I was asked if I have a daily practice to develop my self-respect. Self-respect definitely needs to be developed. It is self-developed. It is not given by somebody. It also needs to be nurtured. It is not an over-night work and when it is done, you can leave it. No! You need to nurture it. If not, it will die. Like a country, you need to have a security system to make sure that enemy will not attact the country any time. If the security system is not strong, your old enemy may come back to sabotage your self-respect. Who is your enemy? the ego. Always the same enemy. Probably the only enemy for self-respect. Ego is the false identity of the self, either your superior nor inferior one. When the ego rules, he hijacts your throne. You are not sitting on a stable seat of self-respect. The ego becomes the king and you become the subject.
My daily practice to develop and nurture my self-respect is meditation and journaling. It has become my morning practice for the last few years. I never missed these two in the morning to start my day. This is my ‘me time’. I hardly have any distraction in the morning time. No one needs me. No one wants to talk with me. No one calls me. This is the best time to invest my time and energy for myself.
Meditation is to know the self better. To know the self is to know what is going on inside me. What kind of movie that keeps playing in my head? I have to pay attention to this movie because it has a direct impact on me personally. So I need to know the quality of the movie. If you think you need to edit the movie, do it. You are the movie maker of your daily life.
Journaling is like creating the script of the movie. you are writing the story of your own movie. You are your own movie director. By putting it in writing, you make the story more real to you. Each day we are preparing our own script for our own movie.
This practice has helped me to remain seated on my throne. This is the stable seat for the self, where no one and no situation can bring you down.
Someone used to say this to me. Company colors the soul. You are colored by the company you keep – your spouse, your family members, your friends, your colleagues etc. Those whom you work with or spend time with. You may get colored or you may color them. It depends o how strong your color (influence) in the companionship.
Now look at people around you. What do you talk when you are with them most of the time? There are three things – stuff or event, ideas or other people.
Some people like talking about stuff, a branded bag they just purchased, the latest gadget, the band new car, some are talking about the game they are playing. Average people talk about stuff or event. And some are talking about other people. They are called small people. What other people are doing or not doing, have or not have are completely their own business. These type of people mind other people’s business. This is the type of people you should avoid to be around.
It is said great people talk about ideas. They use their creative mind. Happiness lies in this. Contentment starts here. Not in stuff nor in a game. Happiness created through buying a brand new suff is just temporary. How long do you experience the happiness after you bought your new car?
If you want to become great, surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas. Not people. Not stuff nor event. Select the company you want to keep.
A scoreboard is another tool you can use for your self-care. How to create an energy scoreboard? Make a list of your activities from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, and then put a score on each activity. The score indicates the energy units you create or consume for each activity.
What is your morning routine like? What activities do you ussually do in the morning? You create energy through your morning routine, don’t you? We have been talking about this energy in the previous posts in this blog. The energy that we are talking here is renewable. So we create the energy for the body and for the soul to live . We renew it everyday. We recharge ourselves.
Which activities are physical (for body) and which activities are mental (for soul)? Start your day by filling yourself with energy, physically and mentally. During the day, you might be very busy with routines that consume your energy. So it is better to fill yourself in the morning with energy. Really make time for this. Don’t let yourself get distracted especially during your morning hours. For me, morning hours is my golden time for the whole 24 hours. Let me not miss this golden time for my own self-care. For this, I don’t check my phone for the first few hours in the morning. I do not want to let myself (my mind) get distracted at the first place.
My morning routines include meditation and journaling. I found these two activities generate energy the most – emotional, mental and spiritual energy. These activities are for the mind, intellect and heart. These three are the faculties of the soul. So meditation and journaling are exercises for the soul. They make your soul (spirit) very strong. When your mind is strong, you will not get easily influenced by people nor situation. When your intellect is strong and deep, you can extract wisdom from your thoughts. When your heart is strong, you create faith in yourself and with this faith you have courage and hope. This is what you need in your everyday life, right?
For the body, I include a workout or a walk in my morning routine. How about you?
When I am conducting a workshop on journaling I always suggest everyone to write their thoughts and feelings honestly. You are writing for yourself. You are not writing to publish a book, so be honest. No one will judge you. You are your own judge. But I found that this is the hardest challenge for most people when start journaling. The emotion behind it is always fear – fear if anyone knows their feelings inside. Fear of being judged by others. There is so much insecurity inside. You might have experienced this. This fear is blocking you from expressing the true feelings. It doesn’t free you. It doesn’t liberate your soul.
We might have been living under people’s judgement for a long time. You have to free yourself from this thought. You are here to live your life not to live in other people’s judgement. People will always judge you for whatever you are doing or feeling anyway. You need to develop courage from within. The first courage is to see the true self without any mask. Once this courage is developed, those people’s judgement will not affect you. You are not influenced.