Learning to Love yourself and Quiet the Inner Critic

There is an epidemic on the planet.  It is an epidemic of self-loathing, unworthiness, and feeling as if we are never good enough.  And it’s ludricous and must stop now, before our future generations become riddled with it and pass it down to their children.

It is my belief that there is only ONE problem in the world today, or my preference is to call it a challenge, or an opportunity.  It is that we don’t love ourselves.  If this challenge was resolved, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, would be different.  If we truly loved ourselves, we’d have more love to give.  If we truly loved ourselves we’d never wish to inflict pain and hurt upon another, we’d carry no anger and pain within us and thus there’d be no need to release it, often at another’s expense.  If we truly loved ourselves we’d not worry about what other people thought about us, because we’d have all that we needed.  We’d let go of the need to prove ourselves, the need for validation, and the effort we put in to getting people to like us.  When someone chose not to be with us, we’d not see it as rejection but thank them for the clarity, so that we can move forward and not stay stuck wondering if we can “make” it work.  We’d know we are worthy and trust that everything is happening perfectly, all ways and always.  We’d lose the need to be “people pleasers” realizing that the only one that needs to be pleased with ourselves, is us.  We’d understand when others said no to our requests that they are simply following their truth and we would never take it personally.  Love and compassion would be the rule.  Heaven on Earth would be more than just a dream.  My mission is to do what I can to make this dream a reality, one person at a time, starting with ME.

I’ve found some key steps that have assisted me in learning to embrace all of me and finally coming to a place of loving, respecting and honoring myself and all my perfectly human imperfections.

1.  Look in the mirror and fall deeply in love with yourself! 

Seeing yourself through the “soft eyes” of your heart, gaze deeply into your eyes – as if they were the eyes of your beloved – and let yourself be truly SEEN.  List at least 5 things you love and appreciate about yourself and really let yourself FEEL the truth behind those acknowledgements.  When your inner critic creeps in, thank it for trying to protect you and let it know that you no longer need its services, cancel and replace whatever it had to say, knowing that it’s not the truth.  Do this every day, morning and night for a minimum of 5 minutes each time.  Tell yourself “I LOVE YOU!” over and over.

2.  Speak to yourself like you are someone you love, like your best friend or young child.    

I’ve given my kids full permission to call me (and each other) on it when I slip up and speak to them in a way that hurts their feelings, by reminding me to “please speak to me like I’m someone you love.” When your inner critic pipes up, allow your “inner child” to remind you to “please speak to me like I’m someone you love.”

3.  Surround yourself with positive, loving and supportive people as much as possible.

We cannot choose or bioligical family, but we can choose who we spend MOST of our time with.  Jim Rohn says that “we are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with.”  Choose wisely.

4.  Do what you love.  

Make a list of the things that make your heart sing.  What truly brings you joy?  Do something you LOVE every day.  Listening to upbeat music, dancing, singing, drawing, painting, cooking, playing an instrument, reading, writing, bubble baths, drinking latte’s  – pick one and enjoy it to the fullest!  Be mindful; feel, hear, taste, touch and appreciate every moment as you do this.

5.  Nuture yourself! 

Developing healthy habits is such a key step in feeling better about yourself.  Adopt some form of regular exercise, eat healthy foods, get enough rest and really look after that vessel that you reside in!

6.  Become the person you wish to attract!

Instead of criticizing or making excuses for yourself and the person you are with, list the characteristics that you truly admire in others and that you want to have in a relationship.  Strive to develop those very same characteristics in yourself.  If you wish to attract a “10” – you’ll need to become a “10”!  There aren’t too many 10’s out there looking to get in a relationship with someone who only sees themselves as a “6”.  Set goals and surrender the outcome.  Gently work toward what you wish to Do, Have and Be.

7.  Be MINDFUL of what you are focusing on.  

We really are powerful manifestors, whether we know it or not, our thoughts, words and actions are attracting and creating our reality.  What we think about comes about and when we are focusing on everything that is wrong with are lives or on what we don’t have…we get more of the same.  Focus on what you DO want, on the beauty in everything and especially on GRATITUDE and you will get more to be grateful for!

 8.  Be the Source of that which you wish to receive.

Be the source of Love, Joy and Acknowledgment in other people’s lives.  When you are the source of something good in the lives of others, you will be provided with more good so that you can continue to give it.  This is why service is so important.  Perform regular random acts of kindness and find people to give that which you wish to receive more of.  When you help someone else to feel joy, you cannot help but raise your vibration as well.

 9.  Express your authenitic self and stop comparing yourself to others.  Everyone has their own unique gifts and talents and we are all important pieces in the grand puzzle of Heaven on Earth.  Find and share your gifts with others and encourage others to do the same.  No one is better or worse than anyone else.  Just be and express who you are in the world.

10.   Trust yourself  – learn to listen to the calling of your heart and to your inner guidance system.  Let go of the fear of screwing up and act upon your intuition.  One of the ways we sabotage is by refusing to make a decision for fear that it may be the “wrong” one.  We stay in confusion as a form of resistance  and it gives us an excuse to stay stuck (in our comfort zone).  It’s impossible to make a mistake; if you discover that you are moving in the wrong direction just “course correct” and keep on going.  Every path leads us “home”, eventually!

