The Selflove Blog

Welcome to episode 20 of the SELFLOVE WITH SHARMILA podcast.

It is a big celebratory episode – 20 weeks of selflove and I can say my own selflove practice has grown immensely thorough these weeks. If you are a listener of this audio cast – I would love to hear your feedback on the same and you are welcome to write to me at selflovewithsharmila@gmail.com

It is one thing to indulge yourself once in a while – but it is another thing to be absolutely devoted to your own good. Basically, how to not lose interest in selflove. To mark this week, I have 20 tips for you from a galaxy of suggestions.

1. Don’t be too tough on yourself. Be compassionate with yourself and be thankful to yourself for all that you have put up with, ventured into, showed up for. Selflove is selfcompassion.

2. Don’t limit yourself. Limiting your self starts with limiting your thoughts and narrow self-perception. Have the courage to expand your life.

3. Do not let others opinion of you, become your reality. People will often have an opinion about you from their own reality or state of thinking, Don’t bother too much about that.

4.  Make a daily selfcare routine and stick to it. The biggest challenge is to be able to first find a routine with all ingredients for your good and then sticking by it. It’s a great idea to have green tea, but see you do so every day. Its lovely to use an aloevera face pack – to soothe your skin, but see that you do so often. Consistency is the buzzword for selfcare.

5. Eat health food – sounds like a cliché right? But this is easier said than done and we all know it.

6. Don’t bother too much about what others are saying about you. Learn to focus on your own wellness.

7. Do not try to please people. People pleasing is actually a sign of dependence and may divert you from your own goals.

8. Do not become an approval seeker’ Actually approval seekers are also people pleasers, But imagine always trying to please others in order to be approved of – will you not that way lose touch with yourself?

9. Dress to be happy. Trying to fit is perhaps worst manifested in what we wear. Pick clothes that make you happy, every day.

10. Be your own best friend. If you can’t befriend yourself – how do you think you will be able to strike friendships?

11. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. People rub off on us. Surround yourself with people who make you happy.

12. Invest in yourself. A study course, a new book, a subscription to a great magazine – what ever may be your food for growth – invest in it.

13. Stay invested in yourself. Don’t give up too easily. Stay invested in yourself. Selflove is about standing by yourself all through the journey.

14. Make big plans for yourself. Don’t shrink you plans to make it convenient for everyone.

15. Don’t sell yourself short. An easy follow up of point fourteen – when you shrink yourself, you also short-sell yourself.

16. Be a continuous learner. There is no substitute for learning.

17. Get health check ups. There can be no selflove without good health. Keep a check on your health and see whether you are doing your best to maintain it.

18. Forgive the past. Don’t get trapped in the bygones. Train yourself to live in the present.

19. Protect your energy. Because not everyone around you will be a cheerleader for yourself love. So pick and choose interactions.

20. Keep listening to Selflove With Sharmila.

That’s all I have for this week – and I shall be back again with yet another episode of Selflove With Sharmila. Keep Listening to SELFLOVE WITH SHARMILA. On Spotify shorturl.at/iwGNV

How To Practice LKM – Loving Kindness Meditation

All action ultimately begins with thought – what thoughts we are sending or directing towards our own life is significant in determining how we perceive ourselves. We build our self-image with the repeated thoughts we send towards ourselves.

While we may live in a state of flux through the day, we can actively practice the art of developing loving kindness through a meditative practice, popular among Buddhists also known as the loving kindness meditation or LKM practice.

It is best that you do this at the end of day, every day for a few minutes. You can sit down in meditation and over some time calm yourself and centre your thoughts. At this point, you can send towards yourself, loving and kind words.

It may be difficult for many because we are often taught to be critical of ourselves by the judgment we may have received over the years. So initially as you start practising LKM, you may have some inner resistance to deal with – but you will soon feel better as you repeat a few times.

So, you can begin with sending loving thoughts towards your own life and mentally repeat phrases like – May I be happy; May I be Safe; May I be healthy, peaceful and strong; May I give and receive appreciation today. After sending these powerful positive thoughts towards your life – as you begin to feel full of positivity and goodness, you can start sending the same thoughts to another person – unconditionally – may be a friend, a partner or a sibling.

As you continue to do this, you will slowly be able to extend this goodness to more and  more people and it will soon help you be in an expanded state – of self-acceptance and selflove.

Listen to the podcast: www.sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast

A FULL Life Needs Alignment

No matter how long you have been doing something, if it is not something that you like immerse in, or if it does not consume you, it is pointless.

. Have the courage to seek what is your one true calling – and nourish that.

. Half-hearted work, half-hearted love also means a life half-lived.

