I’m coming to you from a quiet place today. A place of presence and stillness. But my mind is active and contemplative. The topic of reflection is self-love.  

In class this morning, my yoga teacher guided us into a variation of lotus pose. As we lifted our spines and brought a deeper awareness to our breath, she invited us to feel the confidence of this pose and to imagine what it would be like if we brought that energy into every room we entered. If we moved through our day with love and strength in our being. 

When you’re a baby, you just are. You have feelings, basic needs, and the beginnings of desires. As we grow, our thoughts and self-awareness begin to take shape, and we’re filled with all these extra ideas of what we’re supposed to be. We may start to become critical of certain things about ourselves. Perhaps we think it would be better if we were someone different all together, or we try to just blend in. We define ourselves by what we do for a living or how we look. We rely on others for approval and love. And we move further and further away from that simple bliss of just being.  

But today in that lotus pose, with my attention turned inward, I focused on what it’s like to be myself — the sensation of being, in my body, with my breath. And a sense of ease washed over me. I felt that simple bliss of being. The sun’s light showed brightly through the window on my face and I let out a sigh. Following the advice of my teacher and I set this intention. 

“I will honor my own gift of being. I will carry this strength with me throughout my day. I will continue to nurture a love for myself.”  

It’s taken me decades to get to this place, and the journey is far from over. I’m tested every day, sometimes by others, most often by myself. But I’m learning to give myself the space to grow. To go easy on my failures and celebrate my victories. And when I lose sight of my truth, I remind myself to take a moment. Close my eyes. Find the breath. And feel what it’s like to be. That simple bliss. And I regain the confidence to enter each moment with that clarity.