insight

Wise Words: My Journey into Self Love

Self love. Easy to say. And yet the hardest thing in the world for humans to do.

My Journey

At some point along the way, I got crystal clear that I was going to do whatever it took to love myself and absolutely accept myself. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Vitally important to me was this deep compelling that I not set any conditions on that love. My observation is that so many hold off loving self or accepting self until they meet some arbitrary expectation or goal. It is part of modern life. Articles, blogs, media, all blasting messages at you, conflicting messages, on this topic. So much distraction. So much confusion. So much and so many telling you who you should be or not be.

I knew that I was absolutely committed to the idea that I would love myself “now” not wait for “then”. (In fact, I’m on record with a few friends.) Admittedly, it was not an easy task. As I made that choice, the choice to love myself, accept myself, waves of issues and then insights began to reveal themselves to me. Each time a new batch came up I was being asked to discern for myself, what does love look like in this situation? What’s the most self loving thought or action? Another opportunity for rising and renewing my commitment, to answer the call from the heart, with a vigor that I’ve never known before…

I fully intend to love and accept myself, unconditionally. To be so self loving and so connected to my source and the truth of my own sovereignty that whatever happens in my life I will have the fortitude and courage and love to face whatever I am confronted with. To be committed to my well being over all else, of course, without harming others. To agree to follow my inner knowing as my true guide, forging a path for my new and true me, cultivating my inner strength, allowing my intuition to give me the next small step for the good of the whole, honoring the wisdom that reveals it’s sweetness to me each day. Knowing that my connection to self cannot be broken by culture, that I am no longer bound by those intellectual messages that judge and bind. Being so clear that the world is a better place when it is filled with love. And the only place I have influence and power over that is within my own sovereign I AM domain. 

It was during these moments of being caught short and then coming to a new awareness that I made my greatest discovery. I realized how many ways I’d been carrying “wrong” around for my whole life. When I began looking at my life as an observer, I could see more clearly how others see me. I could see through the eyes of my family and culture and religion, how “wrong” I was. The wrong size, the wrong spirituality, the wrong politics, the wrong career choices, the wrong sexuality, the wrong approach to living life. It was overwhelming. Before that, I had just been living as if I were wrong. And it wasn’t even mine, even though I had taken it on as if it were. I believed it as if it were my truth.

I was suddenly so clear that those thoughts weren’t mine. Those beliefs weren’t mine. Those perspectives and judgments weren’t mine.

The clarity revealed my truth, my beautiful journey, my gifts. What a perfect soul set up, for in the process of letting go of being wrong (years and years and layers and layers), I realized not only how “right” I am, but how I just don’t have to care about any other opinion. It just doesn’t matter. I am only responsible for me, my own domain. Not theirs’. They are responsible for their domain. When you experience self love, deep and true self love, absolute acceptance of self, all of the rest of it simply dissolves and falls away. It has no charge. It has no trigger. There’s nothing for it to stick to. Others can have opinions, but they don’t get a vote, they don’t have a say in my life. They have no authority. In the wake of that there is freedom. Absolute freedom. Freedom from the voices of culture and mass consciousness, freedom from the agendas of others, even those agendas dressed up as prayers, claimed to be made for you in the name of love.

Though justification isn’t necessary, I also discovered that it all had a reason for being. Every experience was perfect for the life I was here to live. The negative stuff, the challenges, the struggles, the tensions in relationships. All of it was part of the beautiful soul design, the bits and pieces that reveal insights and wisdom. I needed only to turn the kaleidoscope to have that perspective. To open my eyes and ears, take a deep breath and trust myself. It’s all such a beautiful experience, if you allow it to be. And of course, it’s much sweeter with so much of it in the rear view mirror!

Self Love in Practice

Self love is a choice. Every day. Until it’s just the way you are. At first it takes a little self discipline and practice, and then more practice. And then at some point it is the radiant light that shines out from within and cannot be dimmed.

We expect others to love us, love our bodies. But what about you? Do you ever gush love at your body? See it for the beautiful home where you reside? The Treasure it as the temple of your soul? Thank it for being the reliable vehicle that moves us around reliably and gracefully in your world?

We expect our lovers and partners to caress us, to be tender and affectionate, to nurture us, but what about you? Do you ever do that for yourself? Luxuriate in a warm bath…massage your feet with lotion…look lovingly at each part of your body and appreciate it’s beauty?

Self love is this and so much more. It’s catching those voices in your head at their games, the ones that bully and berate you. It’s putting your foot down once and for all, saying “No more! Enough is enough!” Self love is stopping the barrage of insults you hurl at yourself for how you look, how you behave, what you lack, how you’re not enough. I’m pretty sure you bristle at others’ judgement of you and that you would never accept someone else shouting hateful things at you or someone you love. Then, why do you allow it from yourself? Self love is looking upon yourself with the same compassionate and gentle eyes through which you see others.

Nurturing and caring for yourself are expressions of your love for you. There are so many demands on us. Things in this world can get pretty intense, at times. We get so wrapped up in our lives, we have a tendency to forget about ourselves. Even when we want to do what we would call “good” things for ourselves or our health, they can turn out to be so demanding, rigid, pushy, harsh.  I invite you to slow down … to take time …  to treat yourself. Being bold and courageous, choosing to put yourself first. Prioritizing spending time just you with you.  To fill yourself back up from the wellspring within. Relaxing. Rejuvenating. Balancing. Loving.

