Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
What would you do if you really loved yourself? It was a question that came to me out of an interesting space, but catalysed much reflection.
My interesting neighbour, the one who isn't my biggest fan, was walking past a year or so ago and amongst other things, shouted 'There it is that f***ing narcissist'. Being there was no one else around, and based on our history there was only really one direction this was aimed in. I was being pretty narcissistic that day, sat in our garden, on our bench, working on a case and reading several books relating to it.
By this stage not much surprised me and had she have done that at the beginning of our quest I may have responded very differently. However we were several years in by this stage and mostly I was able to ignore and continue. Bless and block was a notion I devised early in my twitter days when skeptics popped up with some (usually not so) intelligent comments about homeopathy being nonsense. Bless and block. Move on by. The blessing part I attribute to Pierre Pradervand's amazing book The Gentle Art of Blessing, which over the years I've recommended to many people.
Her statement made me ponder. How would I behave if I was as accused? Or, I toned it back a bit, I really loved myself. I went upstairs and pranced around in the mirror trying on the idea (I'm not so sure how that was my first step to what being a narcissist was like but anyway, bear with!).
Like so many of us, I can be much easier on the compassion for others than myself and working with Kristin Neff's Fierce Self Compassion work was eye opening, and beautiful. And why it's not taught in schools I don't know... well I have my theories but let's not get on a soap box today.
Maybe a small one... if we felt great about ourselves, perhaps we wouldn't need that new this or that, shiny whatever (at least to the degree that we're encouraged by massive advertising and marketing campaigns). Perhaps we'd have a world filled with less economic growth as we grew in our loving ourselves capacity? If someone has to spend a lot of money to encourage us we need it, do we really need it or does it benefit someone else (sometimes massively) for us to need it?
Anyway, if we felt loved by ourselves would we be kinder, more compassionate when we made 'mistakes'?
Would we feel kinder to our planet, more able to show love all round? I'm convinced our wee world needs love, not saving. To fall in love deeply with our world may change how we respect it. Would we carve out great valleys to mine minerals and not repair them, leave them as giant scars on our landscape if we were deeply in love with it or would we take every effort, even if we mined, to repair an area to be better than before we turned up?
I'm reading the epic journey covered in The Earth Beneath my Feet and On Sacred Ground by Andrew Terrell currently. His 7000 mile journey through Europe (Italy to Norway) is inspiring of itself, but his philosophy to always leave a camp ground better than he found it is a gentle and powerful message.
I imagine that if we were to fall in love deeply with ourselves it may change how kindly we talk to ourselves. It strikes me we often have a 2 part process, we have a thought then harshly judge ourselves for having that thought as we disagree with it, dislike the fact we thought it or don't think we should have thought it. What if we let go of the second part, and accepted it was just a thought. Besides, there'll likely be another one along in a nanosecond or two.
I've another postcard that says 'What's the kindest thing I can do for myself right now?' It's a great message, and I've started playing with changing it to 'What's the kindest thing I can say to myself right now?' What would you say if you were really in love with yourself? It probably wouldn't be a harsh judgement delivered with venom.
You might get dressed in gorgeous clothes, not because you felt you needed to cover some flaw or feel more confident, just because you loved the print of the fabric, loved the feel of the skirt against you, or the shorts, or whatever else. You might dance in the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the street. You might walk straighter, smile more (because of course those in love smile...) at yourself and others, be more compassionate if you did something you hadn't planned to (formerly known as a mistake, now perhaps we could gently call it it a mis-step? or even an unplanned experience?). It might be different. Things might feel different.
I think out of all the comments over the last 5 years of my dealings in this situation, this is the one I'm most grateful for. Plenty of times I rallied, moaned, allowed myself to feel a victim, and yet freedom lay in none of that. I was in my own mental prison. This one catalysed such a helpful thought process. Yes I might have had some vile things verbally thrown at me, but none worse than things I'd said to myself over the years.
It's only this morning on writing this that I realise the question 'What would it be like if you really loved yourself?' puts me in mind of a quote my beautiful friend Amelia sent me years ago. The wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson...
What Is Success
Would we care for opinions we don't care for? Would we take them on board ourselves or be happy someone else could think differently to us and that was OK? Would we be able to listen with respect and counter with our thoughts? Would we feel more resilient, more reassured that whilst we could lose love, we wouldn't stop loving ourselves?
Would we be more easily able to sit in that difficult space and as Rangan Chatterjee says 'invite social friction everyday'?
I think that's all from me for today. But what would it be like?
Anything we can imagine we can create...
Thank you for reading and being.
With love, for you, for myself, for this beautiful world we live with,
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.