Tag Archives: self-LOVE

Kintsukuroi Life

japanese pottery Kintsukuroi

I found a John Ruskin quote that reminded me of Kintsukuroi pottery. Kintsukuroi means to “repair with gold.” When a piece of pottery is broken, it is repaired with precious gold. There is an understanding that the piece is now more beautiful for having been broken. The past ‘misfortune’ of the piece is not concealed, it is highlighted and prominently featured. The damage is now what makes the piece of pottery more unique, more sacred, more valuable, more special, more loved.

This is the quote I found by John Ruskin: “Imperfection is in some way sort of essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent… And in all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty… To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life my be effort, and the law of human judgement, mercy.”

What would life be like is we viewed ourselves in this way? Would we not be happier? More fulfilled? Finally, for once in our life,  feeling completely free? Free to be ourselves fully, free to love ourselves fully, free to simply exist in all of our glory fully? And what would life be like if we viewed others in this way? What would life be like if we saw the whole of life in this way?

A kintsukuroi life is not made of dreams and fantasies. It is bold, brutally honest, all embracing, and very real. It is there for any brave soul that cares enough to take a stand; standing in reverence and appreciation, for everyone and everything — including themselves.

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No one compares to you, ever.

orange

Should an orange model itself after a strawberry? Should it even compare itself to a strawberry?

If the orange did, & it caused pain & suffering for itself, could you see how it would be a silly situation?

So why do you think humans do it, yet do not recommend it as wise for fruits?

[This week's blog post is a re-post from May 1st 2011. Let the message of this blog post stand as a reminder. May we never forget that no one compares to us. Everyone is uniquely themselves for a reason. Let us not only celebrate that in each other, but cherish it in ourselves.]

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Afraid of the Light

head in the sand

When do you feel your best?
When do you not feel your best?
What gives you energy, inspires you & lifts your spirit?
What takes your energy, leaves you uninspired & low in spirit?
When was the last time like you felt fulfilled, content & complete?
When was the the last time you felt unfulfilled, discontent & incomplete?

Take the time to answer the questions. Don’t formulate the answers, just allow them to present themselves. Quiet down, relax, & allow the answers to effortlessly appear. Write down the first thing that pops in your mind after reading each question. Don’t edit the answer. Don’t second guess it. Just write it down & accept it.

Notice. Simply notice all of the answers. Noticing is one of the most profound steps someone can take to transform their life. It’s effortless, but it’s daunting. For some it is scary. Because once they see what is going on, they will never be the same. They will forever be awake to what is happening in their life. They can no longer sleep-walk through their days & then wonder why they always feel tired, or always feel like year after year, they never reach their desired destination.

Begin to see what is there, & you will not only see that what is making you unhappy is being chosen (by you) repeatedly, over & over again — but you will also see that the peace, joy, energy, & inspiration is always there for the choosing as well.

Imagine a room in your house is buried with things that are unwanted, unsuitable for you, or unneeded at the present moment.  Because of that, you will not be able to see the things that are the most appropriate for you; the things that are perfect for you in this moment. It also doesn’t allow any room for anything new to come into your present life. That cluttered room is filled with the past. Past choices. Past solutions. Past desires. Things that no longer serve you.

buried covered unseen hidenMaintaining a jumbled existence doesn’t allow for room to play freely.  It makes it difficult to see & choose what might serve you best now. Spaciousness (physical & mental) is the freedom that many of us are seeking. And it’s not found in more stuff, or more experiences. We have plenty of those! It is found in being spacious. Being clear. Being open. Being ready & available to what might come our way next.

One way to be clear, is to clearly see. To see what is already there, right in front of you. Be clear about it. Then begin to dig, & clear out what is behind it. Go deep. Don’t be afraid to excavate (figuratively & literally). Dig & clear out your stuff. It’s taking up space, & it’s blocking you. These blocks (stuff being held, be it mental or physical) impede your energy flow. They also block the light. This heaviness or tiredness that people feel is often because they feel weighed down by the things they are carrying unnecessarily. Physical & mental blocks (or baggage) are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, both need to be cleared out. Both need your attention.

