Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Cultivating Self Love
I am incredibly inspired by the unwavering warm feeling of true self love. My chest feels like love explosions are consistently going off, I feel love pulsing through my veins and the desire to reach out and hug trees, plants, animals and humans. SO much love overflowing from the inside, I feel the urge to share it. No need for it to be returned, for I have all I need from within.
What is Self Love?
Is it looking at yourself in the mirror and saying...
"Oh my, how lovely you are. You are so beautiful. You are so strong. I am proud of you!"
Maybe. That's part of loving your physical vessel which is how your spirit represents itself in the world.
Several things come to mind when I have paved my own path to incredible self love.
1. Accept Your Feelings
When I feel the sensation of anxiety, fear, sadness whatever it may be.. I take a moment to honor it. I have switched my self talk from "I am anxious" to now saying "I have a feeling of anxiety, it is not me, for it will pass." By accepting the sensation it looses its power. I then dig deeper. What is this emotion showing me? Where does the root of this emotion reside? Sometimes the answer is loud and clear, other times it is unknown. There is a fine balance of wanting to explain away your feelings and understanding the truth that they are showing you. Your feelings are the compass of your life.
May be one of the hardest. Acknowledging your past does not define you or your future. Forgiving yourself for your perceived mistakes. Releasing the shoulda woulda coulda's! Accepting where you are is perfect in this moment. You created this reality. Accept it. Honor the truth of that. I suggest trying a mantra. I forgive myself for ________. Even if it doesn't feel true, if you begin to state it you will soon believe it. The power of forgiveness is beyond comprehension. This doesn't stop with self, forgiving others is one of the most peaceful acts you can do in the honor of self love.
Towards yourself! Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Positive self talk, support and belief in the ability to complete your tasks. Check in with your self talk. For example: You remember that you left important papers at home halfway on your way to work, do you call yourself a name? Are you angry? This is the perfect time to be compassionate! You can't change that you left your papers at home, but you do not have to beat yourself up, you are not dumb, or stupid. Instead of "WHY ME?" think.... "What's next?" Remind yourself that you are trying your very best in every moment of every day and that is really all you can do. Ahh, yes. Relax.
4. Knowing when to honor your boundaries. Saying YES or NO!
Life can pull us in many directions. Social events, work parties, travel experiences, whatever it may be. An important lesson in self love/self care is listening to what your heart truly wants to do with your time instead of falling into the pull of another. It is so easy to say "sure, I'll go along.." when in the back of your head/heart you would have rather stayed at home or done something different. What I'd like for all of us to realize when saying NO to one invitation we are also saying YES to many other things. For example: Declining a night out on the town with friends seems like being a debbie downer, but saying YES to relaxing at home, saying YES to cooking a meal for myself, saying YES to personal space, saying YES to saving money and energy. Saying YES to ME!
5. Self Care
As you rise from your nightly slumber, you feel stiff, headachey and hungry. Self care is noticing what the body's sensations are telling you and making the time to address them. Stretching, drinking plenty of water, a healthy nutritious breakfast. Making a point to have food in the fridge, food with you at work. never missing meal time. Your body deserves the upmost attention and care. It is your vessel on how you are a service to life, taking care of it, is a true action of self love.
You have time, if it's important to you! Cultivate a practice of stretching, meal preparation and fresh clean water consumption!
What is self love to you? How to you cultivate this practice? I'd love to hear about it!