In alignment with this day of International World Peace, I am considering what each of us can empower ourselves to do, to contribute the development of our peace. There are many pathways, visions, ideas and indeed actions already in play. To contribute to peace does not require a constant state of peace, although that would be a wonderful ideal, to contribute to peace, is to make mindful effort to grow in peace as much as we can, when we can, and many of us are already doing this, in our own unique ways, throughout most days of our lives.
Anyone who practices peace, anyone who makes the choice to accept and to forgive instead of to fight, anyone who makes a kind or compassionate choice, anyone who actively supports well-being and positive living, anyone who researches on how we can create more positive communities, anyone who chooses to heal their emotional pain and suffering, anyone who is able to love, accept and nurture a child, anyone who supports the sustainability of our planet, and the care of our animal, anyone who tolerates and accepts varied beliefs, anyone who promotes the awareness and integration of positive values, anyone who chooses to listen to their heart, anyone active in resolving conflict in positive ways, and anyone who marks this day as the initiation of a commitment to be more peaceful in thought and action is contributing to peace and there so many more people and pathways than I have touched on here.
We know that we need peace and that many of us want more peace at many levels; internally in thought and emotion, within our daily lives, and on a global political, religious and environmental scale. What I believe we need now is a vision of peace. I do not believe we need to strive for one ultimate vision because our differences in viewpoint and opinion are the colours that make our world beautiful. I believe we are at the stage of understanding what growing peace in our lives means so that we can visualize it within our own minds and that our minds will, at a deep level, align to create a a peace that we may not be able to imagine, because the sum of whole is greater than of the individual.
What does peace mean to you and me, to our family members, our students and teachers, our colleagues and community leaders, and to those we choose and trust to lead us. We need to really understand the meaning of peace, if we are to take it from an idea or ideal, form a vision and integrate peace into our daily lives.
What does peace mean to you? I am not going to tell you what your peace means, what I can do, is share with you what peace means to me and how I am finding peace, and perhaps through this, inspire in you the emergence or connection with your personal truth. When we are each clear about what peace means, we are half way to creating peace in our world.
I discovered peace after many years of working through my own fears and anxiety. I developed the mind management tools to dismantle my fears, choose positive perceptions, practice relaxation techniques, choose healthy distractions away from spiralling descents into a whirlwind of fearsome thoughts, while managing fear and doubt and uncertainty. However, although empowering, this alone did not bring me peace, but I needed to understand how to manage my fear before I had any chance of moving into peace and mind management techniques gave me this.
In time, my healing process lead me into years of learning to truly understand and integrate the art of acceptance; to accept my past and my present, to accept who I was and who I have become, to accept my limitations, to accept things I do not like about myself and my world, to accept feelings and emotions that are uncomfortable, and to accept my perfect ideals and some of my really important dreams may never be, but that certainly that I will never give up working to live them. As I integrated acceptance, through the way I would think and talk to myself, and the way I reacted to others and my environment, I witnessed an emerging sense of peace. At the same time, thoughts of gratitude and appreciation for what I had arose from within, and with this, I felt deeper sensations of peace. With more time and inner work, I encountered forgiveness, as if a natural progression from acceptance, and in forgiveness, so much could be let go, making space within me for more peace within. Then, as if a natural flow, I found myself meandering into moments of compassion, because with growing understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation, I began to not just know, at an intellectual level, but to feel, that we are all so alike; we are connected and we influence each other every moment of our lives. To choose compassion connects you and me at the heart, and from the heart, no longer analysing or thinking, just being present in love, it seems to me to be a natural occurrence that the arising thoughts and actions we make are positive, and that my presence with myself is more at peace. My work now is to make time to connect with my heart and make this a lifetime practice, because in this, I find my peace, often inspired by natural beauty and random acts of kindness that I witness in my world. I know that we have the power to create peace in our world; we are the emerging peace and we have the choice to make it grow.
What does peace mean to you?
What is your vision of peace?
