Bonjour my dear friends, before I head out today to run some New Year's Eve errands and then disappear into the White Mountains for a few days of fresh air, I want to take a moment to wish all of you a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year. May it be filled with joy, compassion and lots of creativity.
Instead of attempting to make all kinds of resolutions for the new year, why not simply focus on the greatest gift of all: self-love for 2013?
I'm sharing a thoughtful article written by Katherine Love Senn, as a way to begin the New Year on a loving and compassionate foot.
Blessings and much love to you all, Isabelle
1. Loving yourself begins with your thoughts.
Bring your attention to your thoughts. Are they supportive or are they critical?
The kinder and more loving your thoughts, the higher your self esteem levels will be. The more negative and fearful your thoughts, the lower your self-esteem will be.
If you are like most people, self-love is not something that you were taught at school or something that you can just absorb from your culture.
It can be helpful to examine and release any negative cultural and social conditioning in your life.
As you do this, you will be creating space for new and more helpful thoughts to emerge. You will leave behind the restriction of pain and instead step into the realm of possibility of courage, dreams and freedom.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others is one of the biggest challenges to developing, practicing and embodying self-love. When you compare yourself to others, you overlook your own unique skills and attributes.
If you find yourself doing this in your own life, realize that you can change how you feel by changing your thinking.
Replace your comparison thoughts, with different ones. Instead of comparing yourself to others, embrace yourself, your strengths and your passions. Put your energy into becoming even better and doing more of what you truly enjoy!
Focus on who you are, as well as your unique skills, what you enjoy doing and what you already do well.
3. Show gratitude and appreciation to your challenges
Your challenges are asking you to pay attention in your life. They are demanding that you do something different, so be grateful to them. The faster you can appreciate your challenges, the faster you can move forward to living the life you really dream of.
Instead of fighting your challenges, try embracing them with gratitude instead. Let them remind you to step deeper into self-love.
As C.S. Lewis eloquently says, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Your challenges actually bring a seed of opportunity to grow into who you are capable of becoming. Let your challenges be your doorway to self love. Remember that it is only when the wind blows that trees really begin to build up their strength.
Your challenges are what will catapult you to seeking a new way of being in life.
You can learn to love yourself.
Self-love is a stance that you must take for yourself. Usually transformation and change happen when you are sick of the suffering, discomfort and pain that come from ‘not loving’ yourself.
When you begin to deeply love yourself, then you give yourself permission to start creating and living your dream life right now.