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204: The Foundation of Self-Love and Self-Care

What does self-love look like for you? I find so many women have a really hard time answering this question. We spend so much time worrying about and taking care of everyone else that we end up at the bottom of our own to-do list. But that means a lot of the time, we're giving from a cup that's empty. We haven't taken the time to fill our own cup back up. 

I've been in that place before, and it took a series of really painful experiences to wake me up. I decided that I was going to be happy. And I started paying attention to the things and experiences that made me feel that way. That was what self-love looked like for me.

Today I want to dive into self-love and talk about why it's so important. I'll tell you a bit more about how I learned this, how I make sure my own cup is filled up, and why we have to take care of ourselves if we want to serve at our highest level. So many women falsely believe that they have to sacrifice themselves for others – and I hope you learn today that you can love others more deeply when you love yourself first. 

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What You’ll Learn:

  • Why we need self-love.
  • When I finally made the decision to stop being miserable and chose to be happy.
  • What to ask yourself to figure out if you're struggling with self-love and giving from an empty cup. 
  • Why I had to stop worrying about what other people thought.
  • How to learn which self-love and self-care activities fill you up the most.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode #204. We’re talking about self-love and self-care. Stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast.

Hey friends, it's Jen and I'm coming to you from Port St. Lucie, Florida, where we are having the third annual Vibrant Happy Women retreat. I am super, super duper excited. There are women here who have come all three years and there are some new friends I get to meet, and I love the women that come to the retreat. They are authentic and fun and positive and empowered and awesome and if you're not coming, make plans to come in 2021. We'll be announcing that pretty soon.

Well anyway, I am looking out at the bay. There's a sandy beach to the right and the infinity pool is to my left and I can just feel some layers of that stress melting away and I love it. But I'm most excited, I'm here a little bit early, but I'm most excited to be talking with and holding workshops for all the amazing women who are coming.

Our theme this year is unleash your soul. I love that thought and it matches up particularly well with the theme of this podcast, which is self-love. And I've been thinking about this theme as I was flying to the retreat and on my way here, I've been thinking about self-love and why we need it.

Funny thing, as a lot of women were preparing to come here, I heard a few comments that people were nervous, they were anxious to leave their kids. I heard one of my friends say that she had gained 30 pounds and she was worried about her wardrobe and I thought, we have a lot of things as women that we worry about. We worry about the people we love, we worry how we look, we worry how we'll be perceived. And I started to think, where does all of this come from?

And I thought back and hands down, it is a perpetual generational thing that is passed on generation to generation to generation. So I thought back to my own childhood and my parents did the best they could. They were definitely great parents, especially for the generation in which they lived. However, they allowed my brothers to call me some pretty awful names and those names shouldn't be a big deal, but somehow in my mind, they stuck for a lot of years and my mind would go back to it, kind of in some type of a victim thinking type of way.

You're like, what is the name, Jen? They called me sow. Sow is a female pig, a female hog and as you know, perhaps, my parents were pig farmers among other things. And it was just such a rude thing to say. But what makes me a little more sad is they called me this all the time in front of my parents and my mom didn't say anything. She let them call me this.

Well, of course, that stuck because sow, in my mind, is a little bit heavier. Some fat cells that maybe more than a human might want to have. And so the name stuck. Now fast forward to today. I don't stay stuck in victim thinking like that anymore. I realize they had a thought, they expressed the thought, it doesn't mean I need to believe their thought. So I've changed how I look at it.

But I think all of us have these experiences in our childhood. I remember once my grandpa called me big boned, my aunt called me leggy and when you're a teenager these things just stick in your mind and you never forget. “Oh, I'm big boned”, and you start to believe these thoughts. Now these thoughts I've shared just relate to appearance for the most part. But there are tons and tons of interactions I think all of us can think back to.

For me, I remember a time at my wedding reception when we were decorating and I wanted it a certain way and everyone was rolling their eyes at me or so I perceived. They were mad at me because I didn't want it their way, and I started to have this perception that I was a difficult person. These things stick for so long.

