Life loves you and wants you to thrive. This week I have a few techniques for meeting life halfway. Offer yourself the tiniest bit of love, and life will match you many times over.
1. Literally program your reality.
Jon Ray reminded me that this is what lifestreaming is all about. What you’re putting out into the world is what you’re getting back. You can use the Internet to focus your reality programming practice (this is what my grad school thesis was about, “Lifestreaming as a Life Design Methodology“). Some simple ways to program your reality are: blog about what you’re grateful for, what you love, or what you want. Go deeper into life design with the School of Life Design lessons, especially Lesson 2: Designing the Digital You.
2. Change your mirror-talk.
I’ve been known to get caught up obsessing over my weight. Lately, Kelly has been receiving tons of weightloss compliments. Her secret? She says nice things to herself whenever she looks in a mirror. “Looking good!” or “My hair looks great. My skin is looking fabulous!” Start telling yourself the things you want to hear and you’ll start to see them. “I’m losing weight! I look great! I am STUNNING!”
3. Feel loved.
You are so loved. Life adores you. The universe is head over heels in love with you. When you walk past a mirror, think, “I love you so much,” or “I am so loved,” or “I love and accept you exactly the way you are.”
4. Try this mantra: “Breathe in and be fully conscious. Breathe out and be fully conscious.”
When you’re fully conscious, you’re curious about your reality instead of reacting to it. You’re interested in what’s currently happening, rather than labeling it with “like” or “dislike”. If something is annoying you, try this mantra. See if you can step outside of your mind’s resistance to just observing the situation. Look for the lesson–see what gift life is trying to give you that you are resisting.
5. Try this mantra: “Love Yeah Love.”
Sometimes it takes a powerful hallucinogen to give me a swift kick in the pants, reminding me what I know. The other night I went on a psychedelic adventure with Kelly. I remembered the advice from a friend, “Whenever you get scared, just meditate on love.” Kelly had also just told me about Joseph Campbell’s “Yea” philosophy, where you say “yeah” to everything, good or bad. If you say “no” to anything, you are resisting life itself. As I came up, I thought, “Either you’re part of the wave, or you’re getting knocked down.”
At one point I started feeling scared, so I began saying, “Love Yeah Love” to myself, over and over. I replaced all thoughts with this one. Every single thing that happened, I said, “Love Yeah Love.” Kelly screaming at the top of her lungs? Love Yeah Love. Notice some weird dirt situation in the bathroom? Love Yeah Love. Feel sad about the mortality of my pet? Love Yeah Love. Feel sympathetic pain for someone else’s injury? Love Yeah Love.
It’s all love, good or bad. Your friend’s injured leg? It’s not bad, it just wants to be. It needs love too. The grime in the tub? It’s not bad, it just wants to be. It needs love too. Practice unconditionally loving and saying yes to your entire reality. It all just wants to be. You don’t need to change anything, or judge anything, or resist anything. It’s all you. It’s all love. It’s all the wave of life. Love Yeah Love it all.
One great way I found to practice this concept is while doing dishes. I was washing a glass, spacing out and thinking about something else. I pulled myself back with “Love Yeah Love” and placed my attention on the glass. I felt love for the glass. I felt appreciation for the way I obtained the glass. I actually changed the way I was washing it–from quick, jerky, nearly painful-to-my-hands movements, to gentle, deliberate, smooth strokes. Love Yeah Love whatever you’re doing, and it will love yeah love you back.
Ever wanted to be the person that gets all the attention, all the compliments, all the love? Ever wanted to be that untouchable girl who floats through life, receiving all the good luck? Turns out it’s easy–you just have to not care if you are. Imagine you have a best friend inside of you, who is always praising you and helping you. This best friend inside of you is so wonderful to be around, and so much fun, that you don’t care much about what’s going on outside of you. Why would you need attention or compliments, if you have a direct line to a blissful relationship already within you?
Creating, cultivating and nurturing that relationship with the best friend inside of you is what self love and self acceptance are all about. For me, it means that I talk to myself like I do in my meditation videos, all day every day (a practice I just started yesterday!). For you, it might mean something else. But if you’re craving a life of love, joy, and abundance, look no further than inside your own heart. Connect to that best friend that already lives inside of you (you can think of it as god, or source energy, or your higher self if it helps) and let your life get easier!
Everyone will be asking what your secret is. The people you admire will flock to you. Your love of yourself attracts love from the outside like moths to a lamp. Detach from your external circumstances and attach to your inner supply of love to burn brighter than ever before.
