Travelling home on the tube yesterday from a yoga session with a small group of teenagers. My thoughts ran over the discussion I had with them which flowed on from listening to ‘Natures Rainbow Mindfulness Meditations for Teens’ track 1 Red – Rose which raised the subject of unconditional love.
Today I thought I would share aspects of the discussions and thoughts which flowed in this blog post.
After listening to the track I discussed with the group what the term unconditional love meant to them and the topic of loving oneself unconditionally. The importance of not comparing or judging, but excepting, being expressing and loving the me unconditionally.
We took a look at toddlers and discussed how toddlers naturally loves themselves unconditionally. They freely make friends and play with others without judgement of themselves or others. A toddler is not concerned with looks appearance, fashion, lifestyle, money. A toddler just is a beacon of unconditional love for themselves and others.
We discussed the importance of loving ourselves unconditionally as a toddler does before external conditioning impacts their mindset.
So how did we get programmed and move from a being of unconditional love for ourselves and others?
As I sat on the tube ride home, my thoughts shifted to my little puppy Leo, who I got this summer. Leo is the essence of unconditional love. He wants to run up and make friends with every human and dog he meets, just like a toddler.
Unfortunately, I have had to pull the reigns in and explain to him not every human or dog wishes to be his friend. A self-realisation he is also making, and in line with this he is slowly adjusting his behaviour to not running up to every human he crosses path with and to gently open and test the playing field first with other dogs he meets and would like to play with.
The observation of my curtailment of Leo’s unconditional expression of love and his own assessments of the differing reactions he receives back from his hello’s are impacting him to not be so abundant in his expressions of love.
From these observations of Leo’s development, I now have a better understanding of how unintentionally our toddler child goes from being a beacon of unconditional love for themselves and others to a teenager who has been shaped and adjusted to the world around them.
Barriers have grown in response to different impacts they experience from their external world which then impacts on their internal world. They are bombarded with advertising and media images of how they should be looking, what they should be wearing, how they should be presenting, speaking, being, feeling etc. All of which are destroying their core-essence, personal identity unconditional love for themselves.
As parents or guardians of a young person, it is not our wish to destroy a child’s unconditional love for themselves, but from the above we can see how the roots of destruction gently sprout.
From the growing statistics on self-harm, depression, anxiety and suicide we can see and hear the growing calls for help.
With this knowledge comes the opportunity to make a change to re-foster unconditional love for one selves and others.
There are many ways this can be done, the ‘Magnificent Me Magnificent You – Loving the Me App’ will be sharing a few.
But as a parent, guardian, teacher, headmaster, general practitioner etc, have a think of ways on how we can foster self-love with our young and please share your thoughts and ideas below for others to benefit from.
Blog Author: Dawattie Basdeo
Have you previously heard the statement, ‘We Are One’. Our every thought, every action, every intention affects the whole of creation in all its entirety.
Have you ever wondered how can this be so? How can the whole universe in its vast infinite entirety be connected and the tinniest movement of a grain of sand impact the whole?
One simple example that demonstrates the interconnectedness of life expressed by nature is the following.
In the same way the human bodies flow with the sun and moon, when the sun goes down and the moon comes up, we choose to sleep. Flowers also rest when the sun goes down and the moon comes up as can be visibly seen from their closed petals in the early morning which opens with the day and the rising sun. Demonstrating a universal connected consciousness flowing.
With this awareness of life’s interconnectedness, grows the awareness to take responsibility of one’s actions, thoughts, intentions and the impact they are having overall.
The knowledge that each act and emotion shared has an impact on our personal being, the being of others, the planet we live on and the whole universe, brings our attention to being more mindful of each thought, action, emotion we emit.
A topic very much in the headlines now is the climate crisis planet earth is under. It is clear mother earth is reacting to all the man-made impact and she in return is creating waves of her own.
As Sir Isaac Newton famously stated in its simplest form ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’
With this awareness of the interconnected nature of our universe. Our mindful awareness also grows to be more conscious of our thoughts, actions and intentions in every given moment and how we are impacting our planet and the world.
This thought also highlights the ‘power of now’ for the current moment impacts equally on the past, present and future, illustrating the concept in now flows all of entirety.
In conclusion, know you matter, your thoughts emotions, actions all count. You are impacting your world. You have the power to choose the impact you make.
Blog Author: Dawattie Basdeo
What do we do when others let us down?
A challenge shared by one of the students in my yoga class for teenagers this week.
A challenge that many face throughout their life journey.
So how do we manage our emotions when others act in a way that is not in sync with how we would like them to be.
My observations on this challenge is the following.
Within each of us there is an internal moral compass, which guides our values, personal integrity and choices.
When another individual acts in a way that conflicts with our personal values, we can feel anxious, sad, hurt or let down to name a few of our different emotions.
As humans we are blessed with the ability to experience a whole range of different emotions. Acknowledging the many different emotions, we can consciously and unconsciously feel is part and parcel of life.
For myself the best way I have found to not fall into the judgement trap of others is to focus on one’s own personal integrity.
Through focusing on one’s own personal integrity and values, being true to oneself and standing tall in your own truth. We build an inner strength and wisdom based on our personal values that lights our path and diffuses the shadows of negative emotions brought on by the actions of others that are not aligned with our personal values.
Also, acceptance is a wonderful life parachute.
