OUR BEST SELF
Eyes of Love
An adorable concept taught to me by one of my yoga teachers, was to always start with looking through eyes of love at someone. Their existence alone is a wonderful thing to be appreciated. This does not require you to be anything other than what you are at that moment – it includes feeling rubbish!
To be your Best Self, however, is to bring your present, non-judgmental and compassionate self with a truthful, kind, sharing and open heart. However, we often do not show up in life as our full present self, let alone best self!
Rose-tinted eye sight
When in relationships we love many aspects of a person. One of the most wonderful experiences in life is to witness someone you love in their element of what brings them joy. Through the eyes of love, you begin from a place of seeing their highest self, but when they are in a moment of joy there is a shining quality of Being that permeates the fabric of space around them. In chakra speak, the heart is green or sometimes rosy-pink. The rose-tinted perspective comes from the rosy-glow of the heart leading your perception as you witness a moment.
I found it very sad as my healing progressed to move away from old friends and loved ones. No longer sharing the same experiences that began to bring out different qualities in me. To accept changes in close relationships and recognise that no matter how rose-tinted the lenses, I was no longer sharing the moments of my Best Self with another have been slow to realise. However, to make space for me to evolve has been key to my personal growth.
When am I my Best Self?
I used to feel my most present in the moment, fully engaged and aware with truthful speech when I was a lawyer. I truly felt my best self was when I was ‘on’ at work. As it turned out, my truthfulness was sometimes a little harsh and overly pragmatic when not in work situations that required my lawyer self to show up! It seemed that feeling my ‘best self’ as a lawyer was not my best self as she lacked compassion and empathy in connections with others, which are core components to be our Best Self.
Am I my Best Self when I'm teaching? There is still a great amount of logical mind at work to teach, especially a group class. The ego comes and performs in a room of people for pure consciousness to be engaged alone. However, the activity of teaching a private brings about the closest sensations of presence, space and faith. On retreats, I have found that when I teach restorative yoga and ‘fascia release’ group classes these both allow for the space and words to flow as I sense the energy in the room and have time to assimilate my words more carefully.
To feel joyful is when I am my Best Self. I love the work on a retreat that integrates a deeper connection with others than just to teach a couple of hours a day. A safer environment for people to begin to heal is a precious shared time that a retreat offers. I love the time spent listening to others, to hear them share or witness them play and discover together. As insights are made by everyone it brings out a depth of peace, love and connection that brings me such joy.
For sure, there are times on retreats when I am not my Best Self. When I have travelled for 20 hours, am negotiating driving on foreign roads with crazy drivers or insomnia kicks in thanks to the change of scenery. I remind myself to take my own space and time – compassion meditation, fascia release, freely and expressively dance around in a space and go for a walk (preferably in a mountain or in the sea). Perhaps it is during these times that I am my Best Self, when nobody witnesses the freeing of what binds me.
Regardless of how I feel now, to maintain the empathy and kindness towards myself and others is key to know that I am meeting my Best Self. When I am unkind to myself by not providing this self-care, then I cannot be my Best Self as I have nothing to bring to others.
Supports to find your Best Self:
- Meditation practice – short and frequent to keep plugging in.
- Go slow & feel your breath with your body. Feel the sensations in your body as you breathe.
- Feel nature touch your skin.
- Move it out in whatever way works for you, but respect energy levels. Be kind to yourself.
- Love yourself, be empathetic & kind to yourself & all in the world.
- Respect your boundaries – if you’re empty you cannot be your best.
- What brings you a deep inner smile of joy? Your deeper & contented feeling.
- Connect with others at a deeper & genuine level.
- Play! Explore! Have adventures! Experience life!