'We tend to think that being hard on ourselves will make us strong. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength." ~ Julia Cameron
One of the most common things I witness as a spiritual teacher and a coach is people treating themselves harshly.
We don't realise how easily a harsh self-attitude can creep in and take-over. Unless the people close to us have the care and honesty to give us a gentle nudge, it's very easy to be way tougher on ourselves than anyone else as a habit.
Here's some of the symptoms to look out for:
* critical or damning self-talk - lots of 'shoulds'
* continually saying 'yes' to others when you really want to say 'no'
* setting unrealistic goals or high standards that just make you a slave to your own devices
* not giving yourself adequate play, rest or time-alone
* comparing yourself to others as a way of having self-worth.
I recommend reclaiming yourself as a human, with a body, heart and mind that deserves to be cherished. Use this as your new mantra! Start today. Set the clear intention that from now onwards I will show kindness and total acceptance towards myself.
By this, I don't mean quick-fix cover-up actions that have little substance or long-term benefit. Sure, having a facial or your favourite slice of cake can be nice, but we need to be prepared to commit ourselves to looking deeper and working gently and persistently over time, if we're sincere about experiencing the natural strength that comes from being kind.
Cherishing ourselves means that we:
* tell the truth about ourself, accepting our short-comings - without blaming or needing to fix - we're just human!
* show gratitude for the blessings, gifts and talents we have
* give ourselves regular play, rest and self-time
* set goals that stretch our growth and inspire us
* let go of competition - it's a spiritual drag.
In the long run, choosing to be tender over being harsh dissolves our sense of disconnection and separateness. By deeply connecting with ourselves, we come to know first-hand that we share an infinite connection with all others. We feel a natural strength that is authentic and powerful.
If this message resonates with you, and you'd like some further support, I offer effective Life Coaching programs that help people to become kinder towards themselves.
Enjoy the journey.