Saturday, March 31, 2012

5 Steps to Loving Yourself

I've heard it said that the most loving thing we can do for another person is to offer our full, unwavering, compassionate presence - to simply be with them, right where they are. This is what good therapy is all about.

The same principle holds true as we learn to love ourselves. To love ourselves means to fully be with ourselves.

Here's how.

You cannot love yourself if you are not with yourself  And you are not with yourself if you're distracting yourself with busyness or doing.

As you inhale, say the word "in" silently, to yourself. Use your belly muscles to inflate your belly (try to look pregnant). As you exhale, relax your belly, and say the word "out".

Repeat this cycle at least 10 times.

Remember to say "in" and "out" to yourself. This will quiet your mind.

See if you can feel your feet, your backside, your torso, your belly, your heart, your arms and hands, your throat and neck, your face and head, and anything else you can feel. See if you can feel yourself in your body. (It often helps to close your eyes).

Acknowledge to yourself any physical sensations or emotions that might arise. Whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, it doesn't matter. In either case, they are what's true in the moment. Simply acknowledge their presence.

Allow whatever you notice, to simply be. You're learning to offer your full presence to yourself, the way you would a friend. Allow yourself to feel and be exactly where you are without trying to fix, change, or understand it. "Fixing it" says, "I don't accept you the way you are. You need to be different." This is NOT love.

Only real love, unconditional love, can transform non-love energy.

So ... throughout your day, take a moment to stop, breathe, check in with yourself, and listen to your body and your feelings. Listen to yourself the way you would a friend. Be with her. Be with yourself - without trying to change, fix, or do anything. Simply give yourself and your feelings your full attention, your acceptance, and your compassion.

Loving you right where you are,


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