that I am better -- and safer -- when I'm sober. 


I also made a YouTube video (warning: it's a long one) about why I chose to get sober and I go into more detail about these six lessons. You can watch it below or click this link.  




PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer







less hate, more love : taking positive action



[THANK YOU to everyone who took the Reader Survey! The giveaway is closed, but the survey is still open if you'd still like to give feedback. I know a lot of you would like shorter articles and I hear you! This one is lengthy because I have a lot to say, but I promise I'll cut them down in the future.]


For those of you who don't want all the details, here's the TL;DR version of this post:

Gun violence sucks. I'm scared and saddened, and I want to do something so I made these pins and I'm donating 50% of the proceeds to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence



Generally I don't write about politics or current events, but a lot of you who took the reader survey said you'd like "more personal stuff," so I'm stepping out of my comfort zone today.

I hesitate to write about personal things or beliefs because, in all honesty, I fear losing readers -- not because I want more readers, but because I want everyone to have an opportunity to learn more about living positively in the present. I worry that if I write too much about personal beliefs (or potentially feather-ruffling topics like money, politics, religion, or sex), people will turn away from the site and miss out on the benefits of living a positive, present life.

But it's too hard for me to remain quiet right now. 



Positively Present isn't (and will never be) a place for political discussions, but recent news -- particularly the Orlando massacre, the murder of Christina Grimmie, and a deadly shooting at my local mall -- has deeply impacted me. While don't know anyone involved in these tragedies, I can't stop thinking about how it must feel to lose a loved one for no reason other than the hate-fueled actions of a mentally unstable man.

It keeps me up at night, my mind racing with thoughts like, Why did this happen? When will it happen to someone I know? What can be done? How can we fix this? These thoughts plague my days, causing me to be fearful in places I should feel safe. 

At the post office yesterday (shipping self-love stickers!) a man in front of me began a heated argument with the postal worker behind the counter. Their voices raised and he called her a bitch, and my eyes immediately went to the waistline of his pants in search of a gun. I could feel the color drain from my face and my heart pound fast as I thought, He could have a gun. He could pull out a gun and start shooting us.

While these thoughts are not helpful (or present-minded!), they aren't entirely irrational. I have reason to be afraid. And that makes me sad. And mad

I don't want to be afraid, and I don't want other people to be afraid either. What happened in Orlando has hit me hard. I can't pinpoint exactly why -- maybe it was the number of people killed or the fact that a community I feel part of, as an ally, was targeted. Or maybe, like so many American citizens, I've simply had enough. 

Whatever the reason, this is the first mass-shooting that brought me to tears. Lying in my bed, reading Eddie Justice's last texts to his mother, tears streamed down my face and I knew I had to do something.



In the aftermath of past mass shootings, I've been one of those saying, "We should do something!" But while saying "we," I really meant "someone else." Someone else should do something. Because, really, what could someone like me -- with no political connections and little extra money to donate -- actually do? 

Taking action is hard, particularly when it's not clear what action should be taken. Do I want to restrict Americans' freedoms? No. Do I want to be able to go to the post office without fearing I might be murdered? Yes.

I still don't know what exactly should be done, but I know with certainty that two things lie at the heart of all mass shootings: hatred and guns. Regardless of how you feel about guns, you cannot deny that hate (served with a side of mental instability) is what pulls the trigger. 

We need to lessen hate and create more love.

But how do we do that? We'll never eradicate hate, but just because we can't rid the world of it completely doesn't mean we should sit by complacently and watch it pelt bullets into the bodies of people at nightclubs and churches and malls and schools.

If we want things to change -- whether it's something personal or political -- we have to take some sort of action, however small.  



When the news broke about Orlando, I was in the process of designing my first enamel pin. After I heard the news, I knew I could use the pin to make a difference. I switched the direction of my design and created the Less Hate, More Love pin.

The pin is not only a way raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence), but it also serves as a visual reminder that love is incredibly powerful. We need more of it. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

We cannot fight hate with more hate. We must fight with love. It's my hope that this little pin will remind us of that every time we look at it. 



Of course, love alone won't solve our problems. If we want change, I believe we have to start with education. We need all kinds of education to make this world a better place, but there are two things we need much more education on: hate and guns.

Hate is what I'd really like to tackle, but I'm starting small. After much research, I decided to donate to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, an organization making communities safer by translating research into policy.

The EFSGV works on policy development, supports policymakers and gun violence prevention advocates by drafting and implementing policy, influences the policymaking process by lobbying and educating policymakers, and works with community members to bring their voices to policymakers. 

If you're not into the idea of a pin or want to donate directly, here's info on how to donate to EFSGV.


