Self love project
I have been doing a self-love project for about three weeks now (yes, basically my whole trip) and I wanted to share components of it. I’ve done it before in a non-paradise context, and it is amazing how quickly it yields results. Reading this may make some of you uncomfortable, in which case i advise doing a self-love project immediately.
There are no rules to break, no quotas for the day, no requirements even. It’s just a set of principles and beliefs in application, things I always know but forget.
If you need more self-love in your life, try this. And let me know if you have other pieces you do!
Self-seeing: The first piece is based around a Rumi quote my girl Jodie has brought into my life. I have it paraphrased in my memory: ‘whatever you truly see, you are that.’
I have spent time looking in the mirror, taking and drawing self-portraits, all with an eye towards truly seeing myself, and particularly seeing beauty when I see myself, seeing the wholeness, the vitality, the health of myself.
Sometimes I have to look for a while, there’s a lot between me and those mirrors…but if I give it time, I always find myself in love with what I see.
If I want to, I affirm it out loud by declaring my love for myself (which sometimes sounds like, ‘damn honey you look good’…or in the spirit of dj rimarkable, ‘honey!’)
Self-listening: there is a hafiz quote I have been given at least four times in my life, paraphrased – ‘listen to each person as if she is your great teacher uttering her last words.’
I have turned that quality of deep listening on myself, particularly on my body.
It feels like a tuning in, and it’s amazing what I hear if I have a degree of sacred curiosity. Asking what it means, what it means when my body feels restless, what it means when my tummy feels full, when my skin needs touch. As a result I have been walking miles each day, eating less, getting regular body work.
I feel attended to, and a general undertone of anxiety which usually permeates my life, the work of quieting the suppressed voice, is slipping away from me.
Self-romance: a Sufi-poet-loving pleasure activist once said, ‘an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away’, and this is still fairly true.
But as in any romance, at least where a female-minded person is involved, the orgasm is just the miraculous magical exclamation point on a beautifully crafted, thoughtful, titillating sentence.
its limiting and dependent and unhealthy to have passion and romance only in the context of others, so I have been romancing myself – making myself laugh out loud, looking for the best day possible each day, rubbing on my booty while I read, getting more limber in my yoga practice, being naked as often as possible – generally reminding myself throughout the day that I am delicious. and then, aligned with the listening practice, having really amazing sex with myself whenever I want to. Really amazing, like ‘does this qualify as a super power?’ kind of loving.
I think it’s nearly impossible not to love yourself if you are having really amazing diverse deep good sex with yourself. Self-romance!
Self-worship: this last piece is largely inspired by my friend Gibran, who says a quote all the time – om namah shivaya – and he explains it, again paraphrasing from memory, as honoring the god within yourself, in each action, and by honoring the god in others.
I work with this in my own way. I have a tattoo on my left wrist that says ‘fragment’, and it was initially meant to remind of my relative insignificance. I have a bad habit of taking myself too seriously, which leads to a lot of worry, stress, and the sense that I can control things which I absolutely cannot control.
But lately I have been thinking of it a little differently: that I, just like every other piece of existence, am a fragment of god, of creation, of the divine. This is why my body feels so much, why I have so many creative ideas, why i can experience awe…because I am a tiny piece of a whole that is magnificent to behold, to even conceive of.
So each day I have been doing little ceremonies to honor the fragment of creator in me. Some days it is meditating in gratitude, some days I pull a goddess card (in the way that Adela Nieves taught me to pull cards), some days I sage myself, some days its playing alice coltrane while i do my yoga, some days I reach out to those I love who are not part of this world anymore…each day it’s different. But each day it’s something that honors the part of myself that is sacred because it is connected to the whole.
This has resulted in a sidebar practice of compassion and reflection for myself and others. If we are out of touch with that sacred whole aspect of ourselves, what sadness! I honor all of the people who have seen my holiness when I have been unable to, and I look for it now in others I meet, regardless of how absent it may seem. If they breath, I must be able to find it. (Even in loud drunk tourists!)
So that’s the whole thing. it’s lots of little actions each day which accumulate, there is no checklist, no one to whom you are accountable for doing it other than yourself.
But it’s works. And it feels wonderful.