How can you grow more peace in your world
If you are interested in working with me to develop your fear and mind management techniques and grow through the process of learning to live from the heart, please feel free to get in touch. You are welcome to request a no obligation 30-minute complimentary discovery session, to experience how working together can benefit you. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Learn more at: www.antoniabehan.com
Embrace Your Power
It’s time to go back to school. This can mean something different for every individual. For some teenagers, this is an exciting time to re-connect with those friends whom they have not seen all summer. For others, returning to school comes with the reminders of peer pressure, worries about acceptance, fears about bullying, concerns about performance and grades, and stress about how they are going to cope.
There are many things you can do as a parent or teacher, to help prepare your teenagers for a positive new year. Coaching teenagers on how to embrace their power is one way that you can set them up with a good foundation.
What does embracing your power mean?
Essentially, embracing your power means learning to like, love, accept and believe in yourself, it means honoring your truth and values, standing up for what you believe in, and setting strong boundaries. Achieving this requires mind mastery skills and self- love.
Coach Your Teen to Develop Mind Mastery Skills:
When your teenager is feeling stressed, anxious, and afraid or worried, you can help them to embrace their power by coaching them on managing their mind. Often it is not the situation that causes feelings of stress, worry and anxiety, but what we tell ourselves about what is or might happen. By identifying thoughts and beliefs, it is possible to work through them to create a story in which your teenager develops into managing the situation, and creating supportive thoughts to help them cope.
You can try a series of questions to help you and your teenager to identify thoughts and beliefs that may be causing them to feel stressed or anxious, and guide them in finding empowering solutions.
Coach your Teen to Love Themselves More:
When your teenager is concerned about peer pressure, being accepted, or worried about being bullied, you can help them to cope by developing the love they have for themselves. This means that your teen knows they are the only one who judges them, they are the one who decides they are an acceptable and like-able and love-able person, that they stand up for their values, and they are the one who decides to believe in who they are, no matter what.
You can help your teen to grow love by:
(Learn about this here: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/06/390143641/pot-can-trigger-psychotic-symptoms-for-some-but-do-the-effects-last)
Talk with your teenager about what is the most important thing to them: their health and well-being, or what other people think about them. You cannot stop your child from experimenting, but you can educate them to make loving choices.
(Drug and Alcohol Resource www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/teens_brochure_2013.pdf
Sexually Transmitted Infections resource: www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-teens.htm)
Ask your teen what he/she likes and loves about themselves; sometimes we all need a reminder, and keeping this information fresh in mind helps provide a barrier against the spiteful and negative words of others.
Teach your teen that when other people do or say things, your child can hold onto their power by deciding their truth about who they are is more accurate than any judgement made by another, for the simple reason that other students do not and cannot know your child/teenager as much as they do. When you and your teenager hold the voice of acceptance and love and self-belief, this provides a powerful shield of defense from bullies.
Teach your teenager about their mental filter. You can do this by demonstrating the gap between your words and their ears. Ask them to imagine placing an imaginary filter or shield in this gap. Then, as your words come towards them, they can decide to let them bounce of the shield/filter, because they are negative, cruel and unkind, or let them in, because they are positive, kind and loving. Other people can say negative things, but we have the power to choose if we accept their truth or let it go.
If your child is being physically hurt, they need to know that violence is never acceptable. They may be afraid to speak, in case the situation gets worse; this is a common fear. Self-esteem can be maintained if they and you do everything you can to stand up to this bully. Get the school involved and talk to the parents of the bully. The school should have a bully prevention policy. Ask to see it. A general policy may suggest that after a warning, detention and suspension, the bully should be expelled. It an extreme situation you may choose to move schools, because you have the freedom to make choices in any situation and no one can take that away. Remember, the Dalai Lama fled occupied Tibet to save his life and continue to support his people from safety in exile. From what I can see, I do not think he lost his power: his love is strong.
We may not always get the outcome we want, but if a child is supported to always maintain their self-esteem, and their power, to know their options and make their choices, with your blessing and support, they will feel this support and it will carry them through the challenges in life. If you do change schools, it can be helpful to arrange self-esteem coaching or counselling for your teenager, to help them prepare for embracing a new school from a positive and courageous state. Best case scenario, the school does supports you, the bully is managed, and your teenager recognizes that you and the school and life are on their side, and they grow in confidence as a result of seeking help and learning that they do not have to cope alone, help is out there, and things can change for the better.
