Archive for the ‘practical exercises’ Category
Recently my focus has simply been on self-love. Loving myself during my mistakes. Loving myself while I continue on this interesting human journey, with all its aspects. Loving myself, with compassion and care, as much as I do my clients, friends and colleagues.
Why is it so much easier to love others than ourselves? Although, anger and other negative emotions toward others are often a reflection of how we feel toward our own person. Interestingly, we often have the hardest time with those we know the best – spouses, coworkers, great friends… often can be the ones we’re also frustrated with. And, the one we know best of all (and, sometimes, understand the least) is ourselves. We judge ourselves, punish ourselves, and worse, for actions that we might have much more easily forgiven in others. Or, at least, in a small child who obviously would have known no better.
The step toward self-love can begin with witnessing and curiosity. Rather than just judging something you did, view it as if an aspect, or part, of you, was responsible for that. Imagine if the part who did an action you judge, or had a feeling with which you struggle, was a child. Would the most loving treatment be to yell at her or him? Would that help your inner sweet, innocent one feel safe?
Action: Write down a list of how you’d like others to treat you. Then, take an inventory of how you’re actually treating yourself. Begin to notice any gaps. And when you have a strong feeling, notice where you feel it in your body… and imagine as if that is part of you that needs to be heard and wants honoring and expression. Send a message to yourself, like…
“I hear you.”
“I care about you… and about what you’re experiencing.”
“I love you.”
After trying this, please note any experiences below.
If you feel inspired to experience love more fully, here is an exercise. It’s inspired by numerous sources, including Buddhist and Sufi methods.
- Close your eyes. Take deep, belly breaths. Relax your body from head to toe.
- Visualize your heart as putty. As you breathe deeply into it, see it softening, and becoming more pliable, and even porous.
- Picture the part of you that is most vulnerable and tender. This may be your inner child, or even the part that gets angry and tries to protect you. Give it love. See an energy cloud around it – perhaps pink, or, another color that feels loving and supportive.
- Have compassion for this struggling part of you. Tell it that it doesn’t have to work so hard, and you’ll be there for it.
- While still breathing deeply and keeping an awareness of the above, open your eyes with a soft gaze. Notice an object near you. Be aware of the crafting of it that took place for it to exist, that someone spent such time creating. Or, notice a person near you – who has these similar raw places inside, perhaps like your own. Notice their tender beauty.
- Become aware of imperfect perfection all around you – and in you. Nothing needs changing.
Air is the realm of Mind. Let’s discuss a powerful visualization to clean out your energy.
Visualize a bright point of light. See it in the middle of the room, or perhaps a foot in front of your forehead.
Imagine that everything that doesn’t serve you – in your body, in your energy field, or even in the room – goes into the white ball of light. It could be a physical sensation, a memory, or an emotion. See it go inside the white light, until it’s completely dissolved.
Next, with your intention, send the ball of light out a window far away. Yawn, and explode the ball of energy.
Action: If you’re feeling out of it, try one of these. You may find a preference based upon what time you have, your mood, and the situation. Please leave a comment, and let me know how they go!
When I don’t have as much time as I’d like to to take an Epsom salt bath or get out in nature, using one of two variations of fire is a quick way to purify my energy.
I enjoy burning sage – either as a smudge or loose, in a metal or clay bowl – and also utilize others, which resonate differently. Cedar has a gentler feel; sage can feel like an energetic scrub brush at times. Sweetgrass has its own energy, and juniper is excellent for cleansing on the physical plane. There’s a type of sacred wood I got in Peru – not sure of the proper name – which is also lovely.
I recommend trying a few and experimenting. These are nice to smudge around the house (make sure to get the corners of each room) as well as around yourself; I also make a point to hang out in a room with a lot of smoke for some time, to let it “soak in.”
One other fire exercise: light a candle, and visualize anything you’d like to release moving through the flame.