Learning to Self-Love


What does it mean to practice Self-Love? Is it possible to cultivate a life lived in Self-Love?

Self-love is to both LISTEN TO and CARE for oneself. With your attention on meeting your needs, you have the opportunity to feel more nourished and content from the inside out, with less dependence on what is outside of you.

Living in Self-Love gives others permission to do the same for themselves. Having compassion for yourself opens greater compassion and empathy for others. Your actions can set the tone and can show others that Self-Love kindness is possible. All other beings who you touch and who you come into contact with will be affected with your caring and positive light towards yourself.

Historically I was better at noticing others’ needs and trying to give that to them, while being out of touch or in denial of my own needs. That can follow through with feeling resentful, underappreciated, and neglected. My yoga and yoga nidra practice over these many decades has helped me to understand this dynamic and to open to Self-Love.

Self-love is Not Indulgent, But Necessary

When you listen to yourself and meet your own needs, there is less dependence and entanglement on those around you to meet your needs. You can instead enjoy being in the company of another without the struggle of having to ‘get’ something which forms the basis for deeper connections of trust and openness.

When you are good to yourself, you are good to others and the world. But don’t take my word for it, try it out yourself. I invite you to live an entire day ‘LIVING IN SELF-LOVE’. You may want to journal or draw at the end of your day to reflect. Below are the guidelines.

How to Live in Self-Love: 5 Easy Steps

Take one minute or longer with each step:

1. Still the Busyness to Slow Down

Take a break now and sit or stand, with eyes closed, return inward, and take deep belly breaths for one minute. You may like to count your exhalations backwards from 10 to 1. This prepares you for the next step.

2. Deep Listening

Bring your hands onto your belly and notice what you experience in your body. Feel your body and its sensations. Notice your breath and energy. Are you tired? Wired? Peaceful? Grateful? Reconnect by listening within, just as you might listen to a baby in your arms who needs something.

3. Accepting What Is

Invoke deeper listening now to your feelings, mood, emotions that are present as you witness what is true for you right now. Remaining present and ‘in acceptance’ of anything that arises to give it time to be felt and held. Be with what is in compassion.

4. What do I Need Right Now?

Ask yourself this question… and give time for your body and being to answer. It may be as simple as ‘I need a glass of water’. Remember – its not what you ‘should’ or could need, nor what would ‘be good for you’, but what you actually and honestly need right now.

If what you need now is a support, then here are some helpful practices:

   a.   Feel supported with Hridaya Heart Mudra
   b.   Lie down and listen to Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra (Healing Chakra Chorus is available on YouTube or you can purchase other tracks in SHOP).
   c.   Try this simple LIVE IN LOVE Breath:

In a seated position, breathe a little more deeply for a couple of breaths. Continue breathing and as you inhale, silently say in your mind ‘I Live’ for the entire duration of your inhalation, stretching it out long.

And as you exhale, state silently ‘In Love’ lengthening the words in your mind.

You may also like to try this while walking: left foot steps forward state ‘I Live’ right foot steps forward state ‘In Love’.

5. What is My Heart’s Deepest Longing?

The most important question of your day, and of your life!  This is a key practice within Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra, and it can also be practiced anytime during your day to connect with your heart’s wisdom.

Allow your heart to answer in its own language what it desires.  Take time to listen.  It may come as color, feeling, shapes, landscapes, images, sounds or something else.

Then state your heart’s wish to yourself three times, in present tense, with positive words, as though it’s already happening now.  Something like “I live with greatest compassion for myself and all beings”.

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