“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.
Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Jil came across this particular excerpt the other day and we were reminded of a very special time with our dear friend, Dan. At the age of 45, he was in the final phase of his life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and we were fortunate enough to be part of his care team.
Dan was fierce about living life on his terms and being true to himself. It was no surprise that he approached the final stages of his life with the same attitude. During this transitional time, listening to relaxing and uplifting music, massage, and being read this sweet story of the Velveteen Rabbit, helped him soften, smile and relax into a gentle place of surrender.
During that very remarkable period there was a sense that we were all “Loved into being Real”, and that Dan was teaching us some important things about what that meant.
It is with deep appreciation and love for our friend that we share with you the first three ways (of six) that you can “Love yourself into Real”
Being on the brink of transition and transformation isn’t the only time to access what is cherished at your core. Sadly though, it’s often the catalyst which acts as the game changer in selecting what is important for your self-love, self-worth and self-care.
These Loving your Self into Real practices are ways to bring you back into your own skin so that you can take stock of what is and isn’t important to you. They can help you break free of tolerations and less than life affirming thoughts, situations or people.
Since Danger, Sex and Magic: Living Beyond the Forbidden and Taboo is about being connected to your expression of Life Living Through You, we recommend them heartily as worthwhile approaches throughout your life!
Here are the first three practices for Loving Yourself into Real:
1. Slow down and breathe
It’s too easy to allow the stressors of 21st century living to take over your body and short circuit your breath. The horror is that when this is tolerated you are acting against yourself! You are literally stopping your life force from moving through you. You are shutting off nourishment to the cells of your body and brain.
At the very least you lose perspective, vitality and creativity. This is definitely NOT an act of Loving yourself into Real.
It’s time to take charge. This is, after all, your one life and your one body. No one else can do this for you.
Slow down and bring yourself into the present moment by breathing big beautiful belly breaths.
The ones that soften your shoulders and chest as they gently draw you back inside your own skin. The ones that fortify your immune system.
Loving yourself into Real starts with this. It is a primary act of personal responsibility.
2. Take time to create an Inner Smile
To Love yourself into Real there is nothing like the tonic of an Inner Smile.
Think of something right now that brings a smile into you… A smile that is like the warm glow of the sun on your face.
- Feel the corners of your mouth turn slightly upward.
- Feel the muscles in your face and around your eyes relax.
- Feel like your skin is smoothing out.
- Bring that smile into your heart, your liver, your lungs, your kidneys, your bones and into every area of your body.
- Feel the little stretch of the inner smile as it lifts, softens and relaxes the muscles and tissues of your body.
- Feel the warmth of your inner smile gently massage its way through you.
- Soften and let-go. Notice your energy shift into a more life affirming and empowering state with this boost of Inner Smile tonic.
Check in with yourself throughout the day and continue to give yourself an Inner Smile lift whenever you need it.
3. Listen to the whispers of your Heart
Your heart knows how to Love you into Real. You just need to listen and act from it.
Pay attention to what raises and lowers your energy. These whispers are the most direct messages that you receive from your Heart.
Pay attention to the places, activities and people that, when you are around them, you become the most alive and vibrant? Figure out how you can spend more time in those places with those people doing those things.
Look around the room you are in and notice: what objects and colors lift your spirits? What doesn’t? Make a plan to change, remove or give away anything that lowers your vibrancy.
Are you spending too much time in situations where your aliveness and vitality is diminished? Dear one, your Heart is whispering, “It’s time for a change”. Look closely, what do you really want and what might you change to get it?
Give yourself a gift of love and spend time with these practices this month. In the next post, we’ll be back with Part Two and three more ways to Love Yourself into Real.