Tag Archive 'self-love'

May 04 2015

How I Learned to Love Myself – Issue #111

One night about 20 years ago I went to bed wondering what I was here to do in this life. Was I doing what I was supposed to be doing? Was I doing enough? The next morning I awoke with these words resounding in my mind, “All you have to do in your whole life is to love yourself. That is all you have to do.”

I was in my early forties and I decided it was time to take a break from relationships with men and devote my time to learning to love myself. Other people take their cue from how we regard ourselves and men were reflecting back to me my own ‘not-good-enough’ self-image. I finally realized that I was the one I had been waiting for–I was the source of love for me. It was time to heal my belief that I was unlovable.

I had a friend who was petite and beautiful with a charming personality. Yet, like me, she had the “unlovable” wound and chose men who didn’t love her. She asked me, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I find a man who’ll love me? Maybe it’s because I’m too short?” I had another friend who was tall and gorgeous but also had the “unlovable” wound and she asked me the same question. “What’s wrong with me? Maybe it’s because I’m too tall.” I had to laugh. The Universe was reflecting back to me so clearly that nothing was wrong with them or me. We just had a belief that we were unlovable and we MANifested that belief. I kept reminding myself that it was only a belief, a habit thought, it’s not written in stone throughout all eternity. Any habit can be broken.

To help me to deprogram my unlovability brainlock, I started using something called Yes Sets, an Ericksonian hypnosis technique. You say a series of ‘yeses’ about things you know are true and then piggyback onto them the new desired, related belief. One set of ‘yeses’ I used was, “Yes, there’s plenty of blue sky for everyone. Yes, there’s plenty of air for everyone. Yes, there’s plenty of love for everyone. Yes, there’s plenty of love for me.”

Another set of ‘yeses’ was, “Yes, I have friends who love me just the way I am. Yes, I am a wonderful friend and spiritual learning partner. Yes, I know there are men who would love to have a fabulous spiritual partner. Yes, I know there are men who would love to have me as a partner.” Everyday I would take walks affirming these yeses; I’d heard that when you’re walking or moving while doing affirmations, the new beliefs would imprint and stick more effectively.

I set my watch to beep once an hour to remind me to take a breath and say, “I am loved” and to generate that feeling of being loved. I had a friend who said his watch beeped every hour, but it just reminded him that he’s an idiot because he didn’t know how to turn it off. We choose what belief we want to program and reinforce.

I started listening to Sanaya Roman’s Self-Love tapes and her Attracting Your Soul Mate tape. I used visualization and fantasy everyday to embody the felt sense of being loved and valued. I went on “Yes” walks and affirmed my new image; I affirmed that I was appreciated, and thought of ways that was already true; I thought of the people in my life who treasured me and I focused on all the things I valued about myself.

One of the most important ways I was learning to cultivate self-love was in the way I talked to myself during the day. Ultimately, our primary relationship is with ourselves, and the quality of our life is determined by how we talk to ourselves all day. Our own inner voice is the only thing that is with us all the time. Our habitual thoughts go round and round like hamsters on a wheel. It was important to notice my pre-programmed negative thoughts and replace them with loving thoughts.

I started talking to myself the way I wanted to be talked to. I was being my own dear lover; I was being the relationship that I wanted to have in my life. I began calling myself “honey” and “sweetheart”. “What would you like for lunch today, honey? You can have anything you want, sweetheart.” I would also say affirmations such as, “I know who I am.” “I am a beautiful soul.” “I love myself just the way I am.”

I listened to love songs on the radio and imagined it was my Higher Self singing to me.  I also put a picture of myself as a child on my wall to remind me how lovable I was. Seeing the sweet face of my child reminded me to talk lovingly to her, to myself, since she was still in me. I began talking to my emotions in the same way. A lot of us, when we were children, didn’t have anyone there to listen to our feelings, so they became stuck in us. I was learning to put these feelings on my lap like beloved children, give them a hug and let them express themselves. They just wanted to be held and heard. As I did this I was re-parenting myself.

