RHG Magazine & TV Guide Spring 2018 - Page 15

Shannon S. McKee is communicator at heart. She is a writer, editor, and speaker. She writes at www.shannonsmckee.com. She coordinates the Women's Ministry at Redemption Chapel in Stow, Ohio, where she is a regular teacher and mentor. She is passionate about helping women thrive from the inside out. Her other titles include: Grace-dweller. Lover of Rick. Momma to 2. Tea Drinker. Entrepreneur. Putterer. Consumer of Dark Chocolate.

RHG Magazine & TV Guide TM - Spring 2018 © All rights reserved.

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Journey to Self-Love

I’ll be working on self-love the rest of my life. It is my core wound that keeps resurfacing for more healing. I'm not alone. I've worked with hundreds of clients. Self-love and self-acceptance show up over and over again as their core issue as well.

What makes self-love so incredibly hard?

I mean real self-love, not an ego based self-obsession, that in its extreme we call narcissism, but true love of oneself—"warts and all."

A book I read many years ago profoundly shifted my understanding of our struggle with self-love. In Mark Epstein’s book Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective, he says that “we are aware of vague and disturbing feelings of emptiness, inauthenticity and alienation, and we have some sense of the lack of acknowledgment, attention, or recognition...” Basically, he is saying that we are

fundamentally unsure of who we are and our innate value. This stems from not being fully

seen by our primary caregivers, which in most cases are our parents. This comes from their

own core wounds of not being totally recognized and celebrated for who they are by their


So goes the trans-generational pattern of not being affirmed of our authentic selves as


Even with the best of intentions, our caregivers molded us into who they thought we

should be, unconsciously creating a fundamental internal split between who we truly are

and who we were reinforced to be. This split creates doubt in our innate worthiness,

setting us up for our core belief of not being good enough.

The feeling that we are not good enough locks us into continually seeking external

validation to prove our worth instead of embracing our innate value.

We do this in many ways. Striving to excel in school or in our work. Amassing the right

things—a car, house, and lifestyle. Diving into adventure or intense experiences. Looking or

dressing a certain way. Seeking the perfect relationship or family.

But in the end, it’s never “good enough.”

Our relationships never quite measure up; the job never quite brings the fulfillment we

seek; our adventures become more and more daring in the hopes of capturing that fleeting

feeling of fulfillment.

Without facing our self-doubt and healing the split, we cut ourselves off from the possibility

of true fulfillment-- the fullest expression of our unique gifts and life purpose. We deny the

birth of the potential in our soul—who we were born to be.

It is through the process of developing self-love that you shed your self-criticism, the

“shoulds,” and judgments that limit your potential and your joy.

If you are ready to let go of your self-doubt, I offer this practice to cultivate more self-

acceptance and self-love. Stand in front of a mirror each morning, look softly into your eyes,

and say the following out loud three times, slowly and with a smile of friendship on your


"You are lovable. You are worthy of love. You are a good enough, just as you are. You have a

right to live your unique and Divine self. I love you!"

Over time this daily practice, particularly first thing in the morning, will cultivate a new

mental pattern-- one that will generate feelings of acceptance and freedom.

For me it has been a tremendous affirmation to transform from a timid young woman filled

with so much self-doubt that I dared never make a decision myself, to a successful

entrepreneur helping free others from self-doubt and judgment.

Embracing self-love is worth the journey. As you release layer upon layer of judgment, self-

criticism and self-doubt, your joy will increase, your relationships will transform, and your

life will take on a sweeter fragrance. It will be no less than the unfolding of your soul's true

essence shining brightly. harvest their learnings and accomplishments from the current year and create a vision of the year to come. In the Inner Alchemy transition process, we call this phase Sublimatio, stepping back to take a greater view of one’s life. It means to pause and reflect on your life journey so you can create a more informed and grander vision for the journey ahead. It helps you to “begin well.”

To help you step forward and shine next year, I offer my Sublimatio practice. Take a morning or an afternoon (or a whole day if you can) to complete the following exercise.

Begin by taking a walk in nature where there is an expansive view—along a beach, in a meadow, by a lake, on a hillside. Bring a journal and pen. Walk slowly with awareness, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells. Breathe deeply in rhythm with your steps. Be present in the moment.

After a time, when you feel relaxed and connected with yourself and the nature around you, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit where you can answer the following questions.

Reflection upon the past year:

1. As you look back over the year, what were some of the peaks, the high spots? What

do you want to acknowledge and celebrate?

2. What gifts have you gained during the past year? What are you grateful for?

3. What were some of the valleys or disappointments and regrets? What do you want

to forgive yourself for and release? Who do you need to forgive and/or release?

4. From the perspective of looking back on the year, