Stories have the power to change one’s life and collective lives eventually. As mentioned earlier, about how curious we all are, and about the happenings in our households around us and of the ones we know. It can be inferred that we are always looking for stories. Stories have the power to satisfy a variety of interests in each one of us. To mention a few, at different phases in one’s life, stories are a potential ground for different kinds of humour, a lot of times it serves as a ground to understand how to deal with something in one’s life and other times, to feed our curiosity about varied experiences. So at the end of the day, stories serve each of us depending on what we are looking for. But across all these countless stories, there is a constant ‘I’. I am not talking about the response/reaction to circumstances or even what we perceive about ourselves at any moment. As one of my mentors mentioned to me one day,’’ YOU is your only constant’’. That moment, it just clicked to me that this realization, if experienced, can be the journey towards Self-Love. Through every ups-and-downs in one’s life, whether we have anyone accompanying us in our journey or not, ‘I’ am always there to surf through, right?. Having someone accompanying us makes our journey easier. But when we start observing that ‘I’, we will never feel alone and start loving ourselves through this life journey.
So how important it becomes to take care of this ‘I’ because it will always be there for you no matter what happens in life.
This story, among many other stories of my life, taught me something beautiful and kickstarted a journey that deep inside I was always looking for. This was an observation, which was fortunately directly conveyed to me. Still, for each one of us, every moment can confirm this.
So what is self-love?. Start to observe stories in one’s life and other’s life as mentioned above, and you will see Self-Love developing.
This is one approach, but there are times when it becomes difficult to sit still and observe because of the innumerable thoughts that cross our minds. So let’s look at a few other approaches to relax to experience our natural state, which is Self-Love.
Meditation: This is one of the most popular approaches to which each of us has been suggested at least once. So how does meditation help one ‘observe’ stories?. During meditation, one is usually asked to focus on one’s breath. It is said that our emotions connect to our breath pattern, and then emotions stem from stories. So now we see the link, right?. Hence, meditation is the most sought-after medium to eventually increase our observation while relaxed.
Physical activity: Let us try this small exercise when we feel tired/exhausted. At that moment, just move your fingers freely. Does it make you feel relaxed? Does it acknowledge your presence?. This acknowledgement is what I want you to affirm. No matter how tired/exhausted we feel now, it is still ‘I’ who is present. It is a well-established fact now that physical activity induces relaxation. Physical activity done with happiness is helpful. So move your body and feel the magic within. Every aspect of your physical self that you exercise invokes a different response from your body. This also helps in increasing observation.
Hobbies: It always feels nice to spend our time doing something that we enjoy. These activities do not necessarily provide one with one’s finances. However, keeping aside the financial aspect, Hobbies bring about a connection within us. A subtle connection with oneself relaxes us and makes us more joyful. Hobbies can be practised in groups with beings sharing similar interests as well by themselves. By oneself, it can be therapeutic in many ways and helps one define solitude. In groups, it can help in developing humane values.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, many more approaches have been discovered and rediscovered lately. Many are those which were practised by our ancestors which are gaining momentum lately. Not every approach works for everyone. It is subjective. And trying each one is also part of the story that we form to connect with ourselves and the people around us.