I started to fall in love with myself, and eventually a man who matched that vibration showed up in my life, proving…if you build the energy of love, love will come.

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Dec 30 2013

How Are You A Super Star? – Issue #106

Every year I’m fortunate to go to an annual holiday party peopled by some of the most illustrious movers and shakers in the conscious evolution movement. These highly accomplished people include renowned spiritual teachers, rock stars, and best selling authors. They are the golden ones, the beautiful people, and at the party they share with each other their latest exciting projects.

Then there’s little ol’ me in my SAS loafers, feeling small in comparison. But the bigger part of me, my Big Soul Self, enjoys being challenged to face into these probing questions: What are MY accomplishments and exciting projects? What’s important and valuable about MY life?

We all have something about us, maybe not readily apparent to others (or even ourselves), that is nonetheless golden, some long hoped for achievement, some rich intrinsic value that makes us super stars in our own life. So as I stand among the beautiful people, here’s what I will keep in mind:

Though I’m not a big mover and shaker on the world stage, I am moving and shaking my body every morning in my living room as I dance, prance, and bounce around the house, oxygenating my body, stimulating lymph, intent on good health, fun, and vibrant aliveness. At 64 I’m committed to keeping these reluctant old bones mobile and I consider that quite an accomplishment!

I hang out regularly with some major luminaries: my higher self, my angels, my muse, my guides. I commune with them daily and we simply adore each other. They are such close and loving companions they come the moment I call them, any time of day or night. I once felt abysmally alone in the world, but now I know I ‘m not alone.

One of those luminaries is my creative muse – I’m not a best selling author, but I am happily writing. It is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to be a writer who is being read and being of service in my small way. I once lived near Pot Shots epigrammist Ashleigh Brilliant and would watch him walking about the neighborhood deep in thought dreaming up new sayings, and I’d think, “Oh what fun to play with words and inspiration and humor and send it out into the world!” And now I’m doing it!

Here’s another biggie – I MANifested the man of my dreams! That was no small feat! I was about to turn 50 and was very much in ‘no man land’ with no prospects in sight when some brave and determined part of me decided that I was ready and willing to do whatever it took to finally have a loving, fun, juicy, conscious relationship with a fabulous man. I knew I needed some tools and voila! right smack on my 50th birthday a Hendricks Conscious Loving training was taking place in my town providing guess what?…relationship tools! And guess who I met at their next training a few months later?…Tom, my husband to be! That was 14 years ago and our relationship just keeps getting better and better!

A MAJOR achievement that helped make finding my soul mate possible was the self-love work I was deliberately and diligently focused on. I fearlessly faced and befriended my many me’s, especially those troublesome angry, pissy personas (like Chopped Liver and The Incredible Sulk) that made me believe no one could ever love me. When I befriended them, I could see they were like scared, sad, hurt children. I learned to put them on my Big Soul lap and give them a hug and they began to calm down and were no longer in charge of the show.

That leads me to another monumental accomplishment – my Big Soul Self is now in charge much of the time! She holds the perspective that my universe is friendly, and that, as Byron Katie says, “Things don’t happen to me, they happen for me.” When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, I put on my Big Soul Panties and dealt with it – I saw that cancer was the kick in the can I needed to ignite my soul service work (writing), to wake me up to the present moment, and to remind me to savor this precious life, like chocolate slowly melting in my mouth – I love chocolate! And I love life!

Speaking of which…I’m alive! That’s a huge accomplishment! Three and half years ago I was given a dire prognosis, but I’m still here! I’m holistically attending to the health of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit, clearing blockages like the fear that dogged my life and clogged my aliveness. I have faced my worst fear, cancer, and have learned to dwell in this comforting reminder – Right now I’m all right and right now is all there is.

I think one of biggest super star moves we can make in life is to wake up to our super star-ness. John Lennon sang, “Well, who in the hell d’you think you are? A super star? Well, right you are!” We may not be world famous movers and shakers, but we are intrepid beings moving and shaking things up in our lives, facing challenges, learning and growing, and helping others learn and grow. It is a gold star achievement to wake up to who we REALLY are, seeing our, and others, magnificence! As Rumi said, “By god, when you see your beauty you will be the idol of yourself.”

