Freedom through Self-Love
By Samantha Ibarguen
Bound by perfectionism? Read on.
Self-love: the practical application of it has been on my mind, in my world, in my heart. I am interested in the tools of transformation for their use in making this human experience a better one, and self-love is a biggie, like keystone or lynch pin status. A constant theme for many of us is how to feel better, even just normal, in the midst of the physical and vibrational shifts occurring in the world. Feeling grounded, centered, and balanced is a daily, sometimes moment-to-moment pursuit. We use external resources like food, herbs, oils, exercise, loved ones, and healers (helpers, coaches, therapists, body workers) to care for ourselves. Intentionality, however, goes a long way, and the efficacy of these tools is exponentially augmented or diminished according to our inner landscape. How are we treating ourselves as we sing to our ayurvedically-balanced oatmeal? Can we be gentle and loving as we stir in the cinnamon, or have we succumbed to the inner jackhammer? No amount of honey will compensate for treating ourselves like crap.
A common way many of us abuse ourselves is in the pursuit of perfection. As many of us know, overachievers can be most demanding on themselves. While there is nothing wrong with having high expectations, habitually demanding the most and the best of oneself can take its toll: it is physically and mentally exhausting, it is stressful, and it is a set up for failure. While the mind might believe it is keeping us safe by pushing us to do or be the “best”, it is really just reinforcing an old program, an unworkable code, one often bestowed upon us by our parents.
The reality is that perfection is unattainable, and if we believe we have attained it, it is un-maintainable. The cycle of perfection is a nasty dilemma. As the mind interrupts a task to demand perfection, you take yourself out of the task to try harder to do it, so you stop doing in order to try. As you continue to try, you get further away from the doing, which further frustrates the self that is striving for perfection. At some point in this process, trying hard affects the body – your muscles tense, you stop breathing, your energy stops flowing, all of which serves only to take you further away from any satisfactory ‘doing’ of the task. In order to break this cycle, one must step out of it completely.
Enter self-love – the cultivation of loving kindness towards…you! Love is a powerful energy, in fact, it is the gas in the engine of universal creation. We are generally used to and comfortable with giving love to others, sometimes even to the extent of our own depletion. While giving love to another can be easy and pleasurable, doing so for oneself can be challenging. We might feel like we don’t deserve it, or perhaps we just don’t know how to do it, but becoming the recipient of your own love is one of the quickest ways to transform a situation, especially if that situation has you pitted against yourself. The energy of self-love is the proverbial pin in the balloon, releasing the pressure of the situation and allowing you to come back into center, presence, and contact with yourself. From this place, anything becomes possible once again.
And so I encourage you to give yourself a little lovin’, especially if you tend to find yourself in the midst of negative feedback loops and unable to break out. Much of this work is simple, but not easy. Just getting to a place where we recognize the dynamic at play is half the battle. If we can take pause from there and make a different choice, we are on our way, indeed. Feel free to play with the steps below, and find the way to your own heart that works for you.
#1 – Stop the insanity
If you have found yourself in a downward spiral, stop what you are doing. If you can, change your physical location, even if you just shift a couple of feet. If you can do neither, take a pause; even in a meeting something like this is acceptable.
#2 – Release the demand
Recognize the demand and let it go, just drop like a hot potato whatever inner chatter is placing pressure on you.
#3 – Ground your energy
Bring your energy down through the center of your body and connect to the core of the Earth. Just this exercise does so much to calm and center the body and bring it out of fight or flight mode, allowing us to regain presence.
#4 – Let love flow
Feel love – for yourself, for a favorite person, for a beloved pet – and as you let it flow, imagine that the current scoops around and comes back to you, like you are pointing a finger at yourself with your love; let this sink all the way into the back of your heart. The imagery of the toroidal field of the heart is helpful here – imagine that your love is riding on that current and cycling back into you.
#5 – Receive
Be easy in this moment and receive your own sweetness. From this place, have fun noticing what is new or different. What has shifted as a result of treating yourself with loving kindness? What is newly available to you?
In humble sharing and with love and gratitude, I bow to the divine in you.
About the Author
Samantha Ibarguen is a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner and a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, a rigorous four-year institution that trains practitioners to work with all aspects of the human energy-consciousness system. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College.
Samantha is an eight-year veteran of transformation and personal process work. In addition to Brennan Healing Science, she uses sound healing, channeling, and aspects of core energetics and shamanism in her practice. She is currently studying PsychoEnergetics with Michael Mervosh and Irene Tobler, in which she is deepening her training in personal process work as well as "awakening the interior lives of individuals."
To learn more about Samantha and her offerings, please visit her web site, Integrated Wellness