Whether or not you buy a pin or donate to (or even believe in) this cause, I hope this post reminds you that, if you want change, you have to do something. You might feel small, but, as Ronald Reagan once said, "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." 

Doing something small is better than doing nothing at all. You can use your skills (whatever they might be!) to make a difference in whatever cause you believe in. Use your voice, your time, your money, and your resources to make a positive impact in the world.  

6 self-love lessons from alice in wonderland (part II)

All images © Walt Disney Studios

As you might of seen last week, I wrote about two of my favorite topics: Alice in Wonderland and self-love! Today I'm catching you up with the second half of the amazing self-love lessons from Alice. If you haven't already, check out PART I for the first three lessons (and some background on Alice). 





Rose: Just what species or, shall we say, genus are you, my dear?
Alice: Well, I guess you would call me... genus, humanus... Alice.
Daisy: Ever see an alice with a blossom like that?
Orchid: Come to think of it, did you ever see an alice?
Daisy: Yes, and did you notice her petals? What a peculiar color.
Orchid: [sniffing Alice's hair] And no fragrance.
Daisy: [chuckling, as she lifts up one side of Alice's dress] And just look at those stems.
Rose: [as Alice slaps the Daisy's leaves away] Rather scrawny, I'd say... 

When Alice initially encounters a garden of talking flowers, they are polite, welcoming, and curious about her. As she spends time with them, however, they quickly turn judgmental, negative, and cruel. As soon as the flowers start poking and prodding her, judging her appearance and picking on her, Alice removes herself from the situation, quickly exiting the garden and murmuring, "You can learn a lot of things from the flowers! Huh! Seems to me they could learn a few things about manners!" She recognizes the flowers' rudeness and refuses to tolerate it -- and this isn't the only scene in which she leaves a negative situation or character. In fact, in many of the scenes in the film, Alice faces rudeness, nonsense, or bad behavior and, rather than tolerate it, Alice leaves. 

This is one of the most essential self-love lessons we can learn from Alice: if someone is treating you poorly or is bringing too much negativity into your life, get away from that person. Now, this is obviously not as easy as stomping out of a garden if you've been invested in this person or your relationship is very intertwined with other aspects of your life (like work or parenthood, for example), but if you want to truly treat yourself with love, you have to get away from those who don't treat you well. In addition, it's important to seek out positive people -- people who will encourage you, uplift you, and inspire you. The fewer negative people you have in your life, the more room you'll have for these positive influencers. 





Caterpillar: [meeting Alice] Who... 'R'... 'U'?
Alice: I- I hardly know, sir. I've changed so many times since this morning, you see...
Caterpillar: I do not 'C.' Explain yourself.
Alice: I'm afraid I can't explain myself, sir, because I'm not myself, you know.
Caterpillar: I do not know.
Alice: Well, I can't put it any more clearly, sir, for it isn't clear to me.

When Alice encounters the Caterpillar, one of the first things he does is ask her who she is (in quite a demanding and aggressive way, I might add!). If asked the same question, most of us would probably respond with our names, as we use those to identify ourselves to others. But what does it mean to be "[your name]"? Who are you really? How would you describe yourself to someone else? These are hard questions to answer -- and one of the reasons I created the Finding Your Self workbook! -- but they are important when it comes to self-love. It's difficult to love yourself, after all, if you don't know yourself. It's important to get to know yourself as best you can, but it's equally as important not to limit yourself with labels. 

Alice, because she's been through so much and changed physically in many ways since entering Wonderland, doesn't know how to answer the Caterpillar's question concerning who she is. She's changed a great deal, making it difficult for her to define herself. Like Alice, we also change a great deal over time. The person you are today isn't the person you were five years ago -- and that's actually a good thing. When we don't change, we don't grow. One of the reasons some people don't change much is because they often limit themselves to a definition of what they should be (or have been). While it's wonderful to have a sense of self and know who you are, this scene in Alice in Wonderland reminded me that it's also good not to limit yourself with internal or external expectations. It's okay not to know exactly who you are, to want to change, or to feel you have changed. It's okay not to be completely clear on who you are -- so long as you treat yourself with compassion and love. You don't have to fully understand yourself to treat yourself with understanding.





Alice: I give myself very good advice. But I very seldom follow it. That explains the trouble that I'm always in.

This last lessons is, what I believe to be, one of the most important. Toward the end of her time in Wonderland, Alice feels completely lost and uncertain about how to find her way home again. The path she was heading down literally disappeared and she's alone in the Tulgey Woods with no sense of which way to go. In this scene, Alice sings one of my favorite songs, "Very Good Advice," (watch the video here!) all about how she gives herself very good advice but very rarely follows it. You're probably well aware of how much easier it is to give good advice than it is to take it, but one of the greatest acts of self-love is giving yourself good advice -- if this is hard, imagine what you'd tell a friend in your situation -- and actually following it. 