A famous quote on acceptance is ‘Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.”
Once we can accept each person is on their own unique journey, we are able to express compassion for their actions instead of judgement practice forgiveness.
Another very famous quote on forgiveness is
“forgive them father for they know not what they do” Luke23:34
A phrase I strongly agree with, as I believe if someone truly knew and understood their actions were not kind and the impact they have on others they would not consciously or unconsciously choose to do them.
Therefor my conclusion on this topic stay true to you, acceptance is life’s parachute and forgiveness sets you free.
Thank You for taking time to read this blog, please do share your thoughts comments on this subject below.
The above photo shared is by Akiane Kramarick painted age 9 titled ‘Father Forgive Them’
Do you try to control the waves of life or are you happy to surf their crests?
No two seconds are the same. Life is in constant flow, constant change. From the instant we are conceived in the womb, our world is continuously changing.
In our material existence, body consciousness, we are consciously aware of the world within us and around us. We observe life is flow, life is change. When flow stops, life stops.
Just like a stream, if the water is unable to flow, it becomes stagnant and dies.
With the thought that change is part and parcel of life. There are also periods of time in our lives where we observe our surroundings and activities may flow to a certain rhythm. This rhythm becomes familiar and we find comfort in the familiar, however life’s rhythm changes as do the seasons around us. When there is change to the rhythm in which our life is flowing, we may not want it to change or we may be very happy for a change.
When there is a noticeable change in our lives, by which we may feel challenged, such as starting a new school, parents divorcing etc.
If we are able to accept change is part of life’s flow and acknowledge evolution and growth only comes through change. We become more open to change. We do not try to grasp and control the flow.
We allow the waters to run their course, we learn to go with the flow, and we trust in the flow of life. We trust our life’s journey.
There is a lovely song in ‘Magnificent Me Magnificent You – The Grand Canyon” children story and yoga activity book which shares this thought titled “The River of Life”
However, if you do struggle with change, mindfulness practice provides present moment awareness. Mastering present moment awareness allows you to engage fully with what is happening in the now and not be distracted by past or future thoughts.
If you are wondering how I personally manage change. I choose to enjoy life in the now, the past has gone and can not be changed and is all part of the present moment. The future, that yet to experience, I have dreams and hopes for new experiences and act in the now to bring these into my life. My focus is on what I am doing in the present moment, as I feel everything emanates in the now, the past, the present and the future.
I would love to hear your thoughts on change, please do share in our comments section below.
Leader from the Heart
Only from the heart can we touch the sky – Rumi
We are each natural born leaders of our lives and whether we choose to solely be a leader of our own life or be a group leader the same skill sets are applicable.
As Mahatma Gandhi famously said everything begins with me.
And there could never be a truer statement, we must first master leadership of our own lives.
We must stand in our own truth’s, know that We Are Enough and Lead from the Heart.
Compassion is key. We each have a moral compass and when we lead with compassion we are following our moral compass.
Compassion is listening and expressing our authentic self with kindness, love and humility to ourselves and others, making choices that serve the greater good of all.
Embracing our common humanity, treating others as we would want to be treated, taking time to time to put ourselves in the shoes of others and understanding their truths.
Compassion gives rise to hope, courage, determination and inner strength all essential qualities for good leadership.
As a young person do you make choices from a position of fear or love. Choosing to be a leader of your life from a place of love, firstly of yourself, will be the most empowering choice to make.
Blog post by Dawattie Basdeo
“You can search through the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere, than you yourself. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. – Buddha on self love
What does love mean to you?
A popular saying is “Love makes the world go around” and for sure it is the most powerful force in the universe that I know of.
The bible verse Corinthians 13:4-8a describes love as;
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Today is Valentine’s Day, a day of celebrating love. At Magnificent Me Magnificent You we believe the most important love is self love.
Mahatma Gandhi famously reminded the world that everything begins with the self. A statement we strongly concur with as one can only give to others that which they have within.
Before we can truly love another, we must first truly love ourselves. We must first fill up our cup that it overflows with love.
Therefore, how can we foster self love within. Most people find it very easy to exhibit positive behaviour to friends, offering words of comfort, support and uplift when needed.
Ways to foster self love
In Buddhism a primary meaning of love is friendship. From this thought a wonderful way to foster self love is to act towards your self as you would a dear friend: –
- Accept yourself whole heartedly
- Be kind to yourself
- Acknowledge your gifts, start making a list of the things that you love about yourself.
- Ask friends and family what they love about you.
- Let go of comparison
- Know you are enough
- Prioritize your dreams, do things that inspire and light you up.
- Say no to things that aren’t good for you.
- Spend time with people who support, encourage, motivate you to be the best version of you.
- Own your thoughts and opinions
- Talk gently and kindly with yourself
- Try new things
- Nourish your mind, body and soul
- Trust your intuition
- Pamper yourself each day with an activity you love
- Practice self love meditations
- Validate yourself
- Maintain your values, lower your standards for no one.
- Forgive yourself when required.
- Acknowledge the amazing miracle that you are.
With self love, kindness, compassion, joy and freedom naturally flow. We trust our inner voice and feelings. Overcoming limiting beliefs become more creative and dream bigger, our cup overflows for all living beings. Easily fulfilling the statement “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.
We hope you agree with us self love is key and choose to love the self, first.