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How Self-Love Shepherds – Kindness Challenge Week 1

self-love shepherdsSelf-Love was the topic for Week 1 of the Kindness Challenge! In my post, All You Need is Love, Sweet Love, Lionel Richie and the Commodores’ song named Sweet Love was on repeat in my head while writing my surprising and healing self-love experience.

While reviewing my notes I discovered an extra piece of essential self-love knowledge. I realized self-love is the act of sincerely listening to my personal truth; all of IT, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Respectfully listening loosens and frees the bad, accepts the ugly, and salutes the good.

This sometimes brutal, sometimes reassuring honesty reflexively aligns me with the truth of my soul. Self-love means loving my peace filled soul messages as much as loving my unhealed battered, broken parts. The self-loving causes a deliberate, meaningful, feeling of alignment. From my mind’s eye, I can almost see a golden, flexible protective cord that gently shepherds all my tender and true pieces.

The good, bad, and ugly pieces exist no matter how I treat myself but the shepherding action of self-love comforts, contains, and direct the parts toward wholeness. When I criticize, dismiss, or judge these same parts the golden safety cord isn’t activated and the parts become fragmented, hardened and dangerous like shards of glass.

The negative energy directed toward the parts causes me to feel disconnected and so I am. Until I remember to welcome self-love once again…

 

I’ll Get You My Pretty! Not. Kindness Challenge, Week 2

selfCompassionGrim, that is how the Kindness Challenge’s self-compassion week felt! Self-love week was joyous while unloved and unseen parts bathed themselves in self-love, enjoying the warmth and healing. But self-compassion the sacred act of suffering with the suffering parts of myself; totally sucked!

To support and encourage the suffering parts, I required a “face” of self-compassion. A familiar icon that personifies hope so my barely mobile suffering parts have a guru to crawl toward, to look at, to connect to self-compassion’s healing powers.

Having faith that an idea would emerge, I returned to my daily tasks. With a few twists of her magic wand somewhere from my subconscious she created an opening and emerged. It was the famous Dorothy’s compassionate and guiding force along the Yellow Brick Road en route to the Wizard of Oz. Glinda the Good Witch.glindaselfcompassion

Glinda was the perfect self-compassion guru! She was present, loving, peaceful, and wise. She gently shared wisdom while radiating confidence in Dorothy’s innate intelligence to untangle her disorientation. I hired Glinda! She was now the face of my self-compassion.

With Glinda The Good Witch on board, I bravely confronted my wicked witch part that criticized me bitterly, judgmentally, and was rage filled. The infinite criticism stopped me in my tracks because I believed my wicked witch! This critical wicked witch filled my stomach with pain and body with paralysis.

Glinda The Good Witch of my self-compassion ascended wearing her ball gown, twisting her magic wand while her tiara sparkled. I felt an encouraging shift as Glinda and my self-compassion arrived. The paralysis was melting. The wicked witch of criticism was so righteous and self-centered she didn’t see self-compassion also known as Glinda silently emerging.

Once my mind’s eye glimpsed Glinda surfacing in the periphery, I internally shifted my attention toward her. The simple act of placing my attention on Glinda slowly diminished the wicked witch’s voice and rage filled energy. Glinda’s compassionate energy took root within me. I sensed my task was to remain focused on Glinda’s compassion. This simple act of sliding my attention away from my critical wicked witch would cause her nasty effects to fade. Glinda stood by my side until my complete attention was transferred from self-criticism to self-compassion.

With my face turned toward Glinda, she gently placed her guiding hand on my chin and another on my cheek. She asked me to mentally review my entire day not only a slice of it. To support my imaginary walk thru my day, with reverence and care, she slowly turned my head from the left to the right. I could see the ruins of darkness and anger at my left which was the damage caused by the critical inner wicked witch. The day’s landscape transformed as my head was guided right. There was brightness, a sense of peacefulness, a quiet rhythmic productive feeling, and a necessary sense of relaxation as well.

My self-compassion guru was showing me that my day contained a variety of feelings, mishaps, and accomplishments. This guided tour, made me realize that my inner wicked witch arrives via her broomstick to criticize me when I am hyper focused on a real or imagined unsuccessful event.  Inviting her to stay and listening to my wicked witch’s negative claims is like drinking a potion that shifts my perception away from the rightful day’s events and experiences and turns them into the critical wicked witch’s truth.

When I access, welcome, and live the energy of self-compassion, my critical inner wicked witch melts just like in the Wizard of Oz movie. Her power is stripped in the face of caring and wise self-compassion.

As I ingest this astounding realization of the power of self-compassion, I can hear Glinda say to me as she said to Dorothy…

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself. “

 

 

Accepting Who You Are

Kindness Challengers, Here is a blog post with an exercise related to self-compassion. Be good to yourself, give it a try…

Find Your Middle Ground

opening heart

I love this exercise from Steve Flowers and Bob Stahl in “Living with Your Heart Wide Open”. This is a book I’d also recommend for those of you who would like to cultivate more mindfulness and compassion in your lives, while freeing yourselves from unworthiness, inadequacy and shame.

“Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the total acceptance of who you are.”

~ Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Self Compassion Exercise:

If you met with a friend and she confided in you that she felt completely worthless and ashamed, how would you try to comfort her? What would you tell her to so the her troubled heart? In what other ways would you express your loving kindness and compassion?

Take a few minutes to reflect on this…

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All You Need is Love, Sweet Love-Kindness Challenge Week 1

KindnessWeek1 SelfloveMy Week 1 Kindness Challenge of Self-love had a theme song. Lionel Richie and his Commodores have randomly and quietly been singing lines of Sweet Love to me over and over and over. I inwardly smile each time this mellow song finds its way into my head. It was comforting, supportive guidance. Let me acquaint you with a few lines from this week’s theme song:

 

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Sweet love (Sweet love, well)

I know you’re searchin’

I know you’re searchin’ for a little love

The Commodores were correct, I was searching. Searching for my definition of self-love by starting with questions.   What is self-love?   What actions are self-loving?   When am I feeling self-love but don’t embrace it?   What is the difference between self-loving and self-centered?   When I am self-loving what does my life look like and feel like?   Does my life improve if I live from and with self-love?  Or does my life not improve but instead naturally align to my spiritual truth?

These questions revealed my truth of self-love. During the week, I experienced self-love as a healing balm, guiding wisdom, and a bunch of good feelings! Each morning, I gently reminded myself to feel self-love. I took a moment to imagine an inner emotional landscape being bathed in self-love.  Of course, it felt enjoyable, but it was so much more than that.

It created a world where unhealed emotions, like depression, fear, and hurt came to soothe themselves. The wounds and traumas that birthed these feelings felt safe, loved, and cared for enough to heal. They were called to the self-loving energy and instinctively opened to heal naturally.

This healing experience had the human sensation of the welcoming effects of the first warm summer-like day. When you feel pulled by the sunlight and warm air to drink it all in by taking a walk or sitting outside. It’s a feeling of refreshment, peace, and relaxation. This is how my unhealed feelings felt in the presence of self-love.

I need to go further with this…my repressed parts, or at least some of them, awakened. I felt unnamed hurts that were always carried with me, loosen up and bathe themselves in the presence of self-love.

My energy of self-love wasn’t only healing the suffering it was guiding me toward activities that were self-loving instead of activities that were distracting or mere habits. When I allowed my attention to follow this feeling of self-love it was like it was waving flags to focus my attention toward the self-loving choice. Each choice was an island and self-love confidently, happily, and purposefully waved her flag, next to the most self-loving choice.

I followed self-loves accurate lead. I needed relaxation and soothing by watching Blue Bloods. This family police drama allows me to spend time with a tight-knit family that supports, connects, and cares for each other. Their struggle and insistence on doing what is good heals and acknowledges a part of me.

Thru this relaxing moment with Blue Bloods, I sensed a very young child part that was ready for healing. This young conscientious part must accomplish grown up tasks that she isn’t developmentally equipped to comprehend. Being a pleaser, she insecurely attempts them while searching the adult faces for validation. The adults don’t fill her needs. This innocent moment in time sets the stage for a lifelong unconscious feeling. An unhealthy sensation of anchoring her little feet and stretching herself to live life years ahead of her emotional development. This adult pleasing part always feels emotionally unbalanced and insecure.

This week the young, stretched thin, insecure part of me was raised to consciousness and acknowledged. The energy of self-love pumped a healing balm thru me thanks to the requests of this week’s Kindness Challenge. While this part isn’t freed from the unbalanced and insecure feelings, yet, it is enjoying being seen and out of subconscious hiding. I can only assume that self-love’s energy will fully heal it.

The Commodores, singing this soothing and healing song of Sweet Love to me this week, offered self-love’s silent healing powers a sound and vibration. I guess the Commodores share the wisdom of the human soul and the Beatles….it turns out, it’s true…All You Need is Love!

6 More, Out of 30 Ways to Celebrate Success

6 More...Out of 30 Ways to Celebrate SuccessIt’s time to continue celebrating my blog growth!

I hope you decide to celebrate a success as well because the honoring expands you into a higher self. At least that’s what I’m learning….

Celebrating began with my 30 Ways to Celebrate Success post, that created a foundation of guidance where I learned surprising concepts. The key concept is that celebrating success equals honoring myself. Honoring myself has a reverent energy, vital for a peaceful opening and growing into a higher version of myself. The reverent act of honoring myself is essential to experiencing growth thru a positive, life affirming energy. This positive influence is literally a light that guides me into a happier life experience.

Plus, it supports my growth in a way that is waayyyy more fun than picking at my mistakes and ruminating over what’s wrong. I for one, prefer to grow by kicking up my heels along this happier pathway.

