In a conversation with a friend, we were doing an exercise to practice not taking things personally. In this exercise we were look for what other people might say that we don’t want to hear. As we were voicing these things, I had a glimpse of how nasty the things we imagine other people may think about ourselves can be. I wanted to yell at myself: Stop it. Stop making up horrible things that people might think. I believe that being able to stop guessing or imagining what other people think about us is an act of self-love.
In this short TedTalk on self-love, Caitlyn Roux says “Personal growth has to be intentional.” So is self-love. It doesn’t just happen as we grow up. It is an intentional process that includes self-discovery. I am passionate about self discovery and have been for years. Who am I? “What defines me as a person?”
When we bring compassion to who we discover we are, we bring in self love. When we love ourselves, our capacity to love others increases. For me, the ultimate goal of self-love is to be able to love others no matter how they show up, to be able to be on the receiving end of any communication and still be at peace on the inside. What do you think?
On this self-love journey, I am back to self-forgiveness.
I found this great article on self forgiveness in which Dr. Cherith Glover Fluker define self-forgiveness as “showing yourself grace and accepting that you’ve done something wrong… self-forgiveness is showing yourself compassion and separating yourself from the mistake(s) that you’ve made”.
Practicing showing myself grace…
What is self-love? For me, self love is a practice and a journey that includes compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance. Sometimes it can include being happy for and with myself.
Here are some ideas of what to do for practicing self-love:
Every day, forgive yourself for something, volunteer, write a love letter to yourself and ask a friend to mail it randomly in the future, walk a labyrinth or walk in nature, notice and ravel in the little pleasures in your life, meditate or reflect on the good things in your life, participate in a drum circle, sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs, call someone and sign them a song, make a list of the things you enjoy doing, release judgement of myself and others, find something silly to laugh at or do laughter yoga.
What is you idea of a self-love practice for today?
This morning in our Geotran call, the light came into one of the participants window in a way where we could see the rays of light. I told everyone how I love when cameras can capture the rays of light.
I believe that noticing things we love and allowing ourselves to delight in them is an act of self-love.
What do you love that could bring delight into you life as an act of self-love?
Today I was following an online yoga workout and the facilitator suggested using different positive affirmation for each sun salutation. I noticed that my brain was arguing with some of the affirmation, the facilitator was offering. It reminded me on of the Geotran process to change belief. In the middle of yoga, I couldn’t use it so I modified the affirmation to one I was happy to repeat to myself during the yoga pose: I am grateful for my life and my body.
I believe that a big part of self-love is a matter of re-educating our brain, changing our thoughts patterns to positive supportive ones instead of habitual unbriddled negative self talk.
In our Geotran call this morning, one of the participants shared her discovery: “I am in the deepest self-love when I don’t judge” She explained further, describing a recent experience where while talking to people she noticed herself thinking “they don’t like what I am saying.” She was able to catch herself, noticing that this was a judgement, and release it. She added that “I was able to feel love for myself and for them.”
What a great example of self-love! Noticing our own thoughts and not believing them is an act of self-love.
As I was looking for inspiration on self-love, I found this article that introduces self-compassion as including self-forgiveness.
Today as an act of self-love, I brought some humour in my evening and I laughed at my own joke.
Happy Easter everyone!
Ooops I did it already: I forgot to post my day 3 post on the Self-Love journey. When I realized that I had forgotten, I heard a common family reaction “C’est malin” translates to “that’s smart” with a tone that clearly adds the word “not” (That’s NOT smart!)
What a perfect exercise in Self-Love: practicing self-forgiveness! In Geotran, we have a forgiveness practice so that’s what I did. I forgive myself for my forgetfulness and all the places I am not perfect.
If you don’t have a self-forgiveness practice, look it up!