Self Love

One is a whole number means all you need is at least you. All you need is within you! This is what self-love is all about.

One is a Whole Number

I’ve heard the phrase One is a whole number from Greg Harden and it struck me. Greg is a life coach, motivational speaker, and executive consultant who is best known for his work with 7-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard, and 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. I’ve listened to Greg’s phenomenal interview on The Cathy Heller Podcast. The phrase implies all you need is at least you. In other words, all you need is within you, a part of you that can love yourself, flaws and all. This is what self-love is all about.


In the book Emotions that Heal, Ermance Dufaux, psychographed by Wanderley Oliveira, tells us that self-love is the construction of a loving and welcoming relationship with ourselves. She continues: “Love is an acquisition of knowledge. Learning to love God, yourself, and others is a universal guiding principle in evolution. Everyone is destined to learn how to love in the field of spiritual enhancement”. However, for each spirit – for each ONE being, the learning strategies are different. They vary according to an individual’s level of moral and spiritual maturity. Independently of the learning strategy, mastering self-love has the potential to transform one’s health and life.

One is a Whole

“Those who take care of themselves with legitimate love have a solid foundation to build a healthy coexistence, full of affection and willingness to include others unconditionally.” “The ones who love themselves feel satiated, fulfilled, and therefore, have a greater and balanced capacity to reach out and collaborate with others.” “People who lovingly welcome their flaws are open for other peoples’ flaws”. Hence, self-love is the foundational step for emotional health, without which there is no way to be healthy. 

The Strategy

Although the strategies for developing self-love are individual, they all need to go through acceptance. Self-love happens when we accept reality and don’t resist who we are and what life and people are. Whoever accepts allows for an inner state of optimism and courage. People who don’t love themselves spend their lives trying to change the world and others. As Patricia Moreno wisely said, “Self-love is not about trying to change myself, it’s about changing the thoughts I have about myself.”

Spiritual Fitness

Patricia Moreno was one of the pioneers in including spirituality in the fitness world. More than 20 years ago she created an exercise program called IntenSati — fusing the word “intention” with the Buddhist term “sati,” for mindfulness or awareness. Between bouts of kickboxing and aerobics, she would intersperse refrains like “I am worthy of my love” or “Everything I need is within me,” adding liberal doses of mindfulness, journaling, and other self-love practices. I had the opportunity to see her, in a recorded lecture for IIN, during my health coach training program. She had died of cancer shortly before, in February 2022, at the age of 57.

The Inner Child

There is a child who continues to live within each of us, no matter how old we are. Acknowledging and processing this child’s experiences is key to the overall acceptance process – an enabler of self-love. Regardless of how bad or good your childhood was, all of us have gone through experiences that not only shaped us but, affect how we relate with each other today. That is the inner child concept I learned from Stefanos Sifandos, psychologist, educator, behavioral scientist, and relationship expert.

Taking Care of Your Child

Stefanos taught me that I am responsible for taking care of my little inner girl. I, and myself alone, have to give her what she never received. This is not an easy task by any means. It requires touching old wounds and releasing tons of contained emotions. Yesterday Zack Bodenweber shared a message he wrote for his younger self during a therapy session of his. As I was reading it, I broke into tears. It was all about acceptance, compassion, and love for his inner boy. Zack is one of IIN’s HCTP Content Director and an inspiring coach. He is a person whom I adore for his heart, energy, and charisma. So, I realized I’m not alone! Everybody needs self-acceptance. We all need to take care of our inner child.

Self-Love Lesson

The image in this post is me at 5 years old. This picture has been on my office desk since I learned I needed to reconnect with my inner child. I have been talking to her daily ever since. On weekends I take her on bike rides and to parks because I know how much she loves being active and surrounded by nature. My adult me has been taking very good care of her! As she has always been full of energy, that little girl, I make sure she eats well, sleeps well, and exercises. It is my responsibility to tell her she didn’t do anything wrong, and that she’s loved and safe now.

The Message

Ermance Dufaux, Greg Harden, Patricia Moreno, Stefanos Sifandos, and Zack Bodenweber are all conveying the same message – Know thyself. Accept your past with compassion, with no judgment. Process your emotions and allow yourself to grieve and cry. Like waves, your emotions will come, pick and go. Just acknowledge them. Build a relationship with your inner child and make that little one happy. As Zack said, all emotional discomfort is due to trapped energy within us, emotional charges from suppressed, repressed, or avoided emotions. We all do things that make sense at a certain point in time. It’s important to realize when trapped emotions and feelings no longer serve us. Inner child work has freed Zack, as well as me, from years of emotional suffering.


Self-care is how we express self-love. Taking care of yourself goes far beyond getting your nails and hair done. Controlling your thoughts, releasing grudges, and forgiving are expressions of pure self-care. Being authentic, speaking your truth, and expressing your creativity are equally important self-care activities. Using positive affirmations, meditation, practicing gratitude, being in nature, and being with good people are other ways to take care of your mental and emotional health. It’s important to take care of your physical body too. After all your body is your soul’s instrument. We need our healthy bodies for all the great things we’re meant to do. So, make sure your body is nourished with real whole foods, hydrated, rested, and active. 

I Love Myself

We can’t give others what we can’t give ourselves. Things we don’t tolerate in ourselves we don’t tolerate in others. Thus, self-love is the key to our emotional health. It’s a door opener for healthy relationships. Now I know that self-love and self-acceptance will overrule whatever might happen. So, I recognize and accept all my flaws. I have been processing every emotion my experiences bring me. My adult self continues to work on her relationship with my inner child. The person I want to be is very clear in my mind. I have found my purpose and part of my mission is to share my journey with you.

Remember: Good is what makes you feel well!


Read about toxic emotions on Toxins.

Anna Resende

Anna Resende

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Certified by IIN - Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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A Weekend of Feeling Great!

In this book, you’ll find all the steps you can take to feel great. Besides all the foundational principles of multidimensional health, it has a sample of a productive daily routine and a two-day menu with 10 healthy recipes for you to try.

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