Awareness is key. Without that, you are lost. You’ll be on the hamster wheel of life, wondering why you are always chasing after something (or being chased by something). Wondering why you are always falling short of your self-expectations, falling short of what you know you are capable of being or achieving. To meet your best self or your best life, you must first meet who you are now. Have you really met you? Or do you constantly avoid you? I know that sounds funny or silly — but I’m being serious. So many of us are moving through our lives so fast, & we are so busy with work or family or entertainment, that we haven’t really sat with ourselves. When I say sit with ourselves, I mean with open eyes & open arms. We haven’t said, “Ah. I see you! I see how you have been hiding. And I see that you are buried. I love you. And I am going to unearth you, unburden you. I’m going to set you free.”

It’s simply an act of self-love. And unconditional love of ‘the self,’ is unconditional love of all selves (all people). So self-love isn’t a selfish act, it’s a self-less act. There is no separate self, separate from the rest of the world. Also, your life is a mirror. When you see love & perfection (or hate & imperfection) in you, you see it everywhere. Meet yourself where you are today. See what you see & feel at this moment. At this stage in your life. Meet yourself where you are. Then develop the relationship from there. Your relationship to the whole world will improve.

Don’t be afraid of the light. Just as you shouldn’t be afraid of the dark. Shouldn’t isn’t the right word. What I mean is, accept it. Embrace it. Make peace with both light & dark. Find the balance & the harmony between the two, & you will find harmony & balance within yourself. Make friends with the unknown. Meet what scares you. Sometimes the thing that we are most afraid of, is the very thing that would serve us best.

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Lessons In LOVE

[This is an email I wrote to a friend in 2009 about choosing the best for ourselves (or why we don't).]

From: AimeeLovesYou
To: XXXX
Subject: Re: Old Habits/ New Love
Date: Dec 8, 2009 2:45 PM

Thank you for sending your email. Wow.

Food is no different. Why do we do this in all aspects of our life?

Why do we date (or associate with) people that we know aren’t good for us?
Why do we stay in bed instead of exercising while the air is fresh & the sun is out?
Why do we not spend quality time with those we love? (Including ourselves).
Why do we do things we don’t really want to, just to get paid, just for money?
Why do we do things that make us uneasy, but do it for approval or to avoid confrontation?
Why do we stay up late or find ways to distract ourselves, instead of renewing ourselves with adequate sleep?

They are all lessons in LOVE. Little by little we do what’s best for us (best for love) when we are ready.

–“Where there is love, there is no question.”–

You loved yourself enough to remember the XXXX & had the will to chose them. -Give thanks! Look how blessed you are. Some folks won’t get there in this lifetime! Amazing. But it’s all OK, it’s all a love journey. Everyone is perfect.

Thanks for sharing. I so hear & so feel your words like they are my own. -Thank you!

Glad you are doing awesome.

Xo!
A.

[This is an email I wrote to a friend several years back that was having a hard time dealing with rejection.]

From: AimeeLovesYou
To: XXXX
Subject: Re: XXXX
Date: Nov 17, 2008 4:42 PM

I know that you are just sharing your thoughts, and it should be just that. But I just want to say this because I LOVE You.

**** Make new friends! But first, make friends with yourself. ****

I know this is not the same, but it’s similar. I have applied to so many jobs over the last month. I have not heard back from one! Not even the ones I was way over qualified for! What should I think now? Less of myself? Limited options? Lack of interest? -NO! I think it wasn’t a match!!! And I keep bein’ my sweet, successful, talented self until it is! Life knows what it’s doing. But do we? So many times I ignore answers right in front of me, or reject love right in front of me. How silly. Why? Because I’m too busy looking at something else that isn’t paying any attention to me!

