Does that sound familiar? Have you ever had a humiliating experience? It was a classic case of self esteem being damaged. My self talk was negative too. All this was done with high emotion so that my self image (I'll never draw again because I'm a rotten drawer) was indelibly printed on my subconscious mind. So strong was this imprint that when I was 15 years old and needed to draw a seal for my project, my subconscious mind over-ruled my conscious mind by saying "What are you trying to do? You know you can't draw. You don't want to be embarrassed again do you? Put down the pen." I traced the seal.
I'm sure for many of you that some time in the past something similar happened whereby your self esteem was punctured and this was allowed and reinforced by your own self talk. But that's in the past and the good news is that you can correct all that by changing your self talk. Remember, self image is caused by self esteem, and self esteem commences with self talk. If we have a negative self image (which is the habit - buried in the subconscious mind) then we need to work with the subconscious mind to get a better habit.
Self Talk, Self Esteem and Self Image
You may have heard me say (and it's worth saying again): We have 50,000 thoughts a day. Make sure this "self talk" is positive, because guess who's listening? The down side of not listening to your self talk is really damaging when it comes after say a negative event or trauma. When the self talk is negative, with a lot of emotion, then this negative self talk becomes a habit and can lead to depression. Indeed a habit of negative self talk is one of the greatest causes of depression. Self Talk leads to Self Esteem and combined with Emotion this leads to Self Image.
Self Love and self esteem go together. Many people have the concept that "loving yourself" is selfish or they use it as a "put-down" ... "There he goes, doesn't he love himself!" All of this was certainly true for me. Now I've learned that to love unconditionally and to have love for myself means that I can truly love others. When my bucket is full and overflowing with love for me, then that's when I am able to give love to others.
Loving Yourself and ways to DO IT
I've often heard it said, and firmly believe, that you truly can not love another until you love yourself.
Look how love affects learning. Research has shown that from 0-6 years old we learn a greater number of facts than it takes to get an engineering or medical degree. Youngsters learn in a loving, supportive, rewarding atmosphere with a very short concentration span (15 seconds to a minute) and up to 6 years old youngsters live in the Alpha or Theta brainwave states.
Other research has shown that 85% of children 6 years old are positive about themselves and only 16% of 16 years olds are positive about themselves. A great change in self esteem and self love has taken place for the worse in the intervening ten years.
So how do you do that ... "Love yourself"? A short answer is ... by taking more responsibility for yourself, being a responsible participant in your own growth and development. In my book "Students Steps to Success" I have given the following examples:
* Relax frequently
* Eat and drink only healthy foods
* Rest at least 8 hours daily (sleep, meditation and relaxation)
* Accept mistakes and grow from them
* Set goals and work towards them
* Talk positively to yourself and others
* Use all your mind power
* Pat yourself on the back with congratulations
* Accept compliments graciously
* Respond to situations instead of reacting
* Take responsibility for your own health
* Watch only selected pictures and TV to protect your mind
* Be wise in your choice of reading materials
* Work actively towards any healing of yourself
* Be assertive and stand up for yourself
* Practise being free by saying "No"
* Express your own opinion
* Take care of yourself and your body in every way
* Turn away any negative comments made towards you.
Increasing Self Esteem
Peer pressure, or pressure to conform, during the vulnerable teenage years really can be full-on. Nobody wants to feel different and most of us want to be popular and accepted by those our own age. So sometimes it feels easier to go along with the group, joining in with bad behaviour, swearing, doing drugs, etc... rather than be seen to stand alone and be different.
I really like what Eleanor Roosevelt said about this subject ... "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Some ways of how to take care of yourself and increase your self esteem and self love are listed below ... and I will expand on these in my next E-Report - Self Esteem Part II.
