What is the most loving option?
This question-mantra has literally flipped my life upside down.
The idea behind is so simple, I can hardly believe I wasn’t ready to receive it before.
The idea that everything could come from a place of love. The idea that I can choose. That I can choose the most loving option or at least a loving option.
Every time I’m faced with a decision, I can take the time to ask: What is the most loving option? Here are a few examples to show you my train of thought:
1. I love to Om as a student. I hate to Om as a teacher (because I feel self-conscious about my ability to sing). In class, I have a choice. To om or not to om? And What’s the most loving option? To om. Why? Because I stop feeding shame. Because it’s doesn’t have to be about me. I can offer it to my students, they can come together as one despite my singing abilities. Because I can teach from that experience. Because I love to om. To om is way more loving. For myself. For my community. Even if it’s the harder way.
2. When I go to the gym, I like to finish with a sauna. I want to put a towel around my body (because I’m self-conscious of my body). Most other women are naked. I have a choice. Towel or no towel? And What’s the most loving option? No towel, or partial towel at least. Or no towel when there’s less than x people. It doesn’t have to be all black and white. Why no towel is more loving? Again, because I stop feeding shame. Because it’s actually more comfortable than being stuck in that tiny gym towel. Because it gives me more real estate to sit on. Because no one else cares. No towel is more loving. If I can stop the chatter in my brain, close my eyes and relax, hence the permission for baby steps. (Idem with sharing photos in my bathing suit, like up here or also check this article I wrote about that.)
3. My husband asks me my opinion about something important that affects both of us. I happen to strongly disagree with him. Do I agree with him for now, show support, and make him feel like we are a team, or do I tell him the cold hard truth and open the door to a potential conflict? What’s the most loving option? This one might be a little bit more tricky because it affects someone else directly, but I think it says the truth. If it’s the truth and it feels necessary, then find a loving way to say it. If it’s just postponing the inevitable or if it’s better for both of us in the long run, it’s definitely the more loving option. If it makes me feel seen and heard in our relationship, if it makes it feel like it’s an even partnership, it’s the most loving option. Even from his perspective. If he truly knows where I stand, knows what to expect, and doesn’t get surprised down the road, he might also feel more respected, trusted, loved…
Those are 3 mundane examples. Your days are filled with opportunities to ask the question. I now understand that the simpler the concept is, the more it relates to your life. The simple the concept, the bigger the reach. And Love is as a basic concept as it gets.
Radical Self-love. Radical Self-acceptance. Self-Celebration
I think this is one of the biggest lessons I had to learn so far in my life. Or it’s the lesson that took me the longest to learn. And frankly, a switch flipped, but it’s not yet totally integrated. At least, I now believe that I can do those things. I now want to do those things.
It’s a lesson that my body tried to teach me through chronic illness and chronic pain, through injuries and discomfort.
It’s a lesson my brain tried to teach me through mental illness. Through an eating disorder and depression.
It’s a lesson that the universe tried to teach me through challenging relationships, fear, and heartbreak.
It’s a lesson the universe tried to teach me through challenges in my career.
What happened? You might ask. Did you hit rock bottom? Not quite. For a long time, I thought I needed a rock bottom to make big life changes.
So how did I get ready to receive this idea? Why did I start moving away from the non-loving options?
Honestly, I’m not quite sure how. This is not a Top 5 ways to changes your life kinda post. This is a reflection. And, the only thing I know, is that I invested a lot of time in self-study.
Self-study is the foundation of my yoga practice.
Self-study helps me navigate yoga principles and life values.
Self-study guides my awareness, my attention and my presence.
Self-study allows my breath to tell me how I’m doing.
Self-Study helps me energetically regulate what I say yes too.
Self-Study tells me where and why I hold tensions.
Self-Study sheds a light on my thoughts, my stories, my patterns.
Self-study allows me to notice my words, my actions and my habits. Self-Study is the doorway to my transformation.
Self-Study brings me closer to what is Yoga.
Closer to yoking or uniting my self and my true Self.
A true Self that is whole, pure love and pure bliss.
Once you start to really know yourself, you can serve yourselves. Once you want to serve yourself, you can ask yourself What is the most loving option? anything you’re faced with a decision. Once you act on that question, you can be empowered. Once you’re empowered, your life starts to change.
Sorry. It’s not easy, fast, miraculous, fun, or sexy. But it’s the truth. The most loving thing is to share it. Even if I don’t have all the answers yet.