Kelly Martinsen, Publisher This month is often described as a “love” month. Love is most often considered a partnership deal between two or more people. Yet, truly, you only need yourself to experience the warmth Oscar Wilde discusses. This realization came to me due to a change in my routine. More to the fact it came to me because I was late.
I was late to yoga class and I had to place my mat in a space that was not my usual space. Already I was beginning to become unsettled. I love my yoga space, I feel strong in that yoga space, I obtained headstand in that space, we had a partnership. But I was late. So while I eyed the woman in my beautiful space, I walked quickly to my new space. The problem with my new space was that it came with something I was sure I didn’t want. A mirror! When I do downward dog, I usually feel strong. Core sucked in, shoulder blades tucked in my back pockets, hands spread wide looking down between my legs, and I love my downward dog. Only this time the view I got in that mirror behind me was my forty-two year old ass. Clearly something I do not love! I was horrified, thinking about the miles I run, the effort I make to eat right.
Before I knew it class was coming to a close and I had spent the hour chastising myself for my food choices, my genes and then my vanity. I went into my headstand pose. Much to my horror the face looking back at me in the mirror didn’t look strong, it looked funny. Really funny, like, “don’t look in the mirror; gravity is a beast,” funny.
I left that class ashamed at how I had spent that hour. I spent it judging myself on the things I try never to judge others on. The cloths I was wearing, the weight on my hips, the wrinkles that look even worse upside down and then the shallowness of my character for thinking these things. These are things I would never judge on a person I loved. Yet there I was, judging myself and not loving. We all do it. Our thighs are too big, our lips too thin, our roots are too dark, or light. We stand in judgment of ourselves instead of providing ourselves the same love that we offer our friends and family.
It is a challenge to love your own self with the same abandon as we love a child or a pet. I can do a handstand (after practicing for three years) and I love myself for it. When I love myself I am a better mom, a better sister, daughter, wife and friend and in turn I become more lovable. When I love myself I am the person I want to be. Loving yourself is not being complacent and accepting. It is often the opposite. When you truly love yourself sometimes you must make a change in your attitude, your food choices, your relationship choices. Love and being in-love should start with you! When it does, you begin to make the right choices and fill the world with your own light. That light reflects on to the universe and brings you loving partnerships. It comes full circle. We have choices to make when we wake each morning and the choice is to love ourselves or not. For me my choice is to love myself……. or be on time for yoga!