I imagine that many folks reading this have some familiarity with a specific meditation practice called "loving kindness" meditation, in which one thinks of a specific person and directs feelings of gratitude and appreciation toward him or her.
It can be any person you genuinely love; the idea is to luxuriate in the good feelings that arise when you think of this person.
I often do mine toward my daughter Daphne; it's very easy to summon positive feelings toward her.
If you're new to this practice, it's better start with people toward whom it's easy to feel love and gratitude. You naturally want them to be safe, to thrive, to not suffer, and to be happy.
As you do it more, it becomes easier to feel these positive emotions toward people who don't naturally evoke your gratitude, and even, possibly, eventually, some difficult people in your life.
But I think the heart and power of the practice (known as metta in the original Vedic literature in Pali) is to wish oneself well. Many of us find this really hard to do. We're all so self-critical.
Here's something I find helpful: most of us have photos of ourselves as children, and can recollect fragments of who we were back then, say ages 3 to 6. I find it natural to wish this little one well. It doesn't require any special effort or contortion to feel love and kindness toward this early version of ourselves.
You can even imagine yourself as an older child, say ages 9-12, and simply decide to be in his/her corner with wishes of loving kindness.
Then our teenage selves, hard as that may be for some, especially me!
And so on.
Be on your own side. It makes life so much easier, and better.
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One of simplest ways to be on our own side is to treat our bodies well. Whole, nutritious foods are your friend -- they give you what you ultimately crave, which is to feel your best. It's an active choice we make several times every single day.
Daily matcha is the obvious choice for many of us here.
As I write this, I'm sipping a delish smoothie that Daphne whipped up with a frozen banana (take the peel off before freezing), a big scoop of Culinary Reserve, a handful of raspberries, and some plain unsweetened kefir.
My daily shaker of coldbrew is my lifeline in all weather, not just when it's warm, and a thick shot of Rikyu after a meal always nudges me toward my better self.
October is here, and it's time for another event here at Breakaway HQ -- everything is 20% off starting today and ending next Monday (Oct 11). Maybe you'll take advantage of the window to stock up on whatever you need. The code will be at the top of every page on the site ... a good chance to try something new as well.
As always, I hold a lot of gratitude for everyone reading this. I also love hearing from you; if there's anything on your mind that I might be able to help with, please do get in touch.
As we zoom toward the end of the year, wishing you an excellent hour, day, week, and month!