Self-Love & February

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The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.–Nicholas Sparks

It’s February and we all know what happens on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! I’m a romantic at heart, I adore love songs, have watched every romantic comedy movie, and like all things love inspired. I cannot get enough of this topic. I often think what if Valentine’s Day was celebrated every day of the year? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we appreciated our significant other, family, friends, co-workers on a daily basis? The feeling of love would be shared everywhere and felt instantaneously. In essence, Valentine’s Day should be celebrated each day of our lives. This being said, let us not forgot the sacred relationship with ourselves. This is the most important relationship you will ever have.

Why do we need one day as a reminder to love others? This needs to be done every day throughout the year. Send anonymous notes, give hugs, smile, really listen to others when they talk to you and say thank you! These are all acts of love which will make your day and someone else feel appreciated. The objective is to be kind – to express love in any way or form. It is about giving love freely and not expecting anything in return. By practicing giving we allow love to flow within us and this creates those euphoric feelings of happiness and gratitude is felt. Do not let one day go by without expressing your love for someone else.

What is self-love? In my opinion, self-love is, unconditionally loving yourself just the way you are. Your personality, spirit, body, mind are all perfect. We are all here as a reflection of the divine. Love is spiritual energy it can transform lives and has a healing effect. When you love, value, and honor yourself, life really does change. It may sound cliche even selfish to be this way however, I cannot express enough how much you deserve your own love and light. No one else can support, complement, cherish and give you what you need but YOU. We are not taught the value of self-love in a formal classroom, however can learn ways to enhance this practice. It may take some time but I promise you that once you begin the journey inwards, you gain the strength to spread your wings and fly.

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. — Anna Taylor

It was 2008 and after hearing so much about Louise Hay I finally read her profound book: You Can Heal Your Life. Reading this affected my life dramatically. I started to recite affirmations, really took the time to know myself and began a journey of self-acceptance. There was an exercise in particular in which you are to look in a mirror and say “ I love you”. I had never done this before and really felt awkward doing it. As soon as I started this practice, tears began to fall like rain drops on my face. I felt my soul was awakening and the process of self-love and healing began.

A few years ago I hit a plateau in life. Dating and relationships were unfulfilled, and l needed to make a change. After reading publications by authors Iyanla Vanzant and Gabrielle Bernstein I felt inspired to participate in a self-love project. I began a Self-Love project on myself!  For one month, I wrote love letters from the heart. I expressed how much I had evolved as woman, dreams that I had fulfilled and experiences that caused growth. I know it sounds a bit outlandish but it made me appreciate absolutely everything about “me”. Once a year, I pick a month and write letters to myself. This allows time for reflection, and gives that extra dose of self-acknowledgement.

When we fulfill our function, which is to truly love ourselves and share love with others, then true happiness sets in. — Gabrielle Bernstein

Valentine’s Day is a reminder to spread love outwards, but also remember to love yourself too!  Always treat yourself with kindness, admiration and respect.  You are the love of your life, the love you are seeking. Give yourself the love you deserve every day of your precious life!

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Following the Heart

Image result for paulo coelho listen to your heart it knows all things it came from the soul of the world

When I think of the word HEART, right away I feel at peace, become relaxed and a wave of love fills my entire spirit. It makes me smile from the inside out. My girlfriends and I often call ourselves the group of “Pure Hearts” for we feel so inclined to help others who need a dose of motivation and encouragement. When my heart is happy, so are other circumstances in life. The vibration of love literally takes over my whole spirit as if I’m in a deep meditation. Nothing makes me more content then serving others and giving them hope when needed. My cultural background is Indian and I’m of the Sikh origin. In the language of Punjabi we call charity Seva. Charity in my heart means to give; a smile, your time, energy, compliments and practice kindness. Giving does not necessarily have to be in monetary forms. All we need is to make someone’s day and allow them to feel loved.

Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness. — Erich Fromm

But why do we follow our hearts? What makes listening to our heart’s so rewarding and meaningful? How do we know that our heart will steer us in the right direction? My answer is simple, why not! The heart is connected to the divine, when we truly are at a crossroads along our way the heart intuitively speaks to us. As we lift others, we lift ourselves and humanity. This is the act of Seva, spread kindness whenever possible. When the heart is content so are we. During those moments we do not follow our heart, we sit in fear and at times do not take steps that could change our destiny forever.

Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.
Marvin J. Ashton

On a personal note earlier  last year I had an encounter with a stranger who I sensed needed a friend. As I was coming home from work and approaching my driveway I noticed an older man, walking by himself with grocery bags in his hand. Something inside was saying talk to him and ask how his day was going. The elderly man proceeded to tell me he had lost his wife over the winter and began to cry. At that moment in life all I wanted to do was hold his hand and tell him he is going to be ok. This stranger kept on walking but this story will always remain with me. I was forever grateful to just listen and let this soul express his heart.

The heart is a magnetic force that cannot be reckoned with. I truly feel that the energy of an individual who is governed by their heart emits a vibration which can be felt instantaneously. I have once heard that if you hug someone for more than 30 seconds it causes a healing effect on the receiving end. Hugs are the soul’s remedy and can lift anyone’s day! Spirituality speaking our heart chakra is of the most important out of the seven chakra systems. It knows what we truly desire in all aspects of our life. When we are in complete silence answers come forward.

There have been times in my life when I have revived criticism, judgment even looked down upon for being fiercely heart governed. For anyone who is similar to myself, embrace it. If you are an individual who wear’s there heart on their sleeve, this is truly your gift in life. Not many people are like this so accept your uniqueness and shine bright. See this as a tool to help not only yourself but others along their journey.

Why I follow my heart for almost every decision in life is because it’s connected to my soul, the presence of the divine is within me. When the mind is quiet and noise of the ego is shut down, the vibration of love is felt. Seva makes me recognize that my purpose in life, which is to guide others in their journey. The heart offers peace, stillness and being in sync within my own guidance system. The heart is the governing force that fills me with love!

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Goals vs. Intentions

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Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.
Bryant McGill

It’s almost the end of January; the New Year is officially here. I have been reviewing my wish list for 2017. Every year, I take out my journal and pen and get down to business. I make a list of resolutions and goals that I would like to accomplish throughout the duration of the year. We are given 365 new days, a clean slate to set things in motion and shake it up. I must admit it’s quite advantageous, and sometimes a few of the goals get crossed off, but not all of them. After attending a meditation class in December 2016, my perspective completely changed with setting goals and resolutions.

It was the end of 2016. and I finally made it to a weekly meditation session. I had not participated for a few months and realized it was time to get back into group practice. That night we were to meditate and read a Tibetan passage regarding the topic of goals vs. intentions. That evening changed my outlook on everything with regards to how I perceive goals and life.

Personally speaking, I’m an action oriented person. I write things down and like to see results instantaneously. After attending the mediation class it entirely shifted my perception. I learned something so valuable that evening and feel inspired to share.

Goals are orientated in the ego and mind, we look for rewards immediately. When things do not happen the way we like, we get discouraged to try again. When setting goals, right away it seems like we pressure ourselves into getting things done instantly and forget about the process. Honestly, goals sometimes stress me out. I’m a heart centered soul and take my time to make decisions and that goes with tasks as well. Completing tasks should be creative and fun not arduous. That goes with life in general; we need to enjoy what we do on a daily basis and build from there.

Now for intentions, they come from the heart. This was the biggest “ah-ha” moment ever. It was like the bells were ringing and time stopped, something was so clear. The Tibetan approach to living a peaceful lifestyle is to set daily intentions every morning we rise. All it takes is few minutes during your day to spark this process. Setting an intention can be done at your desk, in the car or even in the subway. What matters most is that you are doing something constructive for you. The value of intentions is that we can reflect on it throughout the day and before we shut down for the evening. Intention sets the way for growth and allows daily miracles to unfold throughout the process. There is no stress in this heart centred approach.

Intentionality fuels the master’s journey. Every master is a master of vision. —George Leonard

We have to be ready for change on the inside and in order for the transformation to occur on the outside. With setting intentions it gives us direction, ask your heart what it wants. Results may not happen in a day, week or month. Things take time and learn to trust every experience that comes your way. Life is not a race to be won, life is to be experienced. Now what your intention for today?

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you. –Wayne Dyer

Article of reference:

http://garywonghc.tumblr.com/post/145532783712/set-your-intention-rejoice-in-your-day-by-geshe