Part 2: Plump with love.

Note: Thank you so much for the warm + generous response to Part One: Journeying towards Self-Love. I thought it would be more of a linear story to tell, but the story is emerging in just the way it wants to. Here is Part two… Enjoy! and as always, your responses mean the world to me! If you haven’t read Part One, best to read that first.

This is the image that was shown to me in Bali: My future self. Bigger than I am now. Plump. Eyes closed. Smiling like a happy buddha. My co-leader at the retreat Juna led us through a visualization, and in it we were to ask this future self a question- What do I need to know to get to where you are now?

As I looked at her, she seemed so hearty to me.
Resilient.
Wise.
Loving.
I wanted to crawl into her lap- the safest possible place to land. She was plump with love.

“Ground in love each day,” she said. “Ground in love before you pick up your kids. Ground in love before you talk to your clients. Ground in love before you walk out the door and into the world.”

I didn’t know exactly what she meant. I could feel the truth of it, but I wasn’t sure about it’s practical application. How was I supposed to do that? But I was drenched in tears by the end of the visualization and didn’t care. I was just so moved by the possibility that I could be this person – grounded, hearty, resilient, wise. Plump with love.

When I got back home after the trip, I decided to continue meditating each day like I’d been doing in Bali. I had been using Insight Timer (the best!!) and loved their guided meditations. This time I decided to use their search feature. I typed in “self love” and the very first meditation that popped up was this one: Live Awake with Sarah Blondin: Loving and Listening to Yourself. Sounds about right! I thought to myself.

I had no idea this meditation would bring me even deeper into my healing. Deeper into this experience, this practice of self-love I was cultivating. I didn’t know it would be another part of the medicine.

The meditation started out this way, with Sarah’s gentle and powerful voice saying: I love you. And I am listening. Tears immediately sprang to my eyes. I listened to her beautiful piece and was astounded by what I was hearing. I was sure she had me in mind when she wrote it. It was as if she was speaking directly to my heart.

Tears poured down my cheeks.

And then she said those words, the same ones from the visualization in Bali: We become round and plump with our own love.

And I gasped.
And opened my eyes.
And cried more.

I listened to that meditation every day for weeks. I made a habit of putting my hand on my heart at random moments of the day and saying to myself: I love you and I am listening.

Sometimes it felt neutral, like a fact.
Sometimes it felt potent and painful, for all the ways I don’t love myself.
Sometimes it felt silly, like why am I saying these things to myself?

But mostly it felt nurturing. And it was a practice. I was increasing my capacity to love myself.

And it was my how I grounded in love. Before I picked up my kids, I would put my hand on my heart. I love you and I am listening. Before I got on the phone with my clients, I love you and I am listening.

As I write these words I am wondering, am I saying these words to myself or my kids? To myself or my clients? But I think it’s both. I am saying those words to myself and therefore to everyone I encounter. My capacity to love myself is the capacity I have to love others. That’s the way it works.

If love is too strong a word for you, replace it with compassion. The degree to which you have compassion for yourself is the degree to which you have compassion for others. The places in yourself where you lack compassion, the places in yourself that are hard for you to embrace, will be the same places that are hard to love and embrace in others.

That’s what makes the work worthwhile.
That’s why self-love is not selfish, but self-less.

That’s why this is a bottomless practice. It is a lifetime of softening towards ourselves and the world. It is a healing… and as we know, healing isn’t linear, but winds around and spirals back. Sometimes we think we have landed at square one again, but we are always somewhere else on the spiral.
Always ascending.
Always softening.
Becoming round and plump with our own love.

 

Part 3 is coming soon…

Another note: I asked Sarah Blondin if I could interview her for my podcast and she said yes! Our intimate and wonderful conversation here.

13 Comments

  1. Posted July 17, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I love you and I am listening.

    I love *this* and I am listening!

    Thank you,

    Holly

  2. Jenny
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this message. I cannot say how meaningful and on how many levels at this time in my life. Thank you, thank you, Andrea.

  3. Posted July 18, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    your honesty is inspirational! Thank-you debi

  4. Carina
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    wow, dear andrea, what a beautiful and touching story *brings warm goosebumps and softenes my heart*
    thank you and hug over the ocean

  5. Jen
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Love. This. Thank you

  6. Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    You’re in my heart, Andrea. Thank you.
    xxxooo Leslie

  7. Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    this is so beautiful. I think I am going to borrow this practice and I too want to be plump with love <3

    Thank you for your brave words Andrea.

  8. SAsha
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    This is inspirational…I had never heard that phrase “plump with love” but it is rich!!! And yummy!!! It reminds me of my boobs— I started doing daily breast massage with Rose oil as a self love practice a year ago and my boobs are so overflowing and plump with my heart energy now! It’s a constant reminder that love is generous and warm and soft and nourishing.
    Thank you for sharing your life so sweetly Sister! Warm wishes!

  9. Posted July 19, 2017 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Andrea – you have been very brave and generous in sharing your journey so openly. Thank you for that gift. I have followed your blog for years and been humbled by your resilience and willingness to take leaps toward your goals. I am also a user of Insight Timer: for years I have worked on stilling my self critical voice and attempting to exhale. Perhaps we will all find healing in sharing our stories.

  10. Barbara
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I suppose you could write something and I would not find relevant to my life, but I haven’t read it yet!

  11. Barbara
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure this is lovely and powerful. However, as with so very many things, for those of us with a hearing disability, without closed captioning or a transcript it is all lost on us.

    I (as so many) would love for things such as this to offer a way that we could all have access.

    Namaste.

  12. Posted July 22, 2017 at 2:45 am | Permalink

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  13. Kristen Morris
    Posted August 1, 2017 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    As always, you really are my very own superhero. This is just what I needed to read and you act as a constant source of inspiration. Thank you.

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