Do you value yourself?

I am reflecting on a conversation I had with a lovely friend recently. I heard in her voice a yearning, a desire to feel deeply understood and loved. I recognize that longing; it is profoundly human. We all want to be appreciated for who we are, and we want to feel valued and seen.

At the same time, we forget to attend to what we want when we are in the habit of giving to others. We may see ourselves as valuable only when we are giving, achieving or being productive. Social conditioning may tell us we are incomplete unless we have a certain kind of relationship. Certainly advertising makes it clear that we need something outside ourselves to feel complete.

But what if we could recognize the deeply abundant creators and nurturers that we all are, deep at our cores? What if we could truly see our value, and that we offered to ourselves opportunities to “play” with those joys within us more?

Who could help but love and value that face?

I am guessing what would happen is that we would see radical transformation in the world. If we could all truly appreciate the beauty within us, and the lightness and completeness of our beings at a soul level, entire systems of oppression would crumble.

This is one reason why I enjoy the process of coaching. Most of us have blind spots to our own potential that are hard to see in ourselves. We may not be able to unpack some of the beliefs that hold us back from appreciating our amazing qualities.

Once we start start to value ourselves, we begin scheduling activities that nurture us and keep us balanced. We spend time with the people who give us energy and those who reflect our light back to us. We begin to act from love rather than fear. When we are in love with our lives, we seem to emit some type of vibration that attracts others as well.

So it might be worthwhile to ask yourself not and then: how am I honoring and valuing myself? Are there ways I can nurture myself more fully, so that I can live well and give to others also?

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Yoga for over-thinkers Week 3 – Asteya

Asteya, the third of the Yamas of yoga is about living with integrity and reciprocity in our lives. It is about noticing the abundance of each moment, so we have no need to “steal” from it by obsessing about the past or worrying about the future.

In the same vein, asteya challenges us to work for what we want by building our competence. The Sanskrit word adikara refers to the right to know or the right to have. The concept is about exercising our intention and our practices in order to align those goals and desires responsibly. Our adikara helps maintain the “container” for what we receive in our lives.

calvin-during-savasana.jpg
My cat Calvin joins in during my Tuesday savasana practice. He knows when Mom is blissed out and cozy. 

When we are on a path that honors our greater sense of purpose in the world, we have no need to envy other’s accomplishments. We can feel joy on their behalf, as we acknowledge universal possibilities for success. We can feel curious about others and excited to connect and learn from them.

Practicing asteya can help us understand how to lift others up without putting ourselves down. Of course, it is always important to keep the first two yamas of ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (truthfulness) as a foundation to this practice.

At times we steal from our own energy when we feel compelled to work beyond our needs for rest, for example. We then risk working beyond healthy boundaries, and not honoring our truth in needing replenishment. This can arise from a scarcity mindset.

When we live in our own abundance, we notice just how many beautiful gifts surround us. Whether they are parks, libraries, forests, lakes or rivers, these gifts represent grace that we do not earn. We can contemplate how to live in reciprocity with this beautiful earth that we will steward for our collective future.

And on to design some practices to embody this concept. Did I mention how much I love teaching?   🙂

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cristy@meximinnesotana.com