Practice Self-Love

Isn’t it interesting how when we start to criticize ourselves, we start projecting our own self-love into the future? “When I have self-control, I will love myself better.” “When I lose weight, I can then love myself and take myself to the beach.” “When I feel better, I will go on a walk.” It’s like this future condition. Like we aren’t worthy for our love as we are, only as we want ourselves to be. Conditional love. I urge you, when these voices pop into your mind, watch them, then try to counter them with, “I love you as you are now.” “You are worthy and deserving of a walk just as you are.” “You are beautiful and lovable just as you are, right now.” “I love me right here, right now, as I am.” Notice how that brings a sense of peace and an openness to live your life in abundance in this present moment. You don’t have to wait for the future to love yourself. In fact, who knows how much future we really have, right? We could get hit by a car or something else could take our life in the blink of an eye and we will have said, “Oops, I was waiting for perfection before I loved myself and now, I don’t have that opportunity.” Instead, take this opportunity right now to look at yourself through the eyes of a best friend. Extend your arms out in front of you, cross them and wrap them around your torso, giving yourself a big hug. Feel your arms around your body, squeezing with love and affection. Be your own best friend, full of love and compassion. It all starts with you, right here, right now. You are worthy of your love. When you see that, you will soften and your actions toward yourself will be more loving. Then that future condition will evaporate as you begin to experience what you thought was a destination to get to out there happening in this very moment. I love you.

Recommended Song: Love Letters to God by Nahko and Medicine for the People

Finding Peace Under the Chaos of the Mind

Time to get some thoughts down on “paper”.

I have been wanting to write for quite some time now but the thought of “writing a blog post” has been paralyzing me. I come up with an idea in my head, roll it around and watch as it rolls to the back of my mind, deeming itself silly and not good enough for a post. Why do we do this? Why do we undermine ourselves? Our thoughts. The voices chime in: “Everyone is writing about that topic,” “That’s not original,” “There’s not enough to talk about there” etc. Done! Enough! Here I go…Today’s topic is: ALLOWING…or is it?

Allowing yourself to be just as you are. Saying, “That’s OK.” to yourself. Ever hear a friend talk about him/herself to you. Giving their self a hard time for eating too much, gaining weight, looking fat/ugly etc? And what is your response? Something along the lines of “I love you. No matter what. I will always love you.” We encourage them to say nicer things to themselves. We have compassion and unconditional love. But then, the next thing we know, we are condemning for the same things. The track gets stuck repeating the same old demeaning mind chatter, “You shouldn’t have eaten that. You should eat this. You should have done some exercise. You should meditate. You should take the dog on a real walk. A longer walk. You shouldn’t have said that. You should have said this. You should work harder. You should be a better parent, child, sibling, friend, etc. You shouldn’t work so much. You should make more time for your family. Blah blah blah.” What is this mind’s determination to punish, to condemn, leaving us feeling belittled and not enough? I don’t know about you but when insults and criticism come from outside, from another person, and then, in almost the same breath they try to tell me what to do, the first thing I want to do is say “Fuck you!” and do the exact opposite.

Oh, strange, that’s what we do to ourselves. We have the same reaction to our mind chatter. We take those insults and rebel against them. They hurt so we do the next best thing to make ourselves feel better in the immediate future. Be it eating, smoking, popping pills, drinking, drugs of any sort. These are all quick fixes to the current feeling of insufficiency, not enough-ness. They are also external. Outside of our self. The unrest resides inside of us and when we seek external solutions we get further and further away from our true self, our essence, the you the is there when you look back at every single phase of your life and recognize that constant being. He/she will still be there to greet you when the external “fix” wares off, runs out, or you get too depleted to continue doing it. We sober up and find our self in a downward spiral once again. The shame and guilt creep in like a black cloud, the voices are meaner, angrier and louder this time. You glare at them with contempt, fists clenched as you rush to the battlefield again for relief with more of the same vice, all the while hearing that faint melody playing in the background, softly reminding you, “This isn’t the way.” but feeling helpless in choosing to look at what really heals. Choosing to look within, acknowledge the fragile, hurting self that feels ugly and unlovable but all it wants is to be recognized and cared for. By You. Beautiful You.