It is an act of strength and an act of love to ask for help and support.
If you or your teenager would like empowered support on managing any of the issues raised here, I reserve coaching for teenagers from 16.30-18.30, to avoid missing school. Sessions available at Ocean Clinic (Gibraltar) on Wednesday’s and Atlantic Clinic (Nueva Andalucia) on Thursday’s and Friday’s. Skype sessions available for adults. Complementary discovery sessions are offered to parents wishing explore whether coaching with me is the right approach for their son/daughter for the presenting circumstances.
Are Your Ready to Transform Your Relationship Patterns?
Sometimes, underlying the projected judgement made about others or assumptions that can be internalized, you may find frustration, rooted in feelings of helplessness, not being valued, or feeling powerless.
Through recognising your true feelings and beliefs, opportunity is created to heal, process and transform your deeper truth into new ways of living and being with yourself and others.
Listen to this talk to learn more:
Psychological Well-being Coaching
Available on-line and in-person in Gibraltar and Nueva Andalucia
If you would like to look deeper into your life patterns, and be coached to recognise your own truth about what is happening and where you can empower personal transformation, please get in touch and explore the process of working with me to transform your life.
Get in touch now: email@example.com +34 620 741 361
Feeling Limited? If you work for a micro-management style company, if your every move is constrained by policy, if you work for managers who are control focused rather than acting as leaders and coaches, or, if you work for people who want to knock you down instead of build you up, the first point to recognise is that you are choosing to be there. In this acceptance, you reclaim a little of your power and can then assess the limitation situation.The fact is that we cannot change people. If we don’t change then nothing will change.
Consider this: Is everyone else feeling limited, or is it just you?
This feeling of limitation is happening to you and therefore, it is about you, it is not about the company or the management. So, Ask yourself, what is not acceptable this limitation?
I was working with a client on this very topic and her response to me was something like this:
‘You know, I really want to be in the management position. I can see so many opportunities to create a really positive environment, and I have thought about how we can develop the business and increase profits. But, I feel like I don’t have any opportunities to demonstrate my skills or share my suggestions. I could work for another company, but I really know this company now and I would love to be part of the development process. I have made some good friends here and feel part of it. I want to grow.
In that final comment, the reason for her feeling of limitation was clear. Once she recognised the true nature of her own feelings, she was able to address the matter, and make plans to take action for change.
Bullied? Is there someone at work who tries to bully you with their words or behaviours? If so, you can choose to accept it or choose not to accept it, in which case, to do something about it. The chances are, the most likely obstacle to doing something about it is fear. The knock downs and bully behaviour are about them, and their insecurities, but the fear is yours. You cannot change people. You can set set boundaries and ask for change.
Ask yourself, what is this fear about?
Another client was a manager of in a medical clinic. She believed that she did her job well, and was popular with her team and the patients. However, the director would frequently highlight anything negative she could find about my client. When asked to perform certain tasks that my client carried out with great efficiency, she would later be told she had done the wrong task, and be shouted at for doing things wrong. Even though she got in the habit of double-checking and writing down everything her director asked, she would be told she had written things down wrong. Her job was frequently threatened and she was beginning to feel anxious about going to work, because no matter what she did, she knew she could not win. My client loved her job with the patients, and it was the only availability in her home town. She really wanted to stay.
So I asked her: ‘What is the fear about?’
Once we worked through the fears, my client was able to recognise that what she feared the most would most likely not happen: if her boss was going to fire her, she would have done so by now.
This was when she made a decision to confront her director. The next time she felt bullied, she told this lady that her behaviour was not acceptable, that she felt bullied and that she wanted this to stop. The director was outraged and highlighted how grateful my client should be for the job opportunity and how lucky she was to be so well paid. However, the bullying behaviour stopped, my client felt empowered and better able to manage the bullies in her life, and some of her other fears. Three months later she handed in her resignation, leaving not in fear, but with courage and determination to take action for change in developing more positive energies in her life.
Not Enough Time?
The ‘inbox’ is over flowing, the ‘to-list’ is infinite, and people keep asking you to do more. The external picture looks hectic and overwhelming. If nothing changes, people will keep asking, the list will keep growing and the inbox will keep overflowing. The influx is about the environment and other people, but the reason it is continuing to happen is about you.
