6 Keys to Transform Your Life by Cultivating Self-Love
To transform mind, body and spirit requires cultivating self-love.
I would like to ask a fundamental question - how much do you truly love yourself?
The reason this question is so important, perhaps the most important question you can ask, is without knowing the answer; you will live unconsciously from moment to moment, just going through the motions without being awake to the deeper significance of your choices, and what energy you are broadcasting to the world, what you are inviting into your life, and what you are making others aware of.
This is your life, it is your signature creation. It is your duty to live true to yourself, with integrity; and authentically communicate your message to the world.
Your life's mission is not to make a few million dollars (although that may be an achievable goal). What I'm going to say may be controversial – your life's mission is to love yourself – to learn to love what you have, create what you love and love what you create.
Your life is about expanding your awareness, expanding your vision of yourself and your life - until it is the greatest possible vision of who you are, and who you wish to be in your incarnated human form. Without loving yourself, how can you hope to achieve much? As nothing will ever truly satisfy you. And then you will live a life of perpetually seeking, searching, yearning...
Without giving love to yourself first, how will you be able to give to others? Feeding and nourishing yourself will automatically feed and nourish others if you set this as your intention. Teach a man to love himself, and he will forever be able to love others. This creates unimaginable possibilities as it allows creation from a sound foundation.
Questions to ask.
Do you love yourself enough to forgive yourself?
Do you love yourself enough to forgive others?
Do you love yourself enough to nourish your body with life-affirming nutrient-rich food, the way nature intended, or do you feed yourself processed ‘nonfoods’, sugar-foods, etc?
Do you love yourself enough to exercise your body, stretch it, build your physical resilience and strength, and continually improve your body’s conditioning?
Do you love yourself enough to feed your soul with whatever your heart intends?
Do you love yourself enough to live in the moment, to forget the past, not worry about the future, but to be truly present to the opportunity within every moment?
Do you love yourself enough to commit to your decisions, to take action that serves your spirit with all your heart? For if you want to go somewhere, you’ll only get halfway with half your heart in it.
Do you love yourself enough to consistently expand your mind, by learning new things, and continually growing your expertise about life? With more knowledge about life, you’ll have greater awareness and ability to deal with any event.
Do you love yourself enough to have fun, allow your soul to be joyful, do the things you love doing, to release stress, relax your mind-body-soul, take the time to rejuvenate and re-energise?
Do you love yourself enough to rest sufficiently – to sleep enough?
Now, more than ever, we need to ask ourselves who we want to be in an age of possibility.
We need to examine our foundations, the very fabric of our being, and our position in the world. As the world presents a mirror to the internal landscape, examining what is happening within, will always guide and clarify external events.
Look within for your answers. If you build a stable, healthy, well-balanced self-love, self-respect and self-appreciation, your foundation is in place to build the same things in your external world. Loving yourself is the foundation for living a fully self-actualised life.
With love was the world created, and with love it continues to run. Expanding that energy within yourself, expands the energy of life, and expands the DNA of success.
Go with an open heart, go with a full heart, go soundly into the world with love.
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius
To transform mind, body and spirit requires cultivating self-love.
Here are the SIX KEYS to transform your life:
FIRST KEY: Activate awareness of self and self-talk.
What do you say to yourself perpetually?
Do you listen to your thoughts, filter them, question them?
SECOND KEY: Clean and purify the body vessel.
Your body is your temple. It serves you. It represents you.
As your temple, if you do not treat it as such, you're unlikely to develop or enhance self-love. Destroying your body does the opposite of engendering self-love; it is self-defeating. Your body not only serves you, it is also your manifesto. Treat it as sacred.
THIRD KEY: Spiritual Refinement
When you connect to the essence of spirit, something changes within. It doesn't matter what your spiritual or religious belief is, even if you believe in nothing, or you're an atheist. What matters is that your practice some refinement of the soul.
If you don't already have a daily devotion like prayer or meditation, explore the available options or create your own daily practice. It is never too late to start. For some, it is time spent playing or listening to music, that uplifts their soul. For others, it is a combination of things. I have never heard anyone tell me it involves TV watching, traffic or work!
Make the time to develop your relationship to yourself via doing something that uplifts you.
FOURTH KEY: Personal Communion
Every day, you require “me” time in order to be centered.
