“The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.” ~Gandhi
If I asked you when was the last time you were kind to yourself, what would you say? Would you even remember? I know that there are days when I don’t remember if I was ever kind to myself. The inner gremlins are always struggling to make you think that “being kind to yourself” it selfish.
I am here to tell you that that is so WRONG!
Whether you grew up in a house with demanding parents or would strive every day to meet someone else’s expectations, somewhere along the way, you lost what it was like to be kind to yourself. You became a slave to expectations and now it is time to change that and be kind to YOU!
#1: Change How You Treat Yourself
I know that it is easier said then done. I’ve been there and on some days am still there. Can’t imagine being nice to yourself – why not begin by expressing kindness to someone or something you love such as a pet (or a someone special). Easy right? Don’t you deserve the same treatment? Try this mantra:
May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be held in loving-kindness. May I realize loving-kindness as my essence.
OR write one of your own. Then practice saying it. Start by repeating it for thirty seconds. Embrace the feelings that the words invoke. The longer that you can embrace these feelings, the quicker you’ll reap the benefits. Start and end your day with these to see what a difference in makes in your life.
#2: What You Say Limits You
Maybe on the surface, you are being nicer to yourself, but deep down that inner gremlin is judging you. It’s true – we judge, and we label, sometimes without even realizing it. What we do to other people is the same thing we do to ourselves.
So every time you have a negative label for someone, come up with at least six different reasons that would stop that label. It isn’t easy. The truth is if you can be less judgmental toward other people, you can do the same for yourself.
#3: What You Say Can Belittle You
When was the last time you said “How could I be so stupid? ” or, “OMG what a screw-up! Could I not make a bigger mess of things? ” or, “Why do I do this to myself? I’m such an idiot!” This is all about not meeting your own personal expectations and how you react.
Despite my best efforts, my inner gremlins love beating me up for every mistake, failure, or setback, real or imagined. Then a little angel voice screams, “Not being very kind to yourself, are you?”
SMACK! The reality hits that nothing is a total failure. There is always something to be positive about. Find it in whatever the situation is. Replace those harsh words with positive thoughts. By doing so, you will change those demanding expectations.
These small changes are so powerful. They help you stop being a victim of your own expectations and allow you to treat yourself kinder. You realize that judging other people is so closely aligned with the labels and limitations we put on ourselves. Seeing the positives in what may appear as a failure will allow you to cut yourself some slack.
Change is hard! Changing behaviors are challenging. The truth is, if I can do this, you certainly can!
It all begins with a practice taking less than a minute, six times a day showering yourself with loving-kindness.
It’s easy to start. It’s easy to do. Just repeat after me:
“May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be held in loving-kindness. May I realize loving-kindness as my essence.”
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day