Go to where the love is Babe. You got it all. And if you want more love (from those that aren’t giving it), make new love with new people. Just make sure you are loving yourself enough first. That is always the first place to look if we feel unfulfilled.

I hope this response helps. If not, I’m sorry. I’m just me being me.

LOVE YOU,
-A.

[And last is an email I sent to a friend who wasn't happy about the love they were receiving in their life. When I read their email, it reminded me of a relationship I had in 2005. So I shared that lesson & experience with them.]

From: AimeeLovesYou
To: XXXX
Subject: Re: XXXX
Date: May 25, 2010 9:04 PM

I can really feel what you wrote in your email. I remember when I was dating XXXX & I was so hurt that he was loving me in a way that suited him, but didn’t meet my needs. I wanted so badly for him to love me my way. Not in his twisted version (-in my opinion!) of what loving someone is supposed to be like.
…I eventually decided that I will love him from afar because I was not happy & it became unhealthy for me to remain in the relationship. But the longing & the hurt was there for a while. So I definitely hear you & feel your pain regarding this.

I love what you wrote–> “limited by the thought of a limit”

All suffering comes from thought. I still struggle with so many things that I think I have completed, yet they keep coming into my life. I’m clear that I create them with my conditioned, limited & sometimes very negative thinking. The only way to turn things around for good, is to love unconditionally. And keep at it! I believe it is the Only way to be free, the only way to have peace & the number one thing that makes people healthy & happy, ..and whole. Loving myself unconditionally is not easy. It’s interesting that I wanted XXXX to love me my way, but I didn’t even love myself in a way that was working for me! I was blaming him for my hurt, but I was hurting myself everyday for years with my stingy love of self. He only tried his best for only part of one year! He was innocent! (*laughing*) I had about 30 years of being a neglectful-sorry-no-good-lover of myself before he came along! If anyone was hurting me, it was me. And I am still hurting me, but I am doing so much better. Everyday I am learning how to love me a little better & a little more, and to not get frustrated with myself, which is really hard to do. So I hear you & I feel your pain.

We are our best lovers. And if we aren’t we should be! To truly see is to love. And to truly love, is to love unconditionally.

Big HUG. We are in this together!

Love you,
A.

[The beautiful illustration of the snail discovering its self & being filled with love, is by Frits Ahlefeldt.]

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Like Minds

I love books. You know why? Because I don’t always meet people that think like me, but with the millions of books out there, I’m sure to find many. I read books for confirmation, inspiration & information. This week I read a book for confirmation. I always feel so lucky when I find an author who can articulate my thoughts better than I can. It makes me feel not-so-crazy. Or at least, …that they are as crazy as me. In any case, it makes me feel better.

The book I read this week was, Ramtha: The White Book. I enjoyed every minute of it. I will list a few quotes. There were many that resonated with me, but I only posted the ones that suit this blog entry well.

One thing I wanted to point out, and was happy to discover in the book was, the authors frequent use of the phrase ‘Self Love’. Whenever I mention ‘self love’ in conversations, people always assume I mean it in a narcissistic way. (Or maybe a sexual way, who knows.) Many people don’t quite get it like I’m saying it. I mean it in it’s highest sense. Your life, your world, exists through YOU only. No one else. When you eat, when you love, when you work, when you sleep, when you think, it’s all about you! Others are your mirrors. If you can see that everyone is you & that you are responsible for your life & your contribution to the world, everything opens up. The world (your world) becomes limitless. The more in touch you are with you, the more in touch you will be with others. The more love you have for yourself, the more love you will have for those around you. -Does that make sense?