How about you? What are your biggest personal accomplishments? What do you value most about yourself? How are YOU a Super Star?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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May 14 2011

Transforming Sob Stories Into Wabi Sabi Stories – The Art of Being Perfectly Imperfect – #73

Wabi Sabi (wah-bee sah-bee) is a Japanese concept of life and art in which beauty is found in things that are weathered, asymmetrical, incomplete, imperfect and impermanent. As I age, my body is becoming all of the above and, therefore, Wabi Sabi has become my new kemo sahbee (faithful friend). I’m learning to see myself as a work of art, not in spite of my flaws, but BECAUSE of them. What a concept!

I’ve had a head start with this Wabi Sabi way of seeing myself — over the years I’ve been learning to face my emotional imperfections and accept myself as perfectly imperfect. I was motivated to do this by a painful sense of shame and a belief that I was fundamentally flawed and needed to be perfect in order to be loved. The quest for perfection put a cork in my aliveness that eventually caused me to crack under the pressure. I went to bed one night asking the higher powers that be, “What am I here to do in this life?” I awoke with these words resounding in my mind, “All you have to do is love yourself.” This set me on a new quest to learn to love myself AS IS, warts and all. I am still on that journey. I am learning to love my imperfect self.

One of my favorite quotes that has helped me in reframing my flawed self is Ashleigh Brilliant’s epigram, “I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent!” I’ve said this to myself many times throughout the years and it’s always made me feel better about myself. Now, in the spirit of Wabi Sabi, I tell myself, “I may not be perfect, but my imperfections make me unique and beautiful!” Krishnamurti has said that our souls are from the same paper but what makes us unique is the creases formed in the paper from all the folding and unfolding of our life experience.

This Wabi Sabi perspective is helping me face and embrace my body upheavals of the last several years. Despite my careful attempts to remain perfectly in tact, Bell’s palsy set my face permanently askew, gum disease ate away at my jawbone, cataracts clouded my eyes, an appendectomy removed my ruptured appendix, and cancer devoured my uterus, (not to mention the addition of wrinkles and gray hair, oy!). I have had to let go of my attachment to things being perfect. I’ve chosen instead to see and accept the beauty of this cracked, weathered vessel that I’ve become.  A little boy said to his grandmother, “Oh Gramma, you have such beautiful designs on your face.” I’m learning to see myself the way that little boy sees his grandmother.

There is great liberation in perceiving ourselves as beautiful, not in spite of our flaws, but because of them. It is heartening to see ourselves as not broken, but instead broken open — all the better to receive the abundant light and love that surrounds us. Leonard Cohen echoes this sentiment in his song, Anthem:

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

Finally I’d like to leave you with the quintessential Wabi Sabi story of the Cracked Pot:

Everyday a water-bearer carried two pots balanced on a yoke across his shoulders to his master’s house. One of the pots was cracked and leaked water all the way there. This made the pot very sad. “I’m so imperfect. Why do you keep me?” The water-bearer answered, “I planted flowers along your side of the path and the water you spill nourishes those flowers. Because of you, the beautiful flowers that grow there have brought great joy to my master. Your flaws bring joy and beauty.”

The story we tell ourselves about our lives is always our choice. It can be a sob story, or a Wabi Sabi story. We can choose to see ourselves as a crackpot or as a cracked pot watering flowers in our lives. I am choosing to see my life as a perfect work of art, cracks and all!

What’s your Wabi Sabi story? Can you see how your flaws, imperfections, and challenges have made your life a beautiful work of art?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

Copyright 2011 Janet Jacobsen

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May 21 2009

Gardening the Energy Field of Love #13

What if you thought that you might only have a short time to live? What would you be doing with your life? Where would your focus be?  Ever since my cancer diagnosis, I’ve been asking myself these questions. I saw my doctor a few weeks ago for a post hysterectomy check up and he told me that because there was a medium risk for my uterine cancer to recur somewhere else in my body, he recommended doing both chemo and radiation.

