What is self love?
According to google the all knowing, Self Love is regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). This week is Valentines and growing up I was never a huge fan of the holiday especially during high school. I wasn’t the popular kid, I wasn’t a nerd either, I was just kind of there. I had a few boyfriends but never on Valentines Day. So when Valentine's Day came around I always I remember feeling sad because I didn’t have someone. I remember in school other girls would get valentines and I felt like I was missing out. So I started to ponder, what if instead of Valentines Day being a day to focus on love from others, which don’t get me wrong feels great and is important, that we take this day, week, or month to focus on self-love. Then everyone would feel included, and no one would feel left out. In the end this seems like it could be wonderful for all humans.
So this week I have decided to do that. Focus all week on self-love. Both on my yoga mat, in my teaching, and in my personal life. One of the best ways I have learned to practice self-love is to observe my thoughts. Taking a minimum of five minutes to just get quiet. This centers me for the rest of the day. Just 5 minutes gets my mind in a space to be more mindful for the rest of my day. From this practice, I have become more aware of the negative thoughts as they appear throughout my day. When they pop up, I feel them, label them, acknowledge them, and then turn them around and create a powerful affirmation. The key is to then, repeat. repeat. repeat. Throughout the day I repeat the new affirmation. The affirmation of self-love. It is through the repetition that I get stronger. On the yoga mat I will always repeat a sequence, often adding on to it each round. It has been shown through repetition that we gain physical strength, but we also gain mental strength. I have noticed this both in my body and in my mind.
If we are constantly telling the self we are not “good enough, smart enough, successful enough, or strong enough the mind will create and seek circumstances to reinforce it. However, the same is true if we tell ourselves that we are “good enough, smart enough, successful enough, strong enough” the mind will seek opportunities to prove this. It is called the law of attraction. Direct your thinking towards what you want in your life, and your thinking will materialize whatever you want in your life. So simple, but so many of us fall into default thinking, not even aware of our thoughts and how powerful they are. So this week or this Thursday why not set your thoughts on self-love.
Another way to manifest more self-love in our lives is to take a minimum of 5 minutes a day to do something that you enjoy. Not something that you are required to do, but to embrace your inner child, grab a cup of tea, a good book, dance around your house, go for a walk, or just sit quietly. When we give ourselves permission to take time for the self we are practicing self-love. In my opinion this is not selfish. This is necessary in order to be a more loving, patient, kind individual for others.
Have you ever noticed that once you want something you see it everywhere you go?
For example, when I wanted to get pregnant, all of sudden everywhere I looked all I saw was pregnant women. It’s not that they weren’t there before, I just didn’t notice them because it’s not where my thoughts were being directed. In mindset coaching, this is a lot of the work we do. We look at our thoughts, and how they are impacting our life, how they are directing all of our actions, we use powerful tools like self-inquiry and mindfulness to take back the power we so desperately crave and desire.
Here is wonderful example. For as longs as I can remember I have had this feeling of not feeling that I am as important. I have had this belief that I am low on everyone’s mind. I’m not sure where this belief originated from or when I started to feel this way, but it has always loomed in the background of my life. I am the middle child, so maybe it has something to do with birth order, it seems to make sense to me. The reality is it doesn’t matter where it originated from, it is there, and is super strong. Recently doing mindset coaching on myself I’ve come to understand that this belief is not serving me nor is it even true. Now, I understand this on a conscious level, however, my default way of being is to rely on this belief. So I’m constantly working on it. Like I said before, once you are aware of something, it will begin to show up all over your life and want to challenge you. Super Bowl sunday night I made a big deal out of nothing because of this unserving belief. My thoughts created a relatively innocent situation into a confrontation with my husband, because this underlying belief poked its way back into my mind. The thoughts of not feeling important led me to feeling angry, and lashing out at him. If I had not had this belief nothing would have happened, because I wouldn't have gotten angry. He is a truly wonderful man that is always thinking about me, and I know I am important to him. Feeling less then, created a reaction that I am not proud of. Which yes I later came back and apologized for. My new belief is that I am important. In order to believe this I have repeatedly remind myself of it. This is one way to strengthen the new belief. The new belief I know will continue to be challenged, but with practice and time it will get stronger, and the old belief will weaken and fade away.
My hope is that you can see from this story, that we all create underlying beliefs that are not serving us in our lives right now. When we get quiet, and are willing to look at our own thoughts we can begin to build awareness around them. Dive into self-inquiry and with continuous effort we can change those limiting beliefs, and create new ones that empower us. Once the new belief has been established we start to look from the new perspective, and from that we will be able to reinforce the new belief, so it will stick. Shifting our vision for me is not just looking at things from a new light, but it goes way deeper, it is looking at our thinking, changing our thinking so we can have a new lens to be looking through. A lens that empowers us, challenges us, creates a life full of possibility.
If you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. - Tony Robbins
These words so simple, but so very powerful. How many times in my life have I committed to something and so quickly given up. Given up too soon because the situation was uncomfortable,, to painful, or the anxiety was too much to handle! If only during those times I had understood that those feelings were just vibrations in my body, that as uncomfortable as they are, I would survive. Not only would I survive but from the experience I would thrive. That whether I was successful in my actions, ultimately did not matter, but what did, was that I could learn and grow from the experience.
The human experience is 50% good and 50% not good. I fully believe this. This knowledge gave me freedom to experience all of life, knowing that this is how it should be. That everything in my life I will not love or enjoy, but by allowing myself to feel the uncomfortable, the awkward, the messiness, I also am given the opportunity to feel joy, happiness, and bliss. If all feelings in our lives are just vibrations, we must ask ourselves why are so many of us so afraid to feel. Knowing that vibrations always pass, and we always survive. If we will survive, and it will pass, why not welcome all of these feelings, knowing that in the end we will always learn something, we will grow in some way.
To commit to growth for me means to be willing to do hard work. Especially around myself and my own beliefs. To dive deep into understanding the inner workings of my mind. In yoga we call this Svadhyaya (self-study). Svadhyaya is the fourth niyama in the Pantajal’is Yoga Sutras. The Niyamas are the second limb in the eight limbs of yoga. The Niyamas are the doorway to deeper states of mediation they are internal practices to help bring one closer to the state of bliss. The practice of these internal observances is essential in the growth of a yogi, and in my opinion the growth of any human who is seeking to live a big life. In mindset coaching this is called self-inquiry; the deep investigation of the mind. As a yogi and a practitioner of mindset coaching I am committed to a daily practice of self-inquiry(self-study). My biggest goal in life is to live big, to experience all of life fully, to have no regrets.
As I continue to explore the inner workings of my mind, I am amazed and astonished with how incredible the mind is. I chose to study the inner workings of my mind so I can understand my thoughts, and how they affect my feelings, and how together these affect the actions I take in my life. It is from this understanding that I am able to take back my power, and be the director in the story of my life. For me to commit to growth means to commit to having a deeper understanding of myself so I can show up big in my life full self expression. I can set goals that excite me, fire me up inside, make me feel alive inside. I can see from my own thinking I can chose to limit myself, I can take myself out, or I can be willing to take risks, to grow, to fail knowing that even if I am not successful, I gave it my all, and from that I will grow. To commit to growth is be willing to feel everything. Failure, embarrassment, fear, love, joy, and bliss.
How often do you hold yourself back from doing something that excites you? What is possible if you give up your own limiting beliefs? Would you take more chances in your life? Would you take more risks? What if you gave up the belief that in order to be successful you had to get everything right, that you could fail?
When I gave up this belief I opened up space for pain and suffering, for failure, but I have also created space for joy, excitement, and growth.
What do you chose?