. There is no point in building a track-record in a life or work, which is not authentically you or aligned to your purpose.

. You have no one to please but your own self.

. A FULL life. A FULL love. Never settle for anything less.

A Half-hearted Life?

The lockdown has forced all of us to internalize our thoughts and emotions – some things within us have shifted permanently. Introspection has led to all of us reveal some of our deepest selves. Some people have started cooking, some painting, some singing. And why not? To be able to nurse and nurture your true inner calling is the best gift that you can ever give yourself – the highest act of selflove. Doing the opposite is actually self-denial. But how many of us are fortunate to be guided towards our true calling? A lot of us waste some of the most productive years – trying to be or become what we are not meant to, in the first place. Worse is trying our best and sacrificing our passions to take a deep dive into something in which we only are about half interested. There’s only sorrow written down the path – yet, even as so many have written about it, spoken about it – it just continues. Such an unhappy existence that is. Parental or peer pressure  are main reasons that push us to live up to someone else’s expectations. Many just consciously or unconsciously choose to do things which do not consume them passionately and thus end up  in half-hearted careers, half-hearted relationships and half-lived lives.

More On The Podcast: http://www.sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast

Do you over-function?

. A perfect balance in any partnership is easier said than achieved

. Most partnerships turn resentful when one is an over functioner.

. An over functioner steps above the brief – takes on more than is needed and healthy and in the long term, burns out and renders the under functioner – useless

. Check if you volunteer to do things for others which they can do themselves, easily

. Strike a balance in your work and personal partnerships with CLEAR defined roles and expectations

. Over functioning for another person leads to mutual resentment

. Function as much as needed, not more, not less in a healthy partnership.

. Mutual respect and clarity of purpose and expectations are key to thriving partnership.

Though we all speak of balance in life and work, in reality we see so many that do not have a sense of what exactly balance is. In partnerships of any kind, where either person does not have the awareness about how much should one should contribute – we often find one over-functioning and another under-functioning.

In fact, this lack of balance often leads to mutual resentment. The risk here being that the person who over functions, burns out fast. Surprisingly, doing a lot even at the cost of self-sacrifice is celebrated by many cultures – look at how dutiful she is, look at how self-sacrificing he is – how many times have we heard of these statements as we have seen people trying  to define a person who is taking on more than his or her share of responsibility.

In any situation, someone who over-functions may come across as someone who is extremely responsible and a perfectionist – but the truth is that it often comes from an over-developed sense of duty and a certain sense of need for approval or rather fear of disapproval.

Usually, an over functioner may be dissatisfied with himself – feel chronically unhappy and surprisingly try to do even more. An over-functioning partner would sometimes unknowingly choose an under-functioning partner and then continue to resent the under-functioning partner – while himself or herself doing what they usually do- which is more than what is necessary or even healthy. So how do you know that you are an functioner?

Look at your roles in work and life – do you stick to the brief and deliver as much as you are supposed to in a relationship or in a work-role. Second – Do you try and do stuff for others which they can do for themselves? Third – If you discover that you are an over-functioner – try and understand the underlying fear that drives you to be one. Do you fear that you may lose a relationship, a friendship or even validation or praise or whatever you get from this skewed partnership? Fourth – Once you understand where your over-functioning is coming from, try and see how you have crippled the other in the equation because of your over-functioning.

For more – Listen To The Podcast.

http://www.sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast


 

Can You Easily Cook For Yourself?

. Homemade food is the best kind of food there is, then why do we throng food courts?

. We all have an individual relationship with food

. How we eat and what we eat and how much we eat are all linked to how conscious we are about our body needs and health

. Overeating, starving, emotional eating, skipping meals, binge eating or drinking just reflect our emotional response to food

. Being able to cook for yourself is a great sign of selfcare and selflove

. As we work on ourselves and become more and more mindful about our needs, our eating pattern changes

. As we shift towards healthy, soul food – meals become a feat and we transform our health inside out

Why is it so difficult to cook for ourselves?

Over the last few weeks it was very interesting to see people coming out and making food posts on social media – fancy cakes, desserts, their favourite meal were all out there in pretty pictures – like a feast.

Celebrating food, especially homemade food is such a good thing. Why do we ever need to give up on the luxury of wholesome homemade food?

But that is not what this podcast is about. Here we are going to explore our personal relationship with food.

As much as I love cooking – it has been one long journey for myself to be able to fix a meal for myself cooked to suit my tastes. Its very easy to cook for others – because you do it out of love or know it will earn you appreciation – cooking for my friends personally is one of my greatest joys as it could be for so many of you.

We all have a relationships with food. Our food habits speak a lot about how much we care for ourselves. Emotional eating, skipping meals, over eating, binge drinking – if we were to understand more closely – they are all disorders in their own way.

