Sunday, October 09, 2005

Becoming My Own Best Friend

becoming my own best friend takes some learning and practicing.

i started to do that more consciously today by deciding two things--
1. that i would more steadfastly guard my mind, not so much against the negativity and unloving thoughts, actions and behaviors of others (as i've learned to be good at that already), but more of against my own not- so-loving thoughts, actions and behaviors against my self;
2. that i would more reverently treat my self, from the littlest thing to the biggest things, and not rush around too much, but to take time just to savor each moment and my experience of it, and to always go gently and tread lightly with how i treat my self.

today, just the practice of showering and eating breakfast alone became enlightening meditation and self-reflection sessions.

while showering, i closed my eyes and rubbed and soaped my self slowly, gently, reverently, letting the water flow through my hair and down my skin and body, and sighing at the pleasure of it all. although it was pleasurable, it took some effort from me, though, to pause and start going gently again, as i found my self rushing out of habit, and soaping my self absentmindedly. it took effort trying to gently lead my self back to becoming mindful of my self and the whole experience of showering again, but the few moments when i did get it right... became pure bliss.

it made me reflect and wonder how i could have lived before so driven and so stressed, accomplishing much, yes, but also neglecting my own self too much. now that i am able to actually experience these little snippets of unadulterated joy and pleasure just being mindful of the moment, i want to cultivate the habit now of more of these little mindful reverential actions... not just because they make me feel soo good, but because they help "insulate" me somehow from the storms and stresses of the outside world, and also because i know that the more i build up a habit of little self-loving actions like these, the more i will cultivate and attract a more serene and self-loving kind of life.

it was the same thing with my eating my breakfast. i normally already eat slow, savoring each bite and swallowing slowly, but this time, i really paid attention to what i was doing, even smelling the food i was going to take in. and i had to exert extra effort, too, to just pay loving attention to what i was doing, as the usual cacophony of insistent thoughts tried to assail me.

interestingly, as i paid attention to what i was doing as if it was the only thing worth doing today, i actually felt less affected by the thoughts starting to distract and attack me, like somehow, an invisible bubble had formed around my innermost self, and nothing could touch my peace.

these must be what all saints and mystics have described as the meditative moment and how living life this way in a series of these meditative moments, is the key to peace and love and joy and all those myriad inner blessings of life and the spirit.

for me, though, this morning's experiences also felt like making good, sweet, passionate love to my self, in more and all ways than just the usual. : )
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