Loving you first
I am sure that you, like me, have many people that depend on you. There are many people that need you to show up for them every day. Colleagues, and children, and friends, and parents and spouses all look to you to help make them full.
There is a saying that you can’t give from an empty cup. When you are drained, exhausted, depleted or discouraged, those feeling are blotting out your ability to share your light with the world. And hiding your light is the true disservice to those around you. You have something unique to say and to show. Maybe it is in your work, or in parenthood, or as a friend? Maybe it is just the smile you share with the barista at Starbucks every day. Your light has a ripple effect, bringing light in to the world of others.
And for that reason, it should be part of all of our practice to feel full each day. And to ask ourselves what we need to feel that sense of fullness, that sense of being nourished, that state of being loved. Perhaps it is a moment in nature, perhaps it is a call with a friend, perhaps it is a few minutes in meditation, perhaps it is a long bath at the end of the day.
I’ve been working on a practice. When I have a few moments in the shower, in between my kids banging on the glass door, I focus on telling myself I love myself as I touch my body. Instead of rubbing the soap on my skin as quickly as possible, and only noticing the parts of my body that are saggy or imperfect, actively telling myself, in a whisper, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” It’s an edge for me. I am so used to looking at my body with the eye of a critic, or to rushing as quickly as possible from activity to activity. But, I started to ask myself, what if … what if I could do things a little differently?
It is so easy for me to hold my babies in my arms and to shower them with kisses, to brush the hair from their brows and to tell them that they are beautiful, amazing, and loved. So, what if I did just a little of that for myself?
And you know what, it has shifted things a little bit. Instead of focusing on the sagging skin on my stomach after having two babies, I can spend just a moment focusing on the lovely way my waist turns in to my hips. And more than that, I can remember that my big, beautiful heart is the source of love for many people around me.
If some of the services we offer at Sonata can help you care for and love yourself, then we have succeeded in our mission of spreading light and loving kindness far and wide.
With all self-love, the ultimate idea is to realize that we are always full, and to radiate our light from that divine place. I think even the greatest sages, even the Dali Lama, isn’t always in that place. There is always room to be more connected, more in love with life. But, as is said in the Ancient Vedic (Indian) spiritual book, the Upanishads:
All that is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.