Fragile

I love it when your friends look out for you, support you and care for you.
I love it that I am willing to allow them to see that there are times when I am delicate and vulnerable and able to be fragile and accepting of their love.

In the past I would have seen this as weakness, as me saying I couldn’t cope or as a sign of failure. But the more I allow my friends and loved ones to be there for me the more the real me lets go of my guard and the need to show I can manage or don’t need their help.

When we reach out to others we build trust and deepen our connections. Allowing others to support you is a sign of strength and resilience. Learning when to ask for help and when to say hey I need you has brought me enormous growth as a person. It has brought me much closer to the people around me and shown me I am truly loved.

Try it – you have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

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Settled

No matter what I was doing, be it working, reading, walking, swimming, resting, chatting with friends or trying to get to sleep, my body always felt agitated or shaky and my mind would be in a whirl, spinning with constant chatter.

I never felt at rest, there was always a tension and a sense of having to get on with the next thing. That there was more to do, better things to achieve, one more hurdle, goal or milestone to hit and then I could rest, be at ease and achieve a sense of completion. But when I reached that goal there was another and another and another to strive for. My restlessness built and built until my body felt wired and my mind could hold several conversations simultaneously without my being even really involved in them.

I needed coffee to get me going in the morning and then several more to make it through the day. And then to help me sleep a couple of beers or a glass of wine or two or three… but usually the whole bottle. When this wasn’t enough I’d work harder and longer than my colleagues, cycle to work, run or swim at lunch time and go to the gym on my way home. I just could not stop – I was in perpetual motion, spinning out of control. I felt like a Newtonian flywheel; the faster I went the more momentum I gathered so I could just keep going. I was the woman who could defy Newton’s first law of motion: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted on by an unbalanced force. How ironic, as looking back I was that unbalanced force driving myself faster and harder.

I viewed this way of life as my being ambitious, driven, productive and a bit of a ‘go getter’. At first it was a good thing; it got me through high school and University, from one job to a better one and even to opening my own dental practice. It spurred me to travel, meet new people, try different things and emigrate to start a new life. But I never felt at peace, rested or able to take a break. Nothing helped stem the feeling of being restless and going at a million miles an hour on the inside. I tried long soaks in a hot bath, walks on the beach, yoga, meditation, massage, visualisation techniques, Chi Qong, New Age Music, self-help books, the works… but nothing helped. In fact most of these things made me more uptight, on edge and wound up.

A friend of mine gave me a flyer about a Universal Medicine heart chakra workshop – a whole group was going and would I like to come. Now this wasn’t really my thing, I was cynical about hippy trippy new agey stuff – none of that crap worked in my opinion – but when my friend explained it might help me relax I relented and said I’d give it a go.

I listened to this guy Serge Benhayon talk about some stuff, most of which went over my head and decided when the tea break came I was out of there. I didn’t feel relaxed at all, I needed to bolt, the chatter in my head was full steam ahead and I couldn’t sit still.

I became very aware of how completely unsettled I was and realised that this was how I felt every moment of every day, but here in this room with 50-60 other people I had no way of avoiding what was going on in my body.

Serge explained we were going to do a simple meditation. I closed my eyes and breathed gently through my nose. As I did so, something in me changed, the chatter in my head faded away to a quiet whisper and for the first time since I was a little girl I felt settled.

Settled: “to discontinue moving and come to rest in one place”.

That place of rest, the place where I felt settled was inside me; it had been there all the time, I had simply lost my way.

The Benefits of Self-Love

Since my last blog I have considered the benefits of self-love that I have gained and become aware of since I have been actively more caring of myself. I felt to share them with you.

Living self-lovingly has allowed me to trust myself and listen to my feelings more. When I take time to listen to my inner voice and my heart I release I have a deep inbuilt knowing and self guidance system that can be relied on and trusted in everyday life.

As I come to know me better I can connect to myself and find that place that allows me to trust what I know. The more I take time to listen and go with my feelings the louder the communication is. This gives me sense of relief, confidence and the ability to relax knowing that I know me better than anyone else and that I can rely on myself in any situation.

I can say NO without feeling bad or guilty about it – saying no to others is a yes to me. I no longer see people, do things or go to events if I don’t feel like it. It’s not about being harsh or letting people down by changing my mind at the last-minute but about prioritising and not over committing myself. It’s about being realistic about how much I can take on and deal with at the time. It’s about assessing where I am at physically and emotionally and putting those needs first. I find this way I can do things more joyfully and be more present when I am with people as I’m not feeling obligated, resentful or distracted by other pressures or desires.

I am more discerning of my friendships and relationships. As I have learnt to take responsibility for my life and my own needs, certain friendships have fallen away naturally. I noticed these friendships were often unhealthy, very co-dependant or built on foundations of mutual likes and not on really knowing the other person openly and intimately.

If a relationship is willing to evolve and grow deeper then so the friendship has blossomed and become healthier. This has been tricky at times, with people who have seen me become more of who I am, only wanting the old friend who used to feed and fuel their neediness and them mine at the time.

As I have developed a more self-loving approach to me this is reflected in my relationships and the people around me.

I am more mindful of how I am with myself. I am increasingly conscious of my self talk, my moods, how I am with my body – whether I push too hard, take on too much or am rough with myself physically or verbally. I am able to be aware of when I am overly self-critical or even self bashing and can catch it before it escalates, stop and assess why I am being so hard on myself. This way I am less negative, more honest and appreciative of myself and in return of others. On top of this I feel healthier, happier, more confident and more me than ever before.