Ask yourself, what is it about asking for your needs to be met that is stopping you from asking for what you need?
When I asked a client what would happen if he said ‘no’, he gave me a rather awkward look and told me that his boss is a woman. I asked what this meant to him. He said that it reminded him of not being able to say ‘no’ to his demanding mother. I asked him if he went to work as an adult professional, or as the son of his boss? He quickly realized that he was indeed acting out his child state and needed to shift his own behaviour. One recognition of this, he was able to take action to change, as a result, his boss changed the way she spoke to him. Once this relationship dynamic had shifted, my client felt more in his power and able to ask for what he needed to manage the overwhelming admin. His boss however did not see eye to eye and my client returned feeling frustrated and angry about his position.
When I asked him why he felt frustrated and angry, he said he felt unable to do anything well, and is always behind.
I asked: 'If you were the manager, what would you have done differently?'
My client put himself in the shoes of his boss, and in doing realized, it was not an easy situation to change, and that employing someone else to help may be a cost they could not afford. It also became clear that no one every complained about his lack of skill or being behind, indeed, he started to see they needed him and that he really was doing his best. He just wasn’t living up to his own unrealistic standards. Soon, he was able to accept the situation, he started to feel better about his role in making the business function, and he started going to work feeling much happier. It was okay that they was not enough time in the day, he was doing his best and that was okay, and everyone was else was in the same boat.. With this, he took action to change the way he pressured himself, and is enjoy his job more now.
I had the pleasure of enjoying last Sunday lunch with a group of friends at the Urban Villa Boutique hotel. Nestled in the hills just above Marbella, this little gem stands majestically on the hillside, offering panoramic sea and mountain views, and the perfect retreat for a relaxing afternoon with friends.
The owner, Linda, welcomed us into her family lounge style restaurant, where drinks awaited on cosy sofas beside the log fire, and live music accompanied our prelude to a specially prepared vegan style Spanish Sunday lunch, and a conversation that has planted some new seeds...
As wine flowed among friends we shared recent and colourful stories of world travels and business ventures. A friend had just returned from a volunteer expedition in Africa, and brought with her sobering tales of the worlds we are so sheltered from, sparking thoughts about what world is the real world, and what are we really living for? Another friend shared ideas for her ladies empowerment circle, and sparked thoughts about what support Women multicultural Marbella really need and want?
New entrepreneurial projects designed to make a positive difference to people infused the discussion, with momentary inclusion of Trump's latest antics, brought in for questionable amusement and momentary horror, and we found ourselves considering affairs of the world, where we are going, what comes after Trump, and, in a world that we understand so little about, what vision we might create if we had the power to make a positive difference at a global scale.
We all had our opinions about what could and might and should happen, at times generating quite heated debates. By the time desert was served; a stunning buttery apply tart that might be quite possibly the best in Marbella, what arose seemed to me to be a far more important and specific question to consider: what political environment do we want to live in?
This question presented the first dilemma: how can we make a choice on political leadership when we believe the facts presented are not true and that promises made are little more than campaigns for winning votes. In reality, all we know is what we know today, and what we know today is based on what we have learnt from the past and on what we are experiencing now.
It was mutually agreed that most of us need far more education on what actually happens at the political level. So then how do we educate ourselves, when the newspapers are filled with sales promoting drama.
I think when the world stage is putting on a great show (and by great I am talking about the scale of the drama, not necessarily the quality of the performance), with an agenda we cannot know, it may be wiser to turn away from the performance playing out, and think about the show we want see playing out. I believe that we often get so lost in the dramas of our own lives, and those of the political stages, that we lose sight of this more important consideration: what we really want for our world, and indeed, individually and collectively.
My mind drifted momentarily into the sea and mountain vistas and I wondered if I were to hold the pen that wrote the story line and choose the characters for a play on the world's stage, what would the story-line be, who would the characters be, what personalities would they have, what values would they uphold, and what vision would they truly be working with all the passions in their heart to create?
