This is the first part of a series on the importance of knowing and loving the self. I’ll be sharing a bunch of self-exploration and empowerment techniques and tools. Please be warned that this series might drastically change your life so fasten your seat belts and let’s get started 😉
“When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”
― Diane Von Furstenberg
When news got out about the brutal gang rape of a 23-year old student in Delhi, I was gut-wrenched, heart broken and angry. Along with sorrow for the girl and her family, I was also reminded of my years growing up in India where misogynistic attitudes surrounded me. Women were expected to hide their body and femininity while very little was expected of the men. For several days I followed the news closely until finally, a few days before 2012 drew to a close, the girl died, leaving a country ashamed and angry.
I was distraught for many days. I cried a lot, slept little. I felt angry with the men who did this to her. This anger was also aimed at people in my own life who ever abused, assaulted, groped and teased me, or allowed it to happen in front of their eyes. I knew burning with these negative emotions didn’t help me, or anyone, yet I couldn’t help but log on to the Internet every morning and check the news.
Then I went for a crystal bowl meditation. And everything changed. The calming, healing vibrations of the crystal bowls washed over me like strong waves, clearing the knots in my body and mind. The silent, peaceful energy of the community center, the loving hugs of other participants confirmed for me what I already knew: going within is always the answer to any external disturbance.
There are a lot of problems in the world today. As women we feel the pain of the planet very deeply. Our maternal instinct is to create, not destroy, to protect, not neglect and to heal, not harm. News of death and destruction of anyone, anywhere, hurts our heart and soul.
But getting sucked into fear or anger – be it individual or collective – is a waste of time and energy. In those moments, depleted of our natural resources of love, joy and creativity, we have nothing to offer.
Only when we have clarity about who we are, can we take action that makes a difference.
Byron Katie once famously said,
“Clean up your internal world, and the planet is saved.”
That indeed is truly the only thing we can, and must do: build a healthy, toxic-free relationship with ourselves.
We often get so caught up in the roles we play in society: We are daughters, sisters, spouses or girlfriends, managers or team leaders. We are Indians or Germans, singers, travelers, smokers, vegetarians.
We forget who we truly are underneath it all. What if we could strip ourselves of the masks and stand naked to our true authentic self? What would emerge from within us then?
I’ve learned that the journey to knowing ourselves is never ending. Just like avid travelers can’t get enough of exploring and learning about different countries and cultures, the seeker never tires of unraveling the infinite mysteries within her. But all journeys must begin somewhere…
My experience has been that the journey of knowing oneself begins with loving oneself.
Self-love is our first destination.
In my next post I’ll share some techniques that help strengthen our relationship with the self, including my personal story.
About the image:
Lori Portka is a truly gifted artist with a heart-centered business and mission. She’s all about spreading happiness around with her beautiful art (prints, paintings, prayer flags, cards and much more). Check out her magnificent art on Etsy.