Amari Ice is a Gay Matchmaker, Relationship Coach, and Hypnotherapist who has helped over 500 Black Gay singles level up their dating skills and find love.
According to the Matchmaking Institute, he’s the first Black Gay relationship coach in the entire love industry who’s also a certified matchmaker.
According to Amari, anyone’s journey to find love should always start from within, which is a practice that he uses and teaches within his programs.
Take a look at Amari’s take on self-love and why it is so important below:
We hear the term “Loving Yourself First” and having a good relationship with yourself so often when relationships are discussed. Why do you think people have trouble understanding this concept or attaining their own “self-love”?
Here’s what is quite interesting: most people don’t have a problem giving love – They have a problem receiving it. And the thing that we all need to allow ourselves to receive love is the belief that we are lovable just the way we are.
If we don’t believe that we are lovable, we will sabotage ourselves in relationships. This is what causes us to push the right partners away when they show up for us. We end up saying ‘yes’ to the wrong people and will say ‘no’ to the right people because we don’t believe we are lovable.
Thus, the saying that “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself” is not the whole sentence. It’s not the full paragraph. It’s a paraphrase.
The reality is that unless you know how to give yourself love, you won’t have the internal language to understand when someone else is loving you. So we must love ourselves first in order to be able to recognize what love really is, because if I don’t love me – I won’t let you love me either.
If you find it hard to be loved by other people, that means there are things about yourself that you find it hard to love, and the people that you attract are just reflecting those same energies back to you.
They’re showing you exactly what your challenges are. Relationships are like a mirror in the way that they reflect back who we really are and what we are emanating at any moment.
What are ways that people can start demonstrating acts of self-love now?
There are two main things I’d recommend:
- The act of engaging in things we love is also the act of loving ourselves. So the most effective way to show yourself love, is to schedule playtime, or what I like to call a “Me Spree.” People often think that rest or vacation, or play is a reward for work, but what I’ve learned is the opposite. Play is not a reward for work. Play is a requirement.
- This is an activity I have all of my clients do. (You can download a version of the Me Spree activity in Amari’s Lasting Love Toolkit at www.lastingloveatlast.com)
- Make a list of all the things you love to do, how long a “single helping” of that activity takes, and how much it costs to do. Then, schedule at least 10 hours per week of Me Spree time where you do the things you love to do.
- You might gawk and say, “who has 10 hours of free time per week?!” but that’s precisely the problem. Not prioritizing the time to love yourself is precisely why you don’t have the time to do so.
- By prioritizing yourself, you’re creating the subconscious confirmation that you value yourself and that you love yourself. Following through on your plans to rest and play is the one most important thing you could ever do to begin to change that script.
- The fastest way to shift your internal experience around self-love is to work with a professional therapist, hypnotherapist, or coach like myself.
What is one key factor that people should consider when trying to find love within themselves?
The subconscious mind controls 95% of our lives. That’s where all of our emotions, beliefs, and habits live. Only 5% of our lives are controlled by the conscious mind, where discipline and willpower are.
Unless we consciously want something that matches what we’re subconsciously programmed to create, we’re likely to sabotage ourselves.
So when it comes to having self-love, we really have to look at what those subconscious beliefs are. What are the limiting beliefs we have about love and ourselves that don’t serve us? Whatever the program is that we have around love is what we’re going to create in ourselves and our relationships.
We’re kind of like computers in that regard. To create a more evolved relationship for ourselves with a higher level of effectiveness, we first have to upgrade our relationship operating system.
Otherwise, we won’t be compatible with someone right for us because we aren’t good for ourselves.
What is your personal most significant relationship fear?
My most significant relationship fear: knowing everything I do about love but having to start over. When people consider you an “expert” or “authority” on something, they pretty much expect you to be perfect; to have ALL the answers; to have no flaws; to never make a mistake, but no one has all the answers, and no one is flawless.
Humans aren’t designed to get everything “perfect” every time. I’m an awesome guy, but I’m not flawless. My goal is not to be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist, but excellence for sure exists. And excellence is a range.
