We’re celebrating stories of LOVE this Valentine’s!

This week we sat down with Emma Hogg; a psychotherapist who advocates for self-love and positive affirmation. Emma promotes wellness and achievement on her blog A Life I Choose; holding workshops and sessions to improve self growth and participate in the development of a happier life. We sat down with her to discuss self-love and what it means to her.

1) What roles do love and affection play in your life?

Love and affection are in all areas of my life. To me love is a safe space, a place to heal, a place to grow, a sharing of challenges, enjoyment and fulfilment. Love isn’t always rosy and sometimes it really hurts, but when you face the challenges together, it’s just growing pains. Love brings purpose to life.

2) What does self love entail for you?

Self-love is having a caring and honest relationship with our selves. We easily fall into the trap of neglecting ourselves; feeling it’s self-indulgent to invest time and money into getting to know ourselves better. But what I’ve learned is that it’s when I’m out of attunement with myself that I’m most out of attunement with others. It’s only when I’m really there for myself that I can love others fully.

3) Name 3 things you do to treat your self?

The first on my list is personal-growth: Regular therapy, coaching sessions, journaling and self-development workshops. It’s these activities that have helped me to heal from past suffering and to find my purpose in life.

The second on my list, but equally important is Time for Grace. This means to live gracefully; make space for softness, ease and relaxation. I invite grace into my life with hot baths, reading books, long walks with my husband, movie nights under blankets, baking brownies, and massages to help heal tired muscles.

Third, and again, so vital to our health and joy is quality time with my loved ones. In our busy culture, sometimes we forget how valuable it is to spend time with those we love – I forget this sometimes. But I know that when I spend time with my nearest and dearest, I’m a happier person and I work more efficiently afterwards anyway! My favourite ways of doing this are regular date nights with Pete, lunches with family, brunch/drinks with friends.

4) What is your go to dancing song and why?

This changes every few weeks! It’s always a song that just picks me up the moment I hear it – it either carries my emotion or it moves my body. I can’t stand songs that I have to make an effort to dance to. Dance songs should dance you!

At the moment, I’m loving the beat of Body by Loud Luxury – it’s not an emotional one for me, it just moves my feet.

5) What are you grateful for?


-My life and health.

-My husband, my family and friends.

-All the opportunities that allow me to share my work with others.

-My clients for their trust and for inviting me to guide and challenge them to live lives that are joyful, purposeful and healthy.

-My mentors who teach and challenge me to grow.

-My mistakes – I never like it when I realise I’ve made one, but I learn so much.

-The difficult times with loved ones – these suck, but when we allow ourselves to stay with the discomfort of it all, and we communicate throughout it, our relationships become so much richer.

-The obstacles and challenges I face, both personally and professionally, that push me to be more resourceful. These experiences teach me that I’m more capable than I thought I was before.

-I’m also grateful for my home, for cups of tea, cuddles and gluten-free brownies.

6) What advice would you give others regarding self love?

It's a practice. Don’t feel like a failure if you’re not in love with yourself all the time. Being in love with ourselves doesn’t mean looking at ourselves like we’re perfect and always liking what we see. Self-love is about self-compassion. It’s about being able to notice when you’re berating yourself for a mistake you’ve made and choosing to cool it. It’s about being empathic with yourself for saying or doing the wrong thing, for hurting someone’s feelings, or for not making the sale. Self-love is also about owning the parts of ourselves that need improvement. It’s about owning when there’s a behavioral pattern that’s not serving you and the people around you. Seeking guidance to change that behaviour is a huge act of self-love. It’s not perfection that brings us peace and fulfilment, but living life in alignment with our values.