Chapter 1… your Heart’s left side – the love within…
February embraces Valentine’s Day, and whether we embrace it ourselves, depends on our perception of love, whether we are in a relationship, single or in between.
So… wherever you are right now, I’d like to take a moment for us all to honour the greatest love of all…
The love we have for ourselves…
Have you heard this before or is this a totally new concept?
I invite you to take a moment here to notice how you are responding to self love… Are you reacting with some obvious discomfort, pushing pulling maybe trying to stay clear of it? Or is there some little niggling sensation, with whispers of something not quite right? You may be completely comfortable with it. Or do these words turn you into an icicle like your insides are completely numb?
All of these reactions are good because they are giving you information that you can do something with if you chose to. Just give yourself a moment here to notice any thoughts or feelings you immediately experience around this, don’t analyse them, just briefly jot them down somewhere. You might like to record all of your awareness about yourself in one place, a note pad, or on a collection of scrap pieces of paper. Just go with whatever suits you right now, continuing along the insightful road of cleansing.
February is an ideal month to cleanse the heart and the emotional system. I know it’s summer or winter wherever you are, so I can’t use the “spring cleaning” metaphor accurately, so let’s just change it to “spring into cleansing”! Last month’s blog/newsletter, was the “Journal of Discovery” that started the New Year’s cleansing process, which is another insightful read if you haven’t already (click on the link in the name).
I’d like you to consider your view of love for a moment…
What is your overall impression of it?
Does it seem self centred or selfish to “love yourself”?
Are you the only person who is deserving enough of your love, keeping it all for yourself and no one else?
Are you scared to trust someone with it? Will you lose all your reserves of love by loving someone else?
Is there something stopping you from loving yourself or being loved? Are you worthy of love?
Do you truly know what love is or what it actually feels like?
Have you previously opened your heart to love, only to have it thrown back in your face leaving you lost and alone?
Or maybe you’ve loved deeply and lost that love, leaving an empty cratered wound of hurt and despair inside?
Just know that wherever you are now… IT IS OK… this is exactly where you are meant to be right now. There is always that light at the end of the tunnel. Know that this tunnel to self love is only as long as you make it. You are capable and worthy of love and I am here to show you how to begin this process, and I am here if you need or would like more of a 1:1 guided process to access your own self love…
Why do we need to love ourselves? Can we truly love someone else without having some love for ourselves? After all… home is where the heart is, literally! When we are armed with self love, this allows for acceptance of ourselves just the way we are, creating space for comfort in and around ourselves on all levels.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.by Mahatma Gandhi
Think of self love, the love you have for yourself, as a new potential suiter, girlfriend/boyfriend, partner or admirer. Have you experienced the excitement of a new encounter before? One that gives you butterflies in your tummy, sends tingles down your arms, (or elsewhere!) or any nice sensation that makes you feel warm inside your chest and puts a smile on your face, and hence your heart.
It’s OK if you haven’t experienced any of this yet, we are all on our own journey with our own real experiences. Whatever they are, know that they are all experiences in their own right, and gentle small steps one in front of the other is all that’s needed to walk this path of self love.
Tip… You may like to imagine someone you deeply admire, real or made up (Wonder Woman, Superman, Yoda, etc etc!) someone who makes you feel warm and cosy, and lights you up inside. Acknowledge these qualities that you admire, and imagine you have them. Notice how this makes you feel, and acknowledge these feelings, get to know them, the more you make friends with them, the easier it will be to connect with yourself and your feelings.
I have some exciting news for all you Star Wars and relaxation lovers… I have just released my new guided relaxation experience “Becoming Your Hero”. A fun and enjoyable way to let your worries slide off you, feel powerful as you relax down into your body, as your own Hero. It’s like trying on a new coat of courage from the inside out, carrying out your new strengths to your daily life. Follow the link to hear a sample…
Getting to know and love yourself…
Imagine you are introducing yourself to yourself, as if you’re just meeting yourself, a new potential friend for the first time. You would…
- Make the effort to get to know everything about them.
- Find out what they like.
- Ask them questions about themselves to build that relationship up.
- Make time to spend with them.
- Notice things about them to show they are important to you.
- Observe what feels good when you are around them.
- Learn everything you can about them
- Get to know… YOURSELF.
