Have you ever spent time and energy finding that perfect apartment or house for you to stay? Some place which you can call “home” and not just a house. Let us not forget that our real “Home” is our body, this is where “we” reside as a Being. In today’s hectic world we get so busy with life that we tend to take our body for granted, abuse it and then expect it to perform optimally to satisfy our never ending desires. The real journey of Self Love starts when we start at least appreciating if not loving our body. If you don’t like your home, your life becomes uncomfortable, right? Loving your body and feeling comfortable in it is like coming back to a safe, secure, cozy home.
Exercise for Day One:
Reflect on the topic of taking your body for granted and ask yourself if you are taking your body for granted and abusing or mistreating it. If yes, recognize and accept this fact and try to explore ways you can mend this state.
Meditation – Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Close your eyes and play some soft music in the background if you want. For the next 20 minutes or so try to visualize your body as your HOME and how is it that you would make it beautiful, cozy and comfortable. Let your creative juices flow, enjoy the feeling as you see your body internally transformed into a “Home for your Being”.
“I Love Me” exercise
Requirements – Paper, a pen and a bathroom sized large mirror.
Make sure you are undisturbed in a safe and secure space. On the piece of paper, draw a line vertically down the middle, thus making 2 parts on the paper.
On the first square write “Things I Like about Myself” and on the other side “Things I’d Like to work upon”.
Now, keep the paper and pen aside and look at yourself in the mirror. Quietly observe yourself. Study your body from your head to your toes. Start taking deep breaths, as you look yourself. Say to yourself “I love you”. Repeat it for a few times, making it more and more loving and personal.
After you have said this, pick up the pencil and paper and write down something that you like about yourself. Follow that with something that you’d like to change and work upon. Continue to alternate, making a list of about 5 likes and 5 things to change.
It will take a lot of courage to do this exercise, but it will also allow you to face all your fears. Try and be fearless. Some emotions might come up. Emotions like shame, disgust, sadness might cloud your mind. Acknowledge these emotions but do not get carried away by them. Just watch them from a distance.
After you have finished writing the points, look at yourself again and place your right hand on your left shoulder and left hand on your right shoulder, dip your head and give yourself a nice tight hug. Stay in this hug for as long as you feel comfortable. Watch how you feel and once again, repeat to yourself, “I love you”, “I am there for you”.
“Me and the Nonjudgmental Nature”
Today we step out. After spending two days indoors I think today we should step out.
Most of the times the reason for our low self love is the view others have of us and what we think people perceive us as.
So today we step out and go somewhere where we wont be judged, and that is in the nature.
Take an hour off from your busy schedule, wear your walking shoes and just step out by yourself. Go somewhere quiet and peaceful, preferably in a park or so. Look around, look at the trees, look at the leaves (or may be snow on the branches) tune into the silence and joy around. Admire the way the nature receives you, openly, without judgement and notions.
Nature truly knows how to love… a tree lets anyone rest and relax under its branches, a thief or a prince all are alike when it comes to the shadow and shade. Love is given unconditionally by the tree.
Sit here for a while. Now, gently keep your left hand on your right hand and know that you are in company of your Self. Close your eyes and connect deeply with the love within and around. Absorb and recognize this loving that you sense, and let it fill your heart with a feeling of acceptance.
If the vast expanse of nature can love and accept you for what you are, then it is also possible for you to accept and love yourself for what you are.
Let this feeling of acceptance and Love register deeply in your mind and heart.
On the first two days we embraced our body, later we tried to accept ourselves without any judgment. Now, it’s time to count our blessings.
Being in state of low self esteem and low self love makes us myopic towards the good things in life. One of the best ways to stay balanced in the positive state of mind is to be Grateful, and this is exactly what we are going to do today.
Today’s exercises are simple, yet very effective and empowering.
1) Make a list of 5 things you are grateful for in your life. Things that give you strength and joy.
2) Meet in person, make a call or write an email to 3 people who you would like to thank and express your gratitude towards them for being there for you.
3) After you have done the above 2 exercises, sit for 15 minutes for your quiet time and go over the above two exercises in the mind. Recognize, accept and feel grateful for the people and experiences that you have had. Internalize this gratefulness and feel happy for the moments that have shaped you into a wonderful person that you ARE.
“Forgive and be free”
The Heart wants to love the Self but it cannot love itself because it is filled with past regrets and feelings of being compromised.
How can we fill a glass which is already filled? We need to make space so something new can enter that space.
The same way, today we will cleanse the cup of our heart. Today we will try to at least forgive one person from our past, someone who still lives in our heart-mind complex for many years.
1) Sit in a quiet and secure place
2) Close your eyes and look in your memory.
3) Think of someone who you want to deeply forget.
4) Don’t try too hard, forgive the person who comes first in your mind.
5) Visualize that person, keep your left hand on your heart.
6) And with all honesty and sincerity, as you EXHALE say to yourself mentally “I deeply forgive you”
7) As you INHALE say to yourself mentally “I love myself”
8) Keep the breaths soft, slow and deep.
9) Repeat this exercise as much as you want, till it starts getting a texture of being mechanical or dishonest.
10) You can try to repeat the exercise many times in the day too.
11) What is important is not to identify with the limiting emotions that come up but to stay with the intent of forgiveness on the exhale and Love on the inhale.
12) I am sure at the end of these exercises you will feel a deep sense of lightness and satisfaction.
Forgiveness is not easy, but a deeper sense of letting go through forgiveness can be cultivated by repeated practice. The exhales will let go of the heaviness of the heart and the simultaneous inhales will fill Love in your heart.
“I DESERVE IT”
On the sixth day of exploration and experimentation, we will treat ourselves 🙂 We deserve the good things and the Love that the Universe has to offer, and today we are going to relish it WITHOUT guilt.
Today’s exercise is simple and I am sure for most of us it is the most enjoyable 🙂
1) Make a list of 2-3 things that you like to do, or eat, or shop or any other things that make you really, deeply feel joyful and happy.
2) Sit in a quiet and secure place, close your eyes. Remember what you have written on the piece of paper and visualize yourself experiencing , enjoying and relishing those 2-3 things.
3) Watch the emotions that may come up. Sometimes the mind might start questioning the intent , the purpose, or just start sending thoughts of you not deserving those good things. Whatever it is, just watch these emotions and every time a compromising thought comes in your mind, mentally repeat to yourself “I deserve the happiness, joy and Love that the Universe has to offer”.
4) After 10-15 minutes of this mental exercise, go ahead pamper yourself, manifest those joyful thought in action.
5) Enjoy and relish those things that you have planned with totality, sincerity and without any guilt.
Remember, as Yoga says, we all are Pure potential in nature, we just don’t know it as we are blinded by the limiting reality. Bit by bit we all can savor the flavors of unconditional Love, compassion and Bliss.
Why settle for less when you deserve the best, right ?
“Meditate and Heal”
I wish to thank all of you for going on the journey of Self Love with us on the group. It has been such an amazing journey over the last six days, so many of you have given these methods a try and generated amazing feedback. I hope our journey of exploring Self Love does not end here and that it continuous to greater scales.
Today I would like to love you and leave you with a small guided meditation recorded during one of my workshops. It is uploaded on Youtube on Yogaprasad channel and can be accessed anytime when you feel like going inwards to heal yourself and love yourself.
Hope you enjoy the meditation. Remember that you are an amazing person and the reason that you are here in this world is to Love and to manifest the universal grace.