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PRAISE FOR

Radical Self-Love ‘Radical Self-Love should be on every woman’s bookshelf. Gala Darling is the fresh voice of a new generation, encouraging us to love ourselves and rediscover the most magical facets of who we are. This book will crack you open to the presence of your authentic power.’ — Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times bestselling author of Miracles Now


Radical Self-Love


Radical Self-Love A GUIDE TO LOVING YOURSELF AND LIVING YOUR DREAMS

GAL A DARLING


First published and distributed in the United Kingdom by: Hay House UK Ltd, Astley House, 33 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JQ Tel: +44 (0)20 3675 2450; Fax: +44 (0)20 3675 2451; www.hayhouse.co.uk Published and distributed in the United States of America by: Hay House Inc., PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100 Tel: (1) 760 431 7695 or (800) 654 5126 Fax: (1) 760 431 6948 or (800) 650 5115; www.hayhouse.com Published and distributed in Australia by: Hay House Australia Ltd, 18/36 Ralph St, Alexandria NSW 2015 Tel: (61) 2 9669 4299; Fax: (61) 2 9669 4144; www.hayhouse.com.au Published and distributed in the Republic of South Africa by: Hay House SA (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 990, Witkoppen 2068 info@hayhouse.co.za; www.hayhouse.co.za Published and distributed in India by: Hay House Publishers India, Muskaan Complex, Plot No.3, B-2, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070 Tel: (91) 11 4176 1620; Fax: (91) 11 4176 1630; www.hayhouse.co.in Distributed in Canada by: Raincoast Books, 2440 Viking Way, Richmond, B.C. V6V 1N2 Tel: (1) 604 448 7100; Fax: (1) 604 270 7161; www.raincoast.com Text © Gala Darling, 2016 Cover & Interior design: We Are Branch (www.wearebranch.com) Cover photos: Made U Look Photography (www.madeulookphotography.com) Interior illustrations: Charlotte Thomson-Morley (www.charlottethomson.co.uk) The moral rights of the author have been asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise be copied for public or private use, other than for ‘fair use’ as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews, without prior written permission of the publisher. The information given in this book should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice; always consult a medical practitioner. Any use of information in this book is at the reader’s discretion and risk. Neither the author nor the publisher can be held responsible for any loss, claim or damage arising out of the use, or misuse, of the suggestions made, the failure to take medical advice or for any material on third party websites. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-1-78180-669-2


CO N T E N T S Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi How to Use This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv

LOVING YOURSELF Chapter 1: Learning to Love Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chapter 2: Happiness Within . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

LOVING OTHERS Chapter 3: Best Friends Forever . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Chapter 4: Love, Sex, the Galaxy, and Everything . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

DAILY MAGIC Chapter 5: Manifesting and Magic Making . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Chapter 6: Style Is How You Live Your Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Chapter 7: A Guide to Manners for the Modern Minx . . . . . . . . . . 169 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197


AC K N OW L E D G M E N T S

M

aking magic is a group effort. I have met so many spectacular women in the past decade who have inspired me, uplifted me, and given me new things to think about. To everyone who has ever sent me an e-mail, stopped me in the street for a hug, or attended one of my workshops: thank you from the bottom of my pink, sparkly heart. You have changed my life. My life has been made so much better by the babes who hold my dreams as if they were their own. Infinite love to Shauna Haider, who has been there since the beginning; Kat Williams, for her tireless enthusiasm and encouragement; Helen Sapunova and Jennie McNeil, who are my heart; Rachel Rabbit White, for showing me a new way of looking at things; Veronica Varlow, who is the most magic of all; Emily Faulstich, for keeping it light; Francesca Lia Block, for her endless support; and last but definitely not least, Janet Paape, who has always been my biggest cheerleader. I cannot express how much your love and support means to me. Thank you for everything that you are.

