Self-Love Means Creating Space: Time, Physical, Mental
By: Angie Eldred | gatheredandgrownbotanicals.com
When I reflect on my journey toward self appreciation and my practice of self love I continue to come back to the notion of creating space.
I was first introduced to this concept when I began practicing yoga. Teachers would lead us through a series of lunging poses to create space in our hips or backbends to create space in our hearts. The visualization of stretching to open new areas in my physical body took root and I began to see how this applied to my mental and emotional bodies as well.
I practice self love in an effort to live my most authentic life. A life lived true to my heart, my values, my intuition; a life filled with honest and meaningful relationships; a life that supports continued growth and learning, and feeds and follows my passions.
My practice of self love looks like creating space in my life and in myself to listen and explore who I really am, and to accept and fully embrace my true authentic self.
Space in time:
I create space for myself in my schedule and daily life to be alone. The introvert in me values solitude, and the quietness it affords me to tune into my own thoughts and rhythms. Time alone allows for my own inner dialogue to process the thoughts, feelings and ideas swirling through my head on a daily basis, and to check in on my current mental, emotional and physical status. Often I find these moments of solitude by simply waking up just a half hour early to sit with a cup of tea, or going outside with the dog first thing in the morning and taking a short stroll around the yard.
I create space for my body, and I honour the vessel of strength and power that it is. In our culture we are so often told that we should seek to occupy less space, by working to carve ourselves into smaller bodies. I’m learning to stop fighting my body to make it a certain shape and have come to appreciate the strong thighs that propel me up and over mountains and sturdy arms that plant and harvest and care for our garden. I practice listening to my body and know that by feeding it nourishing foods, moving every day, and allowing for rest I feel strong, capable, and energized to do the things that bring me joy. When I take time to reflect on all of the places my body has carried me, and the things it has accomplished, I love and appreciate this vessel all the more.
I strive to cultivate mindfulness, and thereby space in my brain, as I go about my daily routines. It is so easy to become distracted by the constant messages, information, and demands for our attention that we experience throughout the day. We try to multitask and respond to each email, text, and notification, and by the end of the day are completely mentally fried. It’s easy for me to fall into that habit, and so I make a point to dedicate a few intentional minutes to quieting my mind each day. Meditation has served as an extremely useful tool, and has helped me greatly cut down on frequent stress and tension headaches. Sitting quietly and focusing my thoughts for just a few minutes throughout the work day can have an incredible impact.
Creating space in our lives, our minds, and our bodies empowers us to move, learn, and grow. It fosters opportunities for reflection and self understanding. How can you create space to love and fully embrace your authentic self?