Anyone who knows me or who regularly reads my pieces regarding spirituality, metaphysics and personal development knows that I always recommend Louise Hay’s seminal work YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE. I have followed her work since the 80s and used Louise’s tapes for my yoga classes during relaxation sessions, particularly the tape “Loving Your Self” with Jai Josephs. Listening to this tape once a day for a month or so has resulted in the ideas permeating into the consciousness of millions of people across the world and changing their lives in the direction of their wellness and desires. As I have mentioned before, I had the pleasure of meeting Louise years ago at a Hay House conference and was delighted to be able to be one of hundreds of people lining up to thank her, in person, for her work. Listening to many teachers from the Hay House Summit these past few weeks – almost all of them mentioned that it was Louise’s work that had provided the foundation for their own journey toward self-love and often their desire to teach and heal.
For the first time, (yeah! another first in my life!) I am going to recommend a book that I have not yet read ( although I will buy it ASAP). The book, published by Hay House (of course!) is called I HEART ME: THE SCIENCE OF SELF-LOVE by David R. Hamilton, Ph.D. I am going to buy it because I listened to David being interviewed by Greg Sherwood recently and was captivated by his personal story as well as his willingness to show his vulnerability and his personal growth as he describes self-love as also being a biological process. David shared with Greg and the audience some simple to use everyday techniques that we can employ to literally train our brain to love ourselves more. As you are aware, self-love is key to our wellness and our journey to wholeness and fundamental to experiencing our authentic self. In this enlightening discussion, David revealed the three stages of self-love we move through before we can move into the fourth stage of I AM (the name of the Divine). Magic happens when we have the courage to ‘show up’ as our True Self.
For me, I have listened to many amazing and brilliant, fabulous women discuss and encourage us to love ourselves; however, I, personally, do not hear very often a man honestly discussing his difficult journey to loving himself and revealing that although he is a well-known and successful scientist and best-selling author that he dis-covered that he did not love himself – and he shares this discovery with us and said during the interview that he learned more in the 14 months after he began the journey to self-love than he had learned in the previous 14 years of his life! That resonated for me – because I felt that I learned more at Doreen Virtue’s 5 day Angel Therapy (R) course than I had in many, many years. Of course, we all need to hear these stories of others who share their journey with us – because something different will ‘land’ in us each time.
David talked of how we lose our authentic selves in the desire to be liked by others. David says that “the moment I stopped trying to love myself – was when I learned to love myself.” David says, and I agree, that we have self-love until we learn otherwise. Usually we learn this from those around us such as parents, teachers etc. Other people who don’t love themselves. When we accept and love ourselves we no longer need to impress anyone – we can just ‘be’ our authentic selves. Simple, yet not easy for most of us.
David says we “can’t disentangle ourselves from our CNS (Central Nervous System).” He says that when we lack self-love that our CNS and our muscles “wear it.” Our body gets used to hanging that way. We can see this in our posture. As a yoga teacher I have spent over 30 years noticing my own posture as well as that of my students. When I went through a very long divorce that finally ended after 5 years of court and silly delays, in 2011, I realized that I was really ‘wearing it’ as David says. My shoulders were uneven and slopped and my spine was not erect and I was taking on the body pose of the ‘victim.’ My body was wearing my victimhood. I felt like a victim and, as we all eventually do, I made the decision not to be one any more! And, that is when I began to slowly stand up erect with my shoulders back – however – I still have a slight imbalance that yoga is correcting. Unfortunately, although in a worldly sense, we all have times when we are victims, it does not help us to remain trapped in victimhood and it is only when we assume 100% responsibility for our own lives – no matter what our ‘old’ story is, that we move out of victimhood and re-emerge as our true selves. So, I was naturally very engaged and interested when David says that we can, in a sense, work backwards by shifting our posture in order to shift ourselves. I am always engaged by which comes first – the chicken or the egg processes! I made a decision to consciously move out of victimhood and assume the stance of someone with self-worth. But, maybe we can just assume the posture? Here is a wonderful simple exercise that David shared with us: David says for us women to be Wonder Woman! He says to put our hands on our hips and put our feet in that grounded comfortable position where we feel strong and to stand that way for a few minutes. How do you feel? (if you are a man reading this – choose your super hero and play with it!!) Apparently there was a scientific study done regarding this – some folks did the ‘power pose’ and others were told to stand in a ‘weak pose’ for 2 minutes and then the participant’s saliva was measured to compare their body chemistry. Hormones related to confidence were boosted in the strong pose and the weak pose showed body chemistry present in those of us lacking confidence. So, Greg asked David if we should “fake it till we make it.”? David seemed to answer in the way that I feel when thinking about that question. We are not really faking! Our True Selves are divine. So, if we assume the pose matching our divinity – that is only assuming the pose that matches our authentic self. As David reflects:” We are not born with a deficit of self-love.” We all learn to stop believing that we are enough, just as we are. One of the things I am looking forward to when I get to actually read David’s book – is how he explains our biological connections to needing to “be liked.”
So, what is David’s affirmation that we can do as we assume our super-hero pose? “Hello world, this is me – just as I am.” Until we make ourselves completely vulnerable – we are unlikely to connect with the infinite consciousness of Love that is who we are. David, like Louise Hay, feels that learning to love ourselves is the most important thing we have to learn. David has found, from personal experience, that when we ‘show up’ as ourselves – people like us even more.
We will likely find these stages in David’s book explained much more fully; however, since I took notes – I would like to outline briefly the three stages of love David delineates that then move us beyond into the fourth stage where we actually experience ourselves as our divine selves:
“(1) I am not enough.”
“(2) I’ve had enough!” (taking charge of own life – mastering our own life)
“(3) I am enough.” (This is where ALL children begin – where we ALL began!)
(4) I AM (acknowledgement of the infinity we are, the name of the Divine)
This is a journey for most of us that involves ‘doing the work’. It is the most important work we will ever do and it is the work that if we ALL do it, since we are ALL ONE, will lead, ultimately, to world peace. We are evolving very quickly now on our journey of ascension toward the fifth dimension ; however, we are realizing how much more we have yet to learn as we love ourselves fully and offer the gift of our true self to the world. Every one of us that lights even one candle in the darkness, ignites a spark that potentially may help guide another to their divinity. Keep shining YOUR light – that is what you came to do.
Love & Light, Monica