Self-acceptance is the key to acting authentically versus defensively. For me, this is especially apparent when I write.
Writing is the most fun thing in the world, when my self-acceptance is high. I love it, and want to get lost in it. The world is full of sunshine and birdsong. Creative energy abounds.
When I´m not feeling so accepting of myself, I will avoid writing like the plague. Every word becomes an opportunity for judgment. I defend myself and close off to others and to possibility. Nothing flows.
So what, then, is the key to self-acceptance?
Awareness of Choice
The first step is recognizing that you have a choice in the matter. Self-acceptance is defined as the ability to love yourself unconditionally, no matter what flaws or traits exist. You are the only one who can choose to do this or not.
After making the choice to love yourself, you begin to notice the times when you are not being so loving. These are the times when you feel suffering and dis-ease. Allow yourself to recognize how the experience of self-judgment feels in your body and in your heart compared to the experience of self-love. Your awareness of the moments when choice can be made strengthens.
You can then begin to replace the ways you act and think during those times of suffering and judgment with more accepting behaviors and thoughts. You choose to incorporate new practices that build self-acceptance.
And, finally, you realize that life consists of cycles. Sometimes you will feel full of self-acceptance, and others times you will feel full of self-judgment. That is just the way it is. Regardless of where in the cycle you find yourself, you can always bring yourself back to the intention for and practice of loving yourself.
Over time, more and more of your life will be full of sunshine, birdsong and creativity.
I hope you can join us this Wednesday, June 3rd, at Modify Yoga to grow your practice of self-acceptance.