Cultivating Self-Love

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #77, November 14, 2003

Sunday, November 23 at 2:59pm PST is a Solar Eclipse/New Moon in 1° Sagittarius. We can view this event as a new beginning after the awakening of the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse of the Harmonic Concordance November 8.

When the Moon is eclipsed we have a chance clearly view our dreams, without the shadow of our wounded programming, emotions or karma. When the Sun is eclipsed we get a chance to touch our deepest human emotions. Human emotions are the communication mechanism of our soul. Our emotions have been largely cooped by external, negative programming. This Solar Eclipse gives us an opportunity to reprogram our emotional body and responses to more fully express our soul essence.

From Drama to Upliftment

Both the Sun and the Moon will be in Sagittarius for the New Moon/Solar Eclipse celebration November 23. Sagittarius' energy is fiery, upbeat and future-oriented. Sagittarius is eager to explore the unknown in order to have as many life-expanding experiences as possible. Sagittarius looks for the higher perspective and the deeper meaning in life. Sagittarius is always eager to move on to the next spiritual adventure. Its happy, impassioned approach to life is an invaluable asset for living fully and loving ourselves.

I mentioned in Issue 76 that I had the feeling that the Harmonic Concordance opening would change our lives forever. It is amazing how many people have had life-changing experiences during this time. The stories I have heard have included the full spectrum of birth, death, murder, marriage, divorce, accidents, near-death experience, dramatic wake-up calls and miracles. We are still in the middle of this dramatic energy shift. It is important to stay tuned to and trust yourself and your intuition. Be open to making changes when they are required. Do not resist the inevitable, and embrace the gifts of new openings.

The dramatic and intense rhythms of Scorpio continue through November 21. November 22 the Sun moves into Sagittarius territory. The wide-open horizons of Sagittarius will help us find the pathways through our predicaments. An air of celebration will certainly be a welcome relief after the seriousness of our death and rebirth encounters.

Reclaiming Our Emotional Body

The emotional body is activated and experienced through feelings. It cannot be trained through mental thoughts, and affirmations that remain isolated cerebral activities. So as you explore some of the suggestions below, take time to become aware of your non-verbal feelings, and how and what they are communicating with you. Our emotional body is a multifaceted mechanism. One of the most important ways it can be used is to cultivate self-love. Through self-love we can reclaim our emotional body.

Self-love is a lifetime process, which we can explore and practice every day. There is always a new trick and angle to loving ourselves. I want to share with everyone what we did in my class on the day of the Harmonic Concordance. I offered five ways as set out below to cultivate self-love. Then we practiced integrating these ideas into our psyche, mind, physical and emotional bodies. The key, of course, is to take the time to patiently train ourselves to treat ourselves gently and lovingly. There are an infinite number of moments every day to turn our attention to ourselves in these self-nurturing ways. The more we do so, the more we engage, heal, reprogram and empower our emotional body.

Two Basic Guidelines

During our practice of Kundalini Yoga is a perfect time to direct our mental and emotional energy to caring for ourselves.

First, always do the exercises in a way that is loving. Don't beat yourself up. The purpose of the exercises is to stimulate, activate, awaken and align, not to punish, hurt or strain yourself. Do not force yourself beyond what works for your body. For example, experiment doing Breath of Fire to open your belly, massage your internal organs and bring life into your body. Sometimes the difference between loving and punishing is subtle. Sometimes the shift is dramatic. There is a fine line between stimulation and abuse. But you will find it. You instinctually know. Live, breath, think, act, and do Kundalini Yoga on the side that feels loving and nurturing.

Second, use the spaces between each exercise to absorb and integrate the energy shifts. Be with what you are experiencing just the way it is. Then bring one of the ideas listed below into your consciousness. Feel how it feels to be with your breath, the sensations in your body, and your awareness in a kind, accepting and non-judgmental manner. Don't rush this part. The spaces between exercises are sacred moments. One of the reasons we do the exercises is to create these precious moments. Taking full advantage of them is a profound declaration of self-love. There is so much beauty, love and peace during these times. These are openings where our perception of ourselves transcends our normal human limitations. Our awareness of reality opens beyond the denseness of the physical world, into the expansive dimension of spirit. We get a touch and a taste of the vastness and light of our soul. We get a glimpse of the loving nature of our pure essence. Falling deeply in love with life, the Divine and our Souls is no longer a goal. It is a gift that we humbly accept and treasure.

