Note to Self: 10 Loving, Empowering Messages You Need to Hear from Yourself
1. You cannot enter the world someone other than who you really are and expect to be loved for who you are.
You can’t be wholly loved unless you’re bringing your whole self into the world for others to love. Living from your values, honouring your creativity and individuality without losing yourself in others’, is a sign that you’re honouring your own inherent worth.
Also, remember the Golden Rule: Treat your body like your friend, and that’s what your body will become.
“Drink from the well of your self and begin again.” — Charles Bukowski
2. You are not your pain points.
The wounds that took root yesterday or ten years ago? You don’t need to identify with them. You don’t need to defend them against every trigger. Those pain points are calls for love—nothing more and nothing less. Your willingness to release and to love strengthens your connection to all the beauty that would flock to you.
3. Real self-care doesn’t fill your schedule. It fills YOU.
The best self-care practices are the ones that feel right for you right now. They don’t need to be fancy or time-consuming. They just need to fill you up so that you can make the most of your time.
4. Treat your intuition like it’s a superpower.
Every cell in your being and spirit knows without needing concrete logical evidence. When you trust the deep knowing of your intuition over doubtful thinking, you come home to that most intimate relationship with yourself.
“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.” ―Gavin de Becker
5. There are no shortcuts to self-knowledge and wisdom.
There are some things you can only understand by experiencing them. Don’t get too caught up in hacks and sidestepping the rich meaning and lessons that are extracted from the depths of struggle. Stay and till the soil.
6. You are right on time.
You know how I know you’re supposed to be here, exactly as you are, experiencing this? Because you’re here, as you are, experiencing this. You don’t need to bloom all year long—treat yourself like a garden.
Blossom first, then the bee will come. You are right on schedule.
7. You are not an island.
You are connected even when you feel like you’re all on your own. You are woven into a rich network of dark and light, give and take, high and low. You can work on yourself through others and others through yourself—that is incredible.
8. Determining your worth is too great a responsibility for anyone else to assume.
Your power is your responsibility. It is for you to remember, for you to reclaim, for you to use as you please, for you to employ or ignore.
Your worth is immeasurable. It isn’t something you can rationally calculate based on your experiences in the world. It is for you to tend to, to water and watch unfold.
9. You can’t be everything to everyone.
It’s important to express yourself, what you’re doing and why it matters to you to the people in your life who you love. It’s not necessary that everyone agree, accept, or support you. Some will and some won’t, and the support that matters first and foremost is the support you receive from within. Start there.
Get so deeply grateful for the support you do receive — from others and yourself — that you don't need validation from every single person in your life
10. Only tell yourself the things you want to come true.
Telling yourself you’re already enough, for instance, doesn’t mean you never change; it means you can create sustainable change. You can be enough even while you grow and release. Living from that core makes for a fulfilling journey.
Thanks to Jen at www.aimhappy.com for putting together these care messages!
Here is the harsh reality for Low Back Pain from the Canadian Chiropractic Association:
"Involuntary spasms in your lower back? A dull throbbing ache? Shooting pain down your leg? You are most likely suffering from low back pain. If you’ve never had low back pain, chances are you will at some point in your life. Just check these statistics:
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE YOUR LOW BACK PAIN?
I can help!
Using the Critical Alignment Yoga method, your back pain can change in 10 mins.
Take theses steps:
Tools you need for the exercise!
The word “alignment” is showing up in yoga workshops and classes across Alberta. It’s become fashionable to be concerned about the functionality of the bone, muscles, joints and connective tissue in a person’s yoga practice. Online anatomy classes are popping up everywhere, and it’s not uncommon to hear anatomical language spewed out in all types of yoga classes all over the province. But where did this all originate? Who made alignment desirable? And why are yoga students so interested?
B.K.S. Iyengar uniquely approached the practice of yoga asana with great attention to alignment and long holds that would affect all the layers of the body. Many disciplines have branched out from his initial teachings, one of them being Critical Alignment Yoga & Therapy, founded by Gert van Leeuwen from Amsterdam. Gert has been travelling to Calgary for over 10 years to train teachers the importance of alignment, how to identify repetitive movement patterns in students that could lead to pain and injury and how to teach precise exercises to connect critical points in the body. Some of the first teachers trained in Calgary have become highly sought after by longtime yoga practitioners, athletes, and persons with debilitating back pain for whom conventional treatments didn’t have a lasting effect.
