In our modern-day lives, a self-love practice is crucial to nourishing our heart and spirit. We've all heard that you must fill your own cup with love first, to be able to give love to others. Amethyst is the gemstone that strengthens this virtue. Here's a look at why it is important and ways to ground a self-love practice into our lives.
You are worthy of your love
So many of us struggle with the concept of self-love. Many feel unworthy of receiving it from themselves when there are others around them that need to be taken care of. Or, perhaps we sabotage our own self-love because of an underlying belief system that needs to be updated. The psychology of humans is complex, and it is brave to seek out help or guidance in whatever way feels safe and accessible for you. We are created from love, it is your birthright. The love inside you is your very essence, so self-love practices are nourishing this essence and tapping into the divinity within. If you are aware that there is something blocking you from being able to give love to yourself, enquire into it. Try and soar like an eagle above yourself as you ask, "what is stopping me from giving loving care to my being?"
Your self-love practice
What you include in your unique self-love practice should nourish and tune into your own loving spirit. Rather than finding pleasurable ways to distract yourself from what's going on with your being (like binging on TV series or eating junk food), these practices help you to tune in and accept what is with loving awareness. Life will continue to happen with its ups and downs, and having a self-love practice during the highs and lows, can help ground and nourish your spirit, no matter what is happening. No matter what practices you choose, the core element they all depend on is time. Crafting out time in your day or week to be alone, fill your own cup with love, so you can be more loving with the world around you.
The love hormone
Oxytocin is that warm loving feeling you get whilst hugging, connecting with a loved one or when you see something cute. You can also infuse its presence in your system by and with yourself. As oxytocin increases, testosterone decreases, making you a little more loving, and a little less aggressive and distrusting to the world around you. Natural ways to increase your oxytocin as a way of self-love include:
1. Touch - self-massage, dance, oiling your body and self-touch all increase oxytocin
2. Smile and laughter - be silly with yourself, laugh, and even set the picture on your phone screen to something cute or loving that's sure to make you smile
3. Gratitude journal - studies have shown people who regularly keep a gratitude journal have higher levels of oxytocin and lower levels of cortisol and testosterone.
4. Cry it out - let that emotion move through you with tears, made of saltwater and designed to cleanse the system. Studies have shown people who suppress their emotions have lower oxytocin levels. It's therapeutic to have a good cry and release that build-up of emotion.
5. Meditation and prayer - meditation is proven to reduce stress naturally and leave you with a clearer head and calmer state of being. Prayer can increase your oxytocin as you give gratitude for life, and oxytocin is increased as we increase our feeling of trust, safety and love.
Meditating on Love
Infusing self-love into your meditations is a beautiful way to honour your spirit and enhance your feelings of warmth, love and kindness. The Amethyst crystal is aligned with the frequency of the heart and love. Using the Silatha Amethyst Dorje during your meditations can, through the power of ritual, attune you to this loving vibration with ease. Sitting in meditation, bring your awareness to your heart centre. Feel the light of love within, its colours, its sensation, its warmth - how does it feel in your heart? With each breath in, breathe love into your heart centre, feeling the light expand. With each exhale, soften, allowing this love to expand throughout your being. Take rest in love.
Our nervous system can be divided into two states of being - sympathetic (the flight/ fight/ freeze response) and parasympathetic (rest and digest). Many of us are operating in this flight or fight response daily due to everyday stresses and modern-day life. To care for our nervous system is to give a great deal of love to our being. It's is extremely beneficial to engage in practices that will activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Think of activities that help you to slow down, relax and tune in to your body. Mindfulness practices like colouring in, painting, meditation, aromatherapy, Tai Ji, slow yoga and taking a bath are all great to bring you back into this state. Chanting OM, with emphasis on humming M at the end, has also been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Making your self-love practice into a ritual is a powerful way of habitually engraining self-care into your life and subconscious. You are the best person to design this for you. You might like to create a bath ritual, using herbs, flowers and oils in the water, the ones you use depending on your season and mood. You might have a daily self-love ritual of meditation (definitely an act of love), journaling, saying affirmations while drinking your tea or coffee in the morning. It could be as simple as a daily walk, alone, focusing on your breath. Ritualising your self-love practice is an amazing way to create a shortcut in your brain to a loving presence within yourself.
Want to intensely work on creating more self-love? Join us at the Silatha retreat in April, more information please visit: https://ecodharmavillage.com/silatha