I talk about this all the time because it is the way that I found happiness. After years of depression, I began to realize that it grew out of self hate. And the more I hated myself, the more I hated life. I would see it as a struggle, as a means to an end. My life was based on ‘getting it over with’, doing what I had to, & waiting to see what happens to me next (-instead of creating what happens next). It felt like something I had to do because I didn’t have a choice. Now my life is based on enjoying every minute & everyone. This slowly started to develop out of self love. The more I loved myself, the more love I saw in the world. My life is now my choice, it feels limitless & I feel blessed to be here. I also feel very lucky to have everyone to share it with. That is what self love is to me.

Here are a few goodies from the book. I hope they resonate with you too. -XO!

“Only you can be your greatest lover.”

“You cannot truly see or be aware of the beauty of all life or express the depths of love & compassion for others until you have first seen your own sublime beauty & expressed love & compassion for yourself.”

“You are the life that you perceive to be outside of you.”

“You alone are your greatest teacher, for only you know what is the best of all things for you.”

“No one can teach you of your God Self; they can teach you only of theirs.”

“There is no greater love in life than the love of self. There is no greater love, for it is from that embrace of self that freedom exists. And it is from that freedom that joy is born.”

“You possess within you the power to know & to be all things.”

“You are wholly responsible for your own beauty, your own being, your own sorrowful or wonderful life.”

“You are the only one who loves you steadfastly enough to go through the things you have gone through.”

[*The very cool illustration is by Jessica of Vol.25*]

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BEing In Love

Being_in_love

Below is an email I sent to a friend back in September. Sometimes I can be a bit ‘over-the-top’ when I discuss my point of view. After time passes, I re-read or hear again what I’ve said, & I laugh to myself. I can tell that I’m being extreme. But after reading this email again, I still feel the same way.

From: AimeeLovesYou
To: XXXX
Subject: XXXX
Date: Sep 24, 2009

This week I was reminded about what being ‘in love’ means. I heard one interesting view of being ‘in-love’ (in-love with a romantic partner), that I agreed with. They mentioned a few things about people who think they are ‘in love’, but are in romantic relationships as a means to an end. There is something that they want from the other person, there is a need to be filled. I have additional thoughts about it, but I agree with what they said. Hearing their point of view brought me back to my own knowing, about love in general. I am clear that the romantic love we feel we need is not the one we think it is. It is the love for Self, unconditional love for Self, that frees us, completes us, & gives us everlasting bliss. When we truly love ourselves, we don’t need union because we are whole, we don’t need a partner to feel loved, we are love & we are FULL of love. Everything & everyone are seen as love as well. Nothing is separate from us because we are WHOLE. We will never fall out of love, we will never have fears about losing love, (or those we love), we will just be in who we know we are. We can be ourselves in an effortless way, in love, because we are love. It’s so easy for me at times to get swept up in movies, the news, other peoples concepts, imagery, etc.. But when all that gets silent, when I get silent, I know what’s real.

All suffering I believe comes from this disconnect with Self, disconnect with Love. I know that when I’m bugged about my career, hating how a part of my body looks, wanting things (or people) to be my way, or getting impatient with the way things are, it’s because I can’t see me. I’ve lost sight. I don’t see who I am. I am my own creator. I have free will. Why am I going along as if I don’t? As if things are happening to me, and around me, and they are beyond my control, ..and I’m suffering for it. When this happens, it’s always best for me to STOP. Stop myself in my tracks and ask, “Why are you not being yourself? Why are you following others? Why are you worried about what they think? Why are you over thinking instead of being? Be simple. Be yourself. LOVE it all. Love yourself.” When I do, I know nothing can cause me harm. I AM it all. The only one that can cause me harm is myself. The only one who can not love me is me.

Xx..
A.

[The inspiring photo is by Diana Rikasari]

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Everything Is Perfect

Everything_is_perfect

Lately I’ve had moments of “Am I still working on this? Why?” or “Why do I feel like everything in my life gets shifted around, but nothing really changes?” I wrote a friend of mine an email that touches on the topic.

