By BIS Contributor Dr. Mary Warren

 

Last month we reflected upon having a New Year’s theme instead of goals or resolutions for your New Year. This month, I’d like to offer up the idea of moving more into your heart this year…

 

We think of February as a month dedicated to sweethearts, lovers, rich chocolate and romance. How about having a deeper love affair with yourself? All of us could use a little more TLC, right? Perhaps simply softening the edges as my Yoga teacher offered yesterday.

As you probably know, my emphasis is always on upping self-care through healthier choices—I love feeling great from focusing upon good water consumption, clean food choices, plenty of nightly sleep and daily physical movement. And with all this great self-care, there is an internal glue that elegantly holds us together, self-love. Intellectually, we all get this. Real life, day to day activities and behaviors might be another story though.

 

Let’s try a quick experiment…

Say you’re in a bad mood, or just had an unpleasant thing happen to you. How would you change your mood so that you might overcome what feels like a (temporary) black hole? The easiest thing to do is check-in with yourself to find out what the upset is about. This will help you understand if this is a “you” problem or a “someone else” problem. Next, think about what positive thing or step you might take to feel better. When I lived in South Florida and was having a tough weekend day, I’d go to my favorite beach and walk a few miles. That would massively lift me out of a temporary funk. Try this technique next time you hit an emotional slump. It might be re-reading a favorite book or watching a favorite movie or show. You are richly rewarding yourself with self-love when you need it most!

Bolster yourself with positive, self-affirming messages from what you hear, read and feel. There is no better way to create a self-loving environment than with positive messages, music and people.

Next, think about what you want for yourself in your life this year.

It may be something new like a job or a relationship. You might want to start a new hobby like knitting or photography. It could be something like easily meeting all of your bills this month. Imagine yourself while you’re achieving this desire – bet it feels great! Stay with that image for 20 seconds. Look around as if you’re in a panoramic self-film. Notice all the details of the scene you’re in and really pay attention to what feels good to you. Stay connected to those good feelings and remember to stay there for 20 seconds (research shows that if we can imagine and feel something for 17 seconds, we are more readily able to manifest it). While there, give thanks for what you’re accomplishing and bringing into your life. When you’ve finished this quick, but difficult-to-hold-onto exercise, bask in the knowledge that you’re one step closer to having what feels great to you in your life. This is a wonderful self-loving experience.

Last month we looked into your self-support system and team. How are you doing with bringing more positive people into your life? Like many of us, you may have discovered you could use some new friends! Bolster yourself with positive, self-affirming messages from what you hear, read and feel. There is no better way to create a self-loving environment than with positive messages, music and people. Another way to feel more grateful for what you have in your life is with a “Thankfulness List.” I talk about doing this at night when I can’t get to sleep. I start giving thanks for everything in my day, starting right where I am—in my wonderful bed, listening to my husband’s breath, feeling warm (or cool) and all snuggled in. I work my way back throughout the day, giving thanks for all I have and what I’ve experienced that day. As I move backwards in time, I find that I relax in my chest – wow! Who’d think we hold stress in our chest and heart?! I ALWAYS fall asleep before moving back in time to breakfast that day. There are so many things to be thankful for! Try this for yourself sometime. You don’t need to be lying awake in bed at night to do it.

It is my most sincere hope that these ideas touch your heart-self and bring joy to your life everyday!