Chitta – mind chatter. What an appropriate word. Sometimes the “chatter” seems a bit more like shouting ridicule. What is this mind’s tendency to self-sabotage? In fact, maybe it’s an opportunity to look at this a little differently. When our Chitta is ramping up, getting louder and louder, more and more harsh, sometimes bringing us into a state of paralysis where we are afraid to get out of bed because we know we’ll ‘do it wrong’ whatever ‘it’ is, what has become muted in the meantime? If our mind is overpowering, what is it overpowering? What is taking the backseat? What has been beaten down to a pulp, left to feel worthless, and tossed aside as if it doesn’t matter? That’s right. Our heart. Our soul. Our true self. Our heart has left the building…almost. Thankfully we can’t live without our heart, we are our true essence, and we can never completely “leave the building,” except for in extreme cases when Chitta gets the best of us and we intentionally call it quits. This sucks. It’s a scary place. Sometimes it seems so near, like a good way out. Just to throw in the towel and be finished. But if you’re reading this, and you’ve been that close then you’ve also experienced the comeback, ready to jump back on the horse, fight again for this life that we fought for when we won the fertilization race as little spermatozoa. There is a beautiful Being inside of you and was brought into this world to share its unique light. No, you are not supposed to be like anyone else. You are your own spark, flavor, color, texture that when added to this piece of art we call life makes it ignite. You bring the piece of the puzzle that only you hold and without your unique contribution the rest of this crazy masterpiece is lacking.

We are fighters. All of us. We fought to experience this miracle we call life and now it’s time to tap into that fire, that unrestrained confidence and determination which doesn’t think twice about who’s saying or thinking what about us. The focus moves from the outer world to the inner world. There are no external standards to meet, only what you know to be true deep inside your gut, at your core. When you go here you are unstoppable. Need I remind you; you won the race however many years ago. Do you notice that when you are trying something for the first time, with nothing to compare yourself against, you typically knock it out of the park? Something they call “beginner’s luck”. Why is this? Because you have no image to lose. No one will think you’ve gotten better or worse, wonder what’s wrong with you today, what’s changed, what’s working, what’s not working, she’s not focused, she’s so focused…again, blah blah blah. Are they even wondering these things anyway? These are our own thoughts that we put on other people, thinking it’s coming from outside, but really, we’re projecting our insecurities onto others. Has anyone ever really said the thoughts that you think they’re thinking to you? Probably not. Ok, maybe once, at some point in your life someone said something along those lines to you, but more likely you’ve heard people saying these things about other people and then you internalized it, personalized it, assuming people say the same thing about you. How insane and what a waste of energy! Like it even matters! This just fills up our head with distraction, self-doubt and limiting beliefs. Coming back to that beginner’s luck phenomenon, this is a time when we are closer to our true self, our childlike nature. This space of nonjudgement, of adventure, playfulness, and forgiveness. A gentle laugh says, “Go ahead, give it a try, you never know what might happen. And whatever happens is perfectly ok. Totally allowed. You may be a natural at this and it might not be your cup of tea, but either way, it’s no big deal.” What a gift to give yourself. Freedom to be you. To explore how you are today, in this moment, with no history of this event to give you any expectation for the future outcome.

What if we gave ourselves this opportunity more often? The opportunity for a clean slate. The chance to live this moment free from attachments to the past. Cut the strings that are reaching back to the previous days’, months’, or years’ experience, keeping us back, holding us down and not letting us fly like we can when we live in this present moment in the newness that it is with its limitless possibilities. You have never had a moment like this before. Even if you are going in to work through the same door you always do, at the same time you always do, to carry-out tasks that you know so well you could do them with your eyes closed, still, you have an opportunity today to do all of this as if it’s the first time, because, today, it is the first time. Every breath you take today will be brand new as it is inhaled, and then, never to come again as it is exhaled. What a gift. To Allow the present moment infinite options to present itself to you right here, right now. To be able to perceive this moment and all its details with a new mind, a clean mind, open to experience all the little nuances that only exist exactly as they are right now. Knowing that this moment, too, shall pass is an open invitation to love it. To love yourself enough to soak in the wonders this universe is offering you and flooding your senses with. The sounds, the smells, the sights, the tactile sensations. Feel your heartbeat, feel as your chest rises and falls with each precious breath and give thanks. Thank yourself for finding a moment in time to stop the track, reel it in, and come back to the present moment, where you are, where you have always been and where you will always be. You will always be able to find yourself here. To reconnect. You can never escape yourself and instead of trying, instead of resisting, next time, maybe you’ll remember a little bit about this experience, this article. Perhaps you’ll stop and Allow the moment to be as it is. You’ll take a moment to experience the life-giving breath inside of you, to enjoy this life, which has been lovingly given to you as a gift. Right here. Right now.

An excellent song to check-out: You Can’t Rush Your Healing by Trevor Hall