REIKI NEWS & REVIEW:
By Columnist Camille Lucy – Certified Holistic Health Coach & Reiki Practitioner:
Part 5 of the 12 Steps to Transformation – A Month-to-Month Guide Bringing Joy, Peace, Love & Fulfillment: Self Love
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” -Lucille Ball
Studies show that self-love and compassion are vital components for overall mental health and well-being, reducing depression and anxiety. Kristin Neff, associate professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas known for her research on self-compassion, found that self-compassion is the foundation of empowerment, learning and inner strength. Neff describes self-compassion as “being kind and understanding toward oneself in instances of pain or failure rather than being harshly self-critical; perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than seeing them as isolating; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than over-identifying with them.”
Dr Wayne W. Dyer adds to Neff’s findings when he said, “Make a pact to remind yourself often of this secret: you can’t give away what you don’t have, but you can change your life by changing what’s going on inside. Then work on your personal program of self-love, self-respect, and self-empowerment, and create a huge inventory of what you wish to give away. If what you give are self-respect and self-love, the universe will return the love and respect you’ve been radiating. It’s really so simple.”
Finding True Self Love
If true love is what you wish to experience and receive, you need to embody true love in your own life. Rumi said, “Love is the bridge between you and everything.” All abundance permeates from the energy of love. On the other hand, lack is the cornerstone of fear. If you want to improve your life in a big way, you’re going to have to get on the Unconditional Love train… beginning with loving yourself.
You need to nurture yourself, nourish your body and soul, and feel good in order to have the space to love others – and life – in a real and true way. If you begin to break down, you cannot be anything to anyone (Think: oxygen mask analogy). Caring for yourself means you are independent and everything you need comes from the inside; you do not need to seek out external variables to feel good. Then, anything positive that comes into your life is a big bonus!
Follow these tips on practising Self-Love, compassion and care, to cultivate your true self-love:
- Check the Dialogue
Ask yourself this simple question: If you treated others the way you treat yourself, would they want to be around you?
How you speak to yourself is so important to overall well-being. Sometimes we are not even aware of how negative our self-talk is, so it’s vital to become conscious of it. Neff suggests that during challenging times or perceived “failure,” notice and observe your self-talk. This can help you to become aware of your habits and patterns and curb self-criticism. You can replace it with patience, kindness and acceptance.
Just remember that it’s OK to make mistakes or to perform or act less than desired. It happens to all of us. Be really gentle with yourself. Everyone has off days, bad days, grumpy days. This is part of the process of being Human. Remind yourself, “it’s okay,” and move on. There’s no need to kick yourself when you’re down, calling yourself names or berating yourself. Nobody wants to be spoken to that way, so why not show yourself some love, support and gratitude instead? A little love goes a long way.
- Dear Friend…
During times of crisis or when you feel overwhelmed, Neff suggests writing a letter to yourself as though you were writing to a dear friend. If you’re feeling confused, upset, angry, hurt, or regretful, it’s a powerful practice to write yourself words of encouragement and comfort. This neutralizes the energy and softens emotions and reactivity. And, writing can be a really cathartic experience. It’s a great way to release built up emotions and to let them go in a productive manner.
Spend time each day practising affirmations that feel right for you. Ones that really work are: I am happy. I am healthy. I am beautiful. I am whole. I am loveable. Life is working for me, not against me. I am supported. Bad days are temporary. All pain is temporary. All things pass. This too shall pass. I am kind to myself. I love myself.
Find affirmations that feel relevant to you, and meaningful. It may feel slightly awkward at first to practice these mantras, especially if you are not used to extending yourself love and compassion, but in time, the effects are profound. Robert Kiyosaki said, “It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power.”
In addition to reciting these affirmations, you can say them in the mirror while looking into your own eyes. You can also jot them down and place them around the house in areas you visit most often like the bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, your desk or car.
- Gratitude Journal
True gratitude is an overall appreciation for what is (and isn’t). Studies show that an “attitude of gratitude” goes a long way and those that are thankful are, overall, much happier and healthier. Some ways to practice gratitude are to write “Thank You” notes, express thanks verbally to loved ones or friends or yourself, begin a Gratitude Journal (write 3 things you’re grateful for every day), pray or meditate (this can include exercising or being out in nature for some quiet time).
You may want to begin a new tradition or practice with your family at home. Perhaps you each give thanks to one another in the morning before the day begins, or at night before bed. You can write “Thank You” notes and put them in a Gratitude Jar, and pick some out to read each Friday after a busy week. Or pick one out when you’re having a bad day. To build on and cultivate self-compassion and self-love, at the end of each day, write down five things you are proud of yourself for, or love about yourself. Develop an inner faith and trust. The benefits to truly appreciating life and the people in it – including yourself – are vast.
- Meditation & Yoga
Meditation and yoga are two practices that really bring you into your own body and mind. During meditation, you find presence and stillness and become a neutral observer of your own thoughts and patterns. Being mindful, and in-the-moment, melts away fears, worries and regrets.
When practising yoga, you cultivate self-acceptance and learn how to honour your own body. Through yoga you also learn how to self-soothe, practice taking small steps and celebrating new achievements or progress, begin to feel good in your own skin, and boost self-confidence. Both practices help to alleviate stress and anxiety, leaving more space in your life to fill with good experiences, new positive habits and cultivate inner strength, resolve, peace, joy and love.
Loving yourself means honouring yourself and acting out in all the ways you would someone else that you love. Accept yourself for all parts of you, support and nurture yourself (be your own cheerleader), speak and act gently to that little child inside of you, and learn to let go of people, places or things that are no longer serving you.
Remember to prune away, and trim the dead branches. Forgive yourself often. Forgive others. Boost yourself up. As Dyer said, “you can’t give away what you don’t have.” The more love you have within yourself, the more you have to share with everyone!
Next month I’ll cover “Honoring Your Body, Mind & Spirit”
In this 12-part series, readers will learn the key ingredients to a delicious life! Each topic will cover why it is important and simple ways or suggestions on how to integrate these shifts into your everyday life. If these principles are followed, the results will be undeniable; a radiant and able body, mind and soul, shining from the inside out, stronger and healthier relationships and a dramatically improved quality of life.
About Our Reiki News & Review Columnist – Camille Lucy
Camille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Reiki & Raindrop Technique Practitioner, Ordained Holistic Minister, graphic and web designer, business consultant, and Vice President of a local non-profit that “rehabilitates people through animals.” She is also a writer, a Mother of 3-girls, an artist, a Life-and-Love Junkie, a Self-Expression and Development advocate, and – well, you get the point. She’s a lot of things, just like all of us. Camille is also author of, “The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self.” Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at www.CamilleLucy.com or on social media at @LiveFullToday.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s professional opinion, based on their knowledge. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any way. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have about a medical condition. Also, always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.
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