Congratulations! You are officially on the journey towards complete self-love. This is a lifelong journey that will be rewarding at each and every step.
So, how do we begin loving ourselves? Well, we have to get to know our Self. The Self is something deep inside of each and every one of us. It’s that light inside of our hearts that is always lit. Your Self is beyond anything physical or mental – it is part of the spiritual realm. Your Self is that voice (loud or soft) that explains life when logic does not have an answer. So, how do you get to know your Self?
You need to bring your attention inwards. It is easy to get lost when diving in to your Self, so use yoga and meditation to help you focus during this inward journey. At first, things may seem dark and confusing, but the more you become familiar with the Self, the easier it is to find that inner light. Once you find yourself in that place of inner peace, begin your self-study (in yoga, we call this svadhyaya). Figure out how your mind and body work. Figure what what they need and what they do not need in order to thrive. Never judge these needs, but always honor them. The more knowledge you have about your Self, the easier it will be to love your Self in the future. And the more self-love you practice, the brighter your inner light will shine!
To begin your svadhyaya practice, try meditation. You can start by practicing 11 minutes a day, and eventually let your meditation practice extend to at least 31 minutes per day (these numbers relate to our internal rhythms, as practiced in Kundalini yoga). If you need help developing a meditation practice, simply follow the steps below!
- Find a quiet place and get comfortable. Try to minimize outside distractions as much as possible (noise-cancelling headphones are great for this!) You can practice seated on the ground, seated in a chair, or laying down. Whatever position you choose, try to maintain a long spine (in order to keep your chakras open!) Your eyes can be closed completely or partially closed with the gaze over the tip of the nose.
- Start the meditation by bringing your awareness to the breath. Fill and empty your lungs completely.
- Next, bring the focus to the mind. Start to observe the thoughts. The goal is to be able to see a thought enter and leave the mind without becoming attached to the thought. Most importantly, never judge your thoughts or your meditation experience – simply observe.
- Then, let the magic happen. Dive deep. The longer you allow yourself to sit comfortably with your Self, the more you will learn.
- Finally, when you are ready to come back, bring the attention back to the breath. Slowly bring the awareness back into the room. Open the eyes when it feels right and continue on with your day – possibly in a new light!
I highly encourage you to practice svadhyaya (self-study) daily. Become a self-enthusiast! Become a self-nerd, a self-geek, or whatever you want to call yourself! The more you learn, the easier it will be to take care of and love your Self.