Six Ideas to make the holidays sexy

If for you the holiday season is often the season of far too much stress and too little fun, here are a few ideas to inject some holiday sexiness into the season. Don’t forget to share your ways of making the season sexy!

  1. Give yourself a sexy treat
    Don’t forget yourself this Christmas and give yourself a big or small sexy treat. New underwear to make you feel sexy? A relax-massage to make you feel as soft as …? A special book full of erotic stories? You probably have a few ideas what what you’d like, now is the opportunity to give it to you!
  2. Give your partner a sexy treat
    It’s great to buy gifts for your partner, but even better if they are home made: Why not give him a special one-off treat, or even make a book full of “sexy tokens” for him. Perfumes, books and socks are nice, but sexy surprises will really make your partner happy!
  3. Go shopping together
    Shopping can be horrible: too many people, too many things. But you can make it fun by going shopping together: not for the usual gifts, of course. Instead, go to a an adult store and see what you can discover together.
  4. Go surprise shopping
    If different family commitments keep you apart, you can always go adult toy shopping alone. Drop some hints about what you have bought – and enjoy the time when you get together to try out your purchases!
  5. Practice the “Art of the Quickie”
    Busy days of rushing from lunch to dinner to …? No worries: make sure you get your partner on track and practice the “Art of the Quickie”.  It’s something couples often forget about, so here is a chance to revive it!
  6. Rediscover your youth
    Visiting family with your partner for the holidays? Revisit your memories – this time with your partner. Introduce him to the place where you first made love, and all the other special places you remember from your youth.

How about you? How do you make the holidays more sexy? Let us know! And have a great holiday season!

5 great reasons to practice mindfulness over the holiday season

… not just for gay men 😉

With still a few days to go until the “big days”, here are five great reasons why you should make mindfulness an integral part of your holiday season this year:

1. Holiday time can be stressful – especially for gay guys
Holidays, parents, friends. So much is great about the holiday season, but some can be downright horrible and stressful. The mini-agression from the aunt asking if you still haven’t found the “right woman”, being away from your partner – or being reminded of not having one. It’s just not an easy time for many. And it is ok to admit that not all is glittering joy at this time of the year. Luckily short bursts of mindfulness can centre you again and arm you against the stress and tribulations of navigating this family feast and holiday season.

2. You can connect better, when you are connected to yourself
Even if all of the socialising and family affairs are great news for you, mindfulness can make you more connected. Not just to yourself – but also to others around you. Regular mindfulness training increases your empathy and allows you to connect more intimately to people around you.

3. It’s bleak outside, so be kind to yourself
Unless you are lucky enough to be in the southern hemisphere, you’ll probably already had a few of those days where really the best option was to stay in bed. Rain, drizzle, mist, cold, fog, and a symphony of grey in grey outside. The best method to brighten up your day? Take a short break and treat your mind to a little vacation in a place the sun always shines!

4. Remember? Taking a break makes you more productive!
How many presents do you have to buy? Cards to send? Things to do? If your to-do-list is becoming longer than your Christmas card list it is definitely time to aim for maximum productivity power. Best power up? No, not more coffee… Instead a short, 15-20 minute mindfulness bodyscan will fully recharge your batteries. Try it out!

5. … And it lets you appreciate quiet moments, more!
And don’t forget, while the run up to Christmas and the New Year can be often hectic. The actual days (and sometimes the time immediately after) can be days with lots of opportunities to recover and rest. Sadly, many people are so in stress mode, that they don’t realise. There is a simple trick here though: Actively seek out quiet moments to check in with yourself. Not only will you find more than you probably expect, with a quick mindful “check in” you can enjoy the quiet time even more!

Have a great holiday season all around – and don’t forget to treat yourself to the most special gift of all: a healthy dose of self-love!

