From the Editor

April “BE”: 50 Shades of Self-Love

shades
Susan Vernicek
Written by Susan Vernicek

I never thought you could really experience love at first sight until I met Missy, our new American Bulldog. We recently put our old English bulldog, Rambo to sleep and he was such a handful that we thought we’d wait until after our wedding to rescue another dog.

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Self-love comes in a variety of ways; physically, emotionally and Susan bets more than 50 shades of ways. Susan set out to find the best 50 shades of self-love because women can always use a library of self-love tips to pull from in a dyer need of an uplift. Take a look at the many inspiring voices and quotes and as always, feel free to share your own! P.S. This is a great article to bookmark and read a new self-love tip each day!



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“You can have 50 shades of self-love.
That is if you choose to.”
– Susan Vernicek

1. The First Step: “The very first step in any kind of self-love is acceptance. Acceptance then leads to appreciation. Together, acceptance plus appreciation will lead to achievements. With all three A’s, (Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.) you will start to embody confidence, which ultimately leads to a deeper love for yourself. ” – Susan Vernicek

2. Happiness: “Happiness comes not from the size, shape or color of your skin…. but from within.” ~ Brenna Smith

3. Daily Practice: “Self-love is a daily, ongoing practice. We all have days when we just don’t feel great. But if we don’t work at it, we allow what the media says or what we hear from others to make us feel like we are less than all the time. Like any other muscle, you have to strengthen your self-love muscle by choosing behaviors that exemplify what you mean when you say the words.” – Jennifer Tuma Young

Rita Mae Brown

Rita Mae Brown

 

4. Sorrow: “Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.”― Rita Mae Brown

5. Unleash Your Sexy Goddess: “So many women don’t love themselves or are not
comfortable within their own bodies and are therefore afraid to feel
pleasure. As women, we often forget that it’s our right to feel pleasure. 
Pleasure is our birthright, and every woman deserves to feel pleasure. Look
and feel the way you want to and do what makes you happy. Awaken your sexual
muse and your power of sexuality and you will be on the road to loving 
yourself.”
– Stacy

6. For the Moms: “Self-care makes you a better mom so make time for yourself by making time for the activities that make you happy. Get away. Take mini vacations or dates with your partner that will give you a chance to reenergize and come back fresh and ready to be a mom. No excuses. No guilt trip. Get a babysitter and relax when you get overwhelmed. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others.” – Vanessa Coppes

7. Willingness: “My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.” -Shakti Gawain

8. Become the Master of your Mind: “Composed of measurable electrical
energy, the mind creates our reality. When we allow ourselves to be
controlled by thoughts that continuously attack, punish, judge, and separate
us from others, a larger whole, and our vitality, ourselves is diminished, 
and dysfunction and disease results.” – Heather Hans

9. Barriers: “Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
– Rumi, thirteenth century Sufi poet

10. Reduce Stress: “Neuronal growth occurs in our brains when we learn new
information, but new growth actually decreases when we are in a
distressed state. Adopt a daily relaxation ritual to lessen anxiety and
calm the brain. Examples include-meditation, yoga, guided visualization, 
mindfulness, acupuncture, massage and breathing exercises. Practice it
regularly-even if only for a few minutes a day.”
– Dr. Jill Weber

JodiPicoult

Jodi Picoult

 

11. Being Different: “When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.”― Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart

12. From Other Women: “Be who OTHER WOMEN think you are! When asked to share who we are at our best, some of us do a pretty good job, but most of sell ourselves FAR too short. Ask 5-10 women in your life to tell you what they think your strengths are … who they know you to be at your best. Make a list of everything they have shared with you. Then, go out into the world and BE WHO THEY SAY YOU ARE. I guarantee you will have bigger, brighter shoes to fill!” – Tricia Bennett

13. Intuition, Roots and Divine: “Trust your intuition. If things seem wrong with somebody else, they
probably are. Get in touch with your roots, your childhood and your nation of
origin. 3. Connect with the divine. Know that the universe loves you.” – Alexandra Chauran

