Self Love – A Free Ebook Compiled by Evelyn Lym

Self Love is where I feel true healing begins.  When I heard about Evelyn Lim of Abundance Tapestry‘s ebook project on self love – I knew I had to be a part of it.  17 amazing bloggers share their experiences, thoughts and wise words in this free ebook. I would like to share my post and encourage you to go to Evelyn’s site to download the entire ebook which has some of my favorite online writers featured.


SELF LOVE – by Jenny Mannion


We are truly mirrors reflecting to others what we deeply feel about ourselves.  This reflection shows people how to treat us.  It took me a long time to understand it was not only “okay” to love myself but NECESSARY to love myself if I was to truly be happy. Is it something I have gotten all figured out? Nope. I can say with confidence I DO LOVE MYSELF now (THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME) but UNCONDITIONAL LOVE 100% of the time? THAT is something I am still working on. :-) Falling in love with yourself takes time and some de-programming of past messages. Most of all it takes patience and forgiveness as you begin to peal off layers and reveal the true you waiting to be discovered.


Dis-ease


I spent the better part of seven years ill and diagnosed with several diseases.  Most of that time I was in chronic pain.  It was not easy to love myself when all my messages to myself were of what I could NOT do, COULD not BE and the COUNTLESS WAYS I was failing the people who loved me. Yet if I had friends that were ill or in some distress I would always treat them kindly and remind them to be nice to themselves.  How is it we can be so loving to our friends and family and yet be our own worst enemy?  Doesn’t it make us angry, uncomfortable or sad when we see our loved ones doing the same thing to themselves?


The messages went on and I not only was NOT feeling self love for myself but was pretty close to self hatred.  Definitely “self-dislike”.  “I am weak” “I am sick” “I am a burden”, were just a few of the messages I was replaying in my head. When we begin to awaken we KNOW at soul level we are all perfect… our soul never doubts our perfection. It is our messages we have received since birth from society, our “tribe”, neighbors that form our self esteem and worth. Most of the time we are repeating these messages to ourselves in the background and we are not even hearing them much less experiencing what it is doing to us inside. We might not even consciously believe these messages but it takes HEARING them first to begin to question and then dispel them.


Healing and Falling in Love with Myself


One of my FIRST tools for healing was forgiveness and that HAD TO BEGIN WITH ME.  I hadn’t TOLD myself consciously to become ill or MEANT to get sick.  I repeated the Dr. Deepak Chopra quote often, “You must realize everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness”.  That meant ME TOO.  Consciously I wanted to be well yet I was always repeating these messages saying how sick I was and all I could not do.  I had to forgive myself for whatever caused my illnesses and for not feeling like I was living up to some absurd standard only set by myself.  Forgiving yourself for things you have said, done and/or felt is SO freeing.  I had a very difficult time with this at first and actually needed tools like mantras such as Deepaks and I also practiced the very easy tool of Ho’oponopono to get me there.


Embracing gratitude was my second tool for healing and loving myself.  I needed to tell myself I was grateful to myself for ANYTHING.  I knew all the things I did not like – my aching legs, not being able to drive sometimes, passing out in pain, missing family events and not always being able to take care of my kids the way I wanted.


What COULD I do?  Well, I always showed my kids I loved them and read to them if I could not get out of bed. I was hugely grateful for my family who helped and pitched in. I was grateful I still found my smile even if not as often as I wanted. I was grateful for my friends, my house and that some days I COULD get out of bed and be in minimal pain for a few hours. Writing a list of things I DID like about myself and was GRATEFUL for – for being ME helped me tremendously.


Being Kind and Loving to Ourselves


We can all do wonderful jobs of punishing ourselves. “Oh, I shouldn’t have said that”. “Oh boy did I HAVE to eat that extra cookie – look at those extra pounds coming on” “Really, what a stupid way to react/feel/think”.  I don’t think we would say any of those things to our best friend or a loved one or belittle them for ANYTHING. Practicing self love means cutting yourself some slack.  Telling yourself life is to be experienced not perfected in some way we have told ourselves is the “right” way. If we never “messed up” (according to us) how would we ever know what it meant to feel sorry and ask forgiveness?  If we never got angry and had an argument in our life – we would never know the pleasure and joy of making up. It is ALL perfect and our soul (inner or Higher self) ALWAYS knows that. We need different experiences to LIVE and LEARN.


