DAY 10: THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE RULE IN LIFE

In all the Universe there is but one rule, love yourself.  It is the rule that shifts the vibration of your life to unimaginable heights and creates heaven on earth.”

-Me 

Out of all my studies to find meaning in life, this is it, love yourself.  To love yourself, Margo Anand puts it best, “Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”  It opens up the doors to the magic of life and shatters our limited concept of true bliss. Loving yourself allows you to be fearless.  It allows you to fully love others without judgment and comparison.  Love is the essence of the Universe which is why loving yourself is the key to unlocking it.

My amazing childhood neighbor and friend, Anne Richardson is starting us out with an incredible story and on how to look at loving yourself.  It’s so beautifully powerful and simple and I implore everyone to read this and embrace it.  This is what Anne wrote:

"In December, I went to a month-long yoga retreat where we did 5ish hours of yoga per day, 6 days a week. So it was a lot of yoga and a lot of discussion about yoga. One of the discussion points was reincarnation — and though it has always been a sticky, weird, and flawed theory for me, there is an aspect of it that really struck and has become useful for me in rekindling some of my lost self-love. And that is:

We are all universal/light beings inside a specific body for a short while. Or in other words, our bodies are like a rental car for us as light beings to drive while we’re in this life. Every model is different and there is no changing a coupe into a minivan or vice versa. Of course, taking care of the rental car is a good idea. So we do exercises and eat well so that our body can carry us to the best of its ability during this life. Generally, we don’t try to cram a sofa into a 2-seater convertible and we don’t try to scale mountain trails with a minivan. But we do take this mis-matched approach with our bodies all of the time. 

We’re fed and — therefore believe — all kinds of things about what body shape we should have (a shape that isn’t real, but is manufactured in photoshop) and are taught to believe that some body shapes are more valuable than others (as if we have the power to change body types). So we’re set up to have some giant cognitive dissonance here. All of our bodies are the wrong body type (because the right one isn’t real) and therefore we are all worth less. Lovely. How can we love our bodies and ourselves when we know they’re worth less than the others? 

For me, it’s this rental car metaphor. I am not my body (regardless of what I love about it or what I hate about it). My body is an awesome vehicle that I get to use (the way in which this particular model was intended to be used) for this time that I am alive. I can embrace the things this body type is designed for and completely release myself of things it is not. Ahhhhhh, isn’t that better? I’m not a marathon runner! Hooray! I’m not a football player! Hooray! I’m not an opera singer! Hooray! Now I can stop berating myself for not being those things. Hooray!

You know that inner dialogue where we say “well, if I practice enough, I can be anything”? You know, something like, “I’m not a defensive lineman… yet”? There is some value to that, but no matter how much I practice, my 5’5”, 120 lb body will never be 6’5”, 300 lbs, and broad-shouldered. Furthermore it will never have long, shiny black hair and it will always have freckles. 

So let it go. Just let it go and embrace the car that you are. When I find myself looking critically at my body, I try my best to remember: I am a light being in this crazy rental car. I get to drive it every day until it/we die. I am grateful to have it and plan to take care of it and love it for what it is.

THE QUICK AND DIRTY TASK: 

Embrace your rental car!

The What:  

When I started acting again in NYC, I hated myself.  I was older than most students in school and bald as the day is long.  I judged my body and cursed it.  I put myself through hell before I learned about self-love and my unlimited potential.  I AM LIMITLESS! I am learning to love everything about me. I use it in my acting and have taken my abilities to areas I had no idea existed, all because I started loving myself.  

The How:  

Love your rental car.  Embrace it.  Cherish it.  Look at the ‘imperfections’ and take time to say to yourself, “wait, who said these were imperfections in the first place?   I sure as heck didn’t so why am I beating myself up?”  Really take time to think about that.  Who gets to say your body isn’t absolutely perfect?  No one! 

The Why:  

You were born with this body.  You were given this rental car to drive through life.  You were chosen for this body to experience absolute happiness.  Love it and be grateful that you have a body.  Yes, make sure to take care of it but love the size and shape of that beautiful body. Trust me, the Universe is a little wiser regarding the perfection of your body than some guys in advertising trying to sell you soap.  

About Anne, the Author:

Anne Richardson is a writer and graphic designer who is currently traveling in Central and South America with her husband. She just published her first 

book on packing for round-the-world travel

. Catch up with their travels at 

viajaryamar.com