Check out more posts about mindfulness from the urbangay blog. And if you want to find out more about practicing some self-love and mindfulness, why not treat yourself to 30 Days of Self-Love, the workshop that transforms your mind and makes you fall in love with yourself again.

Let’s start the week Sex-Positively!

It’s the start of the new week, and also the first Monday of December! What better reason than to check in with ourselves and see if our own mindset isn’t besieged by the popular sex-negative attitude surrounding us in our society today.

What is a sex-positive mindset all about? Here is an exert from Day 5 of my book “Sexual Discovery for Gay Men“:

Day 5
The Sex-Positive Mindset

Today’s objective: Defining sex-positivity

Well, for three days we have been dealing with negative stuff. High time to switch and focus on the positive! So, let’s see what a sex positive mindset looks like. I’m avoiding the term environment here, as sadly the reality is that most societies are simply highly sex negative. But individuals can change their mindset! Hence it seems sensible to focus on the individual at this point.

Sex-positivity in itself is quite a challenge to define, at least in detail.  Basically it is obviously the opposite to sex negativity, which is the space where sex is always subject to judgement by others and manipulated to fit a certain ideal. Hence, sex-positivity is a space where individuals ‘own’ their sex without judgement. It means embracing diverse forms of sex, respecting not only yourself but also others. How does this look in practice? In my own way of looking at it, having a sex positive mindset involves seven principles:

1) Own your sex
First and foremost, having a sex positive mindset is about ‘owning’ your sex: it is yours to give, not theirs to take. And only you know what you want, how you want it, how often you want it. Don’t let your environment dictate what you should have or should not be having.

2) Respect everyone’s choices regarding their sex
Just as you have the right, it is important to extend the same respect to others. This means acknowledging everyone’s right to have the sex they want to have – including their right not have sex. It is not for you to judge others and the sex they own.

3) Consent
Sex between partners must be negotiated. Clear, enthusiastic consent is the basis of all sex positive sex. Your sex is yours. Their sex is theirs. Implied or assumed consent is not enough. Neither one has the right to force or manipulate someone else to have sex they don’t want. But also, neither one has the right to stop anyone from having the sex they want, as long as it is with people who consent to it.

The first three are the core principles of sex-positivity for me. The following four points flow from these three. While the first three are necessities, the next four are rights. That is to say you have the right to do this, but there isn’t an obligation to do them.

4) Exploring your sex freely
You have the right to explore your sex freely, the way you want to. You have the right to challenge sexual role models and you should expect to be encouraged, respected and supported to do this by your partners.

5) Engaging with your fantasies
You have the right to engage and develop your fantasies and express them freely without fear of judgement or disrespect.

6) Learning about sex
You have the right to learn about sex: different types of sex, sexual health, ways of expressing sexuality,… nobody should ever stop you from learning.

7) Communicate
You have the right to communicate freely and honestly about sex, sexual fantasies, experiences and ideas. Of course, this is extremely important in consent seeking. But communication goes beyond this. If you had good sex, make sure you tell your partner. If you had bad sex, and you want to improve it with the same partner, talk to him.

I hope these seven principles make sense to you. Of course, you may choose to define your own way of seeing sex-positivity. In fact, taking the above as an example, I’d like you to write your own sex positive manifesto today. That is to say, don’t make it a few general points which are applicable to everyone. Write a sex positive manifesto just for you.

Take-home message for today: A sex positive is about owning your sex. And respecting the rights of others to do the same.

Want to explore more about a sex-positive life?
My book contains all the materials for the Sexual Discovery for Gay Men workshop and is available from any good bookseller.

ISBN 978-1973779131 (soft cover)   978-1370218707 (eBook)
To order online see bookfinder  or Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR

Or as a digital PDF download here:

Three reasons to get active for every gay man

A guest post by Paul, who is the curator for the @urbangay twitter this week, follow him, interact and talk to him on twitter until Sunday!