I have the foundation for my play; it is based on a script that plays out positive values that serve the greater good and support my personal happiness. I am learning that my personal happiness grows in response to how I choose to think and perceive my current reality, and the choices I make in relation to my heart-centered values, with the feelings I gain from those I feel supported by, the moments of appreciation and gratitude I make time to include, the friends I share my time with, and the individuals who trust me to help them heal and grow. But when I consider the greater good; what the world needs as a vision to support harmony for all, I loose myself in a state of wonderment about what that vision may look like, what values uphold it, what practices bring it to life, and how we recruit those whose agenda it seems is only power and control at the cost of innocent lives, mass violence and suffering. When reality gives me a weighted jolt I am reminded that we cannot change people and I alone cannot change the world and make it better with a single vision. So then what can I do to contribute to the script of a world that supports the greater good.
I believe if we take care of the needs of those around us this has ripple effects that touch the lives of others and so in own small ways, with our random acts of kindness, positive words, care, support, love, encouragement, acceptance, gratitude, appreciation, forgiveness, laughter, interest, beauty and presence, we can make ripples that have positive effects, radiating from our individual hearts and minds.
We may not be able to initiate change from above, in our current positions, but we can initiate change from within, and we can make ripples that promote happiness and love and peace and freedom. We write the scripts of our lives in every moment, while dramas play out on the world stage. We can choose to watch the big dramas playing out and distract us from our core power, or we can accept what we cannot change, accept our world is full of violence, corruption and suffering, and put our focus on the choices we can make, the power we do have to create change from within. I believe when we recognise our power to accomplish our inner peace, happiness, freedom, and love, then we will be the people who have the power to develop this more in our communities, and it will be real and true. I do not believe the new scripts we need to form the stories on our world stages can come from anyone who has not done the inner work, and such a person needs voters who have done the inner work. I think if we are going to make the world better, we all need to become the leaders in our lives and the writers of our scripts, and take ownership of our stories. Perhaps when the people are ready, this leader will appear, but such a leader cannot help those who do not want to do the inner work that is the key to making the level of difference that this world needs. The power is on our hearts and minds and the choices we make about how we own and use our power.
I am eager to continue the depth of discussion that evolved on Sunday, and so I have decided to launch a philosophy club. This is an invitation only club. As subscribers to my newsletter, you are invited and you can request to invite your friends.The philosophy clubs meets monthly with adults and teenagers welcome.
The next meeting will take place on Friday March 31st
Details are on my website: http://www.antoniabehan.com/philosophy-club.html
If You Are Going to Lead, Then Lead.
Leadership is about becoming the writer of the story of your life. I believe that to be a true leader requires:
Vision: It is your vision, something you believe, see or feel called to do. It is where you see a need that you can serve, or hope that you can give. No one can give you this vision, other than to inspire you to give birth to your own. Leadership asks you to turn from the status quo and seek new vistas, hopes, dreams and possibilities. Leadership requires you to be a visionary.
Faith: A true leader has faith in their vision; they may not see what will be, how it will be attained, the actions ahead, or how the chapters will be filled. They just know it can be realized and that it matters. They know this because they believe in what they see or sense, and they trust in their own dedication, commitment, and ability to try. A true leader knows that true faith is simply the bold choice to choose to believe in yourself and your vision, over fear, no matter what.
Love: A true leader knows that real success will only be achieved when their journey is fuelled by love, because love gives a true leader the light they require to build success and attract others into their vision.
Truth: A leader must be authentic. People sense a lack in authenticity, they feel the words unspoken and they see the actions above the facade on show. A true leader must honour their values and truth in actions, if their leadership is to succeed.
Courage: There will be challenges. There will be dark nights and days of glory when you are called to demonstrate your leadership skills. There will expectations placed on you, demands made of you, responsibilities chosen by you, and there will be fears that hound you; some real, others ghosts in your mind. Courage, the ability to believe in yourself, silence the ghosts, and to trust life will be your ally.
Connection: A true leader understands that true success is bringing about transformations that benefit the whole and so care for the whole and the ability to communicate with clarity, care and compassion is key to cultivating powerful connections.
