By Donna Jeanne Walter
One of the main purposes for our time on this earth plane is to LOVE…to broadcast love every moment of every day; to exercise the heart muscle to be a magnet for grace, strength, hope and peace.
February is American Heart month – a time to focus on our cardiovascular health. Indeed! There are many component parts that contribute to a healthy heart including the physical and non-physical. I would suggest that self-care and self-love go hand in hand in creating a healthy heart. When we love ourselves, we will want to take care of ourselves.
To love ourselves, we need to know ourselves. Self-awareness means you understand what motivates you, you understand your strengths, your opportunities, beliefs, emotions and passions. Get to know yourself. Go on an inward journey to I AM.
There is a great exercise called the “I AM” exercise. Before you begin, keep the following thought in mind: “I AM are potent words; be careful what you hitch to them.”
[A.L.Kinselman, American Mathematician, Scientist, Psychologist] You’ll want to write down only positive characteristics and images after I AM. Take a 3×5 card and write the phrase I AM at the beginning of 3 or 5 or more lines on the card. Then think of attributes, images, characteristics that you will hitch to the I AM phrase. Example;
I AM strong; I AM wise; I AM compassionate.
Tape the card to a mirror or keep it in your daily planner, and remind yourself often what a powerful, loving person you are!
Self-love and self-care are essential to our overall well being. I would suggest that it comes quite easy for you to care for others. Putting others’ needs before your own can be an occupational hazard. We need to tend to ourselves in order to share our gifts as effectively and lovingly as possible. The following are some suggestions on how to go about tending to ourselves on a regular basis.
Creating Rituals for Yourself
–enjoy a hot scented bath
-enjoy a favorite cup of tea of hot cocoa
-have a candle light dinner – even if it’s just for you!
-15-20 minute yoga nidra session
-spend some time journaling…a wonderful outlet for self-reflection and imagination
-listen to a favorite song for favorite song-writer
-dance around your house
“Do anything, but let it produce JOY.” ~ Walt Whitman
Spend at least as much time on yourself thinking of ways to love and appreciate yourself as you do on your family, friends and yes, even your pets. Prioritize self-care; make a commitment to yourself to do at least one activity of joy daily – even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Other ways to cultivate self-love and self-care…
Practicing gratitude is an excellent self care practice. Gratitude pulls your mental focus into the present and improves your happiness, health and well-being. Being grateful is a simple way of caring for your body, mind and spirit. Science has shown that showing gratitude bestows many health benefits. It lowers blood pressure, reduces pain and decreases depression. But, it also increases positive emotions and self-esteem. In addition to showing gratitude for a kindness that was bestowed upon you, your gift of kindness to another is a self-care act that bestows benefits of well-being on you and makes the world a kinder place.
As a Chakradance facilitator, this article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the importance of keeping your heart chakra balanced and energized. An abundance of well-being is created in your body by balancing and activating your heart chakra. The following are some tips for balancing your heart chakra:
- Try to find compassion and kindness for yourself daily
- Live your life in the most generous and open way that you can
- Take a few minutes everyday to tune into your breathing. Use your breath to become more present in the moment
- Do some random acts of kindness and spread the heart energy
Self-care and Self- love not only goes a long way to contribute to our overall health and well-being, but it is beneficial to the world. Fall in love with yourself, take care of yourself. And, in so doing, create a better world. As Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Let’s start now!
- Chakradance – Natalie Southgate
- Heart Math Institute
- The Self-Care Planner by Meera Lester
- Karen Drucker music
Donna Jeanne Walter, owner of Lovejoy Center for the Healing Arts, is a certified Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, Shamanic Reiki Practitioner, certified Chakradance Facilitator and Retreat Facilitator. She is a member of the International Institute of Complementary Therapists and a member of A Community of Transformation in Annapolis, MD. She organizes Reiki Shares in her local community. Donna Jeanne has a passion for the healing arts and bringing joy into people’s lives. Connect with Donna.