I am choosing to do neither of them. It doesn’t make sense to me at this time to do something so debilitating to my immune system when we don’t even know if there is any cancer left. What I am choosing to do instead is to continue with my strict diet, AND…to radiate myself on a daily basis with the healing energy of love! My soul lights up at the thought, saying, “Yes!” Cultivating the energy of love in my life is the work I have been doing for years. It is what laid the groundwork for a wonderful, incredibly loving man to show up who matched that vibration (that would be my husband, the wondrous Tom). It is a law: if you build the energy of love, love will come. Now I have the motivation to turn up the volume on that.

Love has healing power. I’m not referring to romantic love; it is more powerful and permanent than that. Love is a state of connectedness, wholeness, union, and harmony with all that is.  In the book “Healing with Love”, Dr. Leonard Laskow writes, “Love stimulates healing by relating us to the natural order and harmony inherent in our cells, in our selves, and in universal consciousness. Healing through love is a process of becoming whole.”

Even though I feel a strong intention to focus throughout my day on love, I know that inspiration wanes and, like weeds, fears can take over; I tend to be a worrier. Fortunately, I am also a warrior. My spiritual warrior is very practical and has prompted me to implement daily practices that help plant me securely in the energy field of love. I want to share with you some of these practices.

1. LOVING SELF-TALK. I come into union with myself by loving my feelings as if they are my children, treating them like a mother would treat a beloved child. I bring loving attention to them, call them “honey” and “sweetheart”, talk to them in an accepting way, and allow them to express themselves. Once our feelings are fully seen, allowed and experienced, we expand into our full flowing aliveness.

2. THE WORD ‘LOVE’.  I lace my day with the word ‘love’. Just saying or writing the word ‘love’ effects our cells. In Masaru Emoto’s book, The Hidden Messages in Water, he tells about how the effect of words on water molecules revealed that positive words like ‘love’ created harmonious patterns in water molecules, and negative words created disharmonious patterns. Since we are largely made up of water, it makes sense that the words we say to ourselves and each other have a powerful effect on us.

3. VISUAL REMINDERS OF LOVE.  I put a picture of myself as a child where I can see it everyday. I look into that child’s eyes, I see her beautiful soul, and say, “Hello sweet girl. I love you.” My teenage niece told me recently that she had been making some decisions that were emotionally hurtful to herself. Then she saw a picture of herself as a little girl and she realized, “I’m hurting that little girl.” That helped her to feel compassion for herself and make more loving decisions.

4. ACTIVATE YOUR HEART CHAKRA.  HeartMath Institute has created a simple 3-step formula that stimulates the energy of love in your body: First, focus on your heart. Next, breathe through your heart. Finally, generate the feeling of love in your heart by imagining someone or something you love; or imagine bathing your heart in warm pink light, the color of the heart chakra. I have an Emwave device from HeartMath that gives bio-feedback and helps me know when I am in that state (the light turns green when I’m in ‘love’, and red when I am not).

5. NATURE LOVER. I take daily love-generating walks communing and harmonizing with nature. On a recent walk I was inspired to write this poem, celebrating our ‘love affair’:

NATURE IS MY LOVER

The sun warmly kisses my face.

The ground holds me in earthy embrace.

The wind playfully tussles my hair.

The gift of flowers scents the air.

My lover gives me lots of space.

And let’s me move at my own pace.

Though some would say there’s no one there,

I deeply feel this love affair.

Abraham Lincoln said, “It’s not the years in our life that counts, it’s the life in our years.” Ultimately, it’s the love in our moments that truly counts. I think that is what we take with us when we die, how much we have opened our heart, our cells, and our being to love. Even if I were to die a year from now, if I am filled with love, I will have accomplished a huge thing, I would have done what my soul came to do. It’s all about love!

If you thought you might have a short time to live, what would you be focusing on? What generates the energy of love in you?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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