As we increasingly get aligned with ourselves, our food habits improve and we become more choosy about what we eat – in a good way or rather we try and pick up things to eat food which is good for us.

What I however realised is most important is to be able to cook for yourself. Getting to know your own taste buds, what you relish and what you love to eat and how is a great step towards good self-nourishment.

But where do we start? Listen to the podcast:

http://www.sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast

You Can Mother Yourself

. Motherhood comes with a whole set of expectations – can you meet them all? Of course not.

. How to walk the golden mean of being the perfect mother? Don’t even go there.

. Complete acceptance and nurture – a mother is naturally wired to offer these.

. A human mother can never be the epitome of motherhood – each of us have flaws; lets accept that and move on

. Separate your human mother from your idea of motherhood

. If you have mother-wound and think your mother was not enough for you in nurture, care, attention, find out which areas of life area affected by this feeling

. Tend to these areas of your life with self-parenting. Self-mothering techniques – nurture yourself

. Find a proxy mom for areas of your life where you think need support for growth –  mostly a mentor or a coach.

. Acknowledge the mother inside you and see what are you nurturing and growing

. Mothers are human and also carry wounds and flaws – accept your mom and she accepts you, unconditionally.

On Being Your Own Mom

Motherhood is perhaps so complicated because it is loaded with expectations and many times mothers fall in the danger of extremes of being over-caring or negligent mothers. What is a well-balanced role for a mother then? To fall somewhere in the middle – a golden mean – to care enough but not smother, to teach enough but leave room for self-growth; to nurture but also teach self-reliance. Motherhood is about unconditional love and complete acceptance.

Is There A Perfect Mother?

A mother has no choice, but to accept the child as is. This is where trust builds and this is why a critical mother often both hurts and harms a child and impedes their growth. Motherhood is about nurture and education – nurturing the child until the child becomes independent and self-reliant and free to seek a world of his own. Is there an ideal mother? The mother who tread this line of fine balance and never flounders? I suspect – specially because there are so many sides of us that a human mother may unknowingly fail to discover and nurture a child to the best, despite her intentions.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FOR MORE ON HOW TO MOTHER YOURSELF

http://www.sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast

Who needs Monday motivation?

We all know about the Monday work motivation – what about a Monday selflove motivation?

In my podcast on building self-trust

http://sharmilabhowmick.com/monday-selflove-motivation/

Let’s begin

Setting three big goals for yourself and three for each day? What are the three big goals you can achieve this week? Say for me, I would like to organize my papers and put the winter clothes away and read at least two good e-books.

Zero down

Boiling down to today, I will zero down on three activities that will help me push forward to those three bigger goals for the week. I would look up the two books I really want to pick up today and may be start reading one tonight – that’s goal number one, done for the day. I will take out my winter clothes and pile them up so I can later sort them tomorrow – that’s job number two done. Three, I will start researching for the coming podcast which I create each weekend. So those are three goals I want to achieve today to set things in motion for the week.

Small steps

Small actions like these keep me going. Whenever a big task looms, try and make bite sized tasks and before you know, it will be done.

Check back

As the day rolls, you will be bombarded by distractions – it is something that normally happens to us when we set a goal. But make sure you get to tick mark all your goals tonight! That’s how we show commitment to ourselves. That’s selflove.

Who Determines Your Worth?

When a crisis hits, as it has now – the first thing that gets affected is ‘value’ – What is your value – at work – what is your value, in relationships – to people you spend time with. But this sort of value is about what utility you are bringing to the other person’s life – are you a support to their aspirations and wellbeing? Are your fuelling their dreams or even escape?

Self-worth at work

At workplace – it is about what you are contributing or what is being extracted from you – what is your cost-effectiveness, so, it basically just boils down to some bare bone facts.

People face all of this from time to time in their lives – but it is perhaps now a glaring global truth – the big question of what is your value. You can coach yourself to calibrate your true value.

So what Is my value? Is it about how useful I am to you to cater to your needs? About how much I fuel your aspiration or your expectations?

Do I make you laugh, feel good or aid your success?

Yes if this is a professional setting with defined expectations for which you are paid.

Self-worth and relationships

But in personal space, what is your value? In the personal space, your value is determined by familiarity, shared values – compassion, love, safety and goodwill.

What is your personal growth journey. What do you score in the selflove department?