14. Approval: “Don’t seek approval from the world…Who cares what they think!” – Brenna Smith

15. Judging: “When you judge, you will see defects. When you don’t judge. You will see beauty.” – Alice Matzkin

16. Just for You: “Do something each day that is just for you. It doesn’t have to take up lots
of time or take away from those you love: hot bath, cup of tea, good book, 
walk in the park, favorite music, manicure, fresh flowers, relaxing in the
sun. A simple gesture of self care demonstrates the value you already have.”
– Danea Horn

17. Become aware of your thoughts: “Try to pay more attention to what you’re thinking about and determine if it’s positive or negative. How to know? Notice how you’re feeling, this is your temperature gauge. If you’re not feeling good or great, try to focus on something positive and shift your mood. Sing, play music, walk in nature or call a friend, but do something!” – Kimberly Olsen

Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg

18. Best Friend: “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”― Diane Von Furstenberg

19. Simply YOU: “No one deserves you and your love more than YOU.” – Brenna Smith

20. Letting Go: “Let the ideal go. Forgive yourself for being human, for having flaws, for
getting sick, for not keeping the house spotless, for diet slip-ups and for
all of the other things that all humans do. You are already enough, just as
you are.”
– Danea Horn

21. Believe: “My tip for self love is to believe in yourself. In this world there will always be those who doubt you, criticize you and question your purpose. The sooner you are able to step outside of needing the validations of others and step into believing in yourself ~ your self-love will explode!! Believing in yourself gives you the freedom to be true to you, loving all parts of who you are.” – Robin Marvel

22. Be Proud: “Make yourself proud because YOUR opinion is the only one that matters.” – Brenna Smith

23.  Write This Down: “Write down 10 things you are awesome at and/or things you’re proud of yourself for doing this week. 

This can be anything, from running a half marathon to replying to the email that’s been sitting in your inbox for days. When you really start to think about the things you are good at, you smile and remember how unique and amazing you are. So often we only focus on the negative things or things we need to improve. Celebrate your greatness!” – Diana Antholis

24. Stand up Straight and Increase Your Confidence: “Recent research has found that posture is related not only to what others think about us, but also what we think about the confidence and ourselves in our thoughts. Let me know if you want more information about this research. It’s interesting because it implies that simply having awareness about and changing posture can have a real impact on confidence. Confidence is often identified as one of the most important factors that determine a person’s level of attractiveness.” – Dr. Joseph Cilona

25. Your Goddess List: “When you’re having one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong, you can’t find the right outfit, your hair is not cooperating and you didn’t get invited to that cute boys birthday party like you had hoped, go to your Goddess List. On a day when you are feeling in love with who you are, write down three of your favorite things about yourself. We all have them. Those things that make you feel a little extra confident and even get you a little excited. It could be something small like you love the fact that you always wear funky socks, it’s your thing and you think it’s pretty cool. Or something bigger like you feels great about the fact that you are always there for your friends. Focus on these three things about yourself as you go throughout your day and you will radiate with confidence!” – Nitika Chopra

26. Say No: “This is a biggie for self-love. Many of us women have this serious condition where we can’t say no to certain requests from our nearest and dearest as well as colleagues, employer and clients. I’m also talking about you saying no to yourself when you are attempting to put more things on your already full plates. This is not about refusing to help others or be there for friends. It’s about being conscious, that saying yes to that request, will be taking time away from your own pressing needs of nurturing you. Be honest with yourself and others that if you said yes, that decision would leave you feeling resentful, exhausted and will bring a sense of frustration to your own life. Being honest and saying no at this point is the honorable and selfless thing to do because if you took on that request and did it you will be doing it with all the wrong energy and intentions.” – Lillian Ogbogoh

27. Relationship: “Cultivate a Strong Relationship with a Force Greater than Yourself. As
you lose yourself in something larger than yourself, you gain a sense of
purpose in life. This meaning leads to a higher level of energy and joy for
life, and a greater contribution to the world, thus increasing the energy of
the entire planet.” – Heather Hans

