Self-Love for me and 5 common misconceptions


"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for"

Maya Angelou 

I'm writing to you from my quiet little desk. It's Saturday morning and I was up unexpectedly early and with a big desire to share some words to you about self-love.

The silence around me, only interrupted by the laugh of small kids playing in the playground downstairs feels comforting like a soft hug and I'm smelling the quiche with spinach and goat cheese warming up in the oven. I love how my little desk is just next to the window and the light comes in on my hands while I type on the keyboard and then I turn and look out at my favorite view of Paris from my sixth floor apartment. Pure bliss.

But the serenity I feel now was not the same during the week. I have been feeling restless, 1000 thoughts on my mind trying to coordinate the ( almost ) 3 jobs I have, social commitments and life admin. City life can be intense and while i love it 90% of times, there is that 10% that has to be taken care of! And that's when stillness and small acts of self-love can change your week.

On Tuesday, as I tell in this post here, I had planned to try out a calligraphy class. I have been dreaming of doing it for a long time, it just feels like the perfect winter creative outlet, a new form of meditation. But I had a long day, I was running late and by the moment I stepped on the metro I knew that I had to change my plans. So instead of going back home I took myself on an unexpected solo date of cinema and sushi, which felt really indulgent and fun. 

On Thursday I was back on the busy mind track and just after I gave my early morning yoga class, I knew that I needed some white space again. I was feeling so reactive at social interactions and technology, and by now I know that getting lost in the virtual over stimulating world, and texting people back and forth,  it's one of the most draining things for me. It immediately takes me out of the present moment and then I feel swallowed by this parallel world for hours and then come out exhausted and not having completed any important task !

So as soon as I could, I put my phone on airplane mode and also my home wifi for a while and spent some time in stillness. Simply feeling my nervous system going back to normal and doing things offline. I baked a banana break, the quiche mentioned above and roasted vegetables, I put on a face mask, watched this TV series which made me laugh a lot and read a few pages of a book. 

When I turned on the phone in the evening , nothing much had happened and the world had survived pretty well without me being available 24/7, WHAT a relief !

This quiet and reflective week was an act of self-love. My inner critic was loud on a few episodes telling me that I had to show up for social commitments, that it wasn't good for me to spend time alone and that I was missing out stuff, that cooking for 3 hours was a waste of time and spending a day not working with a long to-do list waiting for me wasn't a good plan. But all of these thoughts were not real, and my body wisdom knew better !

5 Misconceptions about self love ( that our inner critic likes to tell us ) :

Self-love is selfish. 

Just try it out, try listening to what your soul needs, for real, and no doubt you'll come out of it with a much fuller cup that will allow you to  serve your community from a place of gratitude instead of resentment.

Self-love is indulgent and for rich lazy ladies taking bubble baths ;-)

It's nothing about bubble baths, manicure of expensive restaurants. While all these things can be fun expressions of loving yourself, and by any means do it if you feel called to, they are not by themselves what will fill up your cup of self-love! 

Self-love is time consuming.

When you think of taking time off your busy life for cultivating connection with yourself, it may feel like a waste of time. It may feel like you have better and more urgent things to do, but the magic of it it's the space it will create on the inside. Doing things that bring you joy and make you feel loved will help you be the best and happiest version of yourself, and isn't it the fundamental reason we're here on this planet ?

Self-love it's a myth, you obviously need someone else to feel loved.

This one really resonated with me. I thought that self-love was just a cheesy way to compensate the lack of love when it was lacking from the outside because I wasn't in a relationship or I didn't feel I had my tribe of friends. But actually it's the other way around, it's when you start to accept and deeply love the person you are, the original you, that the right people will come along. 

The way we treat ourselves totally affect the way others will treat us. 

Self-love is complicated, what does it practically mean ?

Self-love has become such a trendy term, that it may sound airy fairy and not mean much , so I will share what it practically means for me and some other definitions from others that truly hit the spot in my opinion. 

Self-love is about getting back in alignement with yourself, and most of the times it happens by being brave , leaning into vulnerability and saying NO to external things so you can say HELL YES to yourself. It's challenging and uncomfortable but will just feel right .

I love this list inspired by Joanne Bradford Instagram feed ( she's my last interview guest ) which is about self-care but I think many of the points touch a deep level of self-love :

- It's doing the thing you least want to do.

- It's letting the f*ck go.

- It's forgetting about the money. 

- It's stopping what doesn't work for you, finally

- It's prioritizing joy

- It's letting other people down.

- It's coming through for yourself. 

- It's making a goddamn budget. 

- It's sticking to your guns. 

- It's giving up...sometimes.

- It's choosing differently, despite the past. 

- It's being selfish. 

- It's acting on your curiosities. 

- It's being selective. 

- It's doing the things you want without regard for how it will seem, or appear, or be talked about by others. 

I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I do, every point makes me feel liberated of a deeper layer of self-loath . 


So I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to know your relationship with self-love, do you find it easy to connect with this idea or it's completely foreign ? If it's the latter, know that I've been feeling like that too and it's an ever evolving topic that I'm learning and exploring every single day ! I'd love to hear your point of view, share it in the comments below. 

Getting to know yourself and to love yourself it's at the core of any coaching relationship, regardless of the topic or goals we set. If you're ready to commit to deeper self-love I have a couple of 1:1 coaching spots to work together this month , send me an email at or book here a casual free chat to learn more about my coaching !

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Alessia Gandolfo