What the deep self truly longs for is our awareness and acknowledgement of its existence — followed by the gift of our attention…
This post comes from our dear friend and founder of The Wild Unknown, Kim Krans.
Self-love sure sounds good, doesn’t it? The tricky thing is, what does it mean? How do we do it?
It’s easy to be lead astray by well-intended self-love efforts… we find ourselves thinking we need to buy certain things or look a certain way in order for self-love to be “accomplished”. Sure, warm baths and scented oils can help us nourish and rejuvenate, but when it comes to acts of true SELF-LOVE, we must go deeper. These days, one of the most deeply radical actions we can undertake is to spend time with our deep self. Because, believe it or not… what the deep self truly longs for is our awareness and acknowledgement of its existence — followed by the gift of our attention. This is self love.
So how do we make this love connection happen? The best direction I can give is this: follow the poets. They’ve journeyed toward their own mystical centers of being, and can lead us there again and again. And so I present to you one of my favorite practices, one that I believe could can change the world one soul at a time: self-love though poetry.
Step one. Pull your favorite poetry books off the shelf, or head to the library. (As a last resort there’s always the internet.) If you’re wondering where to start, try reading a few poems by Hafiz, Antonio Machado, or Mary Oliver. Rilke, Rumi, and the Tao De Ching are also full of gems.
Step two. Choose two or three of your favorites. Don’t overthink it or fake it. Poems are like medicine… when you find the right one it will change something inside of you and you’ll feel it.
Step three. Contemplate. Reread them a few times. Spend time with this step. Compare the concepts and images between the poems. What do the themes reveal about where you’re at? What is speaking to you from within the poem? Stay open to guidance.
Step four. Zero in on your favorite. You may want to go even further and select a few lines that resonate the most with you. Don’t overthink your choice. Your soul knows exactly what it needs and will give you a signal like, “Yessss (cold chills), that’s the line!”
Step five. In your own handwriting, write out the lines (or whole poem) you selected on a sheet of paper. Go as wild as your self-loving heart wants to. Incorporate watercolor, pens, collage, or keep it simple. Hang the poem up in a space of your house where you’ll see it regularly. Let the poem hit you with its sacred medicine every time you see it.