I am back in the forest. One of my favorite places here, and the rising sun is behind me. It’s a beautiful morning and I love that I can take you out here with me. We are wrapping up the month of nature in my sharing, which was June, and we’re moving into the month of love. For July, the theme is going to be love. Today, we’ll be on the intersection of both of those, because for me they go together really well. I have three points for you, because I always have three points – most of the time.
What would love do?
My first one is the love that we sometimes seek outside of ourselves truly resides within us. Coming back to love within ourselves, coming back to appreciation for ourselves, and asking ourselves “what would somebody do who truly loves themselves right now?” whenever we’re not in a great space is one of the best ways to come home to ourselves. When I catch myself that I talk to myself unkindly in my head, that I beat myself up, that I slave myself through my to-do list. We’ve talked about to-do lists in the past – they’re not maybe the best way to go anyways, maybe it’s celebration lists, maybe it’s I-get-to-do-something lists, but let’s come back to the point – so, what would a person that truly loves themselves do right now?
For me the answer is often to take a little break as I’m chugging along trying, well, not trying ,getting things done (also working on that vocabulary). As I do the things that I set out to do, when I do hit a block at some point, to just allow myself to take a moment and rest. It’s important to refuel, to recharge, and when I say refuel I’ve caught myself plenty of times in the past shoving in a quick snack and call that refueling, but what I often need is just refueling energy in terms of recharging and restoring and resting for a moment. To allow that energy to replenish by itself by me resting.
One of the favorite ways of how I do that is to go out in nature like right now. I am blessed that this is close to where I live – it’s just a few minutes walk, and this is where I can ground.
The second piece of how do I love myself is: Let me get my bare feet on the earth.
Those toes are wiggling right now because they’re happy. Did you just remember you had toes?
How can I connect with nature? Can I sit in nature for a minute? Can I allow myself to just be here and fully soak up this moment? To perceive myself as the part of nature that I am instead of something separate from it?
Can I feel the nature around me fully listening to the birds, feeling the sunlight on my face, feeling the gentle breeze on my skin, feeling the moss under my feet on the rock?
Can I allow myself to be fully present and to feel how much I am a part of nature by just letting nature’s energy ground me and flow through me?
That’s the second piece: connecting to nature, being barefoot, touching it with my hands, maybe even laying down and putting my face on it, maybe here I really need to feel the moss. Awkward? I’m okay with it. Ah, feeling nature’s energy inside of me. (If you want to see me lay my face down on the mossy rock in the forest, check the video: https://youtu.be/6eqX5mqN_JY)
Let me give you a hug
The third piece is to be physically very embodied and comforting myself. Sometimes we tend to seek that comfort outside of ourselves, and yes, a hug, a genuine hug is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Sometimes that’s not available to us, so in that case: Can I just give myself some gentle touch? Can I give myself the comfort that I’m longing for?
And maybe the first time you feel this it feels a tad awkward, just because you’re not used to it. Maybe you can feel the comfort in it, the oxytocin that we produce because of physical touch also gets produced when we touch ourselves.
Yes, I love hugging other people, I love physical touch – it’s actually one of my most prominent love languages, and I’ve learned that even touching myself, holding myself, comforting myself feels good. So sometimes when I need a hug, I’ll just give myself one.
Yes we can just give ourselves a good hug. We can hold ourselves, we can be there for ourselves, we can do that with words, and we can do that with touch. You deserve to be really kind and gentle with yourself, and really loving yourself. If you’re willing to do this for a loved one, why would you not offer that gift to yourself?
With that, let me recap the three points: 1) When we get tense or stressed to ask ourselves what would a person that loves themselves fully do right now? Often that answer may be taking a tiny break or doing something else – switch it up for a little bit. 2) Connecting to nature, and for me that’s a very physical practice like walking into nature and taking my shoes and socks off, touching it with my hands, maybe even laying down, touching it with my whole body, bringing my cheek on the ground, laying down on some moss. 3) Comforting myself when I long for some physical comfort – I can also give that to myself. We tend to be fairly touch deprived as a society. We do need a lot of touch. When we’re in a romantic partnership, or we have kids, maybe we get more touch and that is beautiful. Even then we may still crave more, and when we don’t have these close relationships currently in our lives, then we may get less, and we need it. We all need it. So find ways to comfort yourself, to show yourself your own love.
I send you a lot of love, I wish you well and I’ll see you soon.
Let me know if that served you, what else you would like to hear about, and know that I love you.