The ONLY way to learn to trust ourselves, is to practise trusting ourselves!

11.  Practise Receiving LOVE – when someone gives you a gift, offers to help or compliments you, Accept it!  Express gratitude with a simple “thank you” and really let yourself be filled up with the love that is being offered.  Do not take away from the “gift of giving” that is being offered, by deflecting or refusing it.

12.  Forgive yourself and others.  Forgiveness is not about saying that what a person did is okay, it is about freeing yourself.   Be grateful for the learning, release it, and move forward.  Practise Ho’oponopono.

13.  Keep a Journal – write about your experiences, good and bad – Acknowledge your feelings and validate yourself.  Let it flow and then you can let it go.

Namaste,
Jeri

Love, Fear and Self- Rejection

selfconfidencequote2
The hardest battle you’ll ever have to fight
is the battle to be yourself. ~unknown

Interesting magic happens when a relationship is perceived as SAFE; ‘he’s married, I’ll never see him again, he’s not my type’ –  and thus we allow ourselves to SHOW UP…fully as ourselves, without the FEAR of judgement, abandonment or rejection.  There’s a certain ease and flow.  There’s REAL connection and authentic emotions without the worry of what he might think.  Then suddenly, “Damn, I think I’m falling for this guy…I can be MYSELF with him…he accepts me just as I am!”  When really it is us ALLOWING ourselves to BE and express who we are… because there’s no fear of loss as we haven’t cultivated that attachment.  Perhaps it is US that we are falling for…

We begin to credit the other person with being our motivation and inspiration.  We begin to feel like we NEED them.  We think and say things like, “I love who I am when I’m with you”  and “You make me want to be more”  How about if we just leave it as “I love who I am… and I want to be more of who I really AM.  I am inspired to step into a greater version of myself!”  Oooo…feels good doesn’t it?

So how do we show up for ourselves that way when it’s someone we “care” more about;  when we are attracted to the person and want more?  Suddenly being ourselves seems “risky.”  Instead, we  often go into trying too hard…to impress, to look good, to prove ourselves.  It all points back to self-worth issues.  Once we really get that we are worthy and that even with our perceived faults, we are perfect and always, all ways, loved and lovable.  When we realize our divinity and that we ARE complete, whole and perfect, which we can begin to embody through our thoughts and self-talk; talking to ourselves as if we ARE our beloved, holding ourselves, show up for ourselves with unconditional love and compassion.  Then it can happen easily with another….the only person’s rejection and abandonment we have to fear is that of ourselves.

It’s magical when we ALLOW ourselves to show up with anyone, realizing that rejection is impossible!  If he leaves it’s because HE is not ready to show up for himself yet and thus he feels threatened by you and scared of your light…as you are showing him his light….and what is possible…but he has not yet deemed himself worthy….

The greatest challenge truly is to BE ourselves…to have enough self-love to realize that we can never be rejected by another.  All rejection is self rejection.  What shows up outside ourselves is a gift to show us what’s inside ourselves…and what’s been holding us back from realizing the LOVE that we are.

OMG…does this mean that I can truly BE FREE?!

© Jeri Tourand, April 5, 2013

Stop Trying!

lettingo

People have asked me what the difference is in my energy lately.
“You seem different,” people have said.  “Your energy is flowing better.”
Here’s the secret…I gave up!  I stopped trying.
Sounds terrible I know but OMG – it’s amazing.
Trying is HARD by definition.  I claim I want to BE in that space of the EASE and FLOW of the Universe.  Yet, I’ve been TRYING to “get” there.
But trying is resisting…it is the very thing that stopped me from BEING there.

So..TRY (couldn’t resist!)…no, I want you do DO this experiment right now:
Sit down in a chair.  Now TRY to get up.  Follow the instructions; you are to TRY to get up…not to GET up – just try.  Now…where are you?  Exerting a LOT of EFFORT and ENERGY I’ll bet?  You are stuck aren’t you??  You are neither sitting in the chair nor are you up from the chair but you are literally STUCK in between – in resistance.

RESISTANCE is such a tiring place to be.  Imagine you are in a river floating downstream with the current.  Fun right?  Easy?  Any energy needed?  NO!  In fact the current just takes you…there is tons of energy GIVEN to you…not only are you in the ease and flow but you are totally and EFFORTLESSLY being SUPPORTED in moving forward!!  Whohooo!!!   That is how the Universe works; the Universe is the current, and all we need to do is stop resisting…stop TRYING to control – let go of the oars and trust.  If you swim against the current – WOW – serious effort – bet you will feel tired all the time!  If you grab onto a branch and try to stay in the same place – resisting moving (resisting change), that is work too…not as much as going against the current but still – serious effort and energy required right?!

One of my close friends told me the other day “Jeri…F** it!  I’m tired of trying so hard!”
All I could think was “YAY!!!”  He’s finally going to let go and get in the flow!!  Voila!  The very next day.. huge transformation!  He had a sudden burst of energy and ideas galore!!  He inspired me to do the same.

