Moving from Self-Improvement to Self-Acceptance

Love yourself as you are now.

Let’s face it ladies … there are more demands of us now then at any other time in history. Working. Going to school. Being “Mom of the year.” Having a relationship. Looking good. Staying healthy. Being conscious, and trying not to ruin the planet while we’re at it.

Quite frankly, trying to get it all “right” can be quite exhausting—don’t you agree?

How can we have it all, be the greatest we can be, and simultaneously remain grounded and happy in the midst of all the striving?

We can’t.

Something has to give—and that’s OK! (You can exhale now.)

The acceptance of who we are, how we are, is key to the happiness we seek through all of the go-getting. It’s time for a revolution, and we are the ones who must initiate and support the paradigm shift, moving the focus from self-improvement to self-acceptance.

We must put self-care and joy into their rightful place in the driver’s seat, and ask our scared, competitive, and struggling victim self to step back and watch how self-mastery is done.

To do this, here are the top 10 tips for self-mastery and self-love:

1. Say no to people, projects, requests, invites, or demands that are not unbounded yeses!
By aligning your energy with what is true to you, you will conserve energy for the things that really make your heart sing, sans resentment or guilt.

2. Take time to be by yourself every day.
Quietly, silently, and peacefully continue to develop your relationship with yourself, as it is the most important relationship of all.

3. Move your body.
Do yoga, dance, swim, ride your bike, walk—whatever groove you like to move—do it.

4. Be in nature.
Be very present with your surroundings. Soak up the sounds, sights, smells, and energy of the great outdoors. Allow nature to restore your prana.

5. Eat fresh, whole foods cooked with love—organic when possible.
Treat your body as your temple. Keep it clean and nourish it from the inside out.

6. Keep your mind clear.
Empty out the trash of your mind. Observe and understand your current beliefs and the motivations behind them. If they are not serving your highest good, question why you’re holding onto them.

7. Give back.
Keep the flow of energy moving. Giving back can be as simple as smiling at a stranger, helping someone in need, or doing karma yoga.

8. Celebrate you.
Be proud of who you are and all of the small things that you feel good about. Shifting your perception of what is worth celebrating brings more delight and satisfaction. You are worth celebrating.

9. Celebrate another.
Give a genuine compliment, a thank you, a card, an email, a hug. Sharing love and kindness is infectious.

10. Have gratitude.
Focus on what you are grateful for now. Watch the world shower you with goodness.

And here’s the clincher: Don’t use any of this against yourself. If there are days that you can’t meet your “spiritual targets,” love yourself anyway.

There is no point in cashing in your material goals for spiritual ones and berating yourself for not being good enough. Nothing has changed, it’s the same mindset from before shrouded in shiny-false-goodness.

True mastery is when you can offer love to yourself no matter what—especially when you feel like you didn’t hit the mark.

Photo by Wael Chanab

Madhuri PhillipsMadhuri is a yoga teacher trainer, Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Bio-Energy Healer and Desire Map Facilitator. She created the Madhuri Method: Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher Training for yoga teachers after teaching for 15 years and witnessing the need for the merging of Ayurveda into yoga classes in the mainstream. Madhuri has had the honor of teaching at: NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association); Wanderlust; Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto Yoga Conferences, as well as being a teacher and guide to many students in India, England, Mexico, and North America. She has an Ayurvedic Yoga DVD and is the co-author of “Your Irresistible Life: 4 Seasons of Self-Care through Ayurveda and Yoga Practices that Work.”