It starts with love

Before we begin this post, I’d like you to do something.  Wherever you are reading this right now, take a minute, just a single minute, and do this.

Close your eyes.  Rest your hands in your lap, if you’re sitting.  As you inhale, raise your hands slowly, palm upward, like you are scooping up water.  Scoop up energy in your cupped hands.  As your hands come up above your heart, tip them toward you, to pour that energy over your heart.  Bring your hands onto your heart, one over the other.  Press gently, to push that energy into yourself.

Keep your hands there for a moment.  Give yourself that moment, that energy.  Give yourself love.

Hand to Heart – a video demonstration of this practise.

Do it again, if you’d like.  I’ll wait for you.

Now… how do you feel?  Maybe a little silly, but under that self-consciousness… under that worry that someone saw you… under that discomfort of unfamiliarity… how do you feel?  How does your heart feel?

This is a practise from qi gong, used to bring healing and compassionate energy to the heart as a conscious act of self-love.

All the things we do to take care of our bodies, minds and spirits are acts of self-love.  Bathing, grooming, dressing and adorning our bodies, exercise, feeding ourselves… these are all acts of self-love.

When you are hungry, your body is expressing to you a need.  Think of your body as a partner, a friend, a loved one.  When your loved one expresses to you a need, how do you respond?  Do you give your loved one the bare minimum to shut them up and get them to leave you alone?  Or do you focus on fulfilling that need in a joyous, loving manner?  Your body does so much for you, every moment… so many wonderful things!  Breathing… heart beat… sensation… thought… senses with which to take in beauty.  Treat it with love, and it will love you in return.

It is all too easy for us to push aside our own wants – and even needs – in favour of someone else’s.  The demands of work, school, family, friends, what have you can all pile up, leaving us feeling frazzled, panicked trying to get it all done, and too often, we put our own needs at the bottom of our to-do lists.  But we cannot serve others from an empty well.  We must take the time to replenish our energy in order to be the best we can be in every moment.

Part of how we do that is through the care for our bodies.  But it has to start with love.

Negativity saps our will.  Shame drags us down.  Anger may fuel our fires, but not with higher purpose.  Only love tells us that anything is possible, that we are capable and worthy of great things.

As you show yourself more love and kindness, you will find that you begin to unfold, to blossom.  You respond to that love with increased confidence, greater energy, more vitality.

Love is like the sunshine on a flower.  The radiant light of love helps us to blossom into our most authentic selves.

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