I Heart Me : The Science of Self-Love Paperback
How much love do you have for yourself? Not the narcissistic 'Aren't I wonderful' kind of love, but the essential regard for self that empowers you and helps you navigate through life.
The type of love that enables you to feel safe and secure in who you are and inspires you to make choices that are good for your authentic self.
When scientist David Hamilton realized that his own lack of self-love was sabotaging him in hundreds of subtle ways and more than a handful of major ways, he devised an experiment using himself as the guinea pig.
For more than a year David studied the latest research into brain chemistry, neuroscience, and psychotherapeutic and personal development techniques.
He realized that self-love was as much about biology as psychology - that self-worth is in our genes, but trained out of us. The biological drive to seek connection with others often leads us to try to be 'someone else' to win love and approval.
But the brain can be reprogrammed, and David devised 27 powerful exercises that he tested on himself and presents in the book to help you: to increase your own level of self-worth; It connects powerfully with your authentic self. It helps you to attain a greater sense of happiness and general wellbeing.
It helps you to create stronger and more real connections with others.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Hay House UK Ltd
- Publication Date: 13/02/2015
- Category: Self-help & personal development
- ISBN: 9781781801840
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Review by IonaS
David Hamilton is one of my favourite authors and the subject of this book is an important one – loving yourself. It is the basis of success in life and the ability to attract abundance. Love is the essence of the universe and we are at the centre of our universe. (This is my comment, not David´s.)The book has been blessed with a foreword by the amazing Anita Moorjani.The book is well-written, which is a must for me, and very readable.The author is completely open, honest and unguarded, and does not write the book from a stance of being further on on the path than ourselves, but confesses that it was difficult to write it, since he first had to do the work of learning how to love himself. He recounts various situations from his own life when he came up short owing to a lack of a feeling of self-worth, but found strategies by which to overcome this feeling and these challenges.We are introduced to David´s Labrador puppy, Oscar, who “played a massive part” in his growth in self-love. Oscar gave David the gift of knowing he was worthy of love, and loved him so much it was impossible not to accept it. When Oscar passed on, David realized that Oscar had opened his heart so very wide that he had “a simmering affection” for everyone.There are three stages in self-love. You are born full of self-love, but lose it gradually in the first six or seven years of your life. Then the lack of self-love becomes normal for you and becomes wired into your brain. Stage 1 is feeling “I´m not enough”. Here David tells us of his time at school, where he was bullied. Stage 2 is “I´ve had enough” – had enough of being bullied, feeling small, feeling scared. He shares an episode about the time when, as an adult, he was holding a talk for a group of schoolteachers, and was bullied by five persons in the audience. He was just about to tell the bullies what he thought of them and leave, when the situation was resolved with the help of a young girl in the audience. David´s stories are enlightening and entertaining.Stage 3 is “I am enough”. At this stage we don´t feel any need to prove our worth or agree with anyone, nor do we need people to like us.A valuable part of the book is what David terms “The Self-Love Gym” – a series of exercises to increase our self-love. These exercises are sprinkled throughout the book.Chapter Two deals with how we lose our self-love/sense of self-worth as children by being shamed, being criticized, and through observation. On reading this most of us will get flashbacks of painful episodes from our own childhood.David teaches us how to use our body to change how we feel. We learn to fake it and make it – the Harvard Power Pose. We learn to put on a big smile and make ourselves bigger by adopting a “confident, ´high-power´ posture. This pose produces confidence. A weak pose induces fear. It is a fact that how we function is affected by how we hold our body, Doing a power pose in your head will also have the same effect. When you stand as though you´re enough, you will wire your brain networks.The “I am enough” pose is one of the most valuable exercises in the Self-Love gym.We learn the three rules of mental practice – Repetition! Repetition!, Repetition We learn to become a Self-Love Olympian by mental practice/visualization.This is a great book, and it gets better and better. We learn about what the author calls “Extracting the I am” – noting a list of things we are ashamed of, and ending by transforming these into a positive ”I am” statement, e.g. I am intelligent, good with money or whatever.We also learn David´s celebratory dance, his victory dance. He calls this “Dancing the shame away”.All this should be enough for you to get a good idea of the benefits offered by this book.We all need more self-love, as self-love is the basis on which we can build a successful life. I strongly advise you to read this rewarding book penned by this articulate and lovable author.