It’s Friday 15th February and I am lying down on my mat, enjoying a beautiful guided Yoga Nidra by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli. I am gliding across the oceans when I hear a voice within me tell me to stop being so hard on myself, and the tears begin to seep from my closed eyes. I exhale and say yes, I know (again), I’m sorry (again).
My theme this month has been self-love and love, and as I went to pin these hearts to my vision board, I was drawn to putting them onto my yoga block, perhaps symbolic of love and self-love being building blocks in our souls.
For some years now, I have been working on one of the greatest relationships that I have one, the one with myself, my inner child, my soul. A great light was shone on the word love as I got deeper into my yoga practise, learning to be kind to myself when I may have struggled in my practise, and accepting where I was in my practise rather than chiding myself. This love, this sense of patience and sense of gratitude began to filter into all other areas of my life.
To point out the obvious, because sometimes you need to see it in black and white, your relationship with yourself is a life-long relationship, and one worth investing in. How can we begin to love others, if we have not learnt to love ourselves?
Here are a few things that I try to remember to guide me on; I hope they may help you too. If you have any self-love learnings to share, please do leave a comment, we’re all here to learn together.
1. Be love
Love (prem) is one of my life values, the others being sat (truth) and seva (selfless service). Love is in abundance within me and around me, it’s my purpose to share that through the smallest of things such as a smile from the heart to a big Bollywood declaration of love for my handsome husband. Go ahead and try to epitomise love, its fun and so nourishing.
2. Listen to your heart, it won’t lead you astray
For as long as I can remember, I have been led by my mind and it has served me well, as I have made it this far in life regardless of a difficult start. But after a while, I began to sense there was another reservoir of knowledge within me – let’s call it intuition for now. And that intuition is heart led and loving towards me.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
Why do it to ourselves? Each of us has a unique path with its own gifts and challenges. Stay focused on your path, and your truth. If you must compare, compare against yourself, how are you coming along your journey?
4. Celebrate yourself
Yes, that’s right, celebrate yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back. Take your applause, don’t be British and shrug it off, take it and own it! In 2019, each week, I am making a point to stop and reflect on my week and acknowledge what has gone well, what has gone not so well, and being happy regardless rather than persecuting myself for not doing this or that.
5. Know that we are all connected
I believe there is a piece of God within us all. I believe that we are all connected by an invisible thread. I believe we are more than these physical bodies. I believe in humanity. I believe deeply in love’s healing powers so love is the only thing I can try my hardest to give to myself and others.
I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes by Hafiz, it is so warming on the soul, ‘I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.’