So, your selflove score determines your self-worth score

. It Is Time To Measure Your True Worth

. No one can make your feel redundant without your permission

. Others value you depending on their needs and wants – that has nothing to do with who you are

. Your value to a person and organisation can change when it is based on transaction and the needs have either been met or not

. As long as we remain committed to ourselves, we remain invested in ourselves

. Remember, no externality  – a circumstance, a person can make me valueless or redundant

. Learn to value yourself for your true qualities – resilience, cheerfulness, joy, commitment, purpose, honesty, transparency, courage.

. What are your qualities which you are proud of?

. The only one who determines your worth is YOU.

For more selflove inspiration – tune into the podcast.

http://www.sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast

How To Live Up Your Creativity

If there has been ONE thing which the lockdown has taught me – it is that creativity is no longer an indulgence – it is a necessity – the most vital tool that we may have to hone and exercise for the rest of our lives. In fact to be creative in solving problems of livelihood, health, entertainment and even food and nourishment will be the biggest goal and target for us, our children and their children. How to solve your problem with limited resource, despite high constraints would create new benchmarks.

The lockdown has pushed all of us to think of new ways of thinking. Each of us have very quickly adapted to new ways of staying engaged and alive over last few weeks. All of us tapped into the inner resource which we forget to exercise – creativity, original thinking, finding new solutions to old problems. In fact just when humanity thought that it has solved most of the problems for itself, the pandemic has shown that indeed we have still many more problems to solve on this planet before solving the problems of the moon and mars. While problem solving is one part of creative thinking – creative expression for entertainment and inspiration is vital.

Look how we were either creatively solving problems or spending time consuming  creative content for entertainment. Creativity is the seed of universe within us, calling us to express itself. When we create we vibrate to the frequency of the universe. The world as we see it is nothing but a continuous process of creation – a cycle – a flow. Now, not everyone is automatically tuned in to feel creative and start churning words, music, art – but there are a few ways in which we can make it a habit to get into the creative mode daily or as frequently as want to build a fulfilling life.

The first step is to be inspired. Inspiration always comes from a higher place – love, spirituality, service – whatever may it be.

MORE ON THE PODCAST…

http://sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast

The Selflove Blog

For last seven weeks, I have been publishing episodes of a selflove podcast.

http://sharmilabhowmick.com/podcast/.

It feels great to be creating something I have been wanting to, for a while now – a personal growth platform to encourage others as much as myself to live up to our best. Producing this podcast for last few weeks has been full of insights on commitment to self-improvement. While my podcast, Selflove With Sharmila is now available on all podcast platforms, I post here today, a part of my seventh and latest episode. You can listen to it here:

SMELL YOUR WAY IN

https://anchor.fm/SELFLOVEWITHSHARMILA/episodes/Smell-Your-Way-In-ecvf3n

Welcome to Episode Seven of Selflove with sharmila – my weekly podcast is as much about waking myself to selflove as it is for you.

As I explore ways and ideas to keep tapping on inherent knowledge and help integrate them in our daily lives and keep the focus right where it belongs – to our personal wellness and wellbeing. This week, the podcast is about something I’m passionate about – aroma, perfume, good smell, incense. Your sense of smell is the most powerful way of guiding you to inner wellbeing. We perceive our world through the five senses – touch, vision, taste, smell and hearing ability. We will explore this week what good smell does to us when we can use it to get to feel more grounded in our physical experience.

Those of us who have been raised in traditional Indian homes, know that twice a day we burn incense in the house. Good incense is part of our daily lives – some special ones used for clearing the energy of our houses, frankincense, loban, camphor and so on. Sandalwood, rose, jasmine are common household aroma, which is easily a part of the culture. Aroma oils are not so new, but alternate additions to this existing culture of adding good smell to our living environment daily. People have used aroma for treatment for years. Each of us use it in some form of the other – not all of us use it consciously each day, but they still are very much part of our habits. When I give reiki treatment to anyone in person, I use aroma oils to make the healing experience powerful. Humans have used aromatherapy since ancient cultures – resins, balms, oils we have known their value for years – while they are strongly used for religious purposes – they have strong psychological benefits as they help to shift mood by bringing in a sense of calm, joy or even induce sleep. There are hundreds of different aromas on the market, but it is natural to get drawn to a few that you absolutely love.

I burn my aroma oils on a diffuser usually or make a concoction and use it with my bath salts – both work like magic. You can use aroma s to manage pain, improve sleep quality, reduce stress, agitation, and anxiety, soothe muscles and even boost immunity. There has been research all over the world to prove the effect of aroma on the quality of sleep and mood. I find it the easiest way to settle down by end of day. Just light a diffuser, and let the aroma do the work – as you breathe in your favourite smell deeply, you are easily going to shift to an expanded state which can help redirect you to where your attention should belong – your own wellbeing. Integrate the power of good smell in your daily life – let it be one of the selflove things you do for yourself.