I know that to truly lead, I must write the story of my life and be accountable for it. I must manage my mind, conquer my demons with all the power of my love, and project faith, courage and positivity onto the script of my mind and onto others. I must stay true to my truth and be fierce in breaking through clouds of doubt to let the light shone through. I must choose my vision, choose faith, choose love, choose my truth and choose courage, and keep choosing these qualities every day of my life. True leadership is an art, and requires practice and dedication every single day.
Always believe in your vision, faith is the light that brings your dreams to life.
Christmas celebrates the consciousness of Christ, also known as the consciousness of illumination, awakening or enlightenment. It is a magical time of year that brings the spirit of peace, joy, connection, giving, and love; qualities of a lightness of being. The consciousness of the Christmas spirit also represents for me the teachings that this last year have brought me.
2016 has been very much focused on the art of acceptance; accepting things that happened years ago, accepting situations and people, accepting things done and said, or those things not done, accepting things about myself, accepting current situations I may not like or want, and accepting all the feelings and emotions that came with all of this. I had been intending and trying to accept certain themes in my life for some time, indeed acceptance takes the time it takes to integrate. I think it takes our time; the time we need to truly embrace it, and this to, this patience in the process is part of acceptance.
Acceptance has meant letting go of holding on to thoughts, feelings, images, situations, and beliefs that do not serve me. The power that has facilitated this process is love; when we choose to accept in the name of love; because we want peace within, and in our world, the strength of love grows like an emerging flame; at first a flicker that dares to rise and then shine a brighter light if we keep fueling our inner light with loving thoughts and actions.
In making the choice to accept, something beautiful arose out of an intention seeded years ago. I had always intended to forgive, but I just wasn't there yet, and for a long time I was not there yet. I understood that it would come through acceptance, but I had no idea how long it would take, or exactly how it would manifest. I had tried to make the choice, but it just wasn't fully happening.
Forgiveness happened when acceptance meant that the darkness in my life was embraced and accepted as part of me, my experience and my world,. It happened when I allowed my truth to arise and dominate above the beliefs, perceptions, and truths of others that I had taken on and given more power to than my own, truths that had been lost in the shadows in some recess of my mind. The conflict of inner truths brought only a sense of dis-ease and suffering, and it in these conflicts there was no peace. When, in a moment that I accepted my truth, myself, my life and my world, and took actions to support this, as if a seed sprouting and coming into bloom the moment it was touched by the light, forgiveness blazed and radiated peacefully from a place within as a natural consequence of true acceptance, and what arose in this forgiveness was a radiance, and an expanse of being, as the past was laid to rest and the present embraced, I was set free, and in my freedom, there was peace.
I believe that the way to love, peace, freedom and happiness, for ourselves and our world, is found when we do the inner work to resolve our conflicts and make peace with who we are and how things were in the past, are in the present and may be in the future; dissolving any projected fears into the mists of faith, for one soul purpose: for love. I choose faith, because I choose love. When fear shadows faith, I suffer. When faith outshines fear, I am strong. I choose strength because I choose love.
I believe that when we are in peace, we react less to the world and respond more from a conscious place of peace, love, freedom and happiness, if we choose this, because by walking this path, we become this.
I also recognize that it is one thing to experience this peace, freedom and love, in a moment and quite another to maintain. It is a practice for life, an art to be mastered, an art of a lifetime that brings together mindful awareness and heart-centered conscious intent. The beauty of this path is that when we fall, doubt, fear or get lost in darkness, because we are human, we have only to accept where we are, and to forgive, and the light returns. I perceive that as long as we practice this art and pursue what makes our hearts happy, we can live in love, peace, freedom and happiness.
Christmas is a time for peace, a time for acceptance, a time for love, a time for giving, a time for joy, a time for gratitude, a time for connection, and time for the consciousness of illumination, awakening and enlightenment to be remembered, embraced and integrated, so that in these few days of rest, we realign ourselves with our deeper truth about who we are and why we are here, and we carry this light with us into the new year, practicing the art of learning to live in peace, freedom, love and happiness every day.
