Love yourself

“Love yourself.

Then forget it.

Then, love the world.” ~Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s wisdom is timeless, ageless, and strikingly difficult for me. I can find many things in the world to love: my family, a beautiful snowfall, the sound of birdsong, or kindness from a stranger. I also frequently forget things. Actually, I am shockingly good at forgetting things these days. Likely a result of becoming a mother and the many sleepless nights. But alas, the first part love yourself. Why is that so hard for me? Why is it so hard to love the only body I have ever lived in? The only mind I have ever thought with? The only soul that I have ever embodied?

Yoga and mindfulness has opened a gateway for me into finding more self love. To slow down and really listen to what my body needs. To quiet my mind to see the beautiful, clear water under the usually turbulent waves. To tap into that divine light that is present in all living beings. Jack Kornfield posted a mediation a few weeks ago on SoundCloud called “Breath Love In, Breath Love Out.” I have done it several times as part of my home practice. To paraphrase a section of his beautiful mediation: “Ask your heart what does it want as you go through this change of seasons…what does it need to be at its best? Let your heart tell you. Trust that you can know.” If you have twenty minutes, I highly recommend trying it as a savasana (laying down) or traditional mediation (sitting). I prefer the former these days.

During this long pandemic winter, I hope you can find time to cultivate some self love through any self care rituals that are meaningful to you. Self care is such a buzz word these days, but I truly believe it is an important aspect of finding balance in modern life. It can look radically different depending on the person and the time in that person’s life. It might be a hot bath. A long walk in the woods. A nap. A yoga practice. A 50 mile bike ride. Visiting with friends or family. Spending time alone. I have experienced all of these as self care at different times in my life.

I am offering a virtual practice on Sunday February 14th from 10-11am CT. It is Valentine’s Day, typically known as the Hallmark holiday for all things love and romance. I want to carve out a little space to share my practice of self love and self care through yoga and mindfulness. It will be poses and techniques that have worked for me, but I hope that you can find some space for deep inner listening, tools for quieting your mind, and can tap into the light that shines within you. Click here for more information.

Love & Light,

Kristin

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