If you’re one who thinks of these things as selfish instead of self-full, and need a little extra incentive, then think of the beautiful model and example you’ll be for the people in your life. It doesn’t have to be a grand event, a trip to the spa.  It can simply be 15 minutes or an hour doing something for you, whatever suits you. Then, you can give yourself permission to work up to unabashed SELF-FULL-NESS!

We are sensual beings, SOIndulge your senses. What would please you? Here’s a few ideas to get your imagination going:

  • Try a new candle with your favorite scent.
  • Take some good deep breaths and relax, whenever, where ever.
  • Read a book by an author you love.
  • Buy some delicious chocolates to savor.
  • Listen to your favorite tunes and dance a little in your living room.
  • Find a beautiful and quiet place in nature to take a stroll.
  • Buy yourself a little bouquet of flowers for your bedside.
  • Let go of the “dietary should and shold nots” and eat a meal that tastes great to you.
  • Enjoy a soothing bath with bubbles or salts.
  • Sit in your favorite chair with a glass of lemonade or cup of tea.

Ahhhh… Are you ready?

XXOO,

 

 

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mug shot self love by jessica sackett

 

 

Wise Words: Quiet

quiet    [kwahy-it]
1. making no noise or sound, especially no disturbing sound
2. free, or comparatively free, from noise
3. silent
4. free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful
5. being at rest
6. refraining or free from activity, especially busy or vigorous activity

Small word, big impact.


“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you;
you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.”
~ Debbie Ford

Recently, I was with the little boy for whom I sometimes nanny. He’s 1. Late in the morning, he was giving all the usual signals that he was ready for a nap. We went upstairs to read a book and begin to quiet down from our morning of giggling and play. His readiness signals continued but he was also doing lots of things to resist:  squirming, muttering, flopping onto his belly for a quick second of stillness, then sitting up again, staring into space then re-engaging the book.

I stayed quiet and calm, letting him lead the way. I rubbed his back when he was still, waiting for his need to rest to overtake the momentum of activity. Eventually he flopped up against me. We took some deep breaths together (yes, I taught a one year old to do deep, conscious breathing…it is a thing of beauty to behold) and within a minute or two came that sweet moment of surrender. He allowed himself to settle into quiet and stillness and then sleep.

Know the feeling?

We live in a world with intense energies, constant noise and the seduction of distraction every which way we turn. It takes great awareness and discipline to stop resisting the need for rest, quiet and stillness, like my little friend, and surrender into connecting with self.

It’s so simple. But for many it’s not necessarily easy. Deep conscious breaths are the quickest way to achieve this connection. Allowing the space and time for stillness and quiet. Turning inward. Allowing insight. Coming back to center when things feel topsy turvy. Letting your mind, body and spirit catch up to shifts and changes.

The cultural norm, at least in the U.S., is to work…go…do. A strong work ethic is highly valued and rarely questioned. For many, needing or wanting rest still equates to weakness or laziness. Sometimes it’s not even a conscious thought, but lives as judgment in the unconscious. It is wielded both inwardly at oneself and externally at others.

Seems to me it’s time for a new norm. There is so much power in silence, so much potential in the space of stillness. Just 10 minutes out of your day. Nothing to DO. Just BEing. Breathing. Feeling and sensing. Allowing your energies to flow. Allowing the focus to be inward. Not chasing down thoughts. Not resisting. Not pushing. Just awareness and noticing.

I wonder what’s possible…I wonder what will show up…I wonder what wants to be released…I wonder what’s there to be received. Don’t you?

************

Just as I finished writing this post, I came across something on Facebook that resonated and seemed relevant to this post. I felt it deeply upon reading it, as did a few of my friends. Some of us were even moved to tears. It reminded me of a significant and transitional time in my life. After closing my shop and dealing with all the physical and logistical aspects that were required of me, I experienced months of hearing a loud and compelling voice from deep within, imploring and insisting that I rest. Apparently, for that period of time, my “work” was to rest. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. For what is honored and valued in my family is work…and doing…and I was being asked by the grander part of me to rest…and be. I KNEW that I had to cultivate both the discipline and the courage to honor what was true and pure at my very core…and trust that it must be the right thing for me. It has paid off in spades…led to places I could not have imagined…worth every bit of challenge it required me to face!

The person who posted this credited it to Jeff Foster. Does this resonate with you?

SACRED EXHAUSTION
Your tiredness has dignity to it!
Do not rush to pathologise it, or push it away, for it may contain great intelligence, even medicine.
You have been on a long journey from the stars, friend.
Bow before your tiredness now; do not fight it any longer.
There is no shame in admitting that you cannot go on.
Even the courageous need to rest.
For a great journey lies ahead.
And you will need all of your resources.
Come, sit by the fire of Presence.
Let the body unwind; drop into the silence here.
Forget about tomorrow, let go of the journey to come, and sink into this evening’s warmth.
Every great adventure is fuelled by rest at its heart.
Your tiredness is noble, friend, and contains healing power… if you would only listen.

 

Lavendar Sunset_Tom Seliskar
Photo Credit – Header:  Samantha Martinez
Photo Credit – Footer:  Tom Seliskar