28. Do & Feel: “Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it” – Thaddeus Golas

29. Recognition: “Embrace that there is a difference between self-love and selfishness. 
Self-love is the recognition that you matter, you have something to offer
and can only give your gifts if you take very good care of yourself. Learn
to fill your own needs versus looking to others, your status, and role or
environment to fill you up. Boundaries become unnecessary when you learn how
to fill your own needs. Why, because you have plenty to offer and only offer
what you can give because you are focused on filling your own needs. If you
were not focused on what other people wanted from you to feed your own
needs, what other people wanted would not be a burden; it would simply be an
opportunity to choose to give freely or not.” – Alicia Marie-PCC

shades

30. Stop “Hating On” You: “Women cripple themselves with astonishing
frequency through harsh self-criticism of their physical appearance. 
Many women refer to this act quite casually: “I was hating on myself all
night.” Hating on oneself means repeatedly picking apart ever perceived
PHYSICAL concern imaginable. They hate on themselves with little
conscious awareness of this emotionally debilitating inclination. 
Develop self-awareness for when you re entering hating on yourself
territory and evacuate immediately. Take a cold shower, go for a jog, 
or call a friend, but you need immediate distraction. Every time you
allow this self-abuse to take over your thinking, you are discarding
your self-worth.” – Dr. Jill Weber

31. Stand Out: “We were born to stand out, so let’s not fit in and let our spark and spunk shine through.” – Susan Vernicek

32. Shine the Spotlight Where It Counts: “Focus your attention like a
spotlight on your goals and hopes for the future, not on your flaws and
past failures. Notice when you are caught in a negative thought cycle, 
and redirects your attention to the present moment. If you are working
work to the best of your ability; if you are talking with a friend, 
attend to her every word; if you are on a date, bring your entire self
to the occasion.” – Dr. Jill Weber

33. Seek Support: “As women we have quite a bit to accomplish on a day to day in our
personal lives, let alone from week to week, month to month in our 
professional lives. Don’t underestimate the value of having a confidante, coach or therapist to help you negotiate through priorities, 
goal setting, target dates and deliverables, in your personal and 
professional life. There’s value in getting other people’s perspectives, 
especially if you are seeking objective viewpoints. Whether you choose a 
fitness coach, business coach, psychotherapist, the point is that the 
role is to /help you facilitate /organization, processes and delivering. 
Women often times think they need to be perfect, bear the pressure of 
”holding it all together,” when the truth is, you work so hard, you 
deserve to treat yourself better. You can do this by investing in yourself.” – Karen Galli

34. Pamper Yourself With an Experience Instead of Shopping: “Spending on experiences rather than on material things is associated with much more satisfaction and decreased likelihood for second-guessing, regret, or buyers remorse. Keep this in mind when making some mini-spurges and think about foregoing an afternoon shopping for a massage, manicure, reflexology or some other pampering treatment you’ve been wanting to try.” – Dr. Joseph Cilona

35. Rest, Laugh and Have Fun: “Ancient wisdom reveals the importance of
rest, laughter, and spontaneous play in energy levels. These states cause us
to relax, and when we relax, we gain renewed energy, thus leading to
creative solutions and greater accomplishment.” – Heather Hans

36. Put Yourself On The List: “We as women are great at generating lists for all and sundry, from the never ending to do lists, to our perfectly laid out shopping lists. When we check these overwhelming lists of ours, what we desire the most just does not feature on them and in some extreme cases, our lists are all about other people and we barely make the top 30 things to be done. It’s time to put you on the list. When I think of this, my mind skips to the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where he skips school and creates a day of magic and mayhem. So it’s time to skip your everyday to do list and play hooky. Call up that friend who is your fellow mischief-maker and go and have some fun. Go to that art exhibition that you heard about and had so wanted to go to but you just could not make the time. Have a spa break during a weekday. My personal favorite is taking a bath and just making it a ritual, nothing says self-indulgence like a long hot soak during the middle of the day. I’m talking about a bath that Cleopatra would have approved of, fine you may not be able to get the Asses’ milk or honey but you create your own sanctuary. Unearth that desire that you have left in the dark for too long and put it into action.” – Lillian Ogbogoh

37. It’s Not Selfish: “Let the idea that being self-loving is selfish go. There is absolutely
nothing wrong with choosing to stay in alone over meeting someone for
drinks and saying no when you just don’t feel like you can take on anything
more.” – Brenda Della Casa

38. Luminous Life: “We all want and desire a lavish and luminous life. It’s certainly possibly because all you have to do is open your heart, mind, and eyes.” – Susan Vernicek

