How do you greet yourself when you first wake? Do you stretch and pause to say good morning or spring from bed without taking time to acknowledge your existence? Do you move from one room to the next, from shower to toothbrush, one shoe and then the other, and breakfast to rush hour without a single moment to honor ‘You’?
Now…how do you engage your child or pet? With a smile that welcomes them to the morning, a tender word, hug, or a gentle scratch? Do you feed them, express your love, and devote a few moments to playful interaction? Do you lovingly turn your child over to the day with genuine hope they will be safe, treated with respect, and will come home to you happy and fulfilled?
If all distractions were to fade from your periphery and you were to turn your attention inward, how would you respond to the question, “Do you love yourself?” Take a moment to ponder this. Could you honestly say you speak as sweetly to yourself as you do a child or the dear animal that depends on you?
It is amazing how much unconditional love and endearing attention can be extended to a child or pet, yet YOU can so easily be neglected by your own doing.
When welcoming the New Year and setting an intention for the seasons to come, I selected one word to be my mantra. This word is an anchor for my interactions with clients, friends, family, and those I share brief encounters with in passing. It is the source from which words in my writing will flow and is a reminder for how to respect and honor myself.
The word is Self-Love. Without self-love, we cannot fully understand our role in the world, nor appreciate our contributions, gifts, and talents, and in turn are unable to truly give or receive. Nit picking and belittling, negative mind chatter, and antagonistic thoughts are detrimental to our wellbeing and keep us from experiencing inner calm and joy.
As you move through each day, please be gentle with yourself. Nurture your health, your thoughts, and your inner child with affirmations of kindness and tender words. Each night when you retire and in the morning upon rising, take a few minutes to quiet your mind so your heart can speak to you. Listen and learn what gifts have gone unnoticed, the kinds of foods and movement your body is craving, and how your truest self wishes to spend its time. For a simple meditation, visit this blog post from October, which offers some tips for turning off the mind so you can tune into receiving messages of intuition.
I would like to suggest an exercise for this week. When you create a quiet moment, take out a piece of paper and a pen or open up your journal and write a list of all the words that complete the phrase, “I love myself because…” Do not filter or over-think, just write what immediately comes to your awareness. When you are finished, review your inspired answers and accept everything you wrote as authentic and true. Bask in the energizing shift that will take place in you.
Enroll in the new narrative, “I Love Myself,” and you will discover you have everything you need and right where you need it…within.