Sometimes I forget that. I know that many look up to me as a role model, and I welcome that, but role models don’t exist for you to BECOME them. They exist for you to see what’s possible and to decide who you’re going to be regardless.
Sure, I know A LOT about relationships. How to help you find them. How to help you start them. How to help you heal them, but I don’t know everything. What I do know is that I’m more committed than many other people are to learning everything I can about one of life’s biggest blessings and sharing what I learn with all who seek the same. I know that what I fear is simply the possibility of being judged as human if my own relationship were to fail.
And even though I’ve had my own share of challenges and breakups and makeups, I know that each one has only given me more insight and made me that much more of a better coach. I don’t really look at breakups as failures. I look at them as lessons that helped me get clearer on what I want, what I need, and who I am. You can’t have mulch without the bullshit.
Amari Ice’s Top Tips for Working From Home
Know Your Work Style: First things first, you have to know your work style. Maybe you’re someone who gets a burst of productivity and can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time but needs a significant break afterward. Or perhaps you’re someone who has consistent, steady energy and can work little by little until the task is done.
If you’re more of a burster, you want to schedule themed time blocks or theme days so that you get all of your YouTube videos recorded within a four-hour period, for example, or all of your accounts receivables handled every Tuesday.
That way, you can stay in one frame of mind and knock out all the different types of tasks related to that theme category.
If you’re a plodder, it’ll be easier for you to say every day at nine o’clock I work on this thing, and every day at noon, I work on those things.
Or I just work on a thing until I finish it. But if you don’t know your work style, you’ll often try to do work in a way that works for others but not you, and then judge yourself for it unnecessarily.
Designate a Work Zone: Defining a space as your designated work zone will make it much easier for you to get work done. By only doing work in a work zone (which means NOT in your bedroom if possible), you train your brain to work on cue. Just by being in that space will trigger your subconscious mind into a state of productivity.
Set Standard Work Hours: What time do you start and stop work each day? Perhaps the biggest struggle of working from home is around when work starts and stops.
Setting hard time boundaries will help you stay sane. Pro tips: If you’re the type of person who struggles to get started on tasks first thing in the morning, but you have to work in the morning, you’ll want to schedule meetings first since they’re harder to avoid.
And then, since you’re already up for the meeting, it’ll be easier to switch to whatever other tasks you have to complete. On the other hand, if you’re a person who has an easier time getting started but a harder time stopping at the end of the day.
You’ll want to do the opposite and schedule a meeting at the end of the day to break up that focus so that work ends. For example, at the end of the day, schedule a virtual happy hour with friends, or if you’re in a relationship, scheduled date night, etc., right after work in order to force yourself to be done for the day.
Make Work Fun: You can also turn any tasks into a game, which will make it easier to complete if you struggle to stay focused. Especially for tasks where you’ve been struggling to get started or stay focused, try setting a 25-minute timer and promise yourself that you’ll just work for this 25 minutes and when it’s over, you can do something else if you want.
But if you’ll at least focus for 25 minutes, in most cases, you’ll either finish the entire task in 25 minutes, or you’ll feel like continuing to complete the task since you’re already inflow. It’s a great way to work with your natural resistance to doing something and your desire to have fun actually to accomplish the task.
Eat Dessert First: So many of us think that breaks, playtime, or vacation is a reward for work. But in actuality, it’s a requirement. When you’re planning your calendar for the year, for the quarter, or for the month, schedule your personal things first.
That means your vacations, doctor’s appointments, and all the rest of your me-time. And only afterward do you plan your work around that. This way, work won’t prevent you from taking care of yourself and staying grounded and sane.
Work will always expand to fill whatever time we give it. In contrast, we will often not allow ourselves to play because we have too much work. So if you plan the playtime first, you’ve guaranteed that you now have the time for self-care already on your calendar.
Now that numerous companies have discovered that remote work is actually more feasible than we may have guessed, it’s likely that many positions will continue to have the ability to work from home even after the pandemic ends. Hopefully, these tips help you better manage your productivity as you navigate your new home-office environment.
Photography Corey Fletch with Fletch Studios