I remember the first time I intentionally looked into my own eyes (with the help of a full length mirror) and said, “I love you”.
I couldn’t do it.
It felt like a big lie.
I was so uncomfortable in my own skin.
This was an incredibly painful exercise!
This is also one of the most transformational exercises I’ve ever done to finally experience a breakthrough in my relationship with self-loathing. I share this exercise with every women I work with who battle low self-esteem and self-worth because self-love is the first step to defeating the hold these have in our lives. I invite you to try this exercise for yourself and watch your truthful reaction. It’s perfect how ever it shows up because it’s exactly where you are on this journey.
Inner Essence Exercise
As I stand naked in front of my full length mirror, taking a moment to really look at every part of my body, I notice the distain. I notice how I’m already feeling uncomfortable with what I see and when I look into my eyes to say, “I love you” that full blown discomfort explodes in front of me and forces me to look away!
I do not find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in this experience and for myself and all the women I’ve shared this with I can say, I/we deserved to be loved for who we are! Truly loved, inside and out by ourselves and others! The good news is, it got easier to do this exercise the more I practiced and the day finally arrived! The day I could comfortably look in my mirror, look into my own eyes and honestly say, “I love you, with all your flaws, smiles, tears, habits, everything, I just love you.
This is the day I reconnected with the beautiful soul within me in a way I never imagined that I could, and it’s the day I truly felt love as it was intended for all of us. FOR ALL OF US. It’s really important to understand that self-love IS NOT the same as self-absorbed like our society would like us to believe! Looking back at my own relationship with self-love I can see why my self-worth, self-care and self-esteem were so low!
I remember my mother reminding me that it wasn’t nice to stare at myself in the mirror, it was vain or having girlfriends say “you think you are something special” like that was something bad. How many of us heard a parent say “stop thinking about yourself, stop being so selfish, it’s rude to care about yourself first”. I grew up in the era of being a good girl meant taking care of everyone else’s needs before my own. Thank goodness we have re-discovered the importance of self-love and recognize that it’s vital to truly loving others! It’s the right time to practice the
The fact is loving ourselves first is the doorway to truly loving others in a way that we were meant to feel love. I think RuPaul says it best and I quote: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell can you love anyone else!” I love RuPaul, s-he says it with such clarity. I see self-love as filling my cup first and it over-flows nourishing others in the process. The more love I have for myself, the more love I have to give others and I can’t give what I don’t have.
I originally wrote this piece last year, December 2021, and I continue to check in with this exercise to make sure it’s still true today! I am happy to say it’s more true today and it has transformed my relationships with others as well! My capacity to love another, even when they are not showing me love has been the biggest surprise to me. To be able to return non-love with love is a gift that brings me a freedom of mind I’ve never experienced before in my lifetime. How does this work you ask?
I believe it’s because I accept myself as I am. I allow and embrace my flaws, defects, both inside and out for what they are, not what I make them mean and I recognize other people’s opinion/reaction towards me is about them not me. I wish this for everyone and if there is anything I could say or do to help others have this for themselves I will!
I am so committed to this level of love that I have chosen a name for myself that speaks to who I am for others! I have chosen the name Kula Sanayha, two Sanskrit words representing “Community” “Love”. As Kula Sanyaha I am a community of love for all beings and living by example for all who are ready to connect with the power of love.