Painting above is Inner Spring.
Are you a highly sensitive person?
Do you feel things very deeply? Do you feel the emotions of others, feel what animals are feeling, and the moment you step into a place, immediately have information about what is going on there? Do you unconsciously take the energetic pulse (happy, sad, excited, angry, tranquil, crazed, longing, frustrated, f*cking pissed off…?) of the place and receive all kinds of information about people, whether you are interested or not.
Maybe it has been a lifetime struggle for you to just be in the world, and to feel OK, and sometimes getting out of bed is your best achievement for the day, so don’t worry about the spreading-your-love-and-your-light-and-being-your-most-fabulous-version thank you very much.
I get that. We all have days like that, and that’s OK.
Becoming a radically self-loving person means honouring yourself at all times and checking into your inner knowing and your internal guidance system so that you are safely and securely guided to what’s best for you at any given moment.
Based on my own experience as an HSP*, I have compiled this Field Guide for Radical Self-Love and Radical Self-Care to help you honour yourself and to step out of the shadows and be your radiant and glowing self at all times (and those times when you don’t feel like getting out of bed – maybe that is your inner guidance system telling you that you need a rest, so just stay there ).
*Of course all of this applies as well if you don’t identify as an HSP, just for you it may be more about boosting your self-loving behaviours / practices, rather than saving you from drowning in your feelings!
HOW TO CARE FOR YOURSELF SO THAT YOU CAN FLOW YOUR GIFTS TO OTHERS; A GUIDE TO BEING YOUR BEST SELF THROUGH RADICAL SELF-LOVE AND SELF-CARE
R: Remember who you are.
You are a divine being, come down to Earth to have a human experience. You are love in motion, you are beautiful, powerful and amazing. When you don’t feel any of this; remember who you are.
Because that is who you are, that is who you have always been, and who you will always be.
A: Your life is an Art.
Your life is an art. It is your art. You are the creator of your experience and every human being is an artist.
You highest art is being able to fully be yourself in any given moment, and to be able to respond from your truth to others and the world. This is not easy, and requires that we learn about boundaries, energy mastery, the practice of taking-no-shit, and the practice of taking-up-your-space-in-the-world. You are here to shine and glow your art. You are here to shine and glow you heart. You are a work of art which is constantly in process and constantly developing.
D: Devote Yourself to the Higher Source.
We devote ourselves to embodying our divinity; to source / creator / God / love – whatever you call it. This creates a strong foundation in our lives as sensitive people, and it’s our number one go-to-space whenever we are feeling out of alignment / cut off from source or from our own love.
Return to your devotion. Remember where you came from.
I: Inner Guidance is always there.
You have an inner guidance system, which when it is on point, will work like the most sophisticated of satellites, to direct you to your highest truth. It is your inner compass and it always knows where you are headed and what is your next step.
Sometimes you will fall off track and lose sight of your path. When this happens, you need to take time out to go inwards in meditation. You need to check in deeply with your heart and listen to what it tells you. Listen to its whispers which will then become louder the longer you sit. Ideally you will check in every day in meditation, and more often whenever you are off track and off centre.
C: Call someone for help when you need it.
Being highly sensitive means that sometimes your feelings will become overwhelming and too much for you to handle on your own. You may start to feel like you are way out at sea inside yourself and you can no longer see the shore and don’t have the energy to keep swimming. That’s the time to call for help.
Radical Self-Care means we recognise that all of us need help sometimes. Sometimes a lot of help, sometimes less, but we all need it. Asking for help can be hard because it puts us in a vulnerable position. But the reality is, we are always vulnerable. The nature of being human is that a human being is by nature vulnerable. We are a delicate life form and we can leave this earthly plane at any time. So calling for help confidently is actually a sign or our strength and our courage.
When we choose to own our vulnerability, open our hearts and ask for what we need from others, whatever it may be, magic and alchemy happen.
A: Act as if.
If you are feeling smashed up and fragile inside but you still have to turn up to the job / class / meeting / client appointment, try acting as if all is well.
Breathe deeply into the pit of your stomach and tell yourself that you have GOT THIS. That you are needed by the people who have come to see you / work with you / learn from you, and that you are going to walk the path and act as if all is fine. This can be very powerful medicine and transform your inner stuff miraculously.