This time is not selfish, it is essential for personal wellbeing. In this time, you can develop your thinking and refine your sensibilities. It may be in the form of a quiet walk in nature, a bath, or time alone in meditation. This is your greatest investment in YOU!
FIFTH KEY: Develop a Personal Vision and Purpose
What are you doing here? Just waiting for the weekend to start, or for the next TV show to begin? Or is there something deeper, greater, bigger, bolder? Is there some goal that is beyond yourself, something that defines who you want to be, your statement to the world?
Develop a personal mission statement that works according to your values.
This is the next step in personal evolution and happiness stating who you are to the world.
SIXTH KEY: Your life is your practice.
Ultimately, your lifetime is a sum of actions, experiences and how you spent your time. How would you wish to be remembered?
Your life is your practice – so how would you wish to spend it?
Only you can answer this question.
David is the founder of Shambhala Retreats. A Naturopath, Intuitive Healer and Transformational Coach, David writes and educates people internationally at some of the world's leading retreats and resorts. Born in South Africa, his travels have taken him to Australia, Middle East, Asia since 2002. A lover of wisdom and master healer specializing in holistic wellness, his retreats and wellness programs are focused on transformation. David is committed to inspiring and empowering people to live the lives of their dreams. David's mission via Shambhala Retreats is to guide people to places of mystery and power to rediscover, balance and ground themselves.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Can dirt help us fight off stress? Groundbreaking new research shows how.
- New research identifies a bacterium that helps block anxiety.
- Scientists say this can lead to drugs for first responders and soldiers, preventing PTSD and other mental issues.
- The finding builds on the hygiene hypothesis, first proposed in 1989.
Are modern societies trying too hard to be clean, at the detriment to public health? Scientists discovered that a microorganism living in dirt can actually be good for us, potentially helping the body to fight off stress. Harnessing its powers can lead to a "stress vaccine".
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that the fatty 10(Z)-hexadecenoic acid from the soil-residing bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae aids immune cells in blocking pathways that increase inflammation and the ability to combat stress.
The study's senior author and Integrative Physiology Professor Christopher Lowry described this fat as "one of the main ingredients" in the "special sauce" that causes the beneficial effects of the bacterium.
The finding goes hand in hand with the "hygiene hypothesis," initially proposed in 1989 by the British scientist David Strachan. He maintained that our generally sterile modern world prevents children from being exposed to certain microorganisms, resulting in compromised immune systems and greater incidences of asthma and allergies.
Contemporary research fine-tuned the hypothesis, finding that not interacting with so-called "old friends" or helpful microbes in the soil and the environment, rather than the ones that cause illnesses, is what's detrimental. In particular, our mental health could be at stake.
"The idea is that as humans have moved away from farms and an agricultural or hunter-gatherer existence into cities, we have lost contact with organisms that served to regulate our immune system and suppress inappropriate inflammation," explained Lowry. "That has put us at higher risk for inflammatory disease and stress-related psychiatric disorders."
University of Colorado Boulder
This is not the first study on the subject from Lowry, who published previous work showing the connection between being exposed to healthy bacteria and mental health. He found that being raised with animals and dust in a rural environment helps children develop more stress-proof immune systems. Such kids were also likely to be less at risk for mental illnesses than people living in the city without pets.
Lowry's other work also pointed out that the soil-based bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae acts like an antidepressant when injected into rodents. It alters their behavior and has lasting anti-inflammatory effects on the brain, according to the press release from the University of Colorado Boulder. Prolonged inflammation can lead to such stress-related disorders as PTSD.
The new study from Lowry and his team identified why that worked by pinpointing the specific fatty acid responsible. They showed that when the 10(Z)-hexadecenoic acid gets into cells, it works like a lock, attaching itself to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR). This allows it to block a number of key pathways responsible for inflammation. Pre-treating the cells with the acid (or lipid) made them withstand inflammation better.
Lowry thinks this understanding can lead to creating a "stress vaccine" that can be given to people in high-stress jobs, like first responders or soldiers. The vaccine can prevent the psychological effects of stress.
What's more, this friendly bacterium is not the only potentially helpful organism we can find in soil.
"This is just one strain of one species of one type of bacterium that is found in the soil but there are millions of other strains in soils," said Lowry. "We are just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg in terms of identifying the mechanisms through which they have evolved to keep us healthy. It should inspire awe in all of us."
Check out the study published in the journal Psychopharmacology.
We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?
There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.
An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.
- "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
- "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
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