The cultivation of Self-Love (Atma Prema) is a discipline. Translated, discipline means “to teach.”
Perhaps when we were young we didn’t have any self-loving role models to teach us how to love ourselves in a healthy, wholesome way. Note to self, that is okay. Those ‘role-models’ did what they did based on any number of given reasons. It’s just now in this present moment it takes a little more conscious effort, discipline, on our part to love ourselves wholly.
For instance, when the late afternoon ‘dip’ comes along, a Starbucks coffee might sound like the answer to our depleted self. I’m not saying that’s a wrong choice, I’m just suggesting a conscious moment to check in before ingesting that habitual cup of desire. Perhaps five minutes of mindful slow rhythmic breathing or one of the other below tools from our Yoga tool box (Upaya) can serve us more nutritionally and more lovingly.
We have to teach ourselves to take a sacred pause to inquire, “is this choice the most self-loving option?” If not, we have the power to make another choice. Note to self, if we do make that habitual choice again, that too is okay. Practicing empathy and loving-kindess towards ourselves is self-love. It’s the wee-small steps of witnessing ourselves and our choices (be it through words, thoughts and/or actions) that help us narrow the gap between consciousness and unconsciousness.
May the below Yoga tools be of some service to the cultivation of our ever evolving self-love. “Self – Love is the source of all our other loves.” ~ Pierre Corneille
Yoga Tool Box
Drink Water (a drop of Lemon oil is an added bonus)
Mantra repetition or Chanting
Questions for Self:
What do you already have in place that you consider to be a part of your Yoga tool box?
Is this a tool of self-love or more of a momentary comfort?
Would it be helpful o post these tools as a reminder in a place you can easily reference?
Are these tools something you can lovingly share with your family and/or friends?
* I use Essential Oils for myself, my daughter and with all my students (young and not as young). If you have a particular need and would like some guidance to determine which essential oil would be of most help, please let me know. It’s one of the many things I love to do.
* Self Love portrait by Rhonda Gray.