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The Spiritual Practice of Self-Love

Daily Inspiration: January 4, 2020


Last night Shree Maa wanted to show me her feet. Kamala Maa very excitedly said, yes! take off her socks and feel how soft Shree Maa's feet are.

As I took off the socks, I embraced the most beautiful, satiny, velvet-like feet imaginable.

Shree Maa smiled and said, "Kamala took me to get a pedicure!"

She explained that the procedure included a deep massage and scrubbing of Her feet with a sugar paste. She gleamed with delight thinking back on how comforting it felt.

Earlier today I had thought to write about the necessity of Self-Love as a spiritual practice, and Shree Maa just gave me the perfect example. Jai Maa!

Self-care and self-love are needed to foster a garden of love and kindness in our hearts. I am not talking about the overindulgent kind of egotistical me-me-me love, but rather, I am referring to the benefits of taking proper care of your body, your health, and your mental and emotional well being.

Only when we have an abundance of love in our hearts can we share it with others.

If one of your 2020 goals pertains to spirituality, and spirituality means giving more than we take, then certainly our physical, mental, and emotional well-being is the very foundation that supports this goal. Agree?

Being too hard on ourselves can lead to negative self-talk such as self-criticism and self-loathing. On the physical level, it can cause chronic ailments and disease in the body.

An inner voice of criticism expresses itself as negativity outwardly and it spreads like cancer to those around us, bringing them down into a whirlpool of negativity.

On the contrary, an inner voice of self compassion, that loves the body we inhabit and treats it as a Temple of God, will express love outwardly in the form of giving, whether it be giving kindness, compassion, love, charity, or seva.

A "body-mind" that is taken care of has the ability to perform more sadhana as well, and will naturally live a longer, happier, more fulfilled life.

Today, think of a few things you can do to keep your body-mind "miracle" at the top of its game.

Switch to a plant based diet, reduce sugar intake, take time for meditation and sadhana, learn mindfulness practices, get a massage, enjoy a pedicure, get acupuncture, go to the gym, listen to relaxing music - plan to do something - anything that is an expression of love and care for yourself. Then, plan to act on it over the next week.

May you be blessed with self-kindness, and may that kindness touch the hearts and minds of those around you.

~ Pushpananda

Jai Maa!



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