I have learned to be kinder to myself (MOST of the time). :-) When I do get in a funk of some sort I know it will be short lived and I tell myself that. I experience the emotions, like one of my favorite poems, Rumi says in the amazing poem “The Guest House” and try and understand why I am going through what I am experiencing and what I can possibly learn from the situation.  Sometimes I just let myself sink into that emotion even if it is sadness to EXPERIENCE it.  We are meant to experience emotions not judge them.  Not be ruled by them unconsciously either.  Life changes when we can consciously observe what we are going through rather than be swept up head under water by the current of high tide.


In loving ourselves we attract more goodness and good people to us. In loving ourselves we KNOW we are worthy of all the abundance life has to offer. By loving ourselves we show others how to treat us. By loving ourselves we can move into our full power and be an example to others of how easy and in flow life can really be. Be kind to yourself, know it is all perfect and everything changes in your life when you fall in love with yourself.


I highly encourage you to pick up Evelyn’s amazing ebook compilation of self-love articles. Lance Ekum, from “Jungle of Life” also helped her compile these amazing articles.  Lance and Evelyn have been good friends online for a long while now and I have even had the pleasure of meeting Lance and his beautiful family in person.  Lance and Evelyn exude love and kindness and I am very grateful to have been a part of this project.  Please visit Evelyn’s site and download a copy now.  Thank you. :-)

 

 

The Hearts Clinic

 

In other news, My colleague and good friend, Justin Deichman and I have opened an Energetic Healing Clinic in our community. Please go visit our Facebook Page to find out more. If you are in the New York area, please consider coming by to pay us a visit. This has been an exciting time and we are thrilled to be able to offer this to our community.  Thank you.

 

 


 

 


7 Evidence Based Steps to a Blissful Relationship

It is my pleasure to present a guest post by Mark Tyrell of “Uncommon Help“.  The health of the relationships in our life are very important for our health and wellness.  I agree whole-heartedly with Mark’s steps to maintaining a blissful relationship.  I also LOVE the fact that he backs up his post with research. Thank you Mark for this and to my readers, please make Mark feel welcome by leaving some comments and by adding other tips you use to maintain healthy relationships.


7 Evidence-Based Steps to a Blissful Relationship


Relationships are vital to health and happiness. In fact, a recent Brigham Young University study claims that having a loving, happy relationship and other successful friendships can actually make you healthier and so live longer. And research conducted at Cornell University found that couples in committed romantic relationships tend to be top of the happiness league (1).


But happy relationships don’t just happen. People who are “good at relationships” both do certain things and avoid certain others (2). So here from the world of psychological research are tried, tested, and (thankfully) commonsensical ways to improve any relationship.


1) Follow the 5:1 rule


According to research carried out by Dr John Gottman, for any relationship to remain happy and stable, it needs to follow the rule of five good interactions for every not-so-good one. “Good” could mean a great evening out together, a shared laugh, great sex, a nice chat, an affectionate hug – anything positive. None of us can avoid ever having a negative moment with a long-term partner, but if most of the time we make efforts to maintain the 5:1 rule, the relationship should thrive.


2) Be less critical


Contempt can take many forms: sarcasm, facial expressions of disgust (Dr Gottman found that married women who looked contemptuous when their husbands were talking were six times more likely to be divorced two years later), insults, cursing, and even public humiliation.


Gottman’s research at the “love lab” also found that if criticism was a regular feature of the interaction between partners, then this was a big sign that the relationship wouldn’t last (3). A criticism is defined as an attack on the person’s whole identity. So rather than “I’m angry you didn’t paint the fence as you said you would!” (a specific complaint), a criticism would be an attack on their whole identity: “You didn’t paint the fence! You are such a lazy *******!”