In my post 6 out of 30 Ways to Celebrate Success, I tried the author’s ideas and blogged about my illuminating experiences. For this post I did some cheering, breathing and a whole lot of nothing which delighted me. This post’s honoring activities:

Take a deep breath

Give goals a one day break

Cross it off your master list

Veg out

Cheer for yourself

Take a day off from work

Treat Yourself to a day of rest and relaxation

Let’s start with the deep breaths and cheers! Cheering and deep breathing a few times, in the privacy of my cottage, produced a pleasant surprise of a loving energy moving thru me. If this energy had an image it would be arrows pointing “THIS way”. Of course, “THIS way” is a positive experience where I dwell and reap the benefit of honoring my accomplishment. MY way is the opposite. MY way, maybe a lot like your way, has my body scrunched up, head down, intense face vigorously poking at the keyboard creating the next to do list. Moving on…as they say!

My intuition hints that my soul has teachings whilst in the realm of honoring. The soul’s teachings were revealed during the downtime activities suggested by the author. With space and time to contemplate, I grew to understand that honoring is a factor in balance and authenticity. By deeply taking stock of my accomplishments my balance shifted. I’m no longer who I was before the accomplishment rooted. This balance transforms my authenticity. My new skills and emotional growth make me different. I can do longer see myself in the same way. This quote by Patricia Spadaro spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you as well…

By honoring yourself, you are respecting, appreciating, and giving birth to your best self so you can give creatively—and abundantly—in ways that honor others.” —Patricia Spadaro in Honor Yourself

Skipping the honoring phase and doing it MY way; I would have missed living the experience of giving birth to my higher self.

Photo Credit – Fantasy Wire

6 Out of 30 Ways to Celebrate Success

fantasywire“I just feel really good about my accomplishments. I haven’t had, like, a party because a deal goes through or something like that. I don’t know. I need to develop that – I need to have something that I do when things go right.”, said Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent. I don’t know if he followed his advice but I’m gonna follow it.

In my post 30 Ways to Celebrate Success, I set the stage to honor my blog’s growth. My original plan was to skip the honoring thing and create another to do list. But then I had an intuitive flash of a glowing orange and yellow egg shape. It was nestled beneath a grey geometric structure. While my human self felt enthusiastic about creating a brand new to do list. My soul, via the image, was politely requesting that I honor this leg of the blogging journey.

Knowing my soul’s messages expand and heal me I listened to my soul’s wisdom and applied 50 Cents advice. THE Google supplied me with the article 30 Ways to Celebrate Success. And I got busy celebrating! I grouped a bunch of similar ideas to start with. I planned to:

2.Share the news with family, friends, and colleagues

7.Thank everyone who supported you

8.Tweet about it

9.Accept and Enjoy the compliments

21.Write your (my) success story to share in a newsletter to colleagues, clients

22. Write a Blog Post about it

Sharing the news with people who have supported me and thanking them, was a somewhat easy step. It felt right, after a few quick pulses of fear that said, “They don’t care, they don’t want to hear your bragging.” Taking in a deep breath, I asked myself if fear was correct. Immediately, an authentic, caring part of myself emerged to remind me that they want you to succeed, to be happy, and to enjoy yourself in this process. They would feel joyful and happy to hear about your accomplishments. They are on your side…this is how people act when they are on your side. Of course, my caring self was accurate. I was supported with congratulations and woot woots!

I must admit that, I still haven’t fully digested #9 – their compliments. I do sense that this is a necessary act in honoring. Maybe… next week…. I’ll fully digest their compliment…It’s a lot of love all at once. 😉

On to the surprising effect of writing about my success (#27 & #21). A part of myself felt ashamed to write my story of success. My shame felt fearful of being humiliated and therefor unsafe. Shame wonders…what will happen to me as I open to honoring. Truth be told, this part of me is new to the limelight. And maybe it’s just too much attention.

As I dig a little deeper, I unexpectedly realize this shy, ashamed part wonders how this change will effect her life. My shame realizes this honoring is acknowledging the new skills and growth. This shy-shame part also feels a bit sad and somewhat nostalgic. This part of me reminds me when I asked my niece what she thinks she will be like when she turns 5. She very sweetly and sadly said, “I’ll miss 4.” The sad, shame, and shy parts are tangled together as they feel the growth happening. I assure them they can let go and growing will be okay albeit; foreign and bumpy.

As my shy-ashamed-sad self adjusts by growing into accomplishment’s shine and success simultaneously another part of me feels honored. respected from being acknowledged. It feels revered. This honored part has been confidently waiting for me to arrive at this level of growth. It was always expecting me, having no doubt that I would make this stop on my journey. This reverence is so profound. I must serve it by completing #8 …Tweet About It.

And so, I did!

 

Photo credits –  FantasyWire

 

Kindness Challenge

kindnessIt’s time for the Kindness Challenge! A seven-week exploration of the act of being friendly, generous, and considerate to others as well as myself. Niki from The Richness of the Simple Life, is our leader as a group of bloggers delve into and play with kindness.

 My heart and soul feels full and joyful as my eyes ingest the challenge’s wishes. My humanness accepts that my heart and soul has heaps of knowledge to express. I’m already hearing my heart and soul say that is why you are on earth…to be kind and to live your human experience from the continual guidance of kindness.

 My human self is eager to feel life with kindness running the show…

 Let the journey begin!