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INTRODUCTION

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RADICAL SELF-LOVE

H

ello, beautiful. I’m so excited for you to dive into Radical Self-Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dreams. This is a thrilling time for both of us! Picking up this book is the very first step toward creating a life of magic, a life that fills you with delight. Radical Self-Love is my take on how to fall in love with yourself and your life, two things I know a lot about. Make no mistake: it took me a long time to get here. My body is covered in tattoos, scars from old piercings and self-harm, all marking the passage of time. Don’t think that I’m coming to you as someone who has always had it all figured out, because that is definitely not the case. Eight years ago, I was a completely different person. I was miserable, sick, and lost. I knew my life could be more than what it was, but I felt stuck. I had no idea how to get to where I wanted to be, and I let fear rule my life with an iron fist. Maybe you identify with those sentiments. Perhaps you feel similarly bamboozled by the life you’re living; maybe it doesn’t look the way you expected. That’s okay. Don’t feel bad, or sad, or overwhelmed. We are going to start dismantling all those thoughts that no longer serve you, one by one! No matter where you are in your journey of radical self-love, I want you to know one thing: you always have the ability to change. In every moment, we’re given an opportunity to evolve and grow or shrink and stay stuck. You make the choice! Take a second to tune in to this precise moment. Maybe you’re relaxing in a bathtub, candles flickering. Perhaps you’re on the bus, listening to the squeak of windshield wipers and rain against the glass. Or maybe you’re sitting in your living room, cross-legged on your sofa, your dog slumbering quietly beside you. I’m going to tell you something I know to be absolutely true: no matter where you are and no matter what is going on around you, this is the only moment you ever have. Tomorrow may never come, and your past is long gone. The future, with all its promises and anxieties, may never eventuate. All you have is this moment, right here and right now.

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Introduction

In this moment, you can create anything. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, achieve, or experience: there are no limits. In this book, I am going to show you how to make your dreams a reality. Now, fair warning: this ain’t your mama’s self-help book! We won’t be listening to Enya, and you won’t have to hide this book behind a copy of Vogue whenever you’re in public. No, ma’am! I’ve staked my claim on being wildly different, weird, and wonderful, so trust me when I say this book is going to get down and dirty fast. We’re going to be diving into all things kooky and unconventional. We’ll be talking about manifesting, masturbating, and making the mundane truly magical! I believe that radical self-love can go hand in hand with a ruby-red lip. I believe that happiness can be cultivated. I believe that unless you fully love and appreciate yourself, your intimate relationships will be a shit-show of epic proportions. I believe that learning how to love yourself can be a party: streamers, disco balls, helium balloons, and all! I want you to realize your radiance. I want you to come to terms with your innate goddess nature. I want you to figure out how goddamn fabulous you are. The universe is waiting for you to step up and live out loud! I’m absolutely thrilled that this is a real, live book: something you can hold in your hands, tuck into your handbag, and read until you fall asleep. Be sure to document your adventures with #rslbook on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you do next! Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure. Ever,

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H OW TO U S E T H I S B O O K Radical Self-Love is split into three sections: Loving Yourself, Loving Others, and Daily Magic. I recommend reading them in sequence, even though you may be tempted to skip ahead, because the chapters build on one another. (As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?!”)

♥ Loving Yourself is where we’ll begin. Within this section, you’ll discover how to fall in love with yourself—no matter what your hang-ups might be!—and we’ll also dive deep into the search for happiness. ♥ Loving Others takes what you’ve learned about self-love and expands it out into the universe. Radical self-love can inform your friendships and intimate relationships in an immensely positive way, and we’ll discover that together.

♥ Daily Magic is the final section, and in it I share my tips for making your world a more magical place. We’ll talk about how to manifest your dreams, how dressing to express yourself can change your life, and how a little bit of charm can create miracles. Each chapter comes with several pieces of homework at the end, which I strongly recommend you complete! Like all things in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Why not buy yourself a little notebook in which to complete the exercises, make notes about the chapters, and journal the process? This will help you to assimilate the material and make it your own. I’ve also created a free Radical Self-Love companion with additional exercises, resources, and assignments to help you light up your heart! Go to www.galadarling.com/rslguide for details. Here’s to loving yourself from your head to your toes!

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Radical Self Love by Gala Darling  
Radical Self Love by Gala Darling