In her ongoing series on a Year of Self-Love, Sabi Kerr explores meditation as a useful tool in our journey to self-love.
Before we can go out into the world, share our gifts and truly give to others, we first need to give our love unconditionally, and unapologetically, to ourselves. Practicing self-love is a daily commitment to making space for yourself, to be just who you are, to love yourself just as you are. It’s a practice, because it doesn’t happen automatically one day and then, all of a sudden, it’s there for good. It takes consistent work and commitment.
There are many different tools to use to aid you on your self-love journey. This month we’re exploring the practice of meditation. Meditation is a set of techniques to help you become more aware of where you are, and to help you achieve a mentally clear state of mind.
Meditation is so useful for building deep levels of self-love, because it helps with so many of the mental issues we have that impact the relationship we have with ourselves. Our limiting beliefs, our negative self-talk, our need to compare, our need to hold onto guilt; these can all be released through the practice of meditation. Meditation helps us to release our attachment to the past or the future (where our fears and blocks to self-love lie), and guides us right into the present moment. The only moment where we actually live, and the moment that is always full of love.
There are many different meditation styles and there is no wrong or right way. Present moment meditations focus on watching the breath or the sensations in the body. Transcendental meditation
involves sitting with the eyes closed and chanting a mantra silently, using the mantra as a vehicle to let the mind settle down naturally. Allow yourself to experiment with different styles, use apps and watch videos online, until you find one that works for you.
One of the most common challenges that people have with starting a meditation practice is being inconsistent with it, and having difficulty making time for it. This is only a struggle because it is not yet a habit. At first it seems like a burden, that extra thing that you ‘have’ to squeeze into your day. The key here is to make it a non-negotiable. To see it as of the same value as showering, brushing your teeth and getting ready in the morning. To set an alarm 10 minutes earlier so you have the time. So all you need to do is just get it done. Day in, day out. And by prioritising this consistency, it will eventually become a habit and something you do without thinking.
Another common challenge is staying focused during the meditation itself, and feeling like you’re ‘bad’ at it because your mind keeps wandering, so it feels pointless. It’s important to understand that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ meditation. Release the attachment to what you think should happen, and regardless of how at peace or how lost in your thoughts you were, know you were giving yourself some quiet time just to sit and be with yourself. That is enough.
Giving ourselves the gift of daily meditation is such an important part of a self-love practice because it trains us to sit with ourselves, to just be. To realise that nothing else is needed, and that how we are already, is enough.
Sabi Kerr is a yoga teacher and life coach. It’s her passion to support people in developing deep levels of self-love, so that they can move forwards and create their fullest lives (sabikerr.com)
Discover more throughout the Year of Self-Love with Sabi Kerr.