REFLECTING THE SELF

Kylie Terraluna practices the meditation of love.
Kylie Terraluna practices the meditation of love.

How do you talk to yourself? When you look in the mirror each morning, do you smile into it and get excited by the potential of the loveliness smiling back at you? Or do you criticise and scrutinise, negatively picking on yourself before your day has even begun? What impact do you think that could have or does have, on your experience of life? How healthy is your relationship with yourself?

When you go through your day, are you encouraging and kind, or have you chosen to demean yourself? When I first started yoga some twenty years ago now, I swiftly experienced a shift in how I related to myself. Through yoga, I was able to access a mental spaciousness needed in order to retrain my mind for self-love. This training is so vastly important for a life well-lived, for nourishing mental health and for gifting love to others. In yoga, you learn to breathe into challenging poses and cultivate patience, gain grace, peace and strength. This filters into your life, so instead of running away from or facing difficulties with harsh treatment of yourself, you are offered the chance to breathe into life’s challenges and cultivate a conscious life of love.

If you have become your own worst enemy, or even a minor thorn in your own side, here are some conscious living tips to turn your life. Let’s begin:

CONSCIOUS CHANGE
This week, observe your actions and reactions in the moment. For example, when you eat a carrot instead of a piece of chocolate cake, notice your self-talk around the positive action. Did you feel deprived of the cake, and joyless about the carrot? Try not to hide your reactions, the key is honest, non-judgmental observance. Noticing your mental thoughts allows you to align and train your mind to match the positive actions. In this example, when you feel deprived, recognise the reaction and then congratulate yourself for a powerful, life-giving choice of the carrot, and the vibrant health benefits your decision brings. Eat it consciously, focusing on appreciating the colour, taste, the life force and opportunity towards health, rather than remaining stuck in a feeling of lack. Focus on fulfillment and the joy that health-giving foods provide.

EXPRESS GRATITUDE
Continue this process, observing and witnessing yourself in other ways; in what you say and what you do. Once you are familiar with any habitual, negative self-talk and actions, start to turn each of these around, with gratitude. Gratitude is an important element for change. First comes awareness of the negative, then gratitude for the observation, opportunity and the positive choice, then comes the change.

You don’t need to delve deeply into where negative self beliefs and limiting behaviours come from. Simply choose to empower your life with positivity instead. Each time you hear yourself saying throw-away comments like:

“I’m so stupid”,
“I could never do that”,
“I’m hopeless” or worse, make an attempt to turn these around as well.

Choose to stop berating yourself in the moment, and replace the comment with a positive one.

Instead of the three examples above, you can replace them with the examples below. Say,

“This is a great challenge for me and I’m going to embrace it”, or “I can give my very best and I’m going to have fun while I’m at it!”, “I am full of hope. Here presents a great opportunity to demonstrate just how much hope I have inside of me”.

Try this out for yourself. Repeat the positive phrase over and over and over, like a chant. This is powerful because the negative phrases have been cultivated over many years. If you say the positive phrase repetitively, write it, sing it, chant it, say it as you drift off to sleep, as you wake in the morning, whenever you remember, and especially during those moments when you are feeling down, you will begin to turn your life around.

You can create new, empowering statements to fill your day with, such as:

“I am in perfect harmony and health, nature supports all my endeavours and I achieve success with ease and delight.” “I am free of the past and of all disappointments. I am cleansed, and embrace life with a spirit of adventure and joy.” “This new day heralds beauty, peace and passion in my daily life.” “All my needs are met and I thank the universe with every moment of my life.”

AT THE DAY’S END:
At the end of each day, cast your mind over your day like you are watching a movie in your mind. Observe where you could apply more compassion to self and others, where you would like to make conscious change. Consider how you could improve your reactions, then express gratitude for the time during self reflection, and dedicate your life to making positive change with each and every day.

Enjoy the beautiful, wonderful, human being that you are. Embrace your life with love, kindness and healing powers for radiance. And may all beings everywhere be happy and free.

Kylie Terraluna is a yoga, health and lifestyle feature writer and health journalist. Kylie teaches private yoga and wellness coaching sessions, with home visits along the hills to hawkesbury region and sometimes beyond. She also runs private retreats. Kylie is the Health & WellBeing feature writer for the Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine. For more, visit kylieterraluna.com.au.