This week I’m taking over the @urbangay twitter account for a week. My interest is mainly in being healthy and active, and I think it is something really important. Not just because of the obvious and well-known health reasons (and making for better sex!). But there are three more reasons why it is especially important for gay men. Here they are:

1) It’s great to make you feel good
Engaging in sports and eating a healthy diet to help you fuel your activities has an unbelievably great influence on how you feel about yourself and your life. Simply engaging in regular exercise has the same effect on you as taking antidepressants, but with only positive side-effects. With gay men much more likely than straight folks to have mental health issues for many reasons, exercise can be a key to make us happier and healthier. Of course, you don’t have to feel down, or even start an overwhelming exercise program: even small steps will have a great effect, at least when you do them regularly. So start and get active today and within a week you will see how much better you feel!

2) It will improve your body image
Not just your mood and how you feel about yourself and others around you will improve: but your body image will also become much better. Body image problems are endemic in the gay community. I used to hate my body when I was a teenager, and even into my twenties. Only when I started exercising regularly did I start to love me and my body. And I’m not saying this because I became muscular and looking like a sex god (I didn’t!). But because exercise influences how you feel about your body!

3) You can make so many new friends!
Finally, I found that exercise is a big benefit for a great social life. It binds together like nothing else. I love joining in with LGBT-sports groups or events, and I bet you’d love it, too! If you live in or near a bigger city see if there are any gay sports organisations you can join. There are lots of these around and many organisations have something for every taste: from yoga to rugby. And don’t forget outdoor sports away from the big cities like skiing and hiking, too! You won’t believe how it changes your social life!

Let me know what you think about sport, being active and healthy and gay! Tweet to me and follow my tweets @urbangay all this week!

Why do gay men put up with so much mediocre sex?

A guest post by Daniel

Why do we settle for quantity when all we want is quality sex? Click To Tweet

As gay men some of us have lots of sex. And in many places. At least if we want to: we can pick up a guy on the way to work on the train, have sex with guys during our lunch break, at the gym showers in the afternoon and afterwards we can have a threesome with the hot couple from Grindr. Sex is what we are, our favourite hobby and plenty of sex is what we have.

I’m one of these guys who used to have lots of sex. I live in London, so it is easy for me to find the next hook up. From bars, clubs to parks, to apps and fuckbuddies. Last year, my average guy count was somewhere between 10 and 20 guys a week. Many regulars, many not. And I know quite a few guys who easily surpass that number. If this sounds like playing the elysian fields to my straight colleagues, it probably is.

You’d think that all this practice would make “us”, the constantly horny, contantly looking gay guys really good at sex. Yet, time after time, when I just had another Grindr date, changing-room blow job or wank in the park, I remain disappointed. True, I had two or three amazing sessions on the Heath [ed: gay cruising area]. One or two Grindr dates where I felt so satisfied and fulfilled afterwards that I skipped checking out the park on the way home. And I remember the time I had pornable sex in the toilets close to work.

I ask myself, is why are there so few times that I remember? I have cum in the toilets at work thousands of times. Mostly down the drain. I fucked an uncountable number of guys in the park. And I dare not put a number on the number of Grindr dates I had. And off all those times taken together, I remember not much more than a handful. Why? Because the thousands of other times were unremarkable at best, and downright bad most of the times. But the lure of the good ones kept me coming back for more. Hoping, like an addict, that the next guy would be one of the few times I had sex to remember. But in almost all cases, I ended up with just another bad or mediocre episode soon to be forgotten.

I ask myself why aren’t we better at it? With all our experience, shouldn’t we be monumentally good at sex anywhere, anytime? Instead, why do we put up with a quick wank at the urinal, a uninspired suck in the bushes and a lacklustre fuck to round the day off?

Many sexperts will say it is because anonymous and quick sex is simply hollow. And I give them right. But that is hardly a revelation, we all know it. My question remains: why don’t we invest more into learning and improving the sex we have?