1. Use positive words of reinforcement
2. Learn to say NO
3. Go for what you want
4. Learn to be assertive
5. Learn to like yourself
6. A great 30 second tool
7. Meditate for a positive self image (PP10)
So, know that "loving yourself" is taking responsibility for yourself and definitely practise all the practical things I have listed to "love yourself"
All The Best
It was great to meet you and hear you at Hervey Bay last Sunday and to put a person to the voice I have been hearing on tape for more than three years now. You asked if I could send you my version of the imagery I used when battling an aggressive prostate cancer which ( I'm told) is now in remission. I had to travel to Nambour (two hours away) each week for ten weeks to have radiology four and five days a week, so with little to do around each ten minute session I had time to meditate and develop the imagery. My Peaceful Place was at a beach I went to as a child, and where I took my children and near where I now live. But it was difficult to build it up at first until I actually went to the actual beach and took in all the sights, smells, noises and experiences. (We live near the beach but rarely go near it -- a quandary of retirement). In the course of meditation I developed three images concentrating on the cancer. The first was that when radiation began I envisioned (as I lay face down on the table under the linear accelerator) the actual beams hitting the walnut sized gland and shrinking it as the big machine hummed. When I meditated at other times I pictured the cancer on the gland actually turning brown and dying--a bit like a drying shrinking walnut. I eventually timed this to occur with the Great Light that enveloped me as the finale to the rainbow imagery, picturing it homing in on that troublesome gland. Then I would walk slowly around my P.P. until I got to the water's edge with small waves lapping it--and one day I came across (in my mind) a dying crab being washed with the gentle waves--up?on the beach and then back to the water. Each day it got weaker until it was lifeless--the Crab is Dead. This happened over a few weeks and in the end I felt confident enough to try to picture some movement - some life in the crab - but I couldn't. It was becoming an empty shell and gradually disappeared. I rarely go back to it but I do occasionally use the White Light to zap my prostate gland, just in case. My other imagery which I still use was to have my body flooded with small white bubble like objects which course through every part searching for similar ones that are black--they bounce against the black ones which burst and disappear. This is akin to your imagery of white corpuscles etc. Time will tell what all this does but I do believe that it helped my treatment. At the very least it gave me some weapons of my own to fight with. I hope that this wordy explanation adds to your knowledge and perhaps might help someone else who hears those awful words: "You've got cancer and I'm afraid it's an aggressive one".
HR, Hervey Bay Qld
Thank you so much for the wonderful experience over the weekend at the CALM seminar. The whole seminar was great and I can’t express how moved I was when during that first meditation I was met by the light. I hadn’t seen or felt it for many many years. It felt like I was coming home, being welcomed back into some spiritual fold that I’d strayed from ( which indeed was the case in some ways) – it all sounds a bit religious doesn’t it but it was a deeply spiritual moment for me. Defining who I really am and what I’m here to achieve has always been a challenge for me but after the weekend and throughout today ( lots of alpha visits and a session of meditation already today) I feel like I’ve got the tools to start on the journey once more. Thank you for defining unconditional love – it’s helped. Today my almost-10-yr-old-son and I worked together using some of the things I learnt over the weekend – and offering him a much more centred mum than he often gets!. He now truly knows his six-times table and he is so proud he is beaming. I’ve worked in my office all day with your baroque CD playing and have ploughed through lots of work. There’s lots more I could say but I know you’re busy and I really just wanted to express my gratitude. JM NSW
Thank you for the email and also for coming to Nelson, NZ recently for the seminar. Just what I learnt then has been very helpful, I have learnt other meditation techniques before but the one you taught is much easier and enjoyable!
Many thanks for your birthday wishes! I had a lovely day, thank you. I hope you and Sandra are both well and enjoying life. I am still reaping the benefits of the CALM Life Skills Seminar. I'm not in a habit yet of meditating on a daily basis, however I do get withdrawal symptoms if I leave it too long without meditating which is great. It prompts me to make a meeting with my sub-conscious a priority for that day, and it always reveals something important that I need to know. It also calms me and helps me to feel centred and blessed. I will get better at making it a regular event in my day, I know this. One delightful success I've found with my Peaceful Place is in managing pain. I have a food allergy and despite my best efforts it occasionally passes by the gatekeeper and I am quite ill the following day. One symptom is acute headache that doesn't respond to anything except visiting my Peaceful Place. When I do, the pain subsides noticeably and I spend the time directing healing energy to my body, particularly the parts most affected by the reaction. The pain relief is wonderful as well as the fact that I feel I am doing something to help heal my digestive system. So once again, thank you for what you do Sandy, it is a gift that you give to others and I spread the word as much as I can. KJ NSW