I hope this Love-Letter finds you ridiculously joyous and loved up! I thought it was about time I sent one of these babies out as a self-love reminder to us all! This one covers a little about the topic of perspective.
For me – things need to soak in, which means constantly reminding myself of what I need to hear. The stuff that resonates with me then begins to solidify within me the more I hear it. It becomes part of my internal belief system. I’m not writing any of this to teach you anything – I’m just sharing who I am in this moment, sharing my perspective with hope it will inspire you to practice self-love in your own life. Be the spark that gets your fire burning. I’ve got a long way to go on my journey and my perspectives change as I grow. So what I’m sharing with you, is where I’m at now. My Journey, is a journey of self-love.
My perception is generally a little different to the norm. I look at things differently, I process things differently and I do my very best not to have knee-jerk reactions that are simply just memories of the past interfering with my present brand-new now. A lot of people struggle with this, I think mostly because what people don’t understand, scares them.
I don’t pretend to know anything. Just the thought of that makes me laugh. Everything is made up, it is all down to perception of what we choose to see in any given situation. I change my mind about things all the time. Literally, all the time. I go with what works for me at the time. And like life, that changes. However there is one thing that I don’t change, and that is my daily practice. The practice itself varies – but regardless of what it is - I practice self-love every day. My daily practice is doing my very best to stay in the presence of love, all day, every day. To fall in love with myself every single day. For my every action, thoughts and words to come from a place of love. To love and accept myself and others unconditionally. Which also means letting everything go with an open heart of forgiveness and compassion. And remembering, that everything everyone does or says – is about themselves. It’s never about you.
We all perceive situations differently based on what is going on in our own minds at the time. For example: One of my children are messing around when I’m trying to get out the door in the morning. I could laugh, I could admire his laid back nature, or I could get fuming mad thinking he is being disrespectful or whatever because he is making me late, or I could not give it a single thought and just wait. And you know what…my reaction to him messing around would vary on different days depending on how I’m feeling or what is going on in my head. So really, my reaction is never about him – he’s not doing anything different. It’s about me and what’s going on in my head. I think remembering this in all situations is really helpful. When people are awful to you, or they don’t return your calls or whatever reaction you are feeling about someone or some situation – it’s not about you! It was never about you. And on top of that – the reaction you are feeling –is not about them either!! We are responsible for what we think, feel and project outside ourselves. I always remind myself to be responsible for the energy I bring into a room. Always. That stuff is contagious. And I know I’m right about that bit J
I think that we don’t really see anybody. All we see is our own projections, our own perspectives based on our past programming. Our past experiences and memories, things that we hold onto. We judge one another on what we see with our eyes. We listen to ourselves when we think something about someone or something and believe it. Who is even saying that stuff in your head – where does it come from and how on earth do they have the answers about something or someone outside yourself. It’s an illusion. Once we are aware of this, we can become the observer of our thoughts. Take a step back and be conscious of what is going on… not just get caught up in believing everything that pops into our minds. Practice that – when a thought is upsetting you – question it. Is there another perspective you could explore…there always is. One of my beliefs is that a miracle is a simple shift in perception. As the saying goes… When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. This has been proven true over and over for me on my journey – and one of my favorite tools in my self-love toolbox. Someone once told me that ‘one thought can lead an army of thoughts – choose your leader carefully’. Totally agree with that one! And the same with feelings – ‘a change of feeling is a change in destiny’.
