August 25, 2011

Internal Harmony

Earlier this week I was asked by a friend what I could do to fall in love with myself. This interesting question had already been on my mind. Yes, I love myself, but I am continuously looking externally to create harmony. How can an external source fulfill internal peace?

What does it mean to fall in love with me? Is it buying me flowers, making me dinner, saying I love me? Actually, I already do all this - but these continue to be external pursuits of harmony.

Internal harmony, perhaps, is listening to my intuition, respecting my feelings, being kind and gentle when I do not meet my expectations. It is taking time to recharge my energy, meditating. Being in love with myself is allowing me to be flexible, physically and mentally, to explore my body's physicality and my mind's playfulness.

Similarly, it is giving myself permission not to obsess over missteps, like a tongue continuously exploring the hole left by a missing tooth. My mind tends to work that way, playing and replaying a situation until I am avoiding people and objects that trigger the circular thinking.

So, being in love with myself is letting go of trying to make order of everything, the continual pursuit of meaning and analysis of what was not and will not be.

A few nights ago, before going to sleep, I asked myself how I can fall in love with me. In the morning I reflected on my dreams and recognized that I need to find my voice. This may seem ironic for someone who teaches and blogs. But voice is a metaphor for both pursuing my creativity and stating my needs. My career is focused on doing this for everyone else and I love what I do. But what about loving myself with that same enthusiasm?

I have a long-term date with myself. In September I begin the Advanced Studies program at the Yoga Room in Berkeley. My intention is to deepen my yoga practice. This is an opportunity to stretch both my body and mind, gently confronting perceived limitations, linking the physical with the cerebral and spiritual, and evolving my internal harmony as I awaken my voice that says, "now is the time to fall in love with myself."