Most people desire more intimacy in their lives whether they are with or without a partner. It is one of our most basic primal yearnings & is the essence of loving connection.
The way we feed ourselves through words, actions & behaviours is all about how we intimately relate to ourselves. To have a nourishing relationship with yourself means living with healthy-positive thoughts, good boundaries, body appreciation (no matter what size & shape) and learning to attune to your body’s wisdom.
Here are 3 easy practices you can cultivate a relationship with yourself to nurture the healthy, intimately loving life you desire:
#1 Hands on Heart
This one is super easy, and can be done anywhere!
Place one or both hands on top of your heart. Take a few deep breaths into your heart space. Then slowly draw your attention to the connection between your heart & hands. Notice what you start to feel. Notice the different sensations that are present; like warmth, cold, tingling, fuzzy, numbness, tightness and openness. Notice if the sensations start to change the longer you have your hands there. Then after a while notice how the rest of your body feels- do you feel calm, & relaxed?
The more you practice the connection between your heart & hands the more you can draw on it as an internal source of love & connection. In the moments you feel down, stressed or disconnected, all you’ll have to do is place your hands on your heart & it will become an instant reminder to your body that you are safe & loved.
Be mindful that you may find it hard to connect straight away, so be gentle on yourself- the more you practice the stronger the connection & feeling becomes.
#2 Mirror Gazing
This can be squeezed in while getting ready for work.
Find a mirror that gives you full view of your head. To start off, spend 30 seconds gazing at yourself in the mirror. Notice what thoughts come up. Do you criticise or say negative things about the way you are?
For another 30 seconds, spend this time observing while giving yourself compliments of different features or qualities you have. Then in the last 10seconds, silently say to yourself ‘I love you’. Notice how that feels- strange & foreign or nourishing & warming? While expressing gratitude & love for who you are, notice how the rest of your body starts to feel or how your mood or emotion changes.
(For beginners, please take your time. This may be a very confronting first step when connect with yourself intimately, especially if you have never appreciated your beautiful body before).
#3 Body Appreciation Massage
You can do this practice in a hurry or you can dedicate time to luxuriate in this ritual. If you have time, I highly recommend that you expand on this practice with ‘setting the scene’. Things like candles, soft music & incense will support the deepen connection with yourself & support the opening of a rich relationship.
Firstly, have some body moisturiser or oil of your preference (I really love to use natural products like coconut oil with essential oils for therapeutic qualities). Start from your feet & massage in the oil while expressing gratitude & appreciation for your feet. Move up to your legs. Repeat the same process by expressing deep love & gratitude for your legs. The slowly move your way up the whole body: buttock, stomach, back, breasts, heart, shoulders, neck, arms, hands, face & hair. Notice if your body wants to be touched softer, firmer, slower or faster. As you connect with your body through loving massage, notice how it makes the rest of you feel. Has your emotions, feelings, sense of self changed since the beginning of the massage?
(After this practice you may like to lay in shavasana to soak up this nourishing experience, move your body to the music or engage in self-pleasure).