If I don’t love myself…who will?
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.
And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.
~ Paulo Coelho
I have a tale to tell about love. For the story, I named the principal character Little Sparrow. She is an ordinary woman, living in perfect imperfection, doing the best she can in everything that she does, just like you and I. The best that we can with who we are, and what we know best (we don’t know that we are always doing our best, but we are). In any case, she is applying herself to mindfulness, observing her thoughts carefully, and watching them without judgement or attachment. She is learning to let go of the thoughts that don’t serve her, respond to the ones that do, and listen carefully to any insights that can inspire her journey. She lives with intentions, but without expectations, so she says.
Little Sparrow has been living alone for a very long time. She is an old celibate, loving nature, and everyone and everything. She told me that one day when she was feeling particularly lonely, she came to the realization that all the love she had been giving away in her life had never been lost. This love was who she was. From that moment on, she felt filled with more love than ever, and never felt alone again. Yet, she dreamed of a companion for herself. But not anyone! She did not have a wish list (you know how some people do), because she trusted the universe to bring her exactly what and who she needed, not to mention, she did not want to limit herself. However, she had a strong intention and she was dreaming of someone with whom she could share her love, passion and understanding for life, someone kind and generous who could be her responsible partner in growth and in mindfulness, looking for the gift in everything, knowing that we are always exactly where we are supposed to be. Also, someone willing to meet her along the way in moments of difference or disagreement, someone who, like her, would be interested in nurturing the best in the other and not the weeds (unfortunately, a lot of the things we focus on in a relationship often prevent us from experiencing what we are yearning for). In a garden, she explained, we don’t water or feed the weeds, only what we want to see grow.
So for years, she patiently waited, trusting that if it were meant to be, her dream would come true. And one day,Little Sparrow met someone called Tender Heart. He inspired her! She seemed to recognize in him the qualities that would make her dream possible. The spark was there for both of them, expressed in perfect synchronicity. Her heart was beating faster than she was used to, her whole body speaking loudly the voices of a seventeen-year-old.
The magical alchemy was a new experience that she welcomed with joy and gratitude. Knowing how each one of us is responsible for our own happiness, she wanted to be very present to be sure that what she was hearing, seeing and feeling was real, and not made up by what she wanted to experience (you know how some of us tend to do that, don’t you?). She was also scanning with all her inner antennae (Little Sparrow talked of our antennae as senses that many of us haven’t learned yet to recognize as our focus is too often turned out towards the exterior world), to listen to all the little voices within.
Upon wakening one morning, she received a strong insight that changed her love story.
Connecting in spirit with this new person in her life, she felt loving, young, strong and beautiful again until,alas, the sheet slipped away from her shoulder. The dream stopped. The eyes starred at the wrinkled, sagging skin. The years had gone by and she was no longer the beautiful youth whom she had been before. The body as the cocoon in which she lived , had mapped the years that had gone by. The mind took over the heart. This is the way the ego works when vulnerable. The “lower self” jumped in. It started questioning her feelings, her desire and her right to be loved. Who did she think that she was to deserve this love? Didn’t she see how old she was? For sure, she must have been indulging herself with pure fantasy. This was an impossible dream! This time, like the snail in its shell her body started contracting, and without any surprise, she revisited the familiar shame and grief of the past.
The inner eyes were seeing these thoughts go by. With years of practicing attentive mindfulness, observing thoughts and feelings, she knew that a part of her ego, what she affectionately calls “the little self ”, was attempting to resist the eventual changes (which are not always very comfortable, and between you and I, quite scary at times), and possibly to deal with an unconscious fear of rejection. But she was not going to let fear take away her dream. She needed to reconnect with her heart and what she calls her “ higher self” (she mentioned that it is our soul who knows about our journey and purpose. And she insisted that it is not the personality with which we have learned to identify, thinking that this is who we are, but only the conditioning from our upbringing, surroundings and society). We are “multidimensional beings”, she will tell you!
She connected to her vision, to this part of her that she had grown to trust, because it is a unique expression of the flow of life that inhabits each one of us and which wants to experience itself.
With this awareness, she reconnected to her heart, to the ‘essential’ as she calls it,
and with it came a profound enlightenment :
“If you don’t love yourself … who will?’’
This simple insight affected her profoundly and touched her deeply , entering every cell and every atom of her body. At that moment, she knew that if she could not love herself unconditionally, neither could this potentially new companion, nor anyone else. She understood that we block the flow of love all the time. We unconsciously prevent it from happening! How can we want love, and healing in the world, if we, each one of us, cannot love our own self?