L is for Love.
Love is the medicine that will heal and transform your life. Give yourself your own love. When you feel you are lacking in love, give that love to yourself. Give yourself a hug. Tell yourself you are wonderful. Celebrate yourself. You are all that you need, and any one else’s love you receive is a bonus. The real thing is your own feeling for you.
Love yourself truly, madly and deeply through whatever it is you are going through.
S is for Solitude.
Taking time for yourself is very important part of Radical Self Care. Take some time each day to just be with yourself. To sit with yourself, without anyone else around. This may take the form of a walk, a yoga practice, a meditation practice, or cooking yourself a healthy meal. It’s important to get in the ‘me time’ so that you can shake off the energies of others and come back to your own frequency.
E is for Ether.
One of the five elements is Ether : Space. Remember that your very nature is space. Emptiness, or as the Buddha called it in the Pali language of his time; Anatta. The truth of the Buddha Dhamma (the Buddha’s truth or teachings) is that there is actually no ‘self’.
What we are is presence. We are consciousness. The fact that there is no real solid ‘self’ actually frees ourselves from all of the stories we and others may have used to define ourselves at any point in time.
We recognise that we are always free. That emptiness is our true nature. Breath out; what a relief.
Feel into your own spaciousness especially where there are strong emotions present and strong reactivity is about to be triggered.
L is for longing.
We all have longings. This is your inner guidance speaking to you.
What is your soul longing for? Is it longing for deep love and connection with another soul? Then honour that. Acknowledge it, and feel into it, and know that as you honour this longing and feel it, it will be met. The right one will appear.
Maybe you long for the desert? For wide open space, for sand dunes. Honour that longing. Ask your heart for more info: which desert? Where? How far away is it? When should I go?
F is for friends.
Close friends are so important to sensitive people. So often we can feel misunderstood, perhaps because we are over-feeling cues from others and over-interpreting meanings that are just not really there.
Our close friends can help us reconnect to love through their acknowledging and mirroring of us. They know who we are and they can remind us. Remember to love your friends hard and let them know how much you care about them and how magic they are.
L is for Luxury.
What does luxury mean to you? It could be a hot bath on a cold winters evening with essential oils and Epsom salts. It may mean sailing in a vintage ship across the seas with your beloved. It may be a delicious chocolate mousse for dessert. Bringing some luxury into your life regularly helps remind you that you are deserving of gorgeous things and experiences.
O is for Opening.
The nature of being very sensitive means that when we experience very strong emotions of pain, sadness or anger, our initial and instinctual reaction will probably be to close. But to continue to enjoy life we need to remain open hearted at all times. When painful experiences come to visit, remember the beautiful Rumi poem that describes being human as like being a guesthouse. Invite all emotions (guests) in to have tea with you and listen to what they have come to say.
Staying open hearted through the intense challenging feelings is good practice for staying open-hearted through intense joyful feelings. If we close to the so-called negative emotions, we will also be closed to the fullness of the positive emotions. You can’t block one and have the other.
V is for Vulnerability.
True connection with others can only come about if we are able to be vulnerable and express our feelings and our truth. If we are hiding our true selves, then others can’t connect with us because they can’t fully see us. To be vulnerable is to be fully seen and to be fully seen is to invite love and connection. This doesn’t mean we have to be a doormat or a people pleaser; we can maintain our boundaries and say no to what or to who doesn’t resonate with us without having to close off.
E is for Evolution.
We are constantly evolving and growing. That’s the nature of life.
But that doesn’t mean that there is somewhere to go; that there is a destination we need to arrive at so we had better hurry.
There is nowhere to go, nothing to do. You are perfect as you are, while you are also in constant evolution. So remember to enjoy all the moments of life. The mystery is right there in front of us at any given time. Remember to stop and look watch the butterflies playing in the afternoon sunlight. Remember to gaze up in wonder at the stars at night. Remember to appreciate the joy of children who have not yet known much pain and so are overflowing with boundless exuberance. They are messengers sent to remind us of our own eternal joyous nature.
Do you have anything to add to this guide? Feel free to comment. Also feel free to share this post!
Plus, if you would like ongoing support in your Self Love Journey, consider joining the Self Love Society Facebook group.