More often than not, we know the right thing to do -- the thing that will ultimately make us happy and fulfilled -- but a lot of the time, the right choice isn't the easiest one to make, which is why we sometimes don't take our own advice. But consider, for a minute, what your life would be like if you did the right thing every time, if you made the choice you know someone who truly loves you would make for you. You can do that. You can be the person that loves you enough to push you in a positive direction -- even if it's hard to do so in the moment. The next time you're faced with a tough choice, try to take your own good advice and see what happens. Challenging as it might be, it's a brave and worthwhile act of self-love.


I hope you've enjoyed these inspiring self-love lessons from Alice in Wonderland. If you haven't seen or read Alice in awhile and you want to check it out, here are some of my favorite Alice-related things:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (original 1865 edition)

Through the Looking Glass (original 1872 edition)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Rifle Paper Co. illustrated edition)

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland (Little Golden Book edition)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Salvador Dali illustrated edition)

Disney Alice in Wonderland score (the weird, wonderful soundtrack!)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Yayoi Kusama illustrated edition)

The Annotated Alice (annotated and illustrated edition)

Alice in Wonderland (1951 animated film)

Alice in Wonderland (2010 live-action film)


PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer










6 self-love lessons from alice in wonderland (part I)


All images © Walt Disney Studios

I'm a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland -- the book, the films, and especially the 1951 Disney film. I've written about it quite a few times  Wonderland Wisdom: 8 Life Lessons from Alice, How to Reclaim Your Muchness, Revisiting Your Muchness: 5 Steps to Reclaim Who You Were), and it was even the reason I published The Positively Present Guide to Life! (My publisher originally discovered my site via one of my Alice articles. So awesome!) Not only did my love for Alice enhance my career, but it's also had a pretty important impact on the way I think about life. (As have many other Disney films -- fun fact: I wrote my graduate school thesis on Disney films!)

With the release of the new Disney film, Through the Looking Glass, I've been planning to write another Alice-themed article for months. And, after recently releasing my self-love stickers, I've had a love of self-love on the brain so I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find any good self-love lessons in Alice's adventures. I was pleasantly surprised to find tons of them, but I narrowed it down to the top six. Here are some of the best bits of wisdom from Alice's tumble down the rabbit hole.

(Note: these are all from the Disney film, which varies a bit from the original book. If you haven't seen the film or aren't familiar with the story, the general idea is this: Alice, a restless young girl, falls down a rabbit hole and enters a magical world. There she encounters an odd assortment of characters, including the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts, the Caterpillar, and a garden of talking flowers. The tale focuses on Alice's adventures in Wonderland and, ultimately, on her quest to find her way home. If you're interested in reading/watching Alice, check the end of the post for links to my favorite Alice-related works!)





Alice: If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

At the beginning of the film, Alice sits with her cat, Dinah, musing about what it would be like if she had a world of her own. She's restless and bored with her school lessons and longs for a world with more fancifulness and magic, a world in which things would be very different from how they are in the real world. How many of us have had a moment like Alice's, where we sat imagining how things could be different? While we might not have daydreamed about talking flowers or cats wearing trousers (but, let's be serious, clothed cats sounds pretty adorable...), we've imagined how we might want things to be different. And, believe it or not, this is actually an act of self-love. Yes, self-love does involve acceptance and staying in the present moment, but it also includes envisioning what we'd like for ourselves in the future -- what an ideal life would look like. Imagining a life we want to lead is actually a very brave act because it means facing the fact that things aren't always perfect and, if we'd like to be fulfilled and happy, we might actually have to make some changes (gulp!).

A great lesson we can all take from Alice is embracing our imaginations, considering what an ideal world would look like for us -- and, most importantly, going after it. While I wouldn't recommend following a rabbit down a rabbit hole, as Alice did, it's interesting to consider how Alice's daydream turned into a reality when she took action. Also worth noting is that not everything Alice envisioned turned out to be how she imagined it would be (See Lesson 4!). So, while it's important to tap into your imagination, envision what you'd like your world to look like, and take action toward your goals, it's also a good idea to recognize that things won't always turn out how you imagined (or, if they do, they might not be as fulfilling as you would have thought). This idea isn't meant to discourage you from pursuing your dreams, but to inspire you to find a balance between bravely envisioning the future and realizing that the future, however it arrives, will require acceptance. 





Alice: Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.