From: AimeeLovesYou
To: XXXX
Sent: Aug 8, 2009 8:52 AM

I woke up with this feeling that I’m still so behind on everything. Still; not losing weight, not making enough money, not selling (or making) new  artwork, not running regularly, haven’t gone back to see XXXX, haven’t paid off my debt, haven’t re-designed my art studio, haven’t settled on what the  next art career is going to be, etc., etc.. Then I thought, “How fabulous!” This morning I am happy that I have something to work on. I also have lots of love & support. I have a huge cheering crowd that wants me to accomplish everything that is important to me. How cool is that?! Life is exciting when it is unpredictable, risky, challenging & limitless. Having everything ‘all together’ or ‘all wrapped up’ would not be fun. I want to work for my dreams, I want to learn along the way, I want to make ‘mistakes(?)’. It’s all OK. It’s all part of the process, and we are all here for the process. That is living.

Xx..
A.

There is no end. There is no, “Oh my art career is all settled now” or “Wow, my body is in perfect shape, now I can stop eating healthfully & exercising regularly”. There is no end. Things feel like they are shifting around because they are! Life is supposed to be lived in the moment, not in the future. Everything is perfect IF we see it that way. The whole point of my life is to live it fully. To know that it is not mine, that it is a gift & that I have a responsibility to share it with others. My life is about being creative. It’s not about meeting some ideal in my head (or in the media’s programming of us).

I remember working on a project for a client in 2002. The project was a series of sculptures that would take me a year to build. I put a little note on the wall to remind myself of something as I worked. It read; “It will never be finished, it will never be good enough”. Every time I felt overwhelmed with deadlines, opinions & self-criticism I read that little message on the wall. This afternoon I read something that really clicked with me. It was from John U. Bacon’s book, The Spark. It read, “To me, creativity is first and foremost about courage -a willingness to take risks, to try new things, and to share the experience with others.” Why then would my life need to about about being perfect? Or finished? Or changed? Would it not be more fun to make it about being creative? About being in a state of joy, bliss, self-love & acceptance? Or how about excitement, wonder & enthusiasm? For anyone that is afraid of trying something new or taking risks I definitely think getting over the fear is the fun part. Being afraid to fail, having to try again, or to not see results right away is part of the process. (Brian Tracy has a great interview on YouTube [interview link] about failure & success. Check it out.) Trying again or figuring it out as you go is a good thing.

If you ever need anyone to cheer you on in your dreams, and in your life being perfect just the way it is, in this moment, I’m here for you. -Xo!

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Why walk when you can fly?

you can fly

This blog post was written in September of 2008.

Interesting how I stumbled upon someone I didn’t know existed this week. Her words and face caught my attention in a Bikram yoga studio dressing room. Someone left a magazine face down on the shelf above mine in the dressing room. While undressing I couldn’t take my eyes off of her words or face. She was beautiful, and next to her face read, “Why walk when you can fly?” Her name was Isha. A day later I looked her up on the Internet. Two things happened. I saw a picture of her retreat center in Uruguay. It looks just like the business I dreamt of for myself. I have had visions of seeing myself in a work place, and this one looks very similar. (Except there is a circular reception desk in my dream, and I don’t see that in her pictures.) Her focus is self-love, that is what she teaches. Hmmm, interesting. In a way that is my focus too. (My focus is love and I believe you experience it when you have unconditional love for yourself first, then that reflects on others & everything around you, leading to no separation, only oneness.) I then wanted to see what she was like, how she sounded, what she talks about exactly. I looked her up on YouTube.  After five minutes of hearing her I stated to cry. I felt like someone was articulating my feelings better than I can. This is exactly how I felt when I started to study Vedanta with swamis. It was a moment of clarity and pure joy. My life was never the same after that. I was changed forever. After that moment, I had hope, I wanted to live, I wanted to serve. I had found myself in my own words written down thousands of years ago by seers. They could say what I could only feel. That was in 1999. I feel like that again after hearing Isha speak.

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