We often hear the phrase: surround yourself with positive people, people that inspire you. Yes! But don’t forget that the people that are in a negative space, are actually positive inspiring people too. We all are – at different times on our journey. It’s a tricky balancing act – we need to take care of our energy, keep our love tanks full and not let others drain them. But we also need to act with compassion. These people in dark spaces are our brothers and sisters, and just like us. We’ve all been in dark spaces on our journeys. Our greatest desires are the same. We all want to be loved and accepted. And through love and acceptance, people in dark spaces, find the light filtering in until they are completely lit up. The thing is though, that it is actually the love and acceptance that they give themselves that brings them fully into the light. Self-love. Our job, is to simply support or guide them. You can do that for other people just through simple kindness and acceptance. Giving people the freedom to express themselves freely without fear. Holding space. That is a way for us to release things that have a tight hold on us – through expression. And that comes in many forms. And it is generally channeled through our natural gifts. One of mine is singing, another is poetry/writing lyrics. It just works. I feel something inside of me become unleashed. A shift. It’s a feeling of freedom, of peace, it’s the feeling of my heart opening up wide with love. Fear isn’t anywhere in sight. But it’s fear that shuts our hearts back down again. So we use our tools, our gifts, our practices regularly to do our very best to keep our hearts open and flowing with love. This is the feeling of true happiness and peace.
Homework - or Self-Love Exploration:
Have a think about what it is that really works for you. Choose one thing that makes time stand still, that excites you, that makes everything else going on around you fade into the background while you are doing it. We all have something that blows our hair back, so to speak. My number one is singing. For some of us, we know what it is. We may call it our purpose, our gift, our passion or our hobbie. Whatever we label it, the outcome is the same – it helps us achieve full self-expression. It helps us to become mindful, to create space and be in the present moment with ease – helping to let go of anything we’ve been holding on to. It creates joy. Our hearts open naturally and it feels blissful. It’s healing and therapeutic. And the more we indulge in this practice, the greater these feelings become. Maybe you haven’t found your thing yet or maybe you’ve just forgotten. Now is a really great time to explore and discover! Once you consciously ask yourself this question – what is my passion? And keep your focus on listening for an answer, you’ll find it. You’ll find it because chances are you already know. You’ve experienced it, maybe as a child. The answer will come from within yourself – or maybe you’ll be reminded in a dream J. We all need our thing, it’s our main tool in our toolbox of life to achieve a state of joy without effort. It’s our self-love practice and rightful honoring of ourselves.
Integrating Practices Into Your Daily Life:
It really doesn’t have to be that hard! Often the thought of adding anything extra to our day can feel a little overwhelming if our days are already full. The thing is, many self-love practices don’t take any extra time up in our day… like this one:
I invite you to begin this simple daily practice: First thing in the morning, ask yourself: ‘How can I love you best today?’ And listen. There are no rules, no right or wrong answers, this is a very personal thing that is different for everyone and will be different for you depending how you are feeling on different days. The main thing, is to listen.
We have this beautiful thing called intuition. Ever since we graced this earth with our presence our intuition has been holding our hand and doing it’s very best to guide us. And no matter how many times we ignore that intuition, it never gives up on us. A true friend J. If you choose to connect with yourself, by simply bringing yourself into the moment in your own way (this could be done by focusing on your breath and closing your eyes; or by sitting in nature and listening to the wildlife, the ocean etc, by singing mantras, practicing yoga, drawing a picture…) then you can connect with your intuition more fully. Often our intuition guides us by a sensation or a feeling. It could be warmth at the back of your neck as a warning, it could be a sore heart space if you’ve made a decision out of fear, goosebumps… anything. This intuition is always trying to guide you to make decisions with love instead of fear. Consciously connecting with our intuition is an act of self love. It’s so important, that we ask ourselves in any situation that we have a choice to make: Am I choosing this out of love or fear. Often the unknown can scare us, and we’d rather play it safe with our choices. And sometimes that is the right thing for us. But other times, we need to have faith in the unknown and remember that this is where magic, mystery and unlimited opportunities reside. We can choose to see it as exciting – and it is!! So we practice, choosing with love, checking in with ourselves before we make a decision, make it consciously, with an honoring love for ourselves.
Okay...I think that is enough for one Love-Letter! :-)
Workshop at International Yoga Festival 2017, Kawai Purapura - Photo credit Martina Figoli