I remember one time when my husband was upset at me, okay, not just one time, and in his defense, it was just a bad moment. But he said I was a horrible mom. Oh my goodness. Did that phrase stick in my head for way too long. Until the pain of all of this victim thinking, until the pain of all of these phrases and limiting beliefs and people supposedly thinking very little of me, at least in my mind until all the pain of all of those experiences came to a point where it hurt and pain became a blessing. How?

Because there became a point when (you might've heard my story before), all of this unhappiness and these limiting beliefs and negative thoughts about myself came to this point of pain where I thought everyone hates me. What am I accomplishing? Why am I such a loser? I'm such a bad mom. And I had a miscarriage after Jane was born, between Cora and Jane, and that day the pain was so insane, at least in my mind, that something shifted and that's the day I said, “Enough. I am not going to spend one more minute of my life feeling miserable. I'm going to be happy.”

And that's a phrase that becomes kind of the center point of what I want to talk about in this episode. I'm going to be happy. I made a decision and as I talk in this episode, I want you to think about have you hit that point where you say to yourself, no matter what, no matter what anyone else says or thinks or does, I am going to be happy.

And that is the foundation of self-love, where you value yourself enough and see your worth as a human enough that you prioritize your own happiness. Now, many of us falsely believe, especially in terms of religious beliefs, that we should sacrifice ourselves for others. This does not mean we sacrifice our happiness because then we're interacting with others from a place of emptiness and even some resentments because we are so empty. We're just going through the motions and having nothing genuine to give.

For those of you who are Christian, I hear this a lot, I'm a Christian too, but I've worked this out in my mind. Jesus didn't just give and give and give and give, but he took moments to go into the mountains and be alone. Moments to recuperate his energy so he had authentic love and service to give. So I want to challenge you to think about, no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs might be, are you giving from a place of having your cup filled? Of truly prioritizing and valuing your happiness? Or do you give it from a place of being a martyr? Of being kind of empty?

Well, I propose that one of the biggest things we're here to learn is to interact from true, genuine love. As you may know, love is a high vibe emotion and shame, which I believe is the opposite of love, perhaps fear is also one of the opposites, is one of the most low vibe emotions. High vibe emotions feel amazing, positive, uplifting, and people in our presence when we're engaging in high vibe emotions feel it and they love to be around us because it's contagious.

In contrast, there are people who give and give and give, but it's not from a full cup place. It's kind of from an empty place or a martyr place and you can sense when people like that are giving, giving, giving, but they're empty and their energy feels off. And I want to challenge you to recognize that you want to give from a place of love and energy and happiness, a higher vibe place. That is the essence of self-love.

If you can decide today that you are going to be happy no matter what because you're going to serve authentically, you're going to love others authentically and give from a high vibe place, you have mastered the art of self-love, at least the reason behind it. We don't want to give from a place of fear where we serve because we worry we're not good enough or that we have to prove something. We want to give from genuine and utter love, a desire to connect with and share emotion with and support and lift and help others move to a higher vibe place. That's why it's okay to put your own happiness first.

So after my miscarriage, I decided I'm going to be happy no matter what. What did that look like? I ditched any thought about what others thought of me. It was so liberating. I stopped listening to my husband when he had a negative thing to say. And because he is probably on the autism spectrum a little bit, he's really honest and he'll say what he thinks sometimes. I had to stop listening to that. Oh my gosh. And eventually I not only stopped listening, but I started to defend and point out, hey, that's not true and here's why. And he's so much better now because I took a stand.

I stopped caring what my parents thought because why would I care what my parents think when, yeah, I want them to think highly of me. But if my mom spent so much of her life being unhappy, I decided not to care what she thought of me. I decided it was more important what truly happy and high vibe people thought of me, if I had to care at all. It was important what God thought of me.

Well, anyway, as I made that shift and came to that decision point, I'm going to be happy no matter what. And as you're listening, I hope you're thinking about are you there yet? Have you been there in the past? Are you there now? Can you be happy no matter what? Well, if that is true for you, then your first step is self-care. Self-care allows you to refuel, recharge, reboot and fill your cup energetically, emotionally, spiritually, physically. And so I want to ask, maybe you answer in your mind or out loud, what makes you happy?

