Before and After My Self Love Program – Forever Unfolding the Real Me


BEFORE Cherise Holt (Age 22)
Cherise Holt (age 22): Celebrating my birthday with alcohol. I remember drinking so much I was laying on the floor of the restaurant, and vomiting in the bathroom.

Not that long ago I didn’t know what self-love meant or how to love myself. I was a girl with low self-esteem and little confidence around others. I was shy and I reserved my feelings for a limited crowd of family and close friends, but even then I was closed off from allowing anyone to see and fully discover the ‘real me’.

In keeping myself closed to others I thought I was protecting myself from getting hurt or rejected, but in actual fact I was hurting and rejecting myself most deeply. I had created a picture of what and who I should be and fooled even myself with the quiet, ‘nice girl’ persona.

I prided myself on my ability to listen intently, be responsible, provide care for my family and patients at work, but inside I was feeling more drained and distant from other people. I wasn’t really looking after myself in a way that supported my everyday life and I certainly didn’t think I was worth making time for, or deserving of, loving care for myself or my own body.

BEFORE: Cherise Holt (Age 26)
Cherise Holt (Age 26): At a work party, my eyes are saying ‘don’t look at me’, shy, withdrawn and feeling sad in my everyday life.

This played out by my indulging in food and using things like TV as a distraction in mostly every spare minute I ever had.

I felt withdrawn, anxious and tense within my own body. As I grew older my shoulders hunched as I worked on perfecting my outward smile in an attempt to cover the sadness I felt from not living the love and joy that I knew I could be. I was numbing myself with food and at times alcohol and I was suffering from anxiety; the food and alcohol became my coping tools when I just wanted to fit in with others, or simply didn’t want the real me to be seen or noticed.

I had a picture of what would bring happiness and love to my life, a list of things from the outside, the home, the husband and children. But as I ticked these things off my list I was realising this wasn’t it. I was missing out on a deeper love, a love that could never be given to me by someone else, it could only come from my own heart by choosing true love for myself; by learning how to love myself and choosing to live the real me.


In November 2010, I began a program with a Universal Medicine practitioner. We called this a program of ‘Self-Love’ and from my first esoteric healing session I knew that there was more to life than the picture I had limited myself by. I began to learn to love myself and to feel and trust my body for the first time since I was a small child.

AFTER: Cherise Holt (Age 30)
Cherise Holt (Now age 30): Self-accepting, self-loving, self-honouring, beautiful woman.

In the past three years I have shed accumulated layers of hurt and sadness and narrow ways of thinking of how I thought I should be. Although I have dropped around 30kg it has not been about losing physical weight for me – the weight literally came off as I began to accept myself and as I began to learn to love myself and treat my body with the love it always deserved. It has been about discovering who I am once again – discovering the real me – and sharing this unreservedly with others.

I am forever grateful for the inspiration that the practitioners of Universal Medicine have gifted me. I have made countless new and loving choices to support me to live what feels natural; not to better myself, but from the knowing that I am already so amazing, so beautiful. My diet and exercise routines are always changing to be more supportive and I make choices by listening to my body, going to bed early when I am tired, eating to nourish my body, not holding back from sharing what I feel with others – and I absolutely love going to work and being with other people.

As I have been learning how to love myself more and more deeply, I am now accepting myself and of who I am, and this feels like just the beginning. I have a willingness to grow, to understand and discover more about life and I have made a commitment to living in full, the real ME.

It’s a miracle to me that I have let go of such a shield of protection and hardness and given myself the permission to expand and unfold the natural and joyful Cherise… the natural and joyful me!

By Cherise Holt, 30, Nurse, Australia

BEORE: Cherise Holt (Age 27)
Cherise Holt (Age 27):
Me “withdrawn, anxious and tense” and feeling very uncomfortable in my own skin.

AFTER: Cherise Holt (Age 30)
Cherise Holt (Now age 30):
Passionate about life, lover of people, committed to sharing me with the world.

415 thoughts on “Before and After My Self Love Program – Forever Unfolding the Real Me

  1. When we hold back our natural way of expressing, the joy that lives within us, we hurt ourselves deeply as it is living imprisoned in a set of behaviours that are not true to us.

  2. A stunning example of how the power of love can transform lives, seriously amazing. From being completely lost to knowing who we are guided by a connection to a love within is very possible, as you have showed and continue to do so through how you live as you have shared through many of your blogs. An inspiration for us to see that living in honor of our love within the power of who we are, just by being our natural selves.

  3. The word permission here is so important, so many people know deep down they need to man different and much more loving choices – but they don’t give themselves the permission to drop their guards down and begin to discover who they actually are.

  4. Our face seems to be designed to disguise how we are truly doing. What is with the smile? It seems we can fake happiness easily with it, so to convince us and others that things are ok. Yet, if we look past the smile, the whole face is communicating: help!!! I am totally trapped!!

  5. Diets don’t work but self-love does – we get to a point when we just cannot harm our body anymore and out go the superfluous food, the TV watching, the hiding and being nice for the sake of being accepted by others.

  6. Living the real me, what does that mean actually? Well it is not showing a “joy only” version of you. Yes, we are joy, love, beauty in essence but that is not always what we feel though all kinds of reasons. I have fooled myself big time that showing the real me, is meaning only showing that joyful part. The real me is everything what is there to be felt, including the tiredness, the sadness, the stressed shoulders, the sore foot etc. If we don’t allow also that part, then the joyful part cannot be there as well in full.

    1. That’s a great point Willem that reality is not always amazing, it can be uncomfortable, challenging, painful. But there is a lot of beauty in keeping things real and in even our uncomfortable lessons.

  7. Pictures say so much and yours do so strongly, to see and feel the picture of you now and feel the grace you present is just gorgeous. Committing to being ourselves and being us in life is indeed life changing.

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