It’s taken me thirty years to fall in love with my hairy arms that resulted in the nickname ‘monkey girl,’ the moles I knew could map the universe if I had a pen to hand and the double cow’s lick that’s prevented me from rocking some serious girl bangs but I’ve finally committed, I’ve joined the self-love club.

The self-love club is a tough one to get accepted into and be warned, there’ll be days when you get kicked out for disorderly behaviour but better days when you’re grinning from ear to ear in your favourite red dress. This club accepts only one mantra and I’m going to challenge your membership.

Sticks and stones might break bones but words will always hurt you. Take a moment to sit and think about how you’ve spoken to yourself today, write it down if you can. Now reverse those words and imagine saying them to one of your friends, your partner, a stranger, would they want to be friends with you if you spoke to them like that? To join the self-love club you need to be the master of your thoughts and have the courage to tell your mind to f**k off when it’s bullying you.

To change your body, you must change your mind. The world would be beyond boring if we all looked the same which is why it breaks my heart to see an online world obsessed with having the exact same features. The problem with this is, you can change the exterior but if the interior hasn’t caught up, nothing is ever going to change. We all have that friend(s) who is addicted to cosmetic procedures, at first they were happy then they had to go bigger, tighter, smaller and more lifted. We both know it’s not because they needed it, it’s because although their body has changed, their mind hasn’t. They will never be happy unless they work on the inside and so, unfortunately, will keep spending on the outside until it goes wrong.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. This is something I am currently working on and I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. If you spend your days trying to save, love, be there for everyone else, who is there to save you? My therapist tells me to think of life like your very own lifeboat. When a storm comes, buckle up and hold on tight, you never jump into other peoples boats and leave yours sinking. ┬áSpending time with yourself shouldn’t make you feel alone. It should feel like you’re hanging out with your very best friend, you don’t have to talk to her/him, you don’t have to do anything, you’re just together, regrouping and disconnecting from everything else that gets in the way.

Spend this week 1) writing down the words to say to yourself, 2) making time to cancel events/plans that your heart doesn’t really want to go to, and 3) getting to know yourself. She’s your best friend after all! See you in the Self-Love Club.

Ps: Aren’t these leggings gorgeous? (From Dharma Bums.) Photo credit: Jenna McKone.