I’m ready to admit, I’m as guilty as anyone in this respect. I often put up with what I can find, even if I know there are better ways.

For me, finding this out was during the sexual discovery workshop. I discovered a path to better sex. Not by having more of the same sex, but by thinking about how to make sex better. What was it that I really wanted?

The result of the workshop for me was at first contradictory: Instead of more sex, I have less sex now. But, it is better sex. Sex that is satisfying and leaves me fulfilled. The sort of sex that I remember, and not the sex I want something else five minutes after. I’m not there yet all the time. And while many of my friends laugh at me for no longer being on Grindr 24/7, and think I’m simply becoming old when I politely signal to the hunky guy in the gym showers that I’m not up for it right now. But I know for myself, that once I do have sex nowadays I don’t just forget it afterwards. Instead, I know, I have a good chance of experiencing something actually worth memorising.

To those men out there who are left unsatisfied by just an other understall wank, I have one suggestion to make: Put yourself out of mediocrity and start upgrading your own sex, sexual knowledge and work on finding sex that is worth it. Learn about sex positivity. Embrace sex scene writing. Don’t just settle that quick fuck or the wank that just happens. Because it is the best gift you can make yourself.

Daniel is in his late thirties and lives and works in London. Originally from a small town, he enjoys the big city and embraces the diverse experiences there. He is starting to build his own network of regular guys to have sex with now, while hoping to delete hook-up apps one day. Thank you for contributing!

Welcome to 30 Days for Self-love!

Self-love seems so often unrequited. Anthony Powell Click To Tweet

Welcome to the 30 Days Self-Love! Starting on the 1 May and over the next 30 days this program will focus on developing and fostering your self-love, as loving yourself is probably the most important thing you can do. Without loving yourself, it is hard to develop and keep good relationships, stick up for yourself and support others.

But loving yourself is not as easy as it sounds: with the stresses of modern, daily life, especially as gay men, it is hard to find time and motivation to look at yourself and see how beautiful you really are. But not only time and motivation are a problem: all too often, it can be the environment in which we live, too. Sometimes even supposedly safe spaces, such as the gay scene, can make it really hard for people to love themselves. With constant demands for being perfect, being young, fit, the perfect lover… the scene, the media and people around us can have a seriously detrimental effect on our self-love. With all the demands and stresses related to these constant demands for perfection, it is no wonder that gay men are three times more likely to suffer than straight men.

In fact, the statistics when it comes to gay men and mental health, especially confidence and self-love are truly shocking: in a recent survey by London gay group GMFA, more than half of the men questioned had suicidal thoughts. Almost a quarter of the men surveyed had actually attempted to take their own lives. 70% of the men talked about low self-esteem, with relationship issues, isolation and not feeling attractive major factors. And while for straight men things get better as they age, sadly, this isn’t the case for gay men: Older gay men suffer significantly more from depression and low self-esteem than both their straight and younger counterparts.

So what can we do about this? The first step is to recognise the issue, and to learn and look at ourselves more objectively, and see how we really are. Just think: if you go into a gay bar, would you think that over half of the guys there think that they are not attractive? Probably not. But that is exactly what the statistics tell us. And I’m not talking measuring men about an abstract beauty ideal here. In fact, more than half of gay men think they are unattractive to all or the majority of other gay men. Is it really surprising then, that so few would even think about themselves as loveable?
But luckily, you have decided that it is time to love yourself. And that is, after all, the first and probably biggest step to a develop a happier, healthier, sexier and more attractive you, no matter what your body looks like. Because, as the saying goes, there is nothing as attractive as someone who actually loves himself.

I should briefly add here that loving yourself shouldn’t be confused with narcissism, arrogance or self-centredness: These are the exact opposites of self-love. Mostly they are behaviours developed to hide crippling self-hate. This is a fact worthwhile remembering when you come across someone like that next: behind a facade of criticising and belittling others, mostly hides someone desperately trying to hide his real self from anyone else.

