How To Love Yourself Even If You Have No Clue Where To Start
When we talk about self-love, sometimes it's a foreign concept for some. Most, even. It begs the question, What does self-love look like, sound like, and most importantly, FEEL like?
After all, if you've never had it, how in the heck are you supposed to imagine it?
If we're lucky, we eventually find a cheerleader who can help us get there. If we're #blessed, we'll find a role model who's lived our life, gotten through what we're dealing with, and come out the other side a better woman.
Kelsey Grant is both. A beautiful 33-year-old Vancouverite, Kelsey is a love alchemy and relationship coach who leads her clients (aka people like you and me) through personal journeys of radical self love. Um, sign me UP.
Kelsey's credentials are solid, and most profoundly, influenced by her personal experience.
For the majority of my teenage and early adult life I was living a big fat lie. I had a really great life from the outside looking in. I got really good at projecting an image of high self confidence but inside, the truth, my self esteem was in the toilet. I often experienced feeling really low, unworthy, unloveable, insignificant, I was a master of internal emotional punishment AND I covered it up. This massive cover up and low self self esteem lead me to use my feminine and sexual energies to get attention (and not the good kind), attract majorly dysfunctional relationships and to continue to strengthen my false sense of self worth.
Kelsey's story is powerful, real and all too common.
But Kelsey's story does, in fact, have a happily ever after. And no, I'm not talking about a prince-delivered one (although she's found a princely partner worthy of her self-lovin' self).
And she spends her purpose-driven life helping you find yours, too (prince and all, if that's what you're after).
I asked this alluring and powerful woman a few penetrating questions, and she went deep (for which I'm deeply grateful) and shared how she went from where she was to where she wanted to be.
Generally, great things start from a personal journey. Was there an experience in your life that prompted the beginning of your coaching practice and your unique perspective on love coaching?
In 2008, I had returned home from travelling abroad and felt like I needed to make a large life shift. A long-term relationship I was in had recently ended and after travelling abroad I knew deep down that there was something greater I was meant to be doing with my life. Shortly after returning home, I made the choice to move to the West Coast. I had always wanted to live in Vancouver and had yet to make the leap. Two days after my brother's wedding, I packed my car and drove west. In my new city home, I was registered in a leadership and development course. During this four-month program, I was coached to create a community project in an area I was passionate in. During one of my coaching calls, my coach at the time asked me if I'd ever considered being a coach professionally. As a former musician and performer, I honestly had given it zero thought until that moment. Once she opened the conversation, the seed was planted and 4 months later, I had launched my first company and had my first round of clients. From 2009-2012, I had a nice local practice in which I focused primarily on life and business coaching. However, I noticed a common thread in all my clients and that was, no matter what they were dealing with, the root of the issue always came back to a relationship. Either a relationship with themselves, others or the world around them. Then in 2013, my current relationship ended out of the blue and I was hit with an emotional wave of anxiety, insecurity and it shook me to the core of my being. It seemed like a great time to put all of my tools to use and I used that experience to dig deep into my psyche and to realize the wisdom within the pain of my heartbreak. It was during this three-month personal recovery where I realized the root of my part in the breakup had more to do with my lack of self-love than anything else. And so it was during one of the darkest times I was gifted with the opportunity to truly explore what has now become my life work, the link between self-love and flourishing relationships.
What did you want to achieve through your coaching practice?
My intention with my practice has always been to leave people better off. To contribute to their lives in meaningful ways that guide them towards having more fulfilling connections with themselves, others and the world around them.
Can you explain what a Love Alchemy Coach does?
I like to think of it as taking something of a lower nature and transforming it into something of a higher nature through awareness and practical habitual practices. I do this through the fusion of spiritual and psychological practices, where I support my clients in establishing a balance between intuition and logic, mind and heart. As a love alchemy coach, I help individuals and couples heal over the blocks they have to love and connection, understand the fundamental differences between each other and come into a greater sense of alignment with themselves.
What has been the biggest personal challenge you encountered as you developed your practice? How are (or did) you working through it?