Tip… have a go at noticing one thing everyday that you like about yourself, this may be the way you chuckle at a joke, or when your eyes light up when you are enjoying yourself (a mirror maybe handy for this if you happen to have one, hopefully the moment won’t be gone! Or watch your own eyes on a video)
Aim to keep those negative thoughts out of this interaction when you look at yourself, those are not helpful when doing this! If you do have any creeping in, just say, “thank you for your thoughts, but I don’t wish to hear them right now, let’s hear something positive, starting with one thing please!”
Notice if you are able to look at yourself in a mirror, what nice thing do your eyes get drawn to? It’s OK, it can take time to be able to really look at yourself and keep judgement out of it. The main thing is, is to just keep doing… as Yoda said “there is no try!!” thank you Yoda lol.
You will then be more open to hearing positive things about yourself from others too. Bit by bit, small gentle steps and keep practising the awareness to reinforce the positive. Research shows that whatever you focus on most and put time into doing, makes it stronger, so positive positive positive!
Take a moment to notice how your body moves while you are sitting, lying or walking. A little attention goes a long way towards feeling love. Acknowledge yourself, your opinion matters… even if it isn’t heard by others yet… acknowledge your own opinions about general daily things that mean a lot to you and you feel them warm within.
Just keep checking in with your body, and notice when it feels calm, that is the best way to ensure you are on the right track. If you struggle to feel things within your body, I am always happy to help, a session goes a long way, a helping hand, 2 heads are better than one and all that! There maybe something stuck, something stopping you from feeling, so get the help you need to safely shift it, move it out of there within a supportive session with someone you trust to help you.
Tip… Have a play with a simple morning exercise with colours and textures. When getting dressed… stand in front of your wardrobe. Take a slow deep breath down into your whole lungs (see my deep breathing video for tips on developing that too). Relax into your body, and now relax your eyes and brain… notice which item of clothing starts shouting at you, where your eyes get drawn to most, to get your attention… say thank you to any thoughts again, and say not now please I’m busy playing with my clothing, eyes and feelings, no room for thoughts right now!…
Take this item out… hold it up… notice how you feel when you are holding it…
Put it up against you… notice how you feel when you hold it against you…
Look in the mirror with it against you… notice how you feel when you look at it up against you…
If they all match, the feelings, and the seeing, go ahead and put it on, trust your feelings Padwan! Because we want to build that self love up and aim to reduce any negative thoughts. Practise the positive again, we want to now master that! We want to create space to let in the positive new thoughts and kick negative ones out, “negative be gone” (wave magic wand or Gandalf’s staff)!! Now is the time to bring in the encouraging thoughts and feelings, to build up our ability to achieve our goals, enjoyment and needs in life.
I remember a colourful skirt being passed down to me from my sister when I was younger and I absolutely loved this skirt! It was so colourful and I felt lifted up and light when I put it on, it was a form of self love, positive feelings. I decided to take a walk around the block in this newly gifted skirt, out into the big wide world… I felt like a fun colourful princess as it flowed around me, enjoying the moment. Then… along comes a boy riding his bicycle right past me, looks me up and down with a scowl on his face and says “hmmm nice skirt” in a mean tone… I was mortified! My little heart was squashed, gone was the feeling of sheer joy and immediately was replaced with “shame”… those limiting thoughts came smashing into me… “my skirt is wrong, it looks stupid, I look stupid, it’s weird, its not accepted, I’m not accepted when I wear it, etc etc! The flood gates had opened to losing my free will to chose what I wear over some flippant comment from a stranger! Who I associated as a representative of the whole world’s views! Sound familiar? Hence developing my limiting beliefs, into restricting my ability for self love.
Well it just goes to show how one small comment or event can have a significant response (positive or negative) on ourselves when we allow it to, if we are not comfortable with ourselves. After all… everyone has their own opinion, everyone will respond differently to the same thing when exposed to it.
The most important and powerful thing is getting to know ourselves and what gives us enjoyment in life, to embrace our own opinions, and most importantly… embrace ourselves.
Do what lifts your heart to feel warm and cosy inside. So regardless of what is going on around us, or being said, we can maintain inner comfort in our heart space. We are then effectively building our own heart up from within, giving ourselves strength to hear potentially disturbing things and be able to remain calm and comforted inside. It gives us the ability to hear other people’s opinions and comments, without “reacting” uncontrollably. The ability to listen and decide for ourselves if we then wish to change our perspective on something meaningful.
So take the time to use all your senses to truly get to know yourself…
I wish you joy in finding your enjoyable ways to getting to know your heart, to truly feel love as your best friend, your life partner, your soul mate, YOURSELF.