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Natural Awakenings Richmond

September/October

Aug 30, 2019 02:20PM

Jessica Coffey, Publisher

As we breeze into fall, vitality is the watchword for recharging batteries. Writer Marlaina Donato offers a comprehensive guide to ward off inflammation and premature cell death in “Age-Defying Bodywork: How to Turn Back the Clock.” She explains how fortifying the nervous system through massage, acupuncture and reflexology is critical to combating age-accelerating stress hormones like cortisol—and has been embraced by the medical mainstream.

We also celebrate National Yoga Month with our special yoga section. Another potent stress-buster, yoga’s contribution to mind-body fitness is proving to be a reliable defense against age-related loss of mobility, cardiovascular disease and depression.

So much healing can occur when we do both the outer and inner work—strengthening and exercising our bodies while improving our mental, emotional and spiritual health. I think wellness begins with love, and in order to give love to others—our passions, our communities and our planet—we must first be able to love ourselves. Scott Stabile’s “Loving Ourselves Madly” helps us learn how to practice intentional, self-love… may you learn how to live with a wide-open heart and heal yourself from the inside out.

Happy Reading,

 

LOVING OURSELVES MADLY

Practice Intentional Self-Love

by Scott Stabile

 

It’s not enough to wish for more self-love. We must be intentional about creating it and commit to loving ourselves by practicing these habits every day.

Don’t believe our thoughts. Our minds lie to us all the time, especially where our self-worth is concerned. The moment we become aware we are mentally abusing ourselves, we can refuse to believe these thoughts. The fact is, we are worthy and enough exactly as we are. Any thoughts that contradict this truth are lies. We must not go to war with our mind, but should definitely get in the habit of challenging our mind’s lies and not believing them when they run amok.

Replace self-abuse with self-love. Not believing our crueler thoughts is step one. Replacing them with kinder, more compassionate and loving thoughts is step two. When our minds call us ugly, we must sink into our hearts and remind ourselves that we are beautiful, as we are. When our minds insist we’re weak, we must declare our strength. Every single thought and word that speaks to our worth is a powerful and sustaining reflection of self-love. Substitute self-abuse with love as often as possible and then watch our lives change in powerful ways.

Set boundaries and enforce them. To love ourselves, we have to set clear boundaries with the people in our lives. State what works and what doesn’t work. If we don’t clearly speak our boundaries, people will trample them, and we’ll only have ourselves to blame. Boundaries show respect for all involved. A lack of boundaries will almost certainly lead to resentment.

Make time for happy places. We all have places that tend to bring us peace and/or joy: a walk among the trees, curled up with a good book, coffee with a close friend. Make time for these experiences. Every second we spend giving energy to the people, places and things that bring us joy is a second of dedicated self-love. It matters. Just as important, pay attention to the people, places and things that are depleting, that feel unhealthy and toxic, and give less energy to them. Knowing what to eliminate can be as impactful as knowing what to add.

How we love ourselves is our responsibility. The greater commitment we make to self-love, the greater chance we create of living a more peaceful, joyful and meaningful life.

Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. Learn more at ScottStabile.com.