“Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth.”
~ Buddha –
Self love should not be confused with self care.
Self Love means accepting yourself unconditionally, including your perceived flaws, and cultivating compassion and support for yourself as you journey through your instabilities. It is not about being arrogant or vain and telling yourself how brilliant or gorgeous you are. It’s speaking to and about yourself as if you were speaking about your best friend (who happens to be gorgeous-but don’t rub it in!). It’s coming from a place of kindness instead of criticism. It’s embracing ALL that you really are – It’s about listening to your intuition, and knowing what is truly right for you and acting on it.
We have an authentic self within us, but often we cannot see it. We identify ourselves with our egos. We are constantly bombarded by an achievement based and materialistic culture that suggests we need to do more, buy more, and be better. This can consume our minds and obscure our true nature. We compare ourselves with others, we have feelings of not being “good enough” based on how we measure up to expectations of society or other people. We will never feel loved when we are trying to be someone we are not, or comparing ourselves to others who we feel are better than us in some way.
Loving yourself is not selfish. If you don’t learn to love yourself it is very difficult to be able give love and receive love fully too.
Self-love is the basis for self-care. Self care is taking care of your needs; respecting your body, resting when you are tired instead of pushing yourself, eating nourishing food when you are hungry instead of waiting till you are famished, Not abusing your body with additive substances and junk food, but also indulging yourself in caring ways when you feel the need!.
In both cases I am talking about valuing self here, not being selfish. If we are empty from exhaustion, hurt, disappointment, anxiety and fear of what others might think of us. Can we really offer love and support to others? When we feel full of love, peace and a have positive outlook, we are in a much better place to share and support.
When you practice yoga, you make space. Space to breathe, space for your organs to function more efficiently and effectively, space to feel, and, mainly, space to love. Space to love and breathe into whatever is happening in your life and space to remember that you are enough—exactly as you are. This love is the foundation of a good solid relationship with oneself. A regular yoga practice will open us up to our true selves, develop our intuition, and open our hearts. It will nurture our body on a physical level too. The postures and movements, keep our bodies flexible and strong, our glands are encouraged to increase hormone production, and circulation is improved, all leading to enhanced health and vitality.
Finally, when we care for and accept ourselves, it doesn’t mean we become complacent. We don’t just sit back and say “well that’s just the way I am!” We use our knowledge and desire for self care to become the best human being we can be.. to start a true evolution!
Looking forward to a new year of yoga classes. The theme for the first four week course is Self Love. For information on class times and venues see The Lotts Yoga on facebook.
Hope your New Year is filled with love!