A deep-diving and supportive journal that gently guides readers towards self-love.
Ariella Nyssa is a Sydney-based influencer and swimsuit model. Featuring un-edited photos of herself and other women, her Instagram page is a refreshing change of pace from the sea of social media accounts that rely on airbrushing and society’s deeply ingrained, unrealistic notion of what is and isn’t attractive in a woman’s body. With more than 748K followers on Instagram, Ariella has built her platform on messages of self-love and self-acceptance.
In 2022, Ariella released Ariella Nyssa’s Self-love Bible, a guide to developing self-love and acceptance in your own life. The journal contains a combination of the author’s backstory, journal prompts, and creative exercises that readers can use to improve their relationship with themselves and come to understand their own self-worth.
The book covers a surprising amount of ground. Having expected a journal completely dedicated to building body confidence, I was surprised to discover nuggets of wisdom shared across several other areas too. In addition to learning to love your physical body, the book offers insight on connecting with your inner-child, the importance of a healthy mindset, giving yourself permission to be unique, learning to go with the flow of life, forgiving yourself and others, trusting your instincts and beliefs, showing gratitude, and of course, taking action to achieve your goals.
Each chapter begins with Ariella’s personal story, and how the subsequent material has been important for developing self-love in her own life. A selection of exercises follows, and these are anything but run of the mill. Some are incredibly creative, like drawing your childhood canvas or drawing what forgiveness looks like to you. Others are more reflective, encouraging the reader to dig deep and unearth their own truth.
Of course, a list of relevant affirmations brings each chapter to a close, and these are one of the journal’s highlights. Phrases such as “I appreciate what my body does for me” and “I am proud of what I have achieved” seem simple at first, but after repeating them multiple times, their innate power becomes clear. For those who don’t resonate with affirmations, the varied content offers something for every type of learner. Whether you absorb information by hearing examples, writing down lessons, or drawing your interpretation, the journal creates space for every reader to understand.
Some of the exercises are confronting, but they never feel overwhelming. This may be down to Ariella’s kind and gentle voice which rings through both the prose and the exercises. She also offers a long list of assistance resources at the end of the book, from helplines and websites to spiritual advice. These extra trimmings help readers to feel supported as they undertake the sometimes challenging journey towards loving themselves.
With its mixture of large blocks of text and ongoing exercises, the journal is far more than a surface-level self-help guide, even if it has the pretty colour-coordinated aesthetic of one. It’s a valuable handbook to life, particularly for people who succumb to the pressures of society or struggle to see their own worth.
Reviewed by Vanessa Elle
This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not necessarily of Glam Adelaide.
Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: May 2022