I wish you a happy, peaceful, love and light filled Christmas
'Put others before yourself' - it was one of the religious teachings of my blended Protestant and Catholic upbringing. I understood, from a young age, that I must put the needs and wants of others before me, that the happiness of others mattered more than my own, and that if I surrendered things that I wanted, to pursue the interests, wants and values of others, I would be a good person. It took a lot of therapy to dismantle this belief! And now that I finally 'get it', I feel passionate about sharing what I have learnt.
When I do what makes me happy (living from my heart, being positive, helping people, creating, dancing, making more choices that support my happiness) then I know I have a much stronger, lighter, and positive energy. People around me benefit I am sure. When I am not doing what makes me happy, I think my aura alone quite possibly works efficiently to keep people at bay, while the darker tones of my mentality serve no positive benefit to me or others.
Following lessons in happiness, came lessons in love. 'Love yourself', 'Love yourself first', I was encouraged by my therapist. And, in a disturbing way, disturbing because the concept of loving myself was new, these statements made me curious about what loving myself would mean and how it could change my life. As I started to embrace this new way of living and being, I wondered why such precious, empowering, positive and essential education had not been given to me, by anyone! Of course, if no one teaches us to love ourselves, it likely because no one taught our caregivers, leaders, teachers and family members. If life situations do not lead us to the books, into therapy, or to those spiritual circles where such matters are openly discussed, then there is no exposure. I believe we need exposure. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT LOVING YOURSELF, at school, in the home, in our social circles, and in the departments of education, social care and in the offices of Government.
Loving Yourself Means:
Greater wellness - 'Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well...I am not aware of any factor in medicine, not diet, not smoking, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery...that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness and premature death, from all causes' Dean Ornish MD (1997)
Being kind to yourself - Hold kind thoughts in your mind about who you are and how you live. When you stumble and fall, accept and forgive yourself for your humanity. When you are tired, rest. When you put effort in to what matters, reward yourself for taking care of your values.
Doing what makes you happy: Discover what makes you happy and pursue it. This is your life. Why would you want to live it any other way.
Holding positive thoughts about yourself: Our minds are programmed from a young age to think a certain way, which will be dependent on our life experience, our perception of that experience, and what others have told use about ourselves and how we have processed this. When we learn to see our thoughts, choose how we react and respond to what enters our mind and choose what we grow in our mind in the way of our chosen thoughts, we learn to influence how we feel. Taking time to manage and master the mind is an act of love, to you, to me and to our world.
Choosing to manage how you feel in a caring way: Some will hurt themselves with addictive, negative and abusive acts, some will hurt others in the same way. When we decide to do what we need to manage how we feel; take time out, rest, speak with kindness, breath through the feeling, scream. cry, punch a pillow, or express how we feel to another with maturity, instead of holding back and suppressing or avoiding, which only builds resentment and darkness in the soul, then we are loving ourselves. Everyone benefits when we manage how we feel in a caring way.
Accepting who you are, no matter what: To accept is a choice. To not accept means to judge in a harsh or negative way, to deny, to avoid or to bury. When we accept who we are, what was and what is, there is no suppression, no denial of self and no self-bullying. Acceptance is an act of love and sets us free to be who are are. The only person who can truly decide to accept is you. There is no waiting for something to happen; some change, attainment, accomplishment or success, because true acceptance is about accepting mind, body and soul, today, as it is, without reliance on anything external to who we are. Accept yourself, and by all means go for what you want, but don't make your acceptance dependent on anything but your own choice. Accept yourself, no matter what. This is an act of love.
Forgiving others, because we deserve peace: It may not be that another deserves forgiveness; they may have done great harm, inflicted pain, suffering, abuse, betrayal or cruelty, but what has been, has been, and while scars may remain in body or soul, focusing on the scars and their stories only repeats the pains; we are the only ones who suffer. When we forgive, we set ourselves free, and we find peace. We forgive because we decide we deserve to love ourselves, no matter what.
Choosing faith in the dark nights of fear and doubt, because fear and doubt cause pain and suffering, and faith brings peace. The outcome is an unknown either way, so love first and choose to create more inner peace and less inner fear.
LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE
I am offering a teen talk for schools (Gibraltar to Malaga) on learning to love and accept who we are. Please get in touch to schedule your complimentary talk for teenagers:
Tel: +34 620 741 361 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.antoniabehan.com