SELF LOVE TAKES PRACTICE
Like all good things in life, they say practice makes perfect. I've never been interested in perfect. I am interested in the process of getting to know myself: the shining light and the darker shadows: to live in alignment with my highest preference, to be the best version of myself (does that mean there is a worst?!). As a guide, mentor, friend I am able to space for people to heal trauma, and express inner wounds, to take pauses to reflect on their created habitats and conscious or unconscious habits around self love: this is my gift but I realized I needed to do the same for me; I needed to relearn how to love myself.
With a recent move, a major shift/change in my personal life, and this natural yet unpredictable occurrence called winter, my orientation has been drawn inward. And while my dear friend Hedy says I live Self Love everyday, I really had to make it not only a daily but a moment-to-moment practice. Every moment, I hear a strong message of non-acceptance, rejection, or accusation; I pause I take a deep breath, I sigh, and I bring an outer smile to my face. Try it sometime.
What I am learning and trying to embody, I teach. It organizes my senses and focuses my attention on the elements I want to explore. What does it mean to love yourself? And why does it feel so sticky sometimes? Why from one mantra: I am a Goddess, to the next: I suck. So quick, I can slip into self sabotage, bad vibes and tones I wouldn't speak to a friend or a wise teacher, why can I speak to myself this way? In order to feel authentic and connected to myself, I had to admit that while I talk about acceptance, in the next sentence I encourage setting intentions and sankalpa to direct meaningful change in one's life. So, accept but also harness your manifesting/change mechanism. Could start to feel contrary. Am I ok with who I am, just as I am? Or am I always trying to be better, more of this, less of that... I had to keep digging to find a place that felt settled and yet still energized.
I created a practice around moving mindfully connected to my breath including Franklin Method balls and Lanna Rollers, in a spontaneous free flow self massage and dance. I follow this with writing out what I felt, where my awareness went and answered certain questions that I craved to discover some depth within. Then I sit in reflection, mediation. Tatum Fjerstad created a similar process: Move. Sit Write. And while I haven't studied with her, I have collaborated with healing artists Courtney Bauer and Oscar Trujillo to amplify the simple practices of freeing the body to express itself like a dancer, a child, a yogi. Followed by scribble, an insight, a note to one's self and then land in a timed (Insight Timer is a great app) for 5-10 minutes feels like a real legit way of loving up on myself. I hope this helps you along your way to self love.