Embrace Your Self

A Mindfulness Examination: Discover A Self-Love And An Inner Peace That You Never Had Before

Column by Kelli Anders, MS, C-IAYT, RYT 500

The third in a series, this article aims to provide you with an understanding of self-love and its foundation of principles.

As we celebrate the concept of lasting love, there is one love that, by its very nature, pervades all others: self-love.

To be clear, self-love is not about self-absorption at the expense of others; it is not based in arrogance. To the contrary, self-love is a prerequisite of healthy relating. It is the foundation upon which love for others is constructed. 

There is a popular saying that goes, “You can’t fill from an empty cup,” which implies that you can’t give what you don’t have — you must give from the overflow. Loving yourself is being in awe of the miracle of your existence and grows, dynamically, through small actions you take to fill your proverbial cup. 

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

— Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

Filling Your Cup

Self-love is an extension of self-trust and self-respect. Besides the traditional self-care tips (i.e., self-massage, journaling, hot bath, creative activity, stretching, organizing), here are a few strategies for filling your cup, with the intention of creating overflow to share with and better serve others:

  Speak kindly to and about yourself. You teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself. What self-image do the words you express toward yourself reflect? Would you speak to or about someone you love and respect with the same words?

  Honor your values and boundaries. Our cups are drained empty when we become too busy to abide in presence — the present moment awareness of what is… what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel — and lose sight of our own needs and desires.

  Embrace your humanness. Meeting yourself where you are means acknowledging your character strengths and weaknesses (taking the bad with the good). Exhibiting self-compassion when your choices lead to inner discord is a demonstration of your innate worthiness of love as a birthright, not something you have to earn.

The Overflow

Instead of perpetually operating from a half-full cup, set an intention to place your attention on filling your cup — and keeping it full, so it easily spills over into others. Building a more loving, trusting relationship with yourself, through actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth, empowers you to make healthier choices in all areas of your life, from relationships to food to finances. The resulting confidence and peace of mind enables you to be more genuinely loving toward others and to be of greater service to the world at large.

Exercise:

What do you most need to hear?

At the end of the day, take a moment to think about or write down those things you most needed to hear from others — whether it be that they love you, admire you, appreciate you, forgive you, that they are sorry or anything else. Recognize that you have the power to give yourself the gift of these words.

Let the influence of these words settle into your state of being, and you will soon enjoy a sense of self-love and inner peace that you never had before.

In 2020, may your cup overfloweth!

Editor’s note: Instructor Kelli Anders holds a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy. With over 1,000 hours of training, she is certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, and a certified Standup Paddleboard (SUP) fitness and yoga instructor. For more, email her at kelli@balancedyogawellness.com.

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