3 Activities to Promote Self Love and Reflection
With negativity coming from all directions, it can be tough to practice acceptance, patience, and love...especially with yourself. If you are anything like me, then you are very visual and need daily reminders of who you are and what you're capable of. I am going to suggest three main activities that have helped me reflect and remember who I am/why I am here. Enjoy and take what you need. <3
I know that meditation has become a trend, but it is not all hype. Meditation soothes me when I'm angry, comforts me when I'm hurt, and centers me when my ego is running rampant. One of the biggest lessons I had to learn is that meditation looks differently for everyone, but the overall point is to center your true self and focus on what is happening at that very moment. Here are the tools I use to meditate:
Insight Timer app: This is my go-to meditation tool. This FREE app has over 4,000 free meditations that cover every topic imaginable. It includes guided meditations and meditation music. Not only can you search for whatever you need, but you can also bookmark your favorites. Another neat feature is that it is a community-based app. So, it allows you to see who is meditating with you in your area and communicate with them. This app is a great tool for people to get a feel for what they do or don't like in regards to meditating, so I highly recommend it.
Calm app: This app has a great breathing timer. It allows you to close your eyes and make a sound when it is time to breathe in, hold, and exhale. It also has bedtime stories that are narrated by people with extremely soothing voices. The only con to this app is that the free features are very limited. The breathing timer is what I use most.
Guided Meditations on Chopra.com: These are what laid the foundation to my meditation practice. They are all led by David G. and he is PHENOMENAL.
His voice and choice of words are what drew me in. There are 15 free meditations that focus on a variety of topics, i.e. healing, emotional release, and gratitude. Do yourself a favor and give these a try! Guided Meditations
Oprah & Deepak's 21-Day Meditation Experience: Every few months, Oprah & Deepak will host a free 21-day meditation experience. Each experience has a theme, and they have always been right on time for me. In fact, there is one entitled Hope In Uncertain Times starting April 10, 2017. To register, sign up on Chopra.com and download the free app (Oprah&Deepak's 21-day meditation experience). You will receive a notification each day to remind you to do the daily meditation.
2. To Be List
We all know what a To-Do list is, but what about a To-Be List? A To-Be list is a list of all things you want to be internally and all things you want to exude. I'm not sure what's more therapeutic about this tool; making the list or seeing it on my wall everyday. The list keeps me grounded, reminds me of the big picture, and my overall purpose. A few things on my list:
3. Gratitude/Acceptance Journal
Gratitude and acceptance have been two big themes in my life. Gratitude because I will often allow myself to sweat the small stuff forgetting that I still have life, family, intellect, and consciousness. Acceptance because when we accept circumstances and people as they are, we open our hearts for all opportunities to love, learn, and grow. Acceptance equals freedom from judgment and past transgressions.
For gratitude, everyday try to write down the happenings that made you smile or people that made the day go by a little easier. This helps to ground me and put things into perspective. It's easy to go home drained from all of the things that didn't happen the way you wanted, try giving yourself an attitude boost by focusing on the good things that happened...even the things that happened with the least amount of effort. ;)
For acceptance, make a list of the facts. My mom gave me this activity to do when I went on a rant about why I was still angry about things that happened in the past. Whatever or whoever you are having a hard time coexisting with or forgiving, make two lists. On the first list, list all of the facts that you have yet to accept about that person. On the second list, write down any great memories you shared with that person and all of the good things you liked about them. This will help quiet your ego, shift your perspective, and move you down the path of forgiveness.
Board of Reminders
This is similar to a mood or vision board. Post cards that you got from friends or nice e-mails you have received from professors. Post that selfie that made you feel invincible. The purpose of this board is to give you a visual representation of what your "good" looks like. When we get in the dumps, we subconsciously seek things that will help us stay there. It is important that we display things around our home that will instantly remind us of better days we have already had to remind us that even better is coming. I'm not pushing for you to avoid your emotions, but after processing and understanding why you feel heavy, make sure you have tools that can pull you out of the hole.