52! Weeks, that is. By this time, next year, you could feel happier and lighter. More joyous and peaceful. More at home in the world. Less stressed and more comfortable in your life. You could find yourself transformed and at ease. Made over, in effect, yet with feelings of love and compassion for the person you “used” to be.
We know that lasting change seldom occurs overnight. If too much is expected, most of us are destined to become frustrated. We just give up. It is easy to make resolutions that are far too ambitious at this time of year, the new year. So be easy with yourself. Little by little, week by week, see how you feel. If you skip a lesson or decide it’s not resonating with you, just keep reading the weekly lessons and see if something strikes you.
It won’t take a year for you to notice that you are changing. It begins the minute you decide to start. Like NOW! And whatever happens, this plan does not have any space for guilt or self judgment. It is not designed to harp at you or castigate you. It is here to offer gentle and nurturing ideas that are easy to embrace in short periods of time. You will see that there will be an array of choices and types of ideas that you can choose to implement on your own. Even choosing a few and then following them continually, yet easily, will afford tangible results.
What you will read here is the result of my more than twenty five years of teaching yoga and spiritual practices, of working with numerous students who wished to feel happier, stronger, better able to cope with their lives. My work is also personal. I have probably been where you have been – discouraged, afraid, disheartened, grieving and alternatively – joyous, happy, hopeful, and full of love. We humans are all the same in this regard. At the core of our being, we search for the same things. I have been blessed to meet certain people, read and understand spiritual texts spanning yoga, Christianity, Buddhism, the Sufi branch of Islam, Judaic writings. Somehow, the wisdom in those writings merged into one simple understanding about Divine Love. From that Source of Divine Love, these writings are being shared.
Each week, I will offer tangible methods you can employ in your daily life. They may engage thoughts and affirmations, breathing methods and body movement, or using your senses to experience the world differently. They will be easy, I promise, yet they will emanate from profound spiritual teachings. And I will want to know what you think and how you feel. We will share and guide and teach each other. All of this process will be bathed in love, gratitude, and acceptance.
Here we go!. This is a lesson on love, my favorite topic. Try this: Say to yourself “I love myself completely now.” Say it on the hour. Say it before sleep and on rising. Say it when the phone rings or the dog barks. Say it when someone says something upsetting or when you do something you wish you hadn’t. Find a cue to remember those words. Write it down and put it on a sticky note where you can see it. No one else needs to see it. Say it even if you are saying it by rote. Even if you find it hard to believe.
This lesson on love is one of the most popular topics in my yoga classes. I always tell my students about this: One of my best friends, a kindred spiritual “sister” and artist, told me this story: She was teaching a special children’s art class at the ashram (a spiritual monastery) where she lived. Her guru (spiritual teacher) requested that she take on this task of teaching the children. As the class ended, the children’s parents arrived. It was my friend’s responsibility to inform them of what had been taught in the class. When she began to speak to tell them, only gobbledygook came out of her mouth. Try as she might, she could make no sense. They stared at her in amazement. She grew embarrassed and then felt like a fool. To make matters worse, she felt that she had disappointed everyone, especially her guru. Afterward, she sat in meditation, looking for answers. Then the answer came! She was to take out a sheet of paper and write and say, “I love myself completely now,” over and over again until she knew it to be true. Until the pain and humiliation subsided and until she remembered that there was NEVER a reason to do anything but love herself completely.
Now, you can do this. Even when you are ashamed or lost or fearful. Let the words sink into your heart. The love will move through you and around you. You will call forth potent powers of love to surround you. But you must say it, silently or out loud. All week-long.
In Believe in Love, Swami Gurumayi Chidvilasananda said:
The great devotional scriptures of India teach us that to cultivate and purify our experience of love is a sadhana, a genuine spiritual path. On this path, the means is love and the goal, again, is love.
I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW! Say it and see what happens.
Next week: Lesson Two. Stay tuned and spread the word to anyone who might like to be lighter and happier in their life. The more the merrier. It is my gift to you and you can gift others. Share on Facebook or to your address book. Please let the Love flow…
With love and namaste from Deanne
For more teachings, go to: www.deannemincer.com