“It’s a lifestyle… now live it!” I love this tag line from Organic Spa Magazine. It’s simple and directive. It’s says to me that living a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for creating and manifesting a wonderful life, and that each of us is responsible for claiming this ownership and making the most of it. Fabulous! Seems simple, right?
If you are consciously choosing to live a more awakened, authentic and healthy life, you’ve probably noticed that the process of awakening and growing isn’t simple or easy, and it is most certainly without end. It is a lifestyle, and from my perspective, the most sustainable and rewarding one!
Although this journey of awakening is a path to greater joy, the road can be bumpy with pain and confusion. While I believe it’s important to experience and savor all of it, I also believe that it doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it. What I know from my own journey, as well as the extraordinary changes that I have witnessed with my clients, is that this awakening process is easier, faster and more joyous when you recognize and change your distorted beliefs about yourself to reflect the deeper truth of who you really are; a precious miracle that has always been, and will always be enough!
Integrating this awareness is perhaps the most important step to building a solid base for your optimal lifestyle to flourish. Awakening to your own miraculous nature prepares your heart, mind, spirit, soul and body to integrate wisdom and awaken with greater ease. Growing and learning will still come with plenty of confusion and struggle, but with the underlying awareness of personal value, you gain strength in the process instead of defeat. Living a healthy lifestyle, and reclaiming it when you’ve lost site of it, is much easier when you’re not stuck in the story line of “I’m not enough”.
So how do we make this shift within from “not enough” to a “miracle to cherish”?
Here’s one technique I invite you to try. Start by bringing your mind to an image of a newborn baby who is completely valuable and precious, just in it’s very being. The infants value is effortless. It is a unique and miraculous creation that inspires awe and joy, just for being born. Now, ask yourself; do you really believe this precious baby will lose it’s value over time as it grows? How would value disappear?
Sounds silly right? But that is exactly what we do, we lose sight of the fact that we are born with intrinsic value. Our mistaken belief that our value diminishes explains why we end up spending so much of our lives trying to earn and prove our value by doing more, having more, and achieving more. Are we any less of a miracle today than the day we were born? No, of course not. We will make mistakes, we will stumble, we will fall, pick ourselves up, and try again. This is our humanity, not our value! Our value is our birthright. Even if we lose our site of it, it’s always there. (Think Dorothy and the ruby slippers.)
Hold a vision of your own miraculous life in your mind and plant it like a seed of knowledge into every cell of your being. Tell yourself this affirmation: “I am a miracle, and I am enough!” Nourish this seed with truthful awareness and kindness. And, as you would carefully prune unnecessary growths on a plant, gently remove distorted beliefs and resist from acting in ways that cause harm to yourself or others. We are a generation that understands that scolding doesn’t work, but teaching gently and consistently does. As your roots of value grow deeper and stronger, your resilience and wisdom grows.
Think about how your life might be different if you believed from the depth of your being that, just as you are today, with the best of intentions, stumbling into mistakes and getting out of them, that you are enough? Let’s stretch that question even further and ask if your life would look and feel any different if you remembered that not only are you enough, you are truly a miracle and that your life is a precious gift to be cherished? You aren’t more or less valuable than anyone else, but you are enough. You aren’t perfect, but you are enough. You have plenty to work on, and much room to grow and change, but still enough.
Let’s expand the exercise a bit more to further deepen this awareness of your intrinsic worth: Sit or stand up straight, and close your eyes if it feels right. Take a deep breath in through your nose, pull your shoulders back and down, exhale and say to yourself and all the seedlings newly planted in each of your cells: “I am enough, just as I am”. Repeat this process several times until you really start to feel it settle into your being.
If this exercise was easy for you, wonderful! You might find that by adding this as a daily practice, perhaps in the morning when you first awaken, will strengthen your value muscle even more.
If you found this exercise challenging, and aren’t readily able to connect with the experience, don’t give up. Relax and take a few more deep and restful breaths. Think of some kindness that you did the past day, or a kindness that someone did for you. Smile. This usually perks up the mind so that it feels better and more receptive. Now try the exercise again.
It may feel awkward, silly or fake at first. I remember reading my first Louise Hay book where she asks the reader, me, to look in the mirror and tell myself that I loved me. I squirmed! It felt really hard, and weird too. My internal stories of unworthiness were deeply rooted, and my resistance to the exercise was strong. However, somewhere deep inside, I knew she was right.
It takes courage to let go of our old stories of “not good enough” and vulnerability to claim a new belief that is founded in “I am enough”. It means being mindful not to compare yourself to others in unhealthy ways. It means being mindful to tell yourself the truth about yourself and your circumstances and to always respond in the best way that you can. It means being mindful to recognize your own strengths and fine qualities and letting them shine. It means loving yourself, warts and all, knowing that you are enough!