The technique of Critical Alignment Therapy is unique, in that the exercises are approached with relaxation instead of effort. Using specialized props, the practitioner’s spine is placed in a more natural alignment, and then the student is encouraged by the teacher to relax fully and deeply. At times this can be the most difficult part as the physical “story” of the tissues and bones can be quite distracting and considered painful. First the superficial movement muscles, where most of the tension from repetitive strain or poor posture is stored, are relaxed by using the weight of the body on the props. With deep and conscious breath, we can work through the strong sensations and start to add small movements which help stimulate the deeper postural and stability muscles, closer to the bones. Students become more familiar with their bodies, finding exactly where the tension, stiffness and poor alignment is located. This awareness can then transfer into their daily lives and activities. For example, while performing exercises on a thickly rolled blanket or felt pad in the low back, the student may experience more discomfort on the right side of the body than the left. With deeper awareness, they may be able to connect that discomfort to a habitual postural pattern they hold (for example, while sitting at their desk at work), and naturally they will then discontinue the pattern resulting in less pain and a better alignment story every day.
Over the years many yoga teachers have graduated from Critical Alignment training and created classes all over the province and beyond, with names like Yoga for Backs, Bodhi Alignment and simply Critical Alignment Therapy. Students have filled the studios featuring those teachers, knowing that they will experience classes focused on alignment, relaxation, conscious breathing and intelligent movement—classes in which they can create sustainable and healthy movement patterns that will affect their overall happiness. Teachers are overjoyed to have heard feedback like: “After being in a car accident six years ago, I became increasingly inactive because of neck and back pain. Chiropractic and massage therapy were my only relief, but the cost of comfort wasn't sustainable. After a few months of Critical Alignment Therapy I feel a noticeable difference, and I'm confident that the knowledge and body awareness I have developed will enable me to return to a healthy and active lifestyle.” Also heard from a Critical Alignment student that had been practicing yoga for many years, “I've gained a deeper awareness of habitual patterns which were counterintuitive to my physical practice of yoga. I gave myself time and permission to slow down and explore. I learned techniques to release shoulder tension which remained residual despite years of yoga practice. I have discovered what it means to move from the centre line with stability and ease, and the impact on my daily life is beyond measure.”
Students use this newfound body intelligence to help them realize the ancient instructions for practicing yoga asanas as taught by Patanjali: Relax the effort and meditate on the endless. As explained by Gert van Leeuwen in his book Yoga:Critical Alignment (2013),“Rather than forcing movement through willpower, relaxation is associated with terms like relaxed breathing, pressure, right balance and total awareness......During performance of the asanas, Critical Alignment emphasizes the development of total attention...(making) it possible to view stiffness in the movement chains objectively for what it really is: tension from psychological and social pressures that lead(s) to stagnation of energy and limit(s) free movement...it allows us to release tension and return to...free and open feeling effortless, with no trace of muscular tension state of moving....We can experience a total awareness during asana practice that gives us an acute feeling of being in the here and now.”
Because Critical Alignment training in North America is highly concentrated in Alberta, the philosophy of that practice has trickled into many yoga teacher’s classes in the province. As a yoga teacher and a graduate of van Leeuwen’s certification training, I am happy to be able to incorporate elements of Critical Alignment into my classes. My semiprivate classes in Calgary at Jennifer Strukoff Yoga are full with waiting lists, and the fall retreats offered by my company, Calgary Yoga Therapy, sell out every year. Students want smooth movement without pain, and Critical Alignment Yoga & Therapy is an excellent method for working toward that goal.
Jennifer has helped countless students move out of pain using the Critical Alignment method. She would like students to walk away from her classes with a smile on their faces and a new awareness in their bodies. She hopes that they feel a strong connection to the Light in their heart and have created stillness of the mind.