But enough of the backstory, let’s begin with some points about how the program will work:

The program is divided into days. 30 days exactly (hence the name!). Every day will consist of a brief introduction of the topic or concept and how it helps to create real and lasting self-love.
Each day, there will also be an activity to perform. Most of these will be reflective, but some will be actual physical activities. Some of these activities are designed to be a one-off, like making a list of things you like. Others are activities that you can repeat daily if you want. Each activity will tell you about this.

After each activity there are three questions to help you reflect on the activity and to deepen your learning. If you are following the program online or using an eBook version, I suggest you invest in a small note book to keep the notes for each day. If you are using the printed/PDF version of the program, it will have the boxes to put your notes in printed for you.
Importantly: please don’t skip these questions! They may seem trivial and it is often tempting to just focus on the activity. But it is only by reflecting on the activity by using the questions that you can really create actual change.

The program is divided into three parts:

The first part of the program introduces a few basic principles, such as gratitude, kindness, positive thinking and some skills, such as reframing. These form the basic tool kit for the main program.

The second part then uses this tool kit to develop self-esteem and confidence, and identifies strategies for longer lasting, positive change in the way you see yourself.

The third part focuses on developing a realistic body image and identifies strategies and ways to deal with body image issues, including assumptions about the perfect body and challenging negative thinking. In the round-up, the program focuses on developing resilience for the future.

Before we start though a little word of caution: much can be achieved in 30 days. In fact, many people who have followed a 30 day program are often like changed people. However, change doesn’t just happen in 30 days. Keeping up the hard work and sticking with a few of the tools that you’ll be introduced to in the next few days and strategies you’ll develop during the month will help you to really make the change permanent.

And now… sit back and relax. On Monday (Day 1), we will be looking at the concept of self-love in more detail.

To follow the full program, remember to check back on every day from Monday, 1. May. You can also subscribe to the newsletter (sent weekly) here. I’ll be making the full program, including all activities available for free on this website until 31 May. During May, you can save all the daily activities or print them for your own personal use. After this date, you will be able to download all activities and the full text as a PDF-file – or a printed book.

Take-home message for today: It’s not easy to love yourself, but it is probably the most important investment you will make and the basis of a happier future.

Day 1: Self-love basics

It is not what you are that is holding you back. It is what you think that you are not. (Anonymous) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Understand the concept of self-love and how it relates to self-confidence and self-esteem.

Today let’s start with the very basics of the program: looking at the three concepts which are often confused when it comes to how we relate to ourselves: self-confidence, self-esteem – and the idea of self-love. Of course, it is true to say that all three are inter-connected. But it is very important to figure out the differences to achieve actual self-love. To do this, I’ll first look briefly at the very traditional concepts of self-confidence and self-esteem – and then show how self-love relates to these two concepts.

Self-confidence and self-esteem themselves are often confused and used interchangeably, although they are quite different. Confidence is the belief that someone (something) has the ability and is able to “deliver” on something: for example we can be confident that a performer in a theatre can perform well in front of an audience. In the same way, self-confidence is our own confidence in doing something well. Often this can be very specific to certain situations: for example you may have a lot of confidence finding out about great new places in your home city. But you may have little confidence in speaking a foreign language well.

Self-esteem on the other hand is how we relate to ourselves overall: it is the emotional appraisal of ourselves. It is much more global than self-confidence: a person with high self-esteem, will have little motivation, for example, to show off or try to impress others, as he is happy with himself. High, self-esteem is linked to healthy and respectful behaviour towards one-self. This person maybe confident or not in his particular ability to deliver or do something well.