The definition of STRESS is RESISTING what is!!  Trying is basically saying you are not okay with the way it is – you want to change but you are not willing to change, or to do the work – so you sabotage yourself and force yourself to stay in your comfort zone by TRYING.
But guess what – it’s NOT comfortable – it’s exhausting and frustrating isn’t it?

The key is to stop trying.
Trying to get there is the very thing that is stopping you from BEING here….and from already having whatever it is you are ‘striving’ and ‘trying’ for….
In focusing your energy and attention on what is not working,
you continue to attract more of the same and that, is the definition of “stuck.”
There is nothing “wrong” with where you are right now.  Focus on what IS working, how where you are right now is serving you.  Is it serving you in identifying what you don’t want?  Great!  That’s the first step in figuring out what you do want.  Is it serving you in allowing you to stay stuck, in your comfort zone, resisting change?  Great!  That is a great place to get really quiet and have a good look at what you are resisting….

What if trying to get there is the only thing stopping you from being here, where you already HAVE everything you need?

Trying is effortful, energy draining, frustrating
Being is effortless, energy FULL, and en-lightening!

Stop trying to be somewhere else.
Start embracing exactly where you are.
Release the self-judgment and condemnation.
Know that there is nothing wrong with you.
  Stop trying to be better.
You are already good enough.
Surrender to what is.
Your energy will return and you may even see that you already are where you’ve been striving to be….fully guided and in the ease and flow of the universe—you’ve simply been blocking it with all that TRYING—-let it go and allow the flow!!!!

Don’t try your best but DO your best and then surrender to the universe with love, trust and JOY!!!  EnJOY the ride!!

Namaste,

Jeri
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell

©Jeri Tourand, May 18, 2013

Real Love

embrace

Dear Universe,

What I want… is to be held.
I want to know that I’m okay.
I want to share the depths of my heart and soul.
I want to share the depth of my darkness and shadows.
And know that you will stay.
I want to be seen.
I want to be trusted with your heart,
your soul and your shadows.
I want you to know that I will stay.
I want to experience and express unconditional love.
I want to dance with your energy
To exchange and mingle our energy until it becomes indistinguishable.
I want to feel the merging
Where I no longer know
where I end and you begin.
I want to learn how to meet in the middle
with the interplay of masculine and feminine.
I want to learn how to truly hold you
In a loving, secure embrace
and how to be held by you
knowing I am loved and safe.
I want to know that love is real.
I want to know real love.

© Jeri Tourand, Living from Heart Center – October 23, 2012

Show Up As Your Authentic Self

showup

Some people insist on putting other people down in order feel better about themselves, while others are focused on bringing everyone UP…again in order to feel better about themselves. Seems to me that both are slightly narcissistic and egoic are they not?

What if we just showed up, in full presence and transparency? Wouldn’t everyone just automatically feel better about themselves then? Including ourselves? It’s such an effort to put on airs and negativity just attracts more of the same.

Something magical about knowing you are not alone and being given permission to just BE – always good enough, wherever you are at.

Love and Compassion will save the world. Give others an opportunity to BE there for you by showing up authentically for them.

♥ Here’s to showing up authentically all ways!

Namaste,
© Jeri Tourand, Living From Heart Center

The Exploration and Expression of my Authentic Self

The last several months have held some of the best, worst and most enlightening moments of my life.  I’ve allowed myself to show up…more than I ever have…for myself, for my children, my friends and even, bit by bit, for my family of origin.  When I first chose to embark on this journey of finding myself, I was often told that I’m different, that I’ve changed,  and many people in my life did not care for the changes I was making.  Some even told me, “I want the old Jeri back.”  Well…the old Jeri…wasn’t the real Jeri.  The old Jeri was disconnected, inside and out, encased within a protective wall of bricks, and weighed down and burdened by multiple masks.  The old Jeri worried constantly, about what other people thought, about being judged, and about being wrong.  She was an excellent shape shifter; she easily blended in with the furniture, or slipped into the persona of whomever she felt would be most safe, loved, accepted and acknowledged in any given moment. The old Jeri never felt good enough. Continue reading

The Journey to Authenticity

What does Authenticity mean to you?  Don’t look it up,  and don’t google it – look inside.

How do you know when you are being truly Authentic with yourself and with others? When your thoughts, words and actions are congruent? When you strive to live in alignment with the truth of who you are? Can you feel the inauthenticity in that word “strive”? As soon as I say it, I know that I’ve put up a barrier to authenticity. Being who you are requires NO effort… or does it? Continue reading

Let it Flow then Let it Go

“Let it flow then let it go” – Wise words from the Peaceful Warrior.

“The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” is a beautiful book by Dan Millman and an excellent motion picture. This phrase has often come to the forefront for me as I work through the process of letting go of my old, limiting and false beliefs.

What are those beliefs you hold about yourself that you know have been keeping you stuck, preventing you from truly expressing the Divine Being that you are? And what happens when you find them? Could it be as simple as choosing to let them go? Continue reading