Bucket List: Love Myself

“We all want to be loved, don’t we? Everyone looks for a way of finding love. It’s a constant search for affection in every walk of life.” – Audrey Hepburn

Love is a wonderful thing. It brings us happiness, confidence and strength. I’m lucky to have lots of love in my life: from Jeff, my family and my friends. So, when I was invited to a Love Yourself Workshop, I questioned the necessity of my being there. Of course, I know I love myself. What would motivate someone to attend this workshop? Are these people here because they don’t love themselves? What could this workshop possibly do for them? I was about to find out.

The brains behind this workshop were Manali Haridas and her company Zen For You. A little rundown on this: Manali is a certified nutritionist and trainer and yoga and reiki consultant, with more than 14 years’ experience in the field of clinical, sports and holistic nutrition and fitness. Zen For You was founded in 2008, and five years later is still going strong, with many similar events happening around the community. Manali recently launched her new eBook Love Yourself.

When I arrived @TheSpace for the evening, I was warmly greeted, and offered a simple snack of tea and cookies. I grabbed my share and took a seat, waiting for the workshop to begin. Manali began by preaching the bottom line: “It’s an awesome evening with the goal of taking some love with us.” An overview of what we’d be learning kicked off the night, including:

– Mind and Body Connection

– What the word “Zen” means

– Zen tips on how to love yourself

Mind and Body Connection

We’ve all heard that physical disorders can most certainly affect psychological states, and that psychosomatic disorders (which involve body and mind) are a proven fact. This is the reason that Manali works with a holistic approach and doesn’t solely consider individual aspects.


Zen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character for “meditation.” It means a balance in all that we think and do in our lives, in giving and receiving, in lifestyles, in thoughts, and in the ability to be thankful. Manali teaches that “within each of us lies the power… love yourself… love others”.

Zen Tips on How to Love Yourself

Manali informed us of some of the first steps for loving yourself:

Start your mornings with a positive thought. For example “I am so thankful to be alive today” or “Today is going to be a fantastic day.”

Delete every negative thought by saying “cancel cancel.” After the workshop, I told a co-worker about this tip. We decided to follow through and ended up realizing just how negative we could be sometimes. It’s a simple action to take that makes you aware of your negative thinking, and allows you to re-evaluate your approach.

3. Do something special for yourself daily for at least 2 to 5 minutes. Whether it’s indulging in green tea or a root beer float, enjoy it because you deserve it.

4. Journal daily. I have heard this many times in relation to understanding and loving yourself, although I haven’t yet followed this advice. Manali claims that the catharsis accompanying journaling can help redistribute the Zen balance.

We finished up with a fun and interactive activity. We were given a piece of paper and instructed to write down two positive qualities about ourselves. We were then to get up and walk around the room, introducing ourselves, along with our two characteristics, to as many people as possible. After all was said and done, we agreed that although this exercise was uncomfortable, it was also liberating, and brought love to ourselves that we were then able to share with others.

I realized almost immediately that this workshop was suited to anyone and everyone. Whether you feel like you do give yourself enough love, or you’re struggling with self-hatred, the information that Manali puts forth can only improve the way you envision and treat yourself.