On this Valentine's Day, I am inspired to write about the power of self love in the healing process to becoming whole again. Yes, self love has become a new "trend" and a popular instagram #. What I want to share with you is less about a trend and more about a daily practice of love that has the capacity to heal the deepest of wounds.
The healing work I have done on myself and continue to share with others is about breaking the vicious cycle of self doubt, self loathing and self harm. To do this and have it become contagious - a paradigm shift must happen in the way we relate to our body, mind & soul.
To truly fall in love with another and manifest a healthy relationship, we must first connect within and be open to loving this amazing body and mind we live with each day. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you will ever have. Its time to rebuild trust and repair the old ways that no longer serve you.
Think about the healthiest relationship you have ever had or observed. Those relationships did not include control, unhealthy boundaries, abuse or ownership. Yet somehow we frequently use this on ourselves. We often have a controlling relationship with our body and mind. We treat our body as if its an enemy. "My body hates me," "I will never be thin enough, or pretty enough". We justify this as a way to abuse our bodies with food, substances or unhealthy relationships. We numb our minds with entertainment, technology and overstimulation.We allow others to cross boundaries or neglect us.
In a healthy relationship we listen, we show compassion, we nurture and we make decisions in the best interest of both parties. To fully heal and live to our maximum potential, we must learn to shift the dynamic of our relationship with self, from one of control to that of a loving partnership.
So then in our relationship with self, who is the other? Yes, there are two of us in our self relationship. Hang tight, I will explain. Within our brain there are two hemispheres, The left brain and the right brain. The left brain is responsible for analytical reasoning, logic, strategy, time and control. The right brain is responsible for intuition, creativity, love, imagination and freedom. Although these hemispheres are within one brain, the qualities are associated with the invisible parts of who we are, how we function, make decisions and interact in the world.
The left brain is associated with the Ego experience of ourself. The Ego experience is our personality, habits, external analysis and analytical thoughts. It is the part of our brain focused on survival. The right brain qualities are associated with our spirit or soul. Our spirit or soul experience is our presence, love, harmony, peace, happiness, creativity and intuition. Essentially our higher self.
Why does this matter? Because we have been programmed from an early age that we are our personality and to let the ego run the show. By the time we are about 3 years old we learn we are separate beings. We essentially go into "somebody" training. This somebody or ego training is a necessary part of our human experience, as it helps to keep us safe, sense danger and learn how to accomplish left brain tasks in life.
The problem is that the egoic part of ourself wants full control and it does not care about our happiness. When survival from wild animals was a major risk on a daily basis, this ego domination was more necessary. The ego thrives and prefers fear and separation. The modern ego like the left brain seeks to overanalyze every thought and define itself by numbers, outcomes, thoughts and explanations of what it takes in from the outside world.
The last thing the ego and the external world wants you to do is expand your creative, loving qualities. Because if and when you do, they will lose power and control. Self love is the opposite of fear.Mass media and the beauty culture industry survives, thrives and commoditizes on you staying focused on the aesthetics of everything outside of you. It wants you to stay in fear that you are not enough and you need to be prettier, skinnier, sexier, richer, etc...
As one scrolls social media accounts, you can see young famous woman today with hundreds on millions of followers posting pictures of themselves focused on their sexuality, appearance and every product you can get to buy this look. It becomes apparent that this is in fact a culture and organized web perpetuating a toxic hold and dam to block self love.
This powerful advertising and embedded cultural messages have hijacked the right brain and partnered with the left brain to sell a lifestyle that looks like beauty. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It doesn't encourage self love and true beauty as it may advertise, it creates painful thoughts of self loathing and lack. This is an example of an unhealthy, unsafe relationship. One we must sever, especially when it leaves you feeling empty and broken. The beauty culture system doesn't care about whether you feel pretty. In fact it hopes you don't, so you will rely upon their products to make you beautiful. This campaign keeps its buyers outward focused for solutions to an inner struggle.
These beliefs have also been infiltrated into our lives through compliments, rewards and adornments since the time you were little in reference to your physical appearance and mental intelligence. Somehow everyone felt they should weigh in on how you looked. The higher your test scores, the more awards, the better the school you attended. You then craved and yearned for those acknowledgements again and again. Until something changes and things shift. The same attention we received is no longer there and our self worth feels devalued. We chase the next highest salary or job title, convince ourself that we are constantly exercising and dieting for our health, dressing up to feel pretty and getting plastic surgery for "ourself". Which self?
The whole paradigm of commercialized beauty culture operates from lack and fear. Its time to stop passing down this self deficient mindset and body hatred. It is our responsibility to not engage in the superficiality and to re-create it right from within. To make choices that are loving for our true self, our soul. To enhance those right brain qualities and turn the power over to love, intuition, creativity, bliss, harmony and peace.
So how do we do this? Consistent daily practices of self love and healthy daily routines for the body, mind & soul.
Gratitude journal. Every morning upon waking begin with bringing your attention and your hand to the heart space and acknowledge 3 things you are grateful for in yourself. At the end of the day journal your gratitudes and experience.
Meditation. Learn Heart-based meditation, the most powerful meditation to awaken the facets of the heart and expand the right brain qualities naturally from a place of stillness. Go to www.innersourceayurveda.com for upcoming trainings.
Intuitive eating. Listen within. Write a list of all the labels you have placed on restricted foods. Let go of the labels of good or bad. In fact give yourself permission to have any food. Set the intention to trust yourself to choose the foods that are most nourishing for you and make you feel good. Your inner guidance system has a record of what foods help your body feel good and which do not. From this new level of trust and honoring your body you will choose what is most nourishing.
Time in nature. When we connect with nature, we expand on the wisdom within our bodies. Nature's beauty and vibration also allows us to cut the strings that binds us to external commercial culture. When we listen deeply among nature, the frequency of her earthly elements can awaken our inner knowing.
Self Inquiry. Each day when you make decisions, whether it be food, exercise or relationships, ask yourself why. Does this nourish me? Is this loving? Does my decision come from fear and lack or love and abundance?
Listen to yourself. When you begin self inquiry you open the door to a new loving relationship with yourself. You begin to repair the old ways that left you feeling neglected and unloved. How can you make each day be more loving? You have listened to so many others, now hold space for yourself every day.
Write yourself a love letter. When you begin these daily self love practices you become invested in this relationship. You want it to be healthy and joyful always. Write a letter to yourself describing everything you love and appreciate about your journey and who you are. Share your future goals and everything you plan to give yourself and experience. Write it from the heart and acknowledge all the right brain soulful qualities that you embody.
Make yourself a committment. Like anything we want to change in life it takes consistency and practice. There is no better Valentines day gift you can give to yourself than loyalty to your self love.
Im cheering you on ! You deserve to heal and awaken the truest version of yourself. To become whole again.