“Lift up the self by the Self
And don’t let the self droop down,
For the Self is the self’s only friend
And the self is the Self’s only foe.” ~ Bhagavad Gita 6:5
1. Let it come to you.
Trust that life will give you what you want. Your calm knowing that what you want will come is exactly the signal that attracts what you like. You’re not thirsty. You’re not needy. You’re already full of abundance, and more is coming your way.
2. Get life design insight from graphic design.
This wonderful Abraham-Hicks quote explains why studying and mastering graphic design (or any design discipline) can help inform a life design practice.
Whenever you’re trying to understand anything that is as huge as all of the Universe, or as huge as all eternity, all you have to do is bring it back to something simple that you do understand, and ask the questions and apply them. And then you can understand the Whole. Everything that’s true of the Whole is true of the individual.
3. Think of approaching weightloss like acne.
Kelly used to have really bad acne. She tried everything to get rid of it–potions, creams, changes in diet. Nothing worked. Over time, it became clear that she was just criticizing herself and it was manifesting as irritated skin. She stopped using all skin treatments and left her diet alone, and over time, her acne disappeared. Imagine approaching weightloss in a similar manner: stop all the calorie counting, weird diets, and over-exercising. Most of all, stop beating yourself up! You can’t do anything but change your thoughts. Be nice to your body and it will be nice to you.
4. Stop thinking about what you have to do next.
I realized the other day that often I feel unhappy because I’m caught up thinking about my next obligation, so I can never enjoy the present. It feels terrifying to stop thinking about the next thing I have to do (“What if I forget!”), but it’s so blissful to just be here now, enjoying what I have.
5. Feel your inner body.
This is a powerful meditation practice I learned from Eckhart Tolle. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard. It’s an abstract and sort of odd concept, but the idea is that when you feel for the life in your body, you connect to the source within. Imagine feeling your inner body as connecting to the infinite fountain of youth inside you.
6. Feeling hateful towards yourself or your situation?
Sometimes I get so pissed off at myself for being lazy, or overeating, or not “doing” enough. Once I recognize that I’m being a total bitch to myself, I try to go back to the mantra of, “Jessica, I love and accept you exactly the way you are.” If I can manage to repeat it enough times, I start feeling better. When I’m beating myself up, what I really want is love and acceptance. I’m the only one who can give it to me.
7. Keep your thoughts off this world.
This is an idea from the 40 Day Prosperity Plan. If you’re thinking about your reality, your reality is affecting you. Instead, affect your reality by keeping your thoughts on your connection to source. To practice this, just keep your attention on your breath by thinking, “Breathe in and raise your vibration. Breathe out and release your resistance.” Your breath is your source. God is the breath of life.
8. Be happy today.
There’s this graffiti around 38th and Guadalupe that says “Be Happy Today.” You can’t be happy any other time! You can’t wait for all the pieces to fall into place to be happy! You just have to choose it now, because it’s the only time there is. Even if things aren’t going the way you want, you can still choose to be happy. You can choose to feel the way you want to feel, right now. Then, when you start feeling happy, you’ll start receiving those happy manifestations you’ve been wanting so badly.
Art by Stephen Cade
I grew up with parents who loved me unconditionally. However, I can’t say that they approve of me or my actions unconditionally.
When I was in high school I didn’t give a flying fuck about their approval. I knew they loved me, but they were really strict. I rebelled as hard as I could. I always approved of myself because I was having, pursuing and being fun.
Once I made it through a couple rough years of undergrad, I started wanting to get along with my parents better. It was great, but I realize now I started approving of my desires and actions less and less. I was using their approval scale–grades, weight, job. In high school I didn’t care about those things at all.
I’ve been practicing self love using mantras like, “Jessica I love and accept you exactly the way you are,” and it’s felt a little off. Deep down, I know I love myself. I think I’m pretty great, and when I step back to watch the story of my life, I think it’s a pretty cool story. I do love myself.
But then I read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. The first affirmation she suggests using is “I approve of myself.” I didn’t quite get it until this morning, when I heard myself thinking, “I just want some approval!”
Immediately I started saying “I approve of myself” over and over. I began to feel better and better. When I said, “Jessica I love and accept you exactly the way you are,” I felt guilty. Like, “I love you and accept you even though you are bad in the following ways.” But when I say, “I approve of myself,” I feel like I own my desires and am proud of myself. “I love myself the way I am” feels like I am flawed. “I approve of myself” feels like I’m kicking ass and don’t need anyone else’s approval.
What is your approval-to-love ratio? Do you find yourself feeling fundamentally unloved, or just needing a little approval? Give “I approve of myself” a shot and see if it makes more sense than focusing on the notion of self love.