A Day of Self-Love
If I asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it be before you tell me yourself?
In our society we are not allowed to self-love. We may be labelled selfish, narcissistic or self-obsessed. It is better to give than to receive, right? well yes, but if the vessel is empty, what have you to give?
I believe that love starts with self. To love others with true compassion and understanding, we need to be in touch with who we are and love ourselves flaws and all. This is no easy feat, we are conditioned from an early age and bombarded with negativity and other peoples issues. I read that by the age of 5 you have learned 50% of who you are, through the influence of our carers, our experiences and society. That is quite a scary thought, and only one reason why I have spent the last few years of my life learning to unlearn.
Like most of you, there is a lot going on in my life at the moment. I have a new marriage to care for, a job to perform, I have a court case looming (which honestly scares me), I have hospital appointments for niggling health issues, bills to pay, blah, blah, blah, ad-infinitum. A lot of this I hand over to the universe (the unlearning of the learning has sent me in this direction) but of course there are days when you grab it back, like a comforter, and unfortunately, as much as I like to live with my spirituality, I cannot escape the shouting client on the phone or the moaning contractor. Therefore, I have been feeling a little lack lustre for a few weeks and desperately in need of some time out.
I have a daily practice of yoga, to this I have also added meditation, but when the opportunity came to spend a full day in a relaxing atmosphere, with a yoga teacher I love and respect, and a few other like minded women, I was in. Then I was out. I checked my bank balance and in order for me to be sensible and adult I honestly did not have the spare cash. So I threw it out there “if I am meant to go to this retreat, you need to find me the money”.
That week Esra came into some money he wasn’t expecting, he gave me half, told me he loved me and told me to book. I was elated.
When I first moved to Dorset I was looking to pick up Yoga classes again and came across The Jewel of Yoga (JOY), it was at this class that I met the beautiful soul Kristy. I like to think that we are now friends, she is a woman I have an immense amount of love and respect for. Kristy practices a different type of yoga to that which I had become accustomed to during my years on the mat. Most large studios teach a very athletic type of yoga and very often it is taught purely as an excellent work out which both strengthens and makes flexible your body. Kristy teaches a mixture of three styles which she has learned over her training Sivananda, Viniyoga and Zen Yoga. She keeps her classes small and therefore has the ability to work with people as individuals and address particular concerns. I know that she also teaches yoga as a therapeutic class to mentally and physically challenged children and using this more individualistic approach has seen wonderful transformations in those children.
When the day arrived I actually woke up in a bad place. My ups and downs are quite pronounced at the moment, I’m thinking I have a mixture of withdrawal and menopause which is never going to be a good combination. My head was not where it should have been for a day of Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Chanting and Singing Bowls. Esra was all bouncy, knowing that I had been looking forward to this day, so I hid from him how I really felt, which was pretty crappy to be honest, because I didn’t want to dint his joy. He was so happy that he had been able to give me something I really wanted, the last thing he needed to know was that I didn’t really feel like going!
The day started with our yoga practice. I know Kristys teaching style now and therefore knew what to expect. Things progressed much as anticipated in this session and I enjoyed our movement with breath. It is actually amazing how tiring standing up straight can be. Planting your feet evenly on the ground, ensuring you are even throughout each side of your body, your head stacked over your heart, over your hips, over your feet. Just try it. Consciously stand up with shoulders relaxed for 5 minutes and see how you feel.
I started feeling a little anxious and insecure late morning, I had messaged Es earlier to tell him I loved him and he hadn’t picked up my message. I had then received a message from the wine delivery company to say no-one was in and they would attempt to deliver again tomorrow. Those little voices in my head started piping up…why did he really pay for you to be out of the house all day? where was he when he said he wasn’t going out? you know, those horrid little critters that whisper? Unfortunately for me, they are a side show for my anxiety and only really appear when I am not feeling good….just to twist the knife. With much mental effort I dismissed them and tried to concentrate on the rest of the morning.
Kristy explained our Chakras to us and the energy or life-force which flows through each of us. We did some chanting to concentrate on each Chakra and then Kristy gave each of us a small Reiki session. Reiki is about channelling the life force energy through an individual and is an ancient Japanese spiritual healing technique. I have been toying with the idea of getting a Reiki massage for a long while, but again, it is not a financial priority for me, so I was curious when Kristy came to me to lay hands. I had specifically allowed myself to have no pre-concieved ideas about what I would feel, or what it would be. However, I will admit to being a little disappointed when I never felt anything. I thought maybe I would feel some release? or bliss? the same oneness feelings I get with my meditation, but I didn’t. And then, after Kristy moved over to the next lady I started to get that churning anger in my belly. Taz had reared his head and I was finding it very difficult to lie still and relax, I needed to get up, I needed to get out into the fresh air, I couldn’t lay here feeling like this!
I searched the internet later because I was really curious about that physical outburst. It turns out that you can have anger after Reiki, its not all bliss and zen relaxation. It made sense to me that I may have some residual anger issues for a number of reasons, and this has therefore become something I need to work on and within my spiritual journey.
We had a beautifully prepared lunch, vegetarian, of course, which Es thought was highly amusing, but to be honest I am quite happy to eat like that. After lunch we worked on some guided meditation. All snuggled on our mats and under our blankets, eyes closed, warm and toasty, it was divine. Needless to say I woke up with a start, hearing Kristy say “now pull that box in and place it on your heart”… thinking, what box? last thing I knew we were walking up a grassy hill!! You would think I am embarrassed about this, but I’m not actually, it is a compliment to Kristy. I DO NOT sleep anywhere but in my bed. I do not fall asleep on the sofa whilst watching a film. I do not fall asleep on the train or the plane or as a passenger in the car on a long journey. I do not fall asleep anywhere I do not feel in control, safe and secure…period!
I went home that evening to a loving husband who was pleased to see me before he shot off to work. I continued my evening self-love with a warm bath and a wholesome home made vegetable soup. I snuggled down with the cats and watched a favourite film and fell asleep in complete bliss.
The day was a reflection of my life at the moment, sometimes anxious and chaotic, punctuated with feelings of bliss and relaxation. Good days are very good, bad days, well, less said the better really.
I am loving my journey of self-discovery in all its forms and I hope to be reporting to you soon that the daily practice of yoga, meditation and my spiritual enlightenment journey are revealing a much less stressed person than at the start.