Self-Love: Let the Poets Lead the Way

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.

 

Comments

  1. This is beautiful. I love poetry. My go-to poets are Mary Oliver and Billy Collins. They have both written poems that have taken my breath away and allow me to connect to a deeper self. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I’ve always loved poetry. I have journals full of favorite poems, or portions of poems. I actually have a poem by E. E. Cummings that I printed out and hung on my wall in a frame as if it belongs with my family photographs. I probably glance at it and read it everyday without even realizing it.
    Poetry just has a way of making you feel.

  3. Yes! To whoever mentioned Billy Collins. J’adore! I love his work.
    Elizabeth Bishop is also high up on my list when I need some sort of soul searching, but I don’t know where to start.
    Or one can click around on Poetry.org. Or listen to NPR’s ‘The Writer’s Almanac’ (they have podcasts and an archive on their website, too, if you’re not awake at the crack of dawn.) both of these sources work to make poetry accessible in our everyday lives, so they were very helpful to me when I started reading poetry.

  4. Hi I just loved this post, can you please let me know what brand of paint is in the little dropper bottles.
    Thanks Kay

  5. I was also curious about what kind of paint that is… I’ve seen it before I know but I don’t remember what kind it is… Tx!

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