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Opening up

Three-Practice Love

Opening up

Jenn Shallvey

Photo © Jenn Shallvey 2015

Photo © Jenn Shallvey 2015

So when we want to work on shifting into radical acceptance and simply being what does it take?  One word - LOVE.  Oh no, there’s that word. Well I might as well through in another - PEACE. Oh no, we are regressing to the sixties. Well yes we are going back in time. We are remembering that the wisdom of ages tells us when we live in peace and love that we get peace and love.

What does it mean to live in love. This is not romantic in nature, even if it may seem like that.  Many of us instantly go to this definition. In fact think of how much is loaded in the words ‘I Love You’. Many a relationship has stalled or stagnated simply because one person could not say these words or mean it when said.  Then there are those on the other end of the spectrum where these words are thrown around like an afterthought because it is cute or nice.

When you really mean, feel and embody love, then that is when a positive shift in perception and impression can occur. This is when there is a real difference. Notice the difference even if you say the words out loud. What happens when you emphasise each word differently in turn and then try to say all with emphasis. Interesting reading this. Now try it. That’s right. Say it out loud. Ok, if you are in public maybe you are not ready to risk this level of exposure and embarrassment. So start in a safe and easy way.  Find someone that you really can say these words to and say them out loud. Or if you have no one you can say this to try the most important person in the world-YOU!

Now I have really gone there, haven’t I? It is one thing to think in terms of love with other people in mind but your self? Is not that taking us back again to some new age hippie movement? Maybe so. Is it that bad if we do resurrect a few words sent in this direction? 

Now since love is really important, let us go in two directions with it. Firstly and most importantly is SELF LOVE and then of equal importance yet following on the list is OTHER LOVE.  I put everyone and thing in the other category. There is no distinction.  What is happening here is that when you feel love inside then you can not help but send it out of yourself. When you do not love yourself but seek to love others only then we can end up being very dependent on others.

Putting this together you get some interesting logic. If you love your self first then by default it becomes easy to love others. When you no longer judge or criticize yourself it becomes easier to accept others. When you sit in peace with yourself then it becomes so much easier to sit in peace with all.

Perhaps another tack. Let me ask you a question...what do you love? Now answer this question with whatever comes up. Just put your hand on your heart and fill in the blank and keep going.

I love.....

I love....

I love....

I love....

I love....

Check in again. What is it like the more you connect into this feeling. What comes up for you?  A whole range of responses are possible.   So as you say what you love also notice how you feel.  Just notice, no judgement nor interpretation needed.

You can get specific if you want as well.  Select a focus area in your world.  For example try the area of work and career. Now this is not likely the first place you are going to explore the word love which is partly why I choose it.  Consider how love plays out in your work, your job, the way you earn a living.  What you are like at work can be directly related to the feeling of love.  If you have lifted yourself up, as mentioned above, then when you are at work you will emanate love. Sending this type of energy out will have far greater positive impact on both you and others than not.  You can be abstract and love what you do. Ideally we are working in jobs where we love what we do. This is not always the case. So when we are not, it is even more important to connect into love.  You can create powerful shifts in the way you see the world around you when you do.  

So now you are gathering more data. You know what you love and how you feel when you connect into this.

Here is where it gets interesting. This is not a one off exercise. This is not something you just do while reading this section of the book. No this is something you do ALL THE TIME EVERY DAY!  

When in doubt or feeling down? Connect into what you love.

When a bit distracted and overwhelmed? Stop and connect into what you love.

When hurt or angry? Connect into what you love.

Are you getting the hang of this?  Love is not a word you offer to someone. Love is a way of being. Love is living. This is what it is all about. Life is love. Love is life.  Love is a daily practice whether at home or at work because it starts and ends with you.

Love is also not always easy. We encounter many situations in our day that challenge this feeling and state. This is why it is essential to develop a level of conscious awareness around your experience. Take it for granted or ignore the feeling and it might just slip away.  Create opportunities and ways to bring yourself back into balance with love and you have a whole different experience.  You need to practice and hone your skills and ways of bringing this focus into your day, every day.

So the next set of words to live by are “Practice Love”.