So complain when it’s justified, by all means; but criticize at your relationship’s peril. In fact, good relationships should strengthen the self-esteem of the partners in them. So…


3) Demonstrate your appreciation


Criticizing your partner is humiliating (for both of you), but saying nice things about them is a wonderful thing to do for the strength of the relationship.


People in successful relationships feel appreciated, loved, and respected. Remind your partner of their talents, strengths, and what you love and like about them. One of the first signs that a relationship is breaking down is when one or both partners start feeling that they are no longer appreciated. This is dangerous for any relationship.


4) Say sorry and mean it


Some people seem never to be able to apologize or admit they were wrong. Unfortunately for such people, research has found that these are the ones who are much less likely to ever get married or stay married than those who do learn to apologize once in a while. And the harder divorced and single people found it ever to apologize, the more likely they were to stay single. (4)

Passionate encounters and romantic soirees may bring people together, but respect and compromise will keep them together. And one of the best ways to show respect is to remember to say sorry sometimes.


5) Happily reminisce


One sign of a toxic relationship is when the couple constantly revisit all the bad stuff from the recent, middling, or even distant past. Dragging up everything that ever went wrong – every real or perceived transgression your partner ever made – is a sure and steady way to corrode your relationship, possibly beyond repair. But regularly reminiscing about past romantic times and alluding to them in conversation is a fantastic way of staying bonded.


And according to research, regularly laughing together may be even more powerful. Couples who laugh together and regularly reminisce about funny times tend to be much more satisfied with their relationships (5). Make a point of recalling wonderful times and reliving them with your partner – the funnier the better.


6) Follow Your Love Map


There was an old TV show called Mr. and Mrs. in which the winners of the show (and, as it turns out, the winners in love) were the couples who could ascertain the most about their partners’ likes, dislikes, and responses and reactions to all kinds of things. One partner would go into a soundproof booth whilst the other would be asked questions such as: “What is your partner’s favourite colour? Where in the whole world would they like to go? What would they most like to do on your dream date?” Research (6) has found that knowing the details of your partner’s inner and outer life (whilst allowing for some privacy) makes for a stronger bond and means no one is going to feel insignificant or neglected. So make the effort and let them know you know sometimes.


7) Take time to take time


Prioritize your relationship. Relationships don’t just take care of themselves once “in place”. Just as a garden or even a pet needs regular attention, so too is it important to take time specifically to tend and care for your relationship. I don’t mean to talk endlessly about your relationship, but to do things that naturally strengthen the bond as a by-product of that activity.


If you can afford it, go for regular romantic meals out or even picnics. Dress up for one another. Surprise your partner with tickets for something you know they love. Make time out just for you and your partner. This lets your partner feel they are important enough for you to make them a priority.


And finally, remind your partner often that you do love them. It can be too easy to assume that other people know we care about them and love them; but sometimes it just needs to be said.



Mark Tyrrell writes and records about relationships at his main website where there are over 25 relationship-related downloads. He also works as a hypnotherapist, trainer and blogger and in his spare time plays guitar.

  1. The research was led by Claire Kamp Dush, a postdoctoral fellow with the Evolving Family Theme Project.

  2. See John Gottman’s book, How Marriages Succeed or Fail.

  3. Ibid.

  4. A survey conducted in San Francisco discovered that those who stay happily married are twice as likely to be able and willing to apologize to their partners as divorced or single people are. The survey found happily married people are 25% more likely to apologize first, even if they only feel partially to blame.

  5. The study, conducted by Doris G. Bazzini of Appalachian State University and three of her former students, appears in the January 2007 issue of the journal Motivation and Emotion.

  6. According to research by Dr Gottman, who has studied couples for over two decades at his “love lab” in Seattle.


I REALLY enjoy this post and am so grateful to have it on my blog. Thank you Mark.  I wrote a post a few years back “How to Stay in Love and Help it Grow” and find that you offer a lot of the same advice and then SOME and back it up with research. :-) Being married for 13 years – I CAN attest to these all being valid and strong tips on maintaining a blissful relationship.  I find these especially useful this time of year when the stress of the upcoming holidays can sometimes cause extra tension around a household.  Please leave some comments and tell us how YOU maintain blissful relationships.

