If you’ve been reading my blog (or following me on Instagram!) for a while you’ll probably have already heard of Gala Darling. Not only is she one of my best friends, but I’ve been raving about her, and her message of Radical Self Love, for quite some time!
I first discovered her blog in early 2009 (check out my adorable fangirling) but it wasn’t until happenstance enabled us to meet IRL a few years later that I knew we were kindred spirits. There are just some people you meet who instantly light up your life and make the world seem like a more positive, happier place. Gala does this for me every single day and I’m so honoured to call her my friend.
If you too want to live a more magical, happy life then Gala’s brand new book will show you exactly how to do it. In Radical Self Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dream you’ll begin to discover exactly what makes you so magnificent, and you’ll uncover a litany of tools and techniques to help you manifest a life that bursts with magic, bliss and adventure. I only wish this book was around when I was a depressed young adult consumed by my eating disorder. I really do feel like it should be mandatory reading for every single woman on the planet.
I could not be prouder of my girl for following her dream to becoming a best selling author. So to celebrate the release (and the fact that it hit the #1 spot in the self help category on Amazon!) I asked her if she’d like to share some tips for brides that might be struggling with their self esteem or body confidence. Of course she enthusiastically obliged.
1. Learn to love your body
Obsessing about the way we look can be one of the worst parts of getting married. Instead of freaking out, going on a crash diet that makes you feel like shit, and going on punishing runs, choose to be kind to your body instead. One of the best ways to do this is to take a burlesque class! (In New York City, Jo Weldon’s School of Burlesque is an awesome place to start, but there are classes all around the world.) In addition to learning a simple striptease — sure to delight your partner on your wedding night — you’ll discover the beauty, power, and agency of your own body. Few things are more liberating. Hell YES!
2. Remember that what other people think of you – or your wedding – is not your business!
When you’re looking at blogs like Rock n Roll Bride, which showcase the coolest weddings on the planet, it’s totally normal to feel intimidated and worry about whether your wedding will “measure up”. Will it be cool enough? Will it be Instagrammable? Will your wedding’s hashtag look as good as you hope?
Don’t get caught up in appearances. As much as we’d all love to have beautiful photos to look back on, ask yourself, what’s more important? Marrying someone you truly adore and having a magical day, or fussing with place-settings and obsessing about how many likes the photos get on Instagram?
3. Stay as present as you can
There is so much that goes into planning a wedding and it can overwhelm the most balanced of brides-to-be. If your only relaxation technique is a bottle of rosé in front of the telly, you might (might!) want to incorporate something that will help you wind down at the end of the day even more!
Meditation might feel a bit intimidating, so instead, why not go on a nightly walk where you do your best to stay focussed and in the present moment? Whenever a thought pops into your head, acknowledge it and then dismiss it. Thoughts will keep appearing, but choose to put your attention on the sights, sounds and smells around you, instead. This is called a walking meditation, and it’s one of the easiest — and most enjoyable — ways to clear your head and really, truly relax. (Don’t worry, you can still drink wine when you get home!)
4. Dig into the process of adoring who you are
It’s hard to be in a relationship — or in love — with someone who doesn’t love themselves. They start to suck energy from the relationship, and then from their partner, because they need someone else to prop them up all the time. On the flipside, there’s nothing sexier or more beautiful a person who owns their quirks, flirts with confidence, and knows their own worth. The truth is that ONLY YOU can make yourself happy or unhappy. It’s your responsibility to make yourself feel good… Or feel bad.
If you want to have a glorious marriage — and a rocking personal life, whether your babe’s on your arm or not — you have to start making your own happiness a priority.
5. Maintain that thing you absolutely love doing
Don’t let your interests and passions get pushed to the side because you’re knee-deep in hunting for the perfect bouquet. As fun as it is to plan a wedding, maintaining a life outside of it is essential! Keep going to those dance classes, attending that book club, or going on long bike-rides. It will help you keep a sense of sanity, and it’ll be a safe, “non-wedding” place for you to just be yourself without expectations.
When you love yourself, life is limitless. You can do anything you want. It’s time to throw off the shackles of expectation, and start living from your heart. It’s time to astound yourself with how beautiful your life can be. It’s time to treat every single day like a celebration… Cake, candles and confetti very much included!
Radical Self Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dream is available right now via amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.