Do you? Do you care for yourself the way you’d treat a sweetheart or your very own child? Do you accept yourself and ‘not see’ all the imperfections in yourself that you ‘don’t see’ in your loved ones? Do you give yourself the same gifts of kindness, tenderness and tolerance that you lavish on those you love? Perhaps if you loved yourself more, you’d love others more. You’d love your loved ones more deeply and in more ways.
But how do we learn to love ourselves? It sounds narcissistic. Its not. In this video (0:10:50), former molecular biologist and medical school professor, Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that giving yourself a small gift – some time to rest – time to accept yourself – time to allow your thoughts to drift – time to listen to your feelings and thoughts with honesty and vulnerability – via yoga and meditation – is a wonderful act of self love.
Put aside the stronger muscles, the leaner body and the soothing music … to me, Kabat-Zinn points to the one and only, most fundamental reason to practice yoga and meditation. Ultimately, its an expression of LOVE that is practiced first on oneself – and then – radiates to others. If you can’t love yourself – body, mind, soul – how can you really love others?
P.S. The images (0:12:03) of Harvard Chemistry Professor, Nobel Prize winner George Wald doing yoga and sitting on a beach while beating a drum and chanting are priceless!