For all those of you who have been reading my blog, you may be familiar with a category on my blog titled ‘Life Enhancers‘. My book 35 Life Enhancers is an extension of that category where I offer life affirming words in the form of prayers, affirmations and poems.
It has been a desire of mine that our children grow up on a healthy dose of affirmations and adults take a shot at renewing their inner voice from being harsh/critical to being kind/encouraging.
In writing this book I have drawn inspiration from the works of Dr. Masuru Emoto, Louise Hay and Deborah King.
The whole creative and publishing process took me 2 linear years but I feel like the creative process works on non linear time and takes form when it intuitively feels right.Am sure many of you are familiar with what I am talking about here.
I am excited to share my work of art with the whole world and hope everyone finds it valuable and useful as it is intended to be. I have kept it short and simple considering our increasingly lowering attention spans:) Some of the readers of this book have mentioned to me that they found the book to be positive, warm, uplifting and that they read an affirmation everyday before going to bed. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than hearing that!
You do not need to be perfect for anybody. We let a lot of people influence our lives and believe it or not they become our inner voice. Sadly enough, not all of these are loving voices.
2) Learn to say NO
Understand your emotional, physical and mental boundaries. Respect yourself enough to say NO to requests or assert your disagreement. People pleasing is one of the fastest ways to get into a vicious cycle of hurt, blame and burn out.
3) ME time
Boston White Flower
Give yourself some time in a day/week where you engage in an activity that helps you recharge/rejuvenate. It could simply be an hour of listening to your favorite music, taking a walk, etc.
4) Stay away from Toxic environments
You know it when a certain friend, relative does not mean well for you. Try and limit your time with such people and environments where you do not feel loved/respected.
5) Reframing your criticisms
Find a way to reframe the critical remarks you subject yourself to into statements that are loving, affirmative and non-judgmental. For example: Criticism: I just cannot do anything right. Counter this statement with a fact saying: This is not true since I was recently complimented at work for my presentation. Reframe: I am generally good at work and just need to improve on my report making skills.
6) What’s in your goodiebag?
As you spend time collecting all the negative remarks, make an effort to identify atleast 3 good things to counter one negative remark. Any and all the compliments you have every received need to be respected. Learn to pat yourself when you have kept your calm during a stressful situation or kept your commitment towards ME time.
One of the easiest ways is to begin with using the stem ‘I am’ followed by any thing you wish to grow in yourself.Remember to repeat this as often as you can. No harm repeating the good stuff, right? We have enough of negatives coming our way and most of us aren’t kind to ourselves.
Ex: I am loved.
I am beautiful.
I am successful in achieving my goals.
I love my job.
The road to Loving and Respecting yourself begins with making room for understanding and accepting yourself with a kindness that you would extend to a friend or your child.
Happy Self Loving:)
Mind-Body connection: According to Energy Medicine, the third chakra located in the solar plexus region governs self esteem issues, our comfort/discomfort with our personal power, choosing to blame or assume responsibility and move forward. It is yellow in color. The physical organs connected to the health of this chakra are liver, gall bladder, pancreas, diaphragm, spleen, stomach and kidneys.
I am beginning this blog with a confession for a change.Here it goes..
Airing laundry, Mumbai
I spend a lot of my time denying my humanly flaws and limitations. Somewhere I nurture a belief that I am superior to others or better than others in some ways. Where I learned that from? Well, I will give myself credit for some personal work I did through self reflection and seeking feedback from people whom I placed at a pedestal. For the most part of my life ( just so you know..I am not 50 years old) I have also been what many people understand as a ‘spiritual seeker’. During my associations with several spiritual organizations and teachers I believed that I was being ‘good’ and doing ‘good’ by being of service to people in different ways. I was almost convinced that I did not have much stuff to process and that I was just a few meditations away from having a ‘halo’ around my head ( I smile as I write this). My life was hunky dory until some relationships mirrored my stuff to me i.e. rigidity, ‘I am right and you are not’, extend your wisdom only when asked. My intention in writing this here is to say that today I am willing to acknowledge my own ‘shadows’ or ‘ego issues’. I have often found myself irritated and frustrated when I have projected my issues onto other people which in itself has been a learning process. Phew! An example of a epiphany would be that I may be available to help another person in some kind of distress with insights/tools/experiences/ways to better themselves etc etc..but every individual has a choice to not accept my offering at that point. Also, I may not necessarily be everyone’s ‘teacher’ ( there’s that dreaded word). I have had to learn to hold back and offer myself only when asked. Believe me, it’s a very hard lesson. Why am I writing all of this? Today while I was in the gym, I stumbled upon the idea of relating the process of washing clothes in a washing machine / manually to our internal cleansing process if you will. Bear with me as I describe this mundane process: we take our dirty laundry, insert in a machine, choose the spin cycle depending on how dirty the clothes are or the nature of the fabric, add detergent and let the cleaning begin. The inherent assumption here is that we recognize we have some dirty laundry. If we refuse to see it (and I have lived with some roommates who stunk the rooms with their laundry…digressed, ok), it keeps piling up and the stench grows. Assuming we are fairly reasonable people, we take our laundry and begin the process of cleaning. Our detergent is our external cleaning agent to intensify the process and our helpers are the adjustments in the cycles. My aha moment happened when I thought…there is a point in the cleaning process when the dirt coexists with the cleaning. These are simultaneous occurrences and over a period of time and effort, the dirt gets washed off. Beep, beep!!! In my personal life, I have found relationships to be instrumental in highlighting my dirty laundry. It does take a couple of blows in different intensities to identify and acknowledge – ‘my bad’, ‘ I am wrong’ and the likes. I know it in my body when I am trying to deny something that has come up for me. I become defensive, feel tight in my shoulders and breathe shallow. Some individuals tend to use guilt and shame towards themselves to which I can say today ‘hey..whatever works for you’. However I love myself too much to put myself through that ‘spin’ and I tend to choose a gentle cycle. Interestingly enough, I am now fairly comfortable acknowledging my flaws and find it easier to relax knowing that ‘both are needed’ i.e. the dark and the light (I thought of the Chinese yin-yang symbol while writing this).As I work on my strengths and increase my capacity to be aware of my limitations, I need to sit with some level of discomfort on a daily basis. I can also say that ‘this is just a part of being human’. As I accept myself better, it will also reflect in the nature of my relationships. As is said in some schools of thought, once your awareness has increased, you cannot be the same person as you were. Our external cleaning agents which we can use could be journaling, meditation, talking to a friend, personal coaching and just being open to that inner voice that exists in all of us. Isn’t it much easier to be in the flow..instead of holding on to dirt and adding unwanted weight!So..what do you need to clean up? Hahaha.