On the flip-side, people with low self-esteem often hide behind areas of their personality, money, prizes etc… which appear to show their ability. If all fails, people with low self-esteem may often seek refuge in drugs or compulsive sexual behaviours. It may appear as if these people have high self-esteem, but, in fact they are not: For example, someone who hides behind titles, money or other ‘confidence props’, is most likely suffering from low self-esteem. This often becomes a very toxic cycle, both for the person himself and for others around him. People with low self-esteem often resort to “falling back on” one area they are confident in: As they are usually able to “deliver” in the area, the success then makes them even more confident in this area. But this may become an avoidance strategy of dealing with areas they are less confident in, in order to avoid exposing their low esteem of themselves.
For people around them, people with low self-esteem can rarely be a supportive or motivating friend: Recognising the potential in others and helping someone to be better than one-self takes a lot of self-esteem.

Self-love complements the idea of self-esteem. While esteem can be high or low, love (at least true love), can only have one true form: unconditional and accepting. Think of someone you loved. You may be able to identify many, many flaws in that person – but you still love that person. This is the basis of the idea of self-love, only this time, the idea is to love yourself – with all your little flaws and imperfections. Thus, it isn’t blind or exaggerated love for yourself, but a way to see your positives and your little imperfections – loving all of them together. The aim of the next 30 days is to achieve exactly this.

Take-home message for today: There are three different concepts how we relate to ourselves. The most important one is self-love: accepting yourself in a realistic way, recognising your imperfections and loving your strengths.

You will need your notebook.

The activity today is to identify areas in your life I which you feel you are particularly confident – and areas in which you feel you are not confident at all. The aim is to reflect on the difference between esteem and confidence, and also identify different areas and levels of confidence for working on during the next few days.

Time: approximately 30-40 minutes.

1. In your notebook draw a line in the middle of the page.

2. On the one side of the line, list all the areas you can think of that you are confident in.

3. On the other side of the line, list all the areas you feel not confident in.

4. Finally, take a look at the list and see how the items on both sides relate to your self-esteem. Identify areas which you may be using as “fallback” areas to boost your self-esteem, and those areas you maybe avoiding.

Please note: this can be a quite challenging activity. Take your time with it and be gentle but honest with yourself. After completing the main activity please complete the reflection questions below. These are an important part of the daily activities. By thinking about the activity you help yourself to “digest” what you have learned and make it stick more easily.

How was the activity for you?

Best thing about the activity?

What did you learn?

End of the Day 1 preview. Day 2 and Day 3 are also available online as previews.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here

30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR

Day 2: Gratitude

It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy! (Anonymous) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Understand why gratitude is so important for self-love and how to develop this skill.

Following on from yesterday, the main area of concern is thus self-esteem. In particular, the aim of the program is to develop not just esteem (it is always there in a form or another) – but a specific type of esteem: Accepting and unconditional love. A love that recognises the little problems, but doesn’t loose sight of the bigger picture. In other words, a love that is based on a realistic evaluation of yourself. Often self-esteem programs fall into the trap of trying to foster self-love based on the principles of “I’m great, therefore I’m great”. It seems easy to repeat this a hundred times and eventually believe it. But the results are less then stellar: either people just force their deficiencies into hiding even more, as they are scrambling to be as truly perfect as they claim to be. Other people start to believe in their ultimate perfection – and develop a completely narcissistic outlook. In this program we want to avoid both: the aim is to deeply and truly love yourself.

Many psychologists, philosophers and scientists have tried to find a magic formula that can achieve this delicate balancing act: The result seems to be that there are a five simple mental tools in which we can achieve this. These five are gratitude, kindness, caring, forgiving and generosity – both for your yourself as well as for others. Together these five lead to a positive outlook on and attitude towards life and others, which in turn is the basis of happiness.

For today, let us focus on the first one: gratitude. Easily put, gratitude is simply to stop, smell the roses and remind yourself how good it is that you can smell them. In short: remind yourself of the good things in life – right now. Gratitude doesn’t mean forgetting about the problems you face or that are around us. It just means focusing not only on the problems but also on the good things. Or in short: getting a more balanced outlook. Of course, it can be difficult to be grateful when you are loosing a job, the days are grey or life just doesn’t seem to be fair. Remember, gratitude isn’t to talk those problems away – nor will it make these problems go away. But if you look deeply enough, I’m sure you’ll always find a few little things to be grateful for, that can help to put the bad things in perspective.

