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I used to think I had it all.
I was a young 20-something, South African woman, free as a bird!
Working on the Superyachts meant making lots of money, meeting the rich and famous, and traveling the world. If I wasn’t sipping rosé in the South of France or diving in the Caribbean, you’d find me surfing in Costa Rica, backpacking through Thailand, or Eat-Pray-Loving it in Bali.
Life was grand!
On paper, I had it all: the boyfriend, body, money, bright future, friends, family, and the 10-year plan—but on the inside, I was empty. I cried myself to sleep at night, longing for more.
I became a pro at chasing happiness, reaching for bigger dreams, ticking off bucket-list goals but with each exciting external possession I gained, I lost a little more connection to myself.
I could proudly list all my achievements, but I didn’t have a clue about who I was.
It wasn’t only me feeling hollow; I saw billionaires with private jets and VIP treatments buy another toy, outfit, or experience, and while they looked happy on the outside, I noticed emptiness in their eyes.
My fellow crewmembers bought Chanel handbags and went clubbing in Saint-Tropez, but they were miserable when the party ended, flashy lights faded and they were back in their routine of cleaning cabins and serving champagne.
This went on for years, and between frivolous living and seeking the meaning of life, it slowly but surely began to sink in: you can’t buy lasting joy.
By this time, the voice in my head was getting louder, the gut feelings were getting stronger and eventually, I could not hide from myself any longer.
Nikki, you’re meant for so much more. It’s time to strip it all away.
Stop thinking, start feeling.
Less doing, more being.
Stop searching for the answers out there and find the answers within!
I followed my intuition and it felt so right. Instead of jumping on a plane in search of my next adventure, I took the journey back to myself, and it was by far the best decision I’ve ever made!
I journaled more and deepened my meditation practice. I spent hours on my yoga mat, and sat in nature, observing life. Instead of reaching for the wine bottle when I felt out of my comfort zone, I embraced my emotions and cried, screamed, laughed, and danced.
I started to build a relationship with myself, and instead of following the light at the end of the tunnel, I noticed that in actual fact, I was the light I was looking for.
Fast-forward five years and every morning I wake up grateful. I have clarity, purpose, and a feeling of calm, and do you want to know what the secret sauce is to living your #bestlife?
It’s self-love—every single day.
When we worry less about what others think about us and start to question what we think of ourselves, we find the truth.
We find the answers. We uncover the things that are holding us back and we start believing that our dream life doesn’t have to be a fantasy, but we deserve to have it all!
Self-love is not about spa days, pamper sessions, or a shopping spree, it is courageously and honestly connecting to ourselves. It is noticing the highs and the lows, feeling into all our emotions, acknowledging our shadow side, limiting beliefs and expectations we put on ourselves. It is seeing every part of us and accepting it all!
We were not born to be perfect, we were born to be real.
How can you start your self-love journey today?
The first step to self-love is prioritizing time with yourself, so open your journal and ask: how am I feeling?
Uncover what you really want, what lights you up, and who you want to be. Treat yourself like your own best friend, without judgment, shame, or guilt. Listen to your words—are they encouraging and uplifting or do you break yourself down?
So often we believe we need to be more, do more, and achieve more, and we think we are never enough.
We need to change the perception that we need to look, act, and behave a certain way to receive an invisible stamp of approval from those around us.
We are all unique; we are all different, and that is what makes each and every one of us beautiful in our own way. The journey to living our happiest life starts from within when we accept and love ourselves the way we are.
So this is my invitation to you: instead of waiting for someone else to love you, give yourself some love today. You are the love you have been looking for!
You are enough, you are worthy and deserving of it all.