39. Boundaries: “Your ability to set boundaries tells the world how you think about
the person you are. It makes a statement about how much you respect
yourself, your time, your values and your body. By making it clear
to others that your feelings and needs are important, people will
learn to respect you.” – Andrea Amador

40. Compliment yourself: “Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are amazing. Always talk to yourself like you would another person, that way you’ll see how hard you are on yourself! Tell yourself that you can reach your goals. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about all the positive you have in your life.” – Heather Ostler

Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran

41. You are Beautiful: “To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul. Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too. (20)”― Victoria Moran

42. Kiss yourself: “We all have a tendency to be self-deprecating and self-loathing as we pick out flaws about ourselves – our teeth and noses are crooked, our bodies misshapen, our feet too big, our minds too small and our hearts too easily broken. Instead of beating yourself up over insignificant things in the bigger picture of your life catch those types of comments coming out of your mouth, making you feel small and inadequate and kiss yourself. Kiss your hand, kiss your reflection in the mirror, get funky lip stickers and paste them on your laptop or on the face of your smart phone or the dashboard of your car, whatever works for you. Use that as a reminder that you are an amazing individual and must love yourself first before you can share your love with the world. It’s all about the attitude shift.” – Siobhan Shaw

43. Celebrate Your Age: “Lines and wrinkles are a reward for longevity and the story of your years. Be proud and celebrate them.” –Alice Matzkin

44. Date: “Treating yourself to a lunch date. Spending alone time with yourself can be an ideal time figure out your own likes and dislikes by being adventurous. It may also give you an opportunity to interact and meet new people without worries. It is your personal time to do whatever you want.” –Roland Hinds

45. Be your own BFF: 
”As kids we all had that one friend that we called “best” – who is always on
your side, who will hold your hand in hard times and jump for joy when you
succeed. As we grow up it’s harder to maintain this, or find it in one
person only, so I came up with this idea of filling that role myself. 

So now if I want to go to the movies or get a glass of wine, and no one is
available, I just do it on my own. And if I’m crying over a broken heart, 
my BFF says “it’s ok, cry it out, it’ll be better tomorrow” and I don’t 
feel nearly as bad. 

I still have lots of friends and a loving boyfriend, but find this helps me
feel less lonely, needy and dependent on them, which in turns makes all
those relationships much healthier and stronger.” – Sabrina Vajrača

C. JoyBell C.

C. JoyBell C.

46. Love: “Love at first sight is possible with an open heart and eyes.”– Susan Vernicek

47. Handle With Care: “Often times we feel worse about our bodies and ourselves when we aren’t taking good care of ourselves. If we fill our bodies with junk, we are most likely going to feel like junk. If we say hurtful things to ourselves, we are probably going to feel a little bruised and hurt. So this summer I invite you to practice being kind to yourself in every moment. You don’t have to have it all figured out, trust me. Just start one moment at a time, even one barbecue at a time. You can also make it a challenge and see how kind you can really be to yourself. You deserve love and kindness but it has to start with you!” – Nitika Chopra

48. Be Alive: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

49. It’s all about You: “The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”― C. JoyBell C.

50. Smile: “I always share this quote: “ Smile to Inspire.” When you smile, you feel good and when you smile towards others, you make them feel good. This of course will create an uplifted spirit and confidence. I challenge you to practice this each day and see the difference!” – Susan Vernicek

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Feel Beautiful Everyday!

Susan Vernicek
Founder & CEO

Helping Women Get All A’s in the Game of Life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™

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About the author

Susan Vernicek

Susan Vernicek

Facts about Susan Vernicek:
• She’s happily married and a mother of twins.

• She’s tried almost every fad diet back in her quick-fix days, admits at age 34 it’s a struggle to work hard on overall balance and is focused on not giving into the unhealthy fads we see daily.

• She’s all natural with natural blonde hair, uneven breasts, a bigger nose, and full of curves that she learns to appreciate more and more each day.

• She had a career where part of her job was staring at herself 40 hours a week manipulating her very own face as well as others.

• She’s the youngest of 7, ranging from 30-50+, an Aunt, Great Aunt and even younger than some of her nieces and nephews!

• She’s traveled and seen over 8 countries and spent a summer in London finding her passion and embracing life.

• She created S&J Identity, Inc. AKA Identity Magazine, having no business background and at the age of 25.

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