The great thing about gratitude is that it is (relatively) easy to learn, and with a bit of repetition easily turns into a habit. Even better, the gratitude-skill can then be “recalled’ and used as a tool in stressful situations, those situations that could otherwise really get you down. What I’m saying is, once you learn the skill, you can defuse many situations by using gratitude skills to give you some time to breath and put things into perspective. Coincidentally, performing gratitude regularly also increases sleep quality and even has the power of decreasing sickness symptoms (possibly via a strong link to making you happier and loving yourself, which really has a big impact there!). So there really are some very convincing arguments to start some gratitude training right now.

Of course, real gratitude is a bit more than just saying: “thank you, at least I’m alive”. In many ways such a statement is actually the opposite of good gratitude: it implicitly assumes that good things (such being alive) are a birthright. And that is a big fallacy in gratitude: because if you assume you have the right to something, you are most likely not grateful for it!

So what makes “good” gratitude? Here are a few tips to make gratitude more powerful:

1. Really savour the moment
Really take the time to stop, even just for a few seconds or a deep breath, when something happens that you enjoy. Savour the moment!

2. Learn to be specific
Learn to be really specific when you express your gratitude: it helps to make the gratitude “stick” in the brain. So instead of simply saying something like “It is a wonderful day today”, cultivate the habit of saying “Today is really wonderful, because the sun is shining, the smell of roses is in the air, I have some time to be outside…”

3. Remember the most powerful gratitude is showing gratitude towards other people
What makes gratitude most gratifying? It seems the most powerful effect of gratitude happens is when you actually don’t look at what good happens to you, especially in terms of material or worldly things or events. The most powerful gratitude is when you feel and share it with a person that has done something to make you feel good, especially a person you are close to.

Take-home message for today: Practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to achieve self-love and happiness.

You will need your notebook.
Time: just a few minutes extra during the day plus the reflection.

For today take one of each of the three tips for gratitude, and put them into practice.
For today take one of each of the three tips for gratitude, and put them into practice.
1. Really savour a moment that you are having a positive experience (like eating something you like, having a quiet moment on a busy day etc)
2. Find one thing to be really grateful for today and describe it in as much detail as possible.
3. Show gratitude to a friend, colleague or loved one. Express specifically why you are grateful. E.g. Don’t just say “thank you” when someone brings you a coffee in the office. Instead say “thank you so much for taking the time and making the coffee and bringing it to me.”

At the end of the day, use your notebook to briefly reflect on the different experiences you had with gratitude and how you felt about being grateful in three different ways. You may also want to think about incorporating regular gratitude into your daily life. Some people find it helpful to create regular gratitude check-ins or have a gratitude diary. For example, it may be an idea to write down three things you are grateful for each night before you go to sleep.

How were the activities for you?

Best thing about each of the activities combined and overall?

What did you learn from these three ways of showing gratitude?

End of the Day 2 preview. Day 1 and Day 3 are also available online as previews.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here

30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR

Day 3: Kindness

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. (Mark Twain) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Identify the key role kindness can play in developing self-love – and love for others.

The next of the five mental tools to develop self-love is kindness, both for yourself as well as for others. While gratitude is traditionally mostly concerned with what you receive, the other four, including kindness are, in fact, two way streets: they have the amazing ability of being positive both ways – when used towards yourself as well as towards others.

But what exactly counts as kindness? Kindness is notoriously hard to define: It can be doing something “kind”, like running an errand for a friend. Or it can be doing something altruistic, such as giving money to charity. While it is hard to put a finger on, you instantly know when encounter it. It just feels “good”.