The Love List Project – It is Healing to Say What You Love and WHY

rainbowsAs people who know me are aware, I LOVE “LOVE”.  I was extremely touched when I heard about “The Love List Project”. The premise is simple; think and share what you love and WHY. The WHY adds another dimension and this project had me thinking a LOT this week.  In saying WHY you love something you not only connect with that person/thing more deeply but you also shine light on your inner self.   It is healing to concentrate on  what you love in your life and why. This project inspired me so much that I wrote a poem about SOME of the things/people I love and why.  Thanks to my friend Lance, from Jungle of Life for sharing this wonderful idea by Kristin Tennant.  If people took the time to think about these things weekly in their life as  proposed what a truly beautiful world it would be.

The Love List Project — Background

As I mentioned, I heard about this first through Lance, at “Jungle of Life“, in his post “What is Love, Really”.  Lance highlighted that it was Kristin Tennant from “Halfway to Normal” that this project began with, in “The Love List Project“.  Kristin asks that every Friday you go to her post and share part of your list there or you can share your list on twitter by posting with the #lovelist hashtag.  I feel this is a brilliant idea.  If we all took even a few minutes one day a week to reflect on some of the things and/or people we love and why it would put us in a place of love and gratitude surely radiating outwards to others. Thank you Lance and Kristin.  Following is a poem I was inspired to write after hearing about this project. I would encourage all my readers to also do this exercise — boy does it make you feel GOOD!

My Poem

What do I Love and Why?: A Poem Inspired by The Love List Project

What do I love and why?
What a revealing question to pose.
As I delve deeper into my list
my love for each deepens and grows.

The first thing that flashes to mind is family.
My immediate and extended who are ALL gold.
I love them all for their individuality
the special gifts they each offer and hold.

I love the friends in my life
they are true, honest and fun.
Whether talking, walking or just “being”
I feel their presence is a prize I have won.

I have always loved dancing
belly dance, yoga dance, modern and more.
It transports me and makes me feel alive
a sense of being grounded yet floating over the floor.

I love the promise of rainbows
their hues shining brightly through the wet.
They show life always has colors and promise
even in times when you feel stagnant or spent.

I love cross country skiing.
Getting out in the cold to move.
Winter can make me feel shut in
skiing gets me back in my groove.

I love laughing and being silly
whether it is with my kids, friends or hubby, Ray.
It loosens up any tightness in my physical body
makes any stress melt quickly away.

I love being in the moment
the joy of being present and here.
I can reflect on what I am grateful for
eliminate any worry or fear.

I love walks in my local park
the comfort of being surrounded by fields and woods.
Feeling the current season so strongly
it is impossible not to feel good!

I love reading other’s writing
whether it is fictional or true.
It educates and takes me
to knowledge and places I never knew.

I love writing my thoughts down
whether it is privately or right here.
It allows me to contact my inner self
make my thoughts and feelings real clear.

I love the practice of Reconnective healing
because it turns up our intuition real loud.
When we turn inwards and listen to our inner self
we do things that make ourselves proud.

I love waking up each morning
lying still silently saying what I am grateful for.
Each day brings miracles and blessings
another day means the promise of more.

I love saying what I love
and reflecting on why.
It fills me with tears of gratitude
gives me a powerful natural high.

Conclusion

Declaring what you love and explaining WHY can empower you.  It allows you to concentrate on the GOOD — no, make that AMAZING in your life. So many times people get trapped into thinking about what ISN’T good or what ISN’T working. This is a simple exercise to shift into a place of love and gratitude.  I hope my readers will take the time to leave their own list here, at Lance’s or at Kristin’s blog.  Also you can follow Lance, Kristin and myself on Twitter and use the #lovelist hashtag to tell us what YOU love and WHY. Thank you Lance and Kristin for the inspiration this week and for helping me stay in a place of love.