It is the experience of our spiritual essence that makes loving ourselves a natural response. We practice Kundalini Yoga, and shift our attitude and intention with practices like those listed below, in order to open ourselves to be able to experience our soul essence. We also use these techniques to build the human habits that allow us to enjoy and maintain our connection with Love. We have to have the human mental and emotional patterns anchored in, to be able to sustain a connection with our soul. Otherwise we can have fleeting experiences of bliss, and then fall back into the pain and fear of our emotionally created, and mentally sustained trauma-dramas.

Elements to Cultivate Self-Love

The ideas below could be expanded endlessly. Be creative in how you care for yourself. Pick one idea that resonates within, and work with that while it commands your attention (one or more exercises, a whole Kundalini Yoga session, a complete day, a week, whatever). Then move on to another idea, and integrate that into your self-care routine. Come back to the different touchstones to deepen your experiences. Explore and enjoy the process and the many dimensions of yourself.

1) Attention

Turn your attention to yourself, your breath, your inner space and the sensations in your body.
em>Results: Cultivates self-knowing, awareness and sensitivity.
Consolidates your energy and presence.

2) Acceptance - Non-Judgment

Be with what you are experiencing exactly the way it is. Do not try to change anything. Do not evaluate either positively or negatively anything.
Results: Releases resistance and fear. Allows the creative feminine flow of energy.
Activates the neutral mind and releases you from the duality patterns of the rational mind.

3) Kindness and Caring

Be kind to yourself, like you would be to a child or a pet.
Be patient with yourself.
Do what you do gently, lovingly and easily. Do not force anything.
Results: Engages the emotional body in a productive and positive manner.
Releases stress and tension so that your energy can flow and you can feel alive.

4) Nurturing

Nurture yourself with your breath, with your movements and with your thoughts.
Do everything in a way to feed yourself life, love and affection.
Results: Brings you more and more present to yourself.
Creates a loving relationship with yourself between you and you.

5) Enjoy

Whatever you are doing simply enjoy the moment, the process and the energy of being alive and living life fully.
Results: Releases old struggle patterns, and replaces them with the ability to relax, let go and enjoy life.

Self-Love Therapy

Much religious and cultural programming leads us to believe that focusing on ourselves is selfish. Obviously narcissistic, egomaniac behavior is not recommended. Neither is self-negation and self-abuse. If you need an excuse to transition yourself into the self-love mode, imagine that how you treat yourself impacts the lives of others. When you treat yourself poorly, others suffer too. Your pain creates pain in the collective unconscious. Everyone gets a dose. When you treat yourself well, others benefit. We all share the same world, collective consciousness and Universe. Self-love therapy for ourselves heals us all.

Radiate Love to the World and Beyond

At the end of your Kundalini Yoga/meditation practice, during the day, and when you wake-up and go to sleep - Feel yourself radiate loving energy. Know that you are a lighthouse. Experience being a magnet of love.

When we are kind to ourselves, we walk in the territory of self-love. In the field of self-love we nourish our body, enrich and empower our emotions, open the flower of our heart, and expand the Light of our soul. When we walk on the path of self-love, we share love in so many beautiful ways that we aren't even aware of. The silent gift is that the more we love ourselves, the more we infuse the world with love. We actually expand the field of love in the Universe.

Transitions to a Heart Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

Transitions to a Heart-Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a rich and unique compilation of the core teachings and Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations of Yogi Bhajan.

The new Second Edition, revised and updated,is ready to welcome a whole new generation of students to this life-changing technology. It offers powerful and effective techniques to both teacher and student, to empower your lower chakras and open your heart to unconditional love.

Contains literally dozens of meditations to access heart and soul consciousness.

Kundalini Yoga Kriyas for Self-Love

We can cultivate an experience of our soul and self-love while undertaking any Kundalini Yoga set or other spiritual practice. I use many of the sets focusing on opening the heart in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World. The one I used on November 8th is the one For Immunity on pages 92-3. This set very powerfully opens the heart and creates the navel strength to empower the heart center. If you want to chant the mantras with music, these mantras are available on a wide selection of CDs or MP3 downloads. You can also chant in monotone if you prefer. You can also do long deep breathing. No excuses ☺ Do something, get an experience, and love IT. Every moment offers us another opportunity to experience love in a special way.


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