She began to understand how each one of us without being aware of it, are carrying this amazing responsibility toward loving oneself. That if we want to live in a world where love and peace is possible, each one of us need to open up the channels for others to connect fully and feel safe. We are mirrors of each other. And simply by loving, honoring and allowing who we are, our own journey, processes, struggles, visions, dreams, with love and compassion, in every breath and every instant, we allow the flow of love and healing.
For Little Sparrow, once she became at one with this responsibility towards opening her heart completely, nothing else existed on that day. Filled with gratitude, she surrendered completely. All she had to do from now on was to welcome love, cherish it, protect it, let it expand and spread around. The experience was no longer just about her personal journey …
“Is there anything else than love?
Everything is love.
Love is the light
Light comes from love.
Without light, there is no life.
Healing the world starts with each one of us,
one self-love affair at a time!
It is contagious and spreads like a vine!”
– Little Sparrow
HEALTH TIP OF THE MONTH
Each day, our heart beats 100,000 times
and pumps 7,000 of liters of blood!
Our incredible cardio vascular system is about 70,000 miles long, enough to circulate twice around the planet! One billion of capillaries in our amazing body are responsible for the transfer of oxygen and nutrients. They are so small that it takes 10 of them to equal the thickness of a hair!
Can you now imagine now, by looking at this fine, vast intricate pumping and filtration system, why a happy, well-nourished and active body has a better chance to nurture a healthy heart and blood vessels?
“ The thousand mysteries around us would not trouble but interest us,
if only we had cheerful, healthy hearts”.
RAW BEET BORSCHT FOR HEART DAY!
Beetroots act as blood purifier and blood builder, increase stamina, decrease blood pressure and balance hormones.Raw, they are alkaline and super-food for the heart!
Serves: 4 to 6
No need for any cooking, this valentine borscht soup is refreshing and very nurturing!
4 – 5 cups beets, grated
½ English cucumber, grated
1 medium apple, grated
1 medium carrot, finely grated
½ cup of fresh dill, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped.
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, to taste
1 teaspoon raw honey, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together.
Cover and let the soup chill for at least 3 hours. Just before serving, taste and add more lemon juice or seasonings to your liking.
Serve garnished with Cashew Sour Cream (recipe follows), if desired.
PS: 2 ½ cups of chopped red cabbage can replace the cucumber, carrots and sweet apples if desired, or combined differently, depending of your taste buds. Caraway seeds can be added as well.
Cashew Sour Cream for topping
Makes about 1 cup
1 cup raw cashews soaked in water to the top for 6 hours
½ cup water
½ cup of lemon juice, or to taste
½ teaspoon salt
Drain and transfer to a food processor with the water, lemon juice, and salt. Process until smoothly pureed. Transfer to a small serving bowl or a squeeze bottle. This will keep for few days if refrigerated.
Adapted from Blissful, Raw Food Recipes by Heather Cunliffe, chef and owner at Café Bliss, Victoria, BC,and from author and educator chef Nava Atlas with VegKitchen.
For more on the health benefits of beets, please refer to the February 2014 Newsletter : drdeniserochon.com/a-sense-of-wonder/
INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
To continue to be inspired on the power of Loving Yourself, I invite you to listen to: Song of Your Heart, in a ground-breaking musical partnership between multi-Grammy Award nominated pianist, Peter Kater, and renowned Sacred Chantress, Snatam Kaur.
“Mindfulness is about love and loving life.
When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life.”
~ Jon Kabat-Jin
And again, it is with a true Sense of Love and Humility, that I find myself of service in this big picture of life, where to understand our own health, it is often valuable to understand our place in our surroundings, living consciously, with an awareness of our own nature and of the world around, how it affects us and how we, in turn, can affect nature and the world.
With February comes the opportunity to thrive for a healthier heart and a happier life! It is time to listen to the voices of your body. So, if you feel toxic and out of balance, especially after these past holidays, if you, or someone you love are concerned about weight gain, inflammation, high blood pressure, poor memory, the story behind cholesterol, or feeling sluggish and not the way you want to experience your life, I am happy to help.
As always, my purpose and passion is to guide and empower you to nourish and heal your body, so that you can experience energy, vitality, strength and joy from the inside out.
Please, accept my gratitude for the possibility to share, and for the precious and endless teachings that I receive from each and every one.
We are truly interconnected!
In Gratitude, Love, Health and Happiness,
“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.”
~ Old Chinese Proverb