Self Love 365

After taking on the 365 Project last year (one self portrait a day for a year), I wanted to continue with some kind of daily project. I really loved the rhythm created by having something to do each day, the creativity involved in making each photograph unique, and the collection amassed (and sense of satisfaction at having completed it) at the end of the project.

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I considered doing some kind of gratitude project, like Lori Portka’s “A Hundred Thank-Yous”, where she created 100 paintings for people she treasured in her life. At some point, I will do a similar project, but what occurred to me is that I need to love myself before I can really love and give to others in such a big way.

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This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time: Do I love myself? Sometimes it feels like the answer is no. The voices in my head are so nasty sometimes, so critical, that it hardly feels like love. On the other hand, I go out to dance once or twice a week, I am doing the thing I love the most (painting), I go to the gym every other day, and I eat relatively well (but lets not get into food now, because food is my go-to source of love when I am down). Those things all sound like I take care of myself, that I am doing things that show love for myself, right?

This is where the critical voices come in, saying, “You aren’t doing it right”, “You still aren’t good enough”, “If you loved yourself, you would just know it”, “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t need to do this project”.

Bullshit.

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And so, Selflove365 was born. I am drawing something I love (or like) about myself in a 1″ x 1″ square per day, every day of this year. The first 15 days were pretty easy, but then it felt like I could hit a wall soon, and run out of things I like. So far, I haven’t, and if that happens, surely I can still find something, even if it’s my fingernail. I sit at my desk and allow it to come to me, rather than planning ahead, the same way that I paint.

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I’m curious about how or if I will change by the end of the year. Two of my friends have joined me in this project, one of whom is sharing her squares (as I do) on Facebook. Will you join me? I also post my squares everyday on Instagram. Tag your photos with #selflove365 so we can encourage and support each other!

19 thoughts on “Self Love 365

  1. Lori-Ann Claerhout (@borealmodern)

    I love this project! And I’m feeling a change from doing the self portraits, too. Like I’m less reluctant to be all of me in the world. And I started it because I didn’t like how I looked in pictures! Funny how the need to “look good” starts to fade after the first fifty days or so.
    I can’t wait to see and hear where this takes you!

    Reply
    1. belknits Post author

      Thank you, Lori-Ann! Can’t say the need to “look good” faded for me, because it didn’t, but I also challenged myself to post “ugly” shots, too.

      Reply
  2. thecontentedcrafter

    Belinda – how fabulous!! It took me about 50 years to learn how not to heed the negative voice -and over the past ten years my life has become more and more one of quiet joy no matter what the outer circumstances are. I recommend it. 🙂

    My project for this year is to find a word or phrase that encapsulates each day – I thought it might be a good exercise in tracking where my focus goes throughout the year, for as you know, what we choose to focus on, we get more of….. As I get to the end of the first month already it is most interesting and I notice the act of recording has given further life to a new aspect which otherwise may have just slipped away the next day

    I wish you all the best with your 365 day project – it’s already looking pretty interesting – and colourful! I look forward to seeing more 🙂

    Reply
    1. belknits Post author

      Thank you, Pauline! Your project is cool – love the idea of a word or phrase a day. I’ve been writing in my sentence-a-day journal (it’s a 5-year journal) for the last 2 1/2 years. It’s a pretty cool way to look back through time.

      Reply
  3. Tracy Seekins

    What an AWESOME project. I am in love with this. So many people struggle with self worth and self appreciation. Hmmm… I’m not artsy but not I’m going to have to think about something like this. Fits with my theme for the year. 🙂

    Reply
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  8. Carrie Lynn

    Thank you for sharing this and your story Belinda. I chanced upon your blog a few weeks ago and had been thinking of doing the project. Today, the decision was finally made and yep, I am jumping in and doing it. Yay! The whole project will be tied up with my one word for the year which is simplify and each 1 x 1 square will be included in my daily/weekly planner. That way I would be able to plan/record my day and also have some quiet time for doing an itsy bitsy art piece. Again, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
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