Sometimes I feel like I’m in a race. In the last few days, I have become aware of how I’m stressing more than just myself out as I hurry to get the child ready for school in the morning, or for bed at night. As I run to get the organic food from the market and then chop chop, prepare it tasty and healthy and fresh for us to eat. As I rush to get the dishes done, the laundry washed and folded, the house cleaned. As I struggle to keep my hands and feet rooted and connected in my passions and my job that I care about so much. As I commit to self care and make sure that I chant and meditate and move my body…

 

FUCK! I’m stressing out everyone around me! And with this rush rush rush, chop-chop attitude, I don’t actually get more done…

 

After a good cry this morning, realizing that I have been stressing my child, my husband, and my mom who is visiting right now, I took a moment to receive this uncomfortable revelation. It wasn’t easy to admit to myself that it’s not their fault, and it’s not because they are all so slow, but really it’s my own inner state. I took a deep breath, and I exhaled slowly, with the intention to release the painful load of self-loathing that was making its way through my whole being. I took another breath in and invited self acceptance. And another breath out to relax my body into my own receptivity.

 

I wanted to curl into a little ball and get in bed and cry some more. But A) I don’t have time for this, and B) Self pity won’t help.

 

When I realize something about myself that isn’t so easy to look at, I have the opportunity to self-reflect. It’s not always easy to see myself. But when I do, I can begin to recognize myself as human. A human being who is doing her best. With this awareness, I can make an effort to shift my behavior. If I beat myself up about it, I will just feel shitty. And that’s not going to help me be more loving or less stressed. So I take another breath and receive my imperfections, and I exhale to let go of the expectation to be perfect.

 

This simple moment of breathing with awareness through the process of realization, reflection, and recognition, is a way to practice Self-Love. And you know what?! It usually helps me bring a more patient, accepting, and loving engagement to my relationships with my loved ones.

 

When I planned the Valentine’s Day workshop I’m about to teach this Sunday, I didn’t realize that I was actually planning to offer the very same practice that I need to receive myself. I knew my mom was gonna be here, and I wanted to teach a workshop with restorative poses, because I thought it would be really good for her. Ha! It’s funny how we project sometimes.

 

In the midst of the intense, fast rhythm of my life, the last thing I want to do is to allow myself to slow down. Slow down?! Sounds like crazy talk! But sometimes what I might need more than anything is a moment to take a deeper breath, put my body close to the earth, and give myself the nourishing gift of accepting myself.

 

Do you resonate with this? How do you practice self love? Comment below and share your tricks.