A relationship is NOT the answer to my insecurities. So often we seek validation of self-worth and level of attractiveness through relationships. It’s crazy to believe that if a person doesn’t like me, there must be something wrong with me. I no longer allow others judgements or feelings about me to be my barometer that measures my self-worth. My self-worth comes from me knowing that I am love and loving myself unconditionally to the best of my ability.

I have stopped valuing everyone’s opinion more than my own. I am no longer confused, seeking others opinions and going around in circles self-doubting and second guessing myself. Being more loving has allowed me to do what feels right for me. We all need support and help from others, that is healthy – but it is not healthy when we start to become dependent on others advice at the expense of our own inner voice. By allowing myself a moment, 5 minutes of silence to close my eyes, breathe gently, connect to myself and sink into my body, the answers I was looking for come – because they were there the whole time.

I love my own company. I have learnt to value time to myself and relish the quiet moments where I can meditate, snooze, read, go for a walk or soak in the bath. These moments are where magic lies waiting for me, surprising me with sparks of inspiration, where my loving ways love me back.

Give yourself this gift. The gift of learning to love yourself and who knows what is lying inside of you for you to discover….?

Self-Love The Greatest Love of All

Self-love appears to be tainted with negative connotations. The idea of loving yourself is loaded with preconceptions that you think you are better than another, that you are selfish, self centred and have an inflated ego. Is that really true or do we only feel that way because we lack self-love in our lives and when we see another being loving it reminds us that we are not?

How often do you hear people say: “You need to love yourself.” “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t have let that happen.” “You can’t love another until you love yourself .” “The key to happiness and success starts with loving yourself.” Etc….? A million times I bet. You only have to watch an episode of Oprah and you will notice this theme come up over and over again.

But what is loving yourself? Is it really a selfish act, one where you think you’re better than another or is it something that is normal, caring and beneficial to who you are, your health and your state of being? Is it something that can be of benefit to you and to others?

I looked up the definition of self- love and this is what I found:
self-love
noun
1. the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, regard for love or love of one’s self, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.
2. conceit; vanity, excessive pride
3. narcissism

Synonyms
bighead, complacency, conceit, conceitedness, ego, egotism, pomposity, pompousness, pride, pridefulness, self-admiration, self-assumption, self-conceit, self-congratulation, self-esteem, self-glory, self-importance, self-opinion, self-satisfaction, smugness, swelled head, swellheadedness, vaingloriousness, vainglory, vainness, vanity

Antonyms
humbleness, humility, modesty

Wow! Ouch! That doesn’t seem like a positive thing at all – no wonder we have an issue with loving ourselves if thats what we have been taught to think!

The other thing I noticed is that people think self-love and self-esteem are the same thing and are interchangeable. But I beg to differ. Someone can think a lot of themselves and have high self esteem but still be very self abusive and uncaring of their body. Which certainly isn’t self-loving. Just look at people like celebrities, the very wealthy/successful for example who think they are it yet treat themselves very poorly.

Self-love is now a very popular term that gets tossed around in day to day conversation, thanks to TV shows like Oprah, yet the idea of someone saying they love themselves carries a lot of stigma. I feel we need to break down the negativity associated with being self-loving and get real with what self- love truly is.

Self-love is important to living well and being well. It influences who you choose as friends, for a partner, how you are at work, how you cope with the problems in your life, what you eat and drink and how you care for yourself and what you will or will not allow in your life.

What is self-love, then? Is it something you can buy like new clothes? Can you get it by reading a self help book or something inspirational? Or, does it come from a new relationship, new job, moving house, a new hobby? The answer to all of these questions is No! These things may make you feel good and are certainly satisfying but you can’t get self-love through others or outside things. Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good it is an action. It is the little things that you do to care for yourself on a daily basis.

Self-love actually begins with saying NO. No to the things, actions and behaviours that do not truly support you or your body. It begins with saying no to things that are not loving, gentle or caring for your body. It starts with saying no to pushing yourself too hard, taking on too much and putting everyone else’s needs before your own.

Self-love is about choosing things that work for you and your body physically, mentally and emotionally. Self-love is about making choices that allow you to develop a deeper level of self appreciation so that you can give your body the care and attention that it deserves.

By committing to being gentle with yourself, you develop a consistency in how your are from your actions, self-talk, relationships, diet and exercise that come together to form a way that you live that helps to foster your self-love. Self-love is about committing to yourself and not compromising who you are, treating yourself with respect and expecting nothing less in return.

As you become more self-loving, the easier it is as the love and care you have in and for your body starts to grow. Living self-lovingly means you naturally become more accepting and appreciative, compassionate and understanding of self and others.

Over the last decade I would freely say that I have become a more self-loving person. This means that yes I do put my self first but it does NOT mean I think I am better than you or anyone else for that matter. It simply means that I care for myself, that I care for myself deeply.

I have seen some wonderful changes in my health and wellbeing, relationships and work since introducing self-love into my life. And would say that these changes have made me more loving and caring of others.

Loving yourself is a win-win for all. It provides you with a state of wellbeing and inner contentment, a confidence and peace of mind that is not easily swayed by outside events and opinions. It enables you to make healthier choices and the best decisions in all areas of your life from your diet and exercise to intimate relationships to your finances. It allows you to be more genuinely loving towards others and to be of greater service to the world at large. Ultimately, the more you love yourself, the more everything and everyone you encounter benefits.

Simply put self-love is a prerequisite to loving others. Your relationships are only as strong as the foundation of your self-love. Let go any belief you may hold that loving yourself is selfish or egotistical and replace it with the truth that your very essence is love, that unconditional self-love is your natural way of living . You cannot experience true love without first loving yourself. And when you can say that you know this for a fact you will have discovered the truth that self-love truly is the greatest love of all.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Siddhartha Gautama Buddha