Be Kind to Yourself: Valentine’s Day 2014

“Be Kind to Yourself”- This was the message a yoga instructor gave to our class two years ago on Valentine’s Day.   Such a simple, yet powerful, statement, that transformed my life in the most beautiful and positive way. Melanie, the yoga instructor, ended our practice with those four words “be kind to yourself” and then warmly said “For this Valentine’s Day my wish for you is to have love, kindness and compassion to Yourselves. We give to everyone else, so please take the time to give love to you”. That statement affected me so much, that as soon as class ended I wrote it down, and promised myself I will do just that. Those four instrumental words, that are hanging in my room, on my phone, and on my computer, have become my sacred mantra. “Be Kind to Yourself” has eliminated my negative self-talk, helped me to accept and love my body, and taught me that it is necessary to be kind to me in order to radiate kindness to others.

I am so grateful for Melanie’s message resonating something inside of me to make a commitment to change. However, as I write and reflect, I feel sadness for the way I use to berate myself. I did not deserve the self-inflicted verbal abuse for eating a slice of pizza late on a Saturday night, or for how a pair of pants felt snug while getting ready for work on a winter morning. With all that negative self-talk, damaging feelings such as shame and disgust existed, thus creating many physical digestive problems. It was a mean cycle, a sad way to treat me, to treat anybody really. There is a great quote “If I talked to my friends, the way I talked to myself then I would be a bully and have no friends” and it’s true. The saddest part is that I see this same pattern exist in many young females I work with, and though I share my mantra, hoping Melanie’s words will inspire them too, I know they have an unpleasant life ahead if they don’t change.

I am not sure why so many of us can be our own worst enemy. What I do know is that all the pain I have been through, all the knowledge I have gained, and the love, kindness, and compassion I now have, has brought me to this present moment and I feel nothing but gratitude.

On this Valentine’s Day, and each and every day, I leave you with the wise words of my old yoga instructor, Melanie, “Be kind to yourself. For this Valentine’s Day my wish for you is to have love, kindness and compassion to yourselves. We give to everyone else, so please take the time to give love to you. Namaste” And the most inspirational Buddha…

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection”

~Buddha

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