JoyGasm is asking Conscious Leaders to share their practices of Self Love that help them stay strong, focused and powerful as they champion their mission to change the world.
If you only had 10 minutes a day for Self Care, what would you DO?
I had only 10 minutes, I'd breathe.
I think meditation is what I would focus on. Breathing helps. It's what keeps you going and I think we often forget to do it right. So yes, if I had only 10 minutes, I'd breathe.
I've been practicing yoga on and off for some years now. And more than the asanas the meditation has always helped me more. So when I am anxious or stressed or just want to relax I practice deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing. It has instant effect.
For deep breathing I take a long inhalation, hold my breath for a few seconds, then exhale longer than the inhalation. Even with the first set I can feel immediate calming down. I do 7 such sets.
For Alternate breathing I exhale from the left nostril and then take a deep inhalation from the left while keeping the right nostril closed. Then I close the left nostril, and give a deep exhalation from the right nostril. Then I repeat with exhalation and inhalation from the right and so complete one set. I do 7 such sets.
I prefer doing it in a quiet place, but anywhere is fine really. It gives a balance before meeting new people, making decisions etc.
What is your take on self-love? Why is it important, and what's the most powerful way you've found to do it?
I think self love is a tricky thing. One must have enough to appreciate oneself for the good and right things while being cautious not to get in the realm of narcissism. I'd like to think I've found a balance.I'm an introvert and on various occasions suffer from self doubt - will I be able to do it, what will people think, will I make a fool of myself, am I too fat, is this dress ok and so on. At these times knowing and appreciating myself has always been my saviour. Being strongly individualistic, I am quite vocal about the unique traits we all have and not afraid to be different. This is what I am, and I'm fabulous with all my flaws.I do look at external support to strengthen my belief in myself and I am happy to say I have a loving ecosystem that responds in kind. I am not afraid to reach out for appreciation and ask people to point out things that are good about me. Some might call it fishing for compliments but for me it's food for my soul 🙂
What is your biggest struggle in your relationships right now? How has that changed since you started learning about self-love?
My biggest struggle right now is to adjust to the fact that I am single. I lost my husband in an accident last year - we'd been together for 15 years (since I was 18 years old). I didn't know life without him, since we stepped in to adulthood together. And I'm still learning to live this new reality every day (www.apieceofhim.com is where I blog about this).
But before this happened, we did have a strange bond. We were very different personalities, yet a part of each other from all those shared years. The challenge was to balance our differences to create a life together. I think the one thing I learnt was that if you are patient enough you'll find a common thread - something that connects opposing viewpoints, something that matters to each partner. And once you are able to identify that thread, happiness can be woven around that.
In my new reality as a widow, I'm seeing a different aspect of relationships. There are certain things that people expect from me, and I don't think I'm really doing those. In this past year and a half I think my biggest focus has been me. And that's changed me significantly. Earlier where I tolerated toxic people, I remove them from my life now. Earlier where I cared about family opinions, I choose what's best for me now and leave them to adjust to it.
What has been the biggest unexpected challenge you've had in creating your great work in the world?
My great work in the world isn't here yet :). It's going to be a baby that I'm trying to make from a sample of my husbands sperm that we had (details on my blog).
I'm taking the IVF route to make this happen and it's been a very challenging journey. One to be alone while doing this, two the constant hormone high you are on, three the mixed social response, and four the uncertainty of the whole thing. I've already had one failed attempt and will be trying again in Dec/Jan. It's an emotional roller coaster and for a person who's preferred to be practical her whole life, I'm still trying to understand the new me.
Also published on Medium.