For many of us, understanding some of the more existential questions, is key to knowing who we are and why we are here. For me I have found having a spiritual faith and practise key to deepening my self-love.
It allows me to focus on my values, my internal landscape, and offers some perspective to the challenges of modern life. My spiritual practise allows me to step away from the business of life, to pause and reflect, and through meditation, I can find my heart opening and more love for everything in the world, including the self.Over the next few days I will post on some of the ways I have found spirituality to help, with a deepening of self-love.
Gratitude (along with forgiveness, but I’ll save that for another day) is one of the fastest ways I know to transform your life. When I returned home from a long trip to India the awe and amazement I found at sleeping in a comfy bed, having running hot and cold water in 3 different room, having a fridge was so rewarding. I felt huge richness for many things I had taken for granted. This was my same house, my same world, and yet I viewed it with completely new eyes. And we don’t need to go travelling to do this, we simply need to start making a conscious effort to count our blessings, and when we do this, we feel good about our life, which helps us feel good about ourself.
One of the little practises I use when I am feeling less than abundant, is to remember my childhood, and see the 6 year-old me be in absolute awe that the grown up me, has a small wire free device that I can hold in my hand and watch movies on! I’m not even a gadget person, but this simple exercise makes me realise that I have much more than I ever dreamt of, and that material belongings or lack of them, are not causing me pain.
When we focus on those that love and care for us, those that hold us in high regard and have gratitude for having these people in our life, when we have gratitude for the air we breathe and the food we eat, our physical health, we are so busy being grateful, the feelings of lack simply melt away.
A great exercise is to start a gratitude journal, every day write down everything you are grateful for, as you think of each thing, let your heart expand and feel how grateful you are.
Meditation and connecting inward, allows us to connect with our soul, spirit, higher self. This part of self is divine, it is a source of light, or love and as such is free from the maya that keeps us in separation and fear. When we meditate deeply, our heart opens, we can feel a deep sense of love for the self and for all of humanity.
Working with a spiritual teacher, perhaps someone who has already gained a high degree of selflove can support us in finding and recognising that in ourselves. I am blessed to have had healings from amazing master healers, and to give healings to many, many clients. During healings, the therapist connects to Divine source and sees the client as whole, they hold them in a high regard and allow the client to see much of their light which they may not be aware of. Working with a healer also allows us to release any and all blocks to self-love and aligns us with our Truth.
Practising Loving Kindness Meditation (a simple Buddhist Practice) daily can instil a deep sense of unconditional love, try this simple practise and notice how you feel after.
Ignite Your Spirit (IYS) is a form of spiritual counselling which practically and sensitively assists people to release blocks in their mind, body and energy field which are causing limitation or frustration. IYS Therapy focuses on the 8 main chakras, which hold energetic patterns, using a combination of affirmations and energetic work, these blockages can be cleared and replace with positive energy.
Click here to book in for a free 20 minute consultation
By becoming devoted to the divine through music, mantra or prayer, we walk the path towards self-actualization. By this I mean we realise that the Divine is within us, and through our devotion, we are loving the self.
There are many ways to practise Bhakti Yoga, and it is the intention that is key. Whether we choose to sing to the Divine, or tend to our garden, it’s the act of love that creates the Bhakti, and through this practice we begin to see ourselves as Divine, we merge in unity with the Divine.
A wonderful kiritan artist I know in Australia says “our skin maybe waterproof but it’s not sound-proof”, and through singing, we can heal and transform ourself
Next time you feel less than love, play a beautiful uplifting love song, sing it to the divine in everything including yourself and see how you feel after.
Here are a few of my favourite artists
There is a fine balance between devotion and service, some of us find it easier to express love through devotion, and some through selfless service, but both of these are important parts of the spiritual path, and both paths can lead to more self-love.
When we give our time and energy to those in need, we create goodness in the world, this goodness affects us all. But not only that, we gain a sense of goodness through helping others. Selfless service when offered as a selfless act, is actually anything but selfless because the blessings or good karma that come back to us are multiplied.
In fact, the fact we have the opportunity to do service is such a blessing in the first place. Many people are not in a position to help others. So when we have the opportunity to do good, we should do it immediately and whole heartedly. And in doing so we know we are making a difference to the world, and this helps us appreciate ourself and increases our self-love
Loving Nature is Loving the Self
As we grow in love for mother nature, we have grown in love with ourself, for we are made of the same atoms as every plant on this earth
Loving and appreciating nature is a great way to cultivate love, when we cultivate love for anything outside of ourself we grow in love. We can cultivate love by loving another, but human relationships tend to be more complex, so loving nature is a great place to start. Spending time in nature is one of my favourite ways to let go of my troubles, to connect with myself and feel a sense of deep inner peace. It is good for the heart, the soul and the spirit.
Deep Inner Listening is key to understanding our uniqueness and our needs, these are both key aspects of being able to love ourself deeply. Through inner listening, we understand more of who we are, what motivates us and drives us, what lights our passion and what our calling in the world is. When we connect deeply and feel this sense of self, taking action to follow our path, is a great service to ourself.
Journaling or morning pages is a great way to develop inner-listening. Shortly after waking, take a notebook and pen and start writing, write freely and don’t engage the brain too much, allow the words to come and write. If this is tricky and you feel blocked you could start by asking yourself a question…
“how do I feel”
If nothing comes, you can keep on writing, here is an example of the kind of thing I find helpful when I am blocked
“I don’t know, its hard for me to know how I’m feeling, I am trying to find the words but they feel stuck, they feel stuck in my stomach, I feel tight there”
Eventually we learn to listen to ourself and hear ourself, and therefore care for ourself.
Please let m know any ways in which spirituality and the deeper meaning of life has helped you grow in self love, I look forward to reading your comments.
Wishing you much love from my heart to yours Laura