One of the biggest challenges (and there have been many) was to really come to terms with how fractured my relationship to myself had become. After years upon years of being a chameleon in relationships, morphing and changing to fit the idea of what I thought my partners wanted me to be, I had totally lost all sense of who I truly was. One of the most incredible things about being a coach, is that in order for my business to thrive, I have to be in alignment with myself. I can't get away with not living what I teach, and so I knew that if I was going to embark on this journey, I would also have to approach it as the greatest investment in my self-development. In the formative years of my career, I primarily relied on my coaches and my incredible social circle (all on-purpose, heart-driven entrepreneurs) to give me strong doses of real-talk feedback. As I became more aligned with my true nature, my spiritual practice paired with my ongoing psychological exploration was key to continue to grow, develop and expand into my potential. I think the most emotionally challenging experience was working through infidelity within my relationship and having that experience shine a big, fat spotlight into my own personal relationship to commitment. While I was really strong in keeping my commitments to others, my ability to keep the commitment to live into my greatest potential was inconsistent. Experiencing infidelity in my relationship helped me to fine-tune my commitment to my path, my purpose and my brilliance. To do so I had to level up my self-love and self-care and allow the pain I was feeling to use me for something greater. I have found that my private life and my work life are beautifully interconnected and when I invest into harmonizing my inner world, my private life and my relationships, my business and clients thrive as a result. To see how my development as a coach and human created the space for their expansion and results has been one of the most rewarding, yet challenging aspects as it constantly requires me to be effective and efficient with dealing with my own crap and getting back into my alignment. Not easy, but so very worth it.
I love your sentiment "Lead with Love." What's one applicable way to "lead with love" in our everyday lives when it might otherwise feel like a struggle to do so?
Leading with love begins with learning to fill your cup first. It is nearly impossible to authentically lead with love, when we are depleted mentally, emotionally and physically. One of the simplest ways to lead with love is to start your day with a self-love and self-care practice. Five minutes, right at the start of the day, dedicated to connecting with yourself, your heart and your inner guidance does wonders for living a life that is congruent with being good to yourself and others.
Are you good at taking your own coaching advice?
I think so. Building on the answer above, if I didn't take my own coaching. I truly believe I wouldn't be effective with my clients. People feel incongruence a mile away. Inauthenticity (which, in this case, is living counter to what I coach people to do) would cause blocks to my clients' success, which is completely unacceptable to me. I find great pride in leading by example, and truly I believe its the only way to really make a long-standing sustainable difference in the lives of those whom I am blessed to support.
What are you looking forward to in 2016?
I'm so pumped for the launch of my year-long love curriculum. I've been building this curriculum for quite some time and now it is finally out in the world. I am so jazzed about it because the long-game vision for it is to coach women through the fundamentals of love (self-love, love mindset, understanding and making sense of men, embracing their feminine essence and learning essential partnership tools) and then provide women who are inspired to teach other women this same journey the platform and training to do so. Really, all this means is more love in the world, which makes me seriously giddy on the inside! I'm also super pumped to head to Europe this summer with three of my best girlfriends. It's been a long time since I've done a trip that truly nourishes my soul, and to explore one of my favourite places on this planet, with my incredible sisters is going to be an incredible experience!
Coffee, tea or green juice?
My morning routine is pretty simple these days: Wake up (no social media), take a couple deep breaths while reflecting on the pure gift this new day is, a 10-15 minute mediation, drink a bottle of water, off to the gym, followed by a walk on the seawall to the coffee shop and back home for breakfast. I am a lover of green juice too and get at minimum one green juice or smoothie in per day.
Single and loving it, reveling in a relationship or Tindering?
I'm currently in a relationship <3
The book I'm currently reading is...
Woman Code by Alisa Vitti, The Science of Trust by John Gottman, The Book of She by Sara Avant Stover and How To Love Yourself by Lordo Rinzler & Meggan Watterson (one of my top values is variety and I can't read one book at a time, I always have multiple books on the go, these are my top books I'm reading).