And just as much as it feels good, it is important: Did you know that the number one predictor for relationship success is kindness between the couple? One study looked at what created the most lasting and happiest relationships. Good sex, common interests and time spend together were all unsurprisingly important. But actually, when psychologists looked at what kept long-term couples together, they found the one thing that predicted both relationship longevity and relationship satisfaction the strongest was that both parties showed signs of kindness towards each other.

So, while kindness can do amazing things for your relationship, it can do even more amazing things for you:
1) Kindness is a way to connect to people
Simply put, it brings people together. A random act of kindness opens up small spaces where personal relationships can develop. They may not last for long in many cases, but they are seldom forgotten.
2) Kindness is contagious
Talk about karma and kindness: spaces and places where people care for each other have a completely different vibe then places where people try to compete with each other. Why? Even if kindness isn’t immediately reciprocated, it creates an atmosphere of kindness that is hard to escape – and very enjoyable! It lifts the mood of everyone around, including the person that has been kind.
3) Kindness makes a massive difference
Most people remember vividly acts of kindness, or even just kind words or a smile when they needed them. Although the giver may not always get an immediate kind response back, but he will have the knowledge that he has done something to really change the day of someone.

So what makes good kindness?
Some simple rules explain what makes kindness good kindness:
1) Be unconditionally kind
People may not immediately be kind back to you, maybe they are in a bad place at the time. But trust in the karma of kindness. So be kind because you want to be kind.
2) Genuinely care
Probably the most defining characteristic and simple trick to make normal actions kind actions is to inject just a little bit of care and empathy into them. Think how the other person feels and act how you would want to be treated in that situation.
3) Think of the other as a friend
If you’d treat a good friend like that, it is probably kind. That, by the way, includes treating yourself as a good friend!

And one thing that kindness is not… Kindness is not unconditional people pleasing. Recall the “good friend” rule from above. So kindness is not about doing everything that others want, and even less making your own self-esteem dependent on the approval of others. Kindness is treating people well, honest, helpful and friendly – as you would treat a friend. It is about making a positive difference, not being a slave to someone else.

Take-home message for today: Kindness is about being a good friend to yourself and to others.

You will need your notebook.

Time: 20 minutes extra during the day plus the reflection.

Today’s activity is about using kindness not just on others, but also on yourself. Often, people struggle with being kind to themselves, even if they are very kind towards other people around them. The activity today tries to bring the two together.

1. Think of a situation where a really good friend feels bad. Think in detail about how you respond to the friend, what you would do etc. and write this down on a list.

2. Now think of a similar situation where you feel bad. How do you usually respond to yourself feeling bad? Again write this down on a list.

3. Compare the two lists? Are there many similarities? Or are there many differences in how you’d treat your friend vs yourself? Why would you treat yourself differently?

4. Make a list how you should respond to yourself when you feel bad, based on your reflections above. Put this list in a safe place, so when you feel bad the next time, you can easily reach it and remind yourself.

Finally, think of the activity and record your reflections.

How was the activity for you?

Best thing about the activity?

What did you learn?

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here

30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR

Day 4: Self-Care

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s the foundation for caring about others. Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Understanding that caring for yourself and others go hand in hand.

Regularly caring for yourself can seem like it is selfish. It also seems a contradiction to helping others: but it isn’t. At least not, if it is practiced in a way that is balanced with helping others (which in turn is a really great impetus for self-love). In fact, when self-care is exercised as balanced activity, it makes sure you have the power and ability to help others. Thus, it is an essential part of caring for others – and critical for maintaining you in a healthy and happy state. Self-care thus helps to avoid what is often referred to as compassion-fatigue, a state of mind where the person doesn’t want to help anymore. Compassion-fatigue in turn is can lead to less engagement with others and the community, and thus reduces an important source of self-love.

Yesterday you already looked at kindness not just towards others, but also towards yourself. Today it is time to look at regular self-care activities you can

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here

30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR