Monday, January 2, 2017
Self-Care, Self-Acceptance, Self-Respect & Self-Love
Here we all are at the start of another New Year. And, as always, there is much in the world that we can not control. But, blessedly, what we can take hold of and be responsible for is our own happiness and peace of mind. We've all heard that 'Peace begins within.' And this is true, because when we increase the peace and love within our own hearts and minds, we increase the total amount of peace and love that is present the world.
New Year's Day is often a time for all of us to begin again, to get back to basics, to check in with ourselves about what really matters. It is a time to tend to self-care. Too often the unsettled state of events in the world around us can unsettle us within. So here in this first week of the New Year, let us remember how to calm ourselves.
We can start by accepting whatever is going on. The resistance alone can cause our bodies to tighten with stress and our minds to spin off on negative scenarios involving a lack of love, not only toward others, but also for ourselves.
It has also been said, 'As within, so without.' Freeing our self, in our minds, frees the world around us. Remembering to breathe, consciously, or getting some exercise can be of great benefit because these activities open us up to the more right brained focus of the present moment and begin to let us sense our commonalities. They help us to let go our left brain's near constant analytical tendencies and bring us closer to accepting the world and to self-acceptance.
Our left brain's focus is a beautiful part of ourselves, but it doesn't have to dominate the scene all of the time. We can respect it, be grateful for it and we can also give it a rest. We can let that ever-evaluating, constantly-calculating, past and future-focused inner-critic of both our selves and the world around us take a little time off. When we do, we gain more self-respect for the totality of who we are. Because, we are not just our little separate selves, alone. We are also expansive, energetic beings completely interconnected within the family of consciousness that comprises the entire universe, perfect, whole, beautiful and present, right here and right now.
These are some of the ideas and ways, which we can embrace, that help us to love ourselves more fully. As we cultivate self-care with self-acceptance and self-respect we open the doors to greater levels of self-love.
With all of this in mind, I'll leave you with three little walking and breathing meditations, which I enjoy regularly. They each help me to calm myself and cultivate more love for myself and for all. They are from three of my favorite spiritual teachers. The first is from Thich Nhat Hanh, the second from Ram Dass, and the third from Peace Pilgrim.
I enjoy reciting these to my self, either silently or aloud while I'm moving through my day. The imagery and the action brings me to the present moment and to a sense of oneness with everything. They are great ways for me to care for myself and they open my heart to respect and allowance for myself and the world, while they shift my being into a state of peace and love. I hope that they serve you as well as they have served me.
Blessings to you all, with a Very Happy New Year!
1. ) "Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile."
2.) "May all beings be happy.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be free."
3.) "Peace, be still, and know that you are God.
Peace, be still, and know.
Peace, be still.
P.S. For this New Year, one of the gifts of self-care, self-acceptance, self-respect and self-love that I am giving to myself is a slightly lighter schedule. So, instead of offering my blog weekly as I have done for the last two and a half years, I will now be posting monthly. May you also find a way to give to yourself the blessings of inner peace and calmness in this fresh New Year as well. My love to you all. Enjoy.