Maintaining a positive attitude when the world around you feels crazy is quite challenging, but Alice is one of the best examples of someone who faces strange and unusual adversity while remaining optimistic and hopeful. Can you imagine tumbling down a rabbit hole, through a seemingly endless tunnel filled with furniture and knickknacks and books and thinking to yourself, "After this, I should think nothing of falling down stairs!" I don't know about you, but I'd probably be screaming, eyes shut, and thinking to myself, "I'm going to die when I hit the ground. This is the end. Oh my god. Oh my god." Not Alice though! She's not only completely trusting that she'll land on her feet (despite never having fallen down a rabbit hole before!), but she's also thinking about how this strange experience will help her stay positive the next time she goes through something less challenging: falling down the stairs. (The fact that she has this idea at all is a bit concerning though. I mean, how often does she fall down stairs?!)

In this scene, and countless others in the film, Alice is faced with adversity and strangeness. Rather than get upset, frustrated, or angry, she generally tries to see the good in the situation and take a positive stance on whatever she's experiencing. She notes something positive in the present moment or, as she does in this particular scene, she takes note of how she could use her current experience to stay positive in the future. While she does have moments where characters or situations test her patience, throughout the film she generally remains hopeful and optimistic -- in spite of having just fallen down a rabbit hole into a strange land where nothing makes sense! The next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, try to imagine how Alice would look at it. How would Alice view the difficult coworkers you have to cope with? How would she cope with the nonsensical aggression of a driver on the road? Though we don't live in Wonderland, a lot of what we encounter in everyday life can seem confusing and frustrating. When tough situations (or people!) come your way, ask yourself, "How would Alice find the good in this?" Because, when it comes down to it, positivity is an act of self-love. 




Alice: Better look first, for if one drinks much from a bottle marked "Poison," it's almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later.

After arriving in Wonderland, Alice is encouraged by the Doorknob to drink from a bottle. Though Alice is only a young girl, she paused before taking a sip, reciting the quote above. What inspired me about this scene is Alice's mindfulness about what she's consuming. When it comes to our bodies and minds, we often have control about what we consume -- and what we consume can have a big impact on how we feel, think, and act. Whether we're talking about the food we eat, the substances we intake, or the media we watch/read, everything we consume contributes to the way we feel about ourselves. Though Alice probably isn't aware of this when making this statement, the words "better look first" are powerful when it comes to self-love. 

Before you consume something -- eat a meal, uncork a bottle, swallow a pill, pull up a website, open a book, turn on the TV, or make a purchase -- think about how it will make you feel. Will you feel better after you consume it? Will it make you happier, more fulfilled, more successful, more at peace? And, for how long will it do that? Some things make us feel really good in the moment, but terrible later. While I'm all about staying present, sometimes you have to consider how you present consumption will impact your future emotional state. Taking a moment to pause before consuming and consider the consequences can lead to more positive choices and more self-loving acts.


Clearly, Alice knows a lot about self-love! I bet you had no idea you could learn so many great self-love tips from a Disney character, did you? The best tips are still to come. Stay tuned for PART II next week! And, if you haven't seen / read Alice in awhile and want to check it out, here are some of my favorite Alice-related things:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (original 1865 edition)

Through the Looking Glass (original 1872 edition)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Rifle Paper Co. illustrated edition)

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland (Little Golden Book edition)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Salvador Dali illustrated edition)

Disney Alice in Wonderland score (the weird, wonderful soundtrack!)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Yayoi Kusama illustrated edition)

The Annotated Alice (annotated and illustrated edition)

Alice in Wonderland (1951 animated film)

Alice in Wonderland (2010 live-action film)


PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer










6 benefits of self-love + STICKERS



Love yourself. You've heard those words before (and not just in an amazing Justin Bieber song!), but have you ever paused to ask why you should embrace self-love? There are many reasons to love yourself, not least of which is summed up in the quote above: loving yourself changes your whole outlook on life. 

Self-love is one of the most important topics I write about here on Positively Present. I firmly believe it's the foundation for creating a positive, present life because, if you don't have love and respect for yourself, what incentive do you have for staying optimistic in the moment?

I'll go into more detail about why self-love is absolutely essential below, but before I do, I have some very exciting news... I've released my first non-book product: STICKERS




This might sound like a small thing, but I am beyond excited about this new release. For one, I've never released a non-book product before and, two, I absolutely love purchasing stationery items that make me feel inspired, so it feels amazing to have created something that will hopefully inspire others!

Here are the details about the stickers, which can be found on my Etsy shop, Twenty3:  



The 5x7 self-love sticker sheet is perfect for anyone looking for self-love and inspiration. It's also a great gift for a friend who might need a little self-love boost!

This sticker sheet features an extra special mirror sticker. Stick it on your shirt or jacket and look in the mirror for the sticker's uplifting message to be revealed!

Printed in full color, these kiss-cut stickers are perfect for planners, diaries, notes, letters, or any other place you might need a positive pick-me-up. :)

Each sheet is packaged in a cellophane packet to keep your stickers nice and clean until you're ready to use them. One (1) sheet per pack. Each sheet has eleven (11) stickers.

I'm particularly pumped about the mirror sticker idea I came up with. I've never seen a sticker designed to be read in the mirror, and I think it's an absolutely perfect way to reflect (get it -- mirror, reflect, ha!) on self-love and encouragement. I really hope you'll check out the stickers and treat yourself (or a friend!) to a bit of self-love. Go get 'em over at Etsy and come back to read more about self-love... 


... okay, now back to the benefits of self-love! I'm sure you've probably read plenty on how to cultivate self-love (if not, read some articles here), but sometimes it can be extra motivating when you know about the benefits of doing something. For example, one of the ways people stay motivated to exercise is because they're aware of its many benefits and, when they don't feel like doing it, they remind themselves of all the ways staying active will help them. Same goes for self-love. When you keep self-love's benefits in mind, you're more likely to practice it -- and it'll be much harder to treat yourself badly (or tolerate anyone else who does!). Here the the reasons you should practice self-love as often as you can: 



First and foremost, when you love yourself, you have more emotional stability (which is a very important foundation for almost every other aspect of your life). When you're focused on loving yourself, you won't seek validation or approval from others (or from society in general). As a result, you live your life according to your rules and, though others will impact the way you feel at times, you won't spend your life reacting to and being dependent on others' desires. You'll also be much more attuned to your own needs and will prioritize them. (And, no, this is not selfish. Read why here.)



In addition to the invaluable emotional stability self-love offers you, it also has the added benefit of promoting positive thinking. The way you think (and talk) about yourself greatly influences how you feel and act, even if you don't always realize it. If you're thinking wonderful, encouraging things about yourself, it's easier to have positive thoughts about others and the world around you. Additionally, maintaining a strong sense of self and cultivating self-love makes it much more difficult for negative thoughts to take over; your self-loving mind will challenge them and strive to neutralize them with positive thinking. 



You've probably heard the saying "like attracts like," and it's never been more true than when it comes to self-love. When you love who you are, you're much more likely to surround yourself with those who also love themselves -- people who are inspiring, encouraging, and empowering. Self-loving individuals don't have a need to judge or bring down others, and they don't spend time with those who do. The more you focus on loving yourself, the more you'll attract those that love themselves, and those are the kinds of people that will motivate and inspire you. 



Not only does self-love help you attract positive, inspiring people in general, but it also serves as a important foundation for romantic love. Want to attract the right kind of partner? You have to be the right kind of partner. It's going to be very challenging for others to love you if you don't love you. Additionally, self-love impacts how you treat others. The more you love yourself, the more loving you'll be -- and you'll be less like to settle for anything less than loving interactions with others. When both people love themselves, they're likely to have a more productive, positive, and meaningful relationship.  



Anyone who watches the news knows that there is a lot of violence throughout the world. :( Violence is almost always a result of inner pain, which is frequently caused by a lack of self-love. If everyone in the world loved him or herself, hate, intolerance, and violence would be minimal (if nonexistent). People who love themselves don't need to put others down, commit acts of violence, or act aggressively toward others. Even if you don't experience violence in your own life, you've probably experienced negative emotions like envy and jealousy (and maybe even hate). These feelings dissipate and disappear when you cultivate self-love. 



With self-love in place, you're more likely to have professional success for a number of reasons. For one, self-love makes you more confident, and people, particularly in the workplace, are attracted to confident people. People will put their trust in you, and that trust will motivate more work hard, which is the true path to success. Additionally, the more you love yourself, the less likely you are to be governed by others' expectations. You're also more likely to find and follow your passion, which is one of the best ways to find lasting success.  


Clearly there are many self-love benefits, but self-love, useful as it is, isn't always easy. It's important to practice it every single day and incorporate it into all aspects of your life -- from your relationships to your career to your thought patterns. Surrounding yourself with people who love themselves and putting yourself in positive situations are two great ways to do this. It's also helpful to have inspiration and encouragement around you in the form of books, websites, and, yes, even little things like stickers. ;) The more inspired you feel (and the more you're reminded to love yourself!), the easier self-love becomes. 




For all of you who've placed an order, thank you so much! You'll have your stickers soon, and I know you're going to love them. If you have any questions or need any additional info, you can always reach out to me via email or social media