The last few weeks have been full. Lot of ideas have been coming in and lots of old stuff has been coming up to be released. As the seasons shift between summer and fall, I have felt shifts in my life too. These shifts have been in both my personal life and business life. I have been writing lots, yet none of it was inspired to be a blog or a newsletter. I have been more and more comfortable going with my own flow, listening to my own guidance, changing the way I do things, getting clearer on how to share my work with the world and how I need to take care of myself to move my best self forward. And, in the process, I am getting to know better the parts of myself that are not so perfect, and loving them anyway. The parts of ourselves that do things we do not want them to do, or the parts of ourselves that do not do what we think they should, those are the parts that need love right now, just the way they are. They need that love more than ever.
We often say, “I will love myself when _________.” (Fill in your own answer.)
The problem with this statement is that the parts of us that need love now are neglected.
What if we loved ourselves now in all of our messy, imperfect glory?
What if you did not wait until you lost the weight, or established the exercise routine, or got over a failed relationship, or created a schedule that made your life work better? What if loving those parts of ourselves led us to the very behaviors or understanding that our broken-open hearts need? Can we love ourselves enough to start moving in a way that stirs our soul? Or seek out help with a loss? Or find a coach or practitioner who can help us find a way to tune into our own guidance and learn how to listen to our own intuition?
When we love ourselves the way we are now, we open the door to change.
Our less-loved parts receive attention and do not have to be as vocal. They calm down; they feel well loved. When this happens we begin to feel more like ourselves. We have access to more of our true nature. We begin to know what it feels like to listen to our own wisdom, whether that is body wisdom, or wisdom about a choice we have to make. So, how can we begin to love ourselves more?
Here are a few suggestions.
Gratitude is a game changer; it opens the door for miracles to enter our lives.
Take some time each morning to write down three things you are grateful for. Then, in the evening, write down three things that you are grateful for that happened that day. If you do not know where to begin, then be grateful that you breathe day in and day out without needing to think about it. Allow yourself to feel gratitude as well. You can expand on your list each day; you can add more than three things. When you are feeling down, read your list. You will be reminded of the multitude of blessings in your life. Try this for a week and see what happens.
When you find yourself criticizing yourself, love the one who criticizes.*
Bless the one who criticizes. All parts of us want to be met as they are. The shadow sides of ourselves can be great teachers. We sometimes fear our dark side because we are afraid we will not be able to contain the darkness. In my experience the opposite is true. When we meet the dark parts of ourselves, the parts we criticize or want to get rid of, they are not as big or scary as we imagined them to be. They just want to be loved too. *this is from the work of Matt Kahn, click here for more information.
Cultivate a practice of sitting quietly each day.
You can use whatever practice calls to you. Samyama is one practice that can assist you to listen deeply to the parts of yourself that want to be heard. Learn more about Samyama here.
Establishing these self-care practices can help you move with the flow of your own life. You will notice when you are called to slow down and will see shifts in your life. If you find yourself too rigid or controlling, these practices can help you live a more easeful life. Oh, and remember to breathe, deeply.