The Daily Loving Practice

jen lying down

A few months back Lisa Claudia Briggs asked me to join a wise council of women and explore the question:

What’s one act of loving care that you do for yourself each day, and how does it fill you up with peace, beauty, and gratitude?

Here is what I said (with edits because I can’t help myself):

My one act of loving care is practicing acceptance – being aware of my thoughts and patterns, my aches and pains, my judgments and fears, and saying “Oh hi, here you are again.” Being welcoming and loving to all of me and all of my experiences, without letting any of it define me, without letting any of it run my day.

Rejecting myself, my moment-by-moment lived experience is something I am moving away from – just not interested. I am moving toward being a holy yes of acceptance, and by practicing acceptance, choosing my life with so much more ease and yes, choice.

What meditation teacher and author Phillip Moffitt wrote on Facebook recently:

Observe for yourself how much of the time you measure how well you are doing in regard to your destination while ignoring how you really feel in the moment. Where are all the actual minutes, hours, and days of your life? Do they wait for you at some destination, or are they rapidly passing right now? Ask yourself, would you rather have a feeling of happiness in the moment-to-moment experience of your life, or in a few big bang-up episodes upon reaching various goals? You know the final destination of the physical body is decay and death, so why would you choose to measure your life by endings when all the experience, the felt sense of being alive, is in the journey?

Isn’t that just so real and true?

Of course, I fail at all this often, usually before I’ve had my morning tea. But then I get to notice and accept that, too. It’s an always widening circle of more self-love.

Yes, I also meditate, practice yoga, go for long walks in the wood with my doodle dogs. I journal, read poetry, pray and make art messes. But all of those become icky shoulds wrapped around my ankles, hobbling my creative life force, without this balm of acceptance.

I hope you will join me in saying yes to all your experiences and by doing so, find that true love that is always available.

stu

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J'aime Wells - February 18, 2013

I have forgotten my intelligent comment due to the extreme cuteness of that dog.

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Betsy Jackson - February 19, 2013

Ah! Self-acceptance. Rather than having aversions to my thoughts/feelings…and I do! (all the time), just saying, “hello lovelies!” everytime fear, judgement, worry, not enough-ness show up, I breathe and say, “hey”. Yesterday I was at my Dad’s personal care home. He is 86 and always smiling. I joined the stretch class with some very old people. Another aversion for me. Old. But I sat next to Dad and lifted one arm, then the other, breathing. At one point the young woman leading the class said, “Take the weight off your shoulders.” I have been whispering that to myself ever since. Thanks for your precious sharings, Jen.

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Kelly Salasin - February 19, 2013

I want the doodle

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Kathryn Antyr Costa - February 19, 2013

I’m hooked on green juices or smoothies in the mornings and ditched the coffee. It is a great way to start the day because it energizes me and my body feels like I’m so lovin’ it. Great post! Why is it that we are all so hard on ourselves? Why is acceptance so difficult?

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Paula - February 20, 2013

Thank you for including the point about the things you do beyond your one loving care practice – that some of those great things become “icky shoulds”. That’s what happens to me all the time. I make these great self-care lists and then if something doesn’t get checked off, I fail and negate all the self-love I just drummed up. But Ms. Briggs asked about ONE act of loving care – maybe that’s mine – to limit myself to ONE act of whatever it is. Just one. But really good. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

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drmolliemarti - February 27, 2013

Brilliant quote by Phillip Moffitt. Not familiar with his work, but that’s going to change. Thanks!

One thing you said when I interviewed you long ago (it has stuck with me and I’ve also shared with many women searching for self acceptance along the way)…is your practice of stepping back and reminding yourself, “I’m on your side.”

The voice of the inner critic can roar so loudly. When I practice stepping back and whispering this truth, it cuts through the noise, giving my soul the opportunity to get recentered on self love and unity. Aaaahhhhh.

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