Learn to be present for yourself, entirely present in ways that are innovative and pleasurable. Be present for your thoughts and emotions. Be present for the peaceful way in which your heart and body lead you on. Learn to be fully present for each step of your growth, each step of your unique journey.
Take better care of yourself. Let go of driving yourself, depriving yourself, not being gentle and loving with yourself. Release punishing, criticizing, repressing and denying yourself and your distinctive ways of being in the world. Survival is no longer enough. It has never met the needs of your heart and soul. The harder you push, the more you relentlessly demand perfection, the worse you'll feel, so become willing to let it all go and open up to the new.
Honor Yourself. Honor who you are, what you think and feel, and how you evolve. It's time to become silent and consciously feel the longing of your spirit to live a fulfilling and joyful life. To do that, you must learn to be present for yourself.
Seek and find peace. Give yourself permission to lighten up and settle down. Your body reacts to what's around and within you in many ways. Your body is like a sponge; it can absorb healing energy or soak up and trap the negative energy of stress and tension. Connect with your body. Explore different options for learning to relax like therapeutic massage, prayer and meditation, exercise, lounging in a hot Epson salt and lavender oil bath, energy work or healing breathwork.
Give yourself a much-needed break by setting aside10-15 minutes for a routine of basic yoga stretches. Any of these alternatives will off-set the accumulated tension and ease your body into a state of greater relaxation where you can simply focus on enjoying the moment.
Take time to play. Let yourself have some FUN! Revive your imagination: jump on the bed, make mud pies, blow bubbles, or jump rope. Do the things that you loved to do when you were a little one. When you reawaken the child within by playing every day, you will become reacquainted with your youthful pizzazz.
Look for the positive! What's right about you, people in general, and the atmosphere of your small corner of the globe? What's genuine? What's optimistic or upbeat? What's pleasing? What's feels good? Focus until you can see it all clearly. Let your whole being shift into a state of awareness where all is well.
Believe in miracles. Become aware of how each moment is really a miraculous gift and that in reality there are many reasons to feel grateful and blessed. Recognize that miracles are on all sides of you in the seemingly ordinary and unnoticed days that slip past. There is even a miracle in each breath you take, so treasure it and all the rest.
Fall in love with yourself. Be nurturing, tender, kind and attentive. Take time throughout each day to tend to your needs, just as you would tend to someone you loved dearly and deeply. Loving and caring for yourself this way won't waste time. It's not a delay. When you allow yourself to bask in conscious care-taking, your body relaxes and your spirit soars. Taking better care of yourself permits life's magic to return. Your life will improve. Through your own self-love, you'll feel better, cared for, nurtured, comforted, and adored.
Be present for life ─ for the starlit skies, ocean waves, and the silky breeze that accompanies the morning sunrise. Be present for the soft earth beneath your feet, for the feel of raindrops as they splash on your upturned face. Be present for the enchantment and mysteries of the universe. But most of all, be present for yourself. Then, your presence for others and life will naturally follow.
Special Note: This article was published in Natural Awakenings Magazine in the September 2014 issue.