I had to ask myself that as well and it became a lifelong experiment of determining what really juices me up. What really makes me happy. And this is the question for you. What really juices you up, and what really makes you happy? Maybe you realize sleep. Sleep is the number one or exercise or a bath or socializing with friends or prayer or yoga. Oh, that's a big one for me. That juices me up faster than a whole weekend on vacation, just one hour of hot yoga.

And I had to experiment and pay attention to how I feel to find that out. I love meditation, qigong, dry brushing. Look it up. If you don't know what it is, you brush your skin with a dry brush and it gets the lymph moving. I love how I feel after dry brushing. Walks, thought downloads in my journal, sex. So many things feel amazing.

And if this world and all of these emotional interactions we have with each other really have an energetic foundation, which I believe they do, the more we pay attention to how we feel emotionally or energetically, the easier it gets to fill our cups through self-care. And the easier it gets to stay higher vibe and aligned because we're paying attention to how we feel. And if we're committed to interacting from a place of love and joy and peace, those higher vibe emotions, we will prioritize our self-care at all costs because we never want to go out and interact from an empty place if we can help it.

Now, I love self-care and I want to challenge you to think about what types of self-care refuel you the best. That is the foundation of self-love. Valuing yourself enough to prioritize your own happiness but not just your happiness. Valuing yourself enough to prioritize your own energy and emotional vibration. And the higher vibe we get with love, joy, and peace, the less time we spend in fear and shame, the better off we're going to be in terms of how we feel. But also how others feel when they're around us.

So a challenge. What would it take for you to be able to say, I'm going to be happy now, no matter what? I'm going to be a high vibe person energetically and emotionally, no matter what. That is what self-love is truly all about. Your challenge is also to identify through experimentation and trying them out, what types of self-care juice you up and raise your vibration the best?

It's so fun. Be a scientist of your own emotions and energy. That's my challenge for you today. I would love to hear how it goes. Email me at and let me know. Also, we are going to be talking about self-love all month long in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. We're going to be talking in week one about self-love and self-care.

Week two, we're going to shift into a place of talking about boundaries. When you want to take care of yourself and your energy, you've got to have boundaries to protect yourself from people who would suck all of your energy away and shift you back down to a lower vibration place. Teens, negative people, we have to protect ourselves and how do we do that without guilt? We'll be talking about that on the second week of our February theme in the Vibrant Happy Woman Club.

Week three, getting to know who you really are, your authentic self, the part that lets go of those limiting beliefs that you grew up with and steps into your full power energetically, emotionally, spiritually, physically. It's a great place to be and I'll teach you how to do that.

And then the fourth week we're going to talk about self-compassion. Some tools that help you learn how to be compassionate with how you talk to yourself, how you process emotions and memories that you might have, how you reprocess those memories. We'll talk about inner child work, shame and guilt and vulnerability, mirror work, emotional detoxing, EFT tapping. So many great tools that'll help you let go of all of those negative thoughts and beliefs that you grew up with and start to believe new thoughts about yourself, like I am good enough. It doesn't matter what anyone else says because I think I'm amazing. I'm a child of God. I'm a child of the universe. I'm here on this planet to be a high vibe person, to help others feel loved. Holy cow. That makes us amazing, doesn't it?

And when you can genuinely believe that everything shifts, you no longer have to loathe yourself or think, I'm not good enough, I'm not a good enough mom. I can't do this. It's too hard. We shift and we get better and better and better and change our baseline energetic state to feel amazing. That's what this is all about.

So if you want to join us, we're going to be doing all that and more in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. You can join us at We would love to have you. And by the way, there are soul circles, women waiting for you to join a soul circle where you can become best forever, BFFs, with other women on the same journey. Beautiful when we're all rising together.

Well, I thank you so much for listening. I will be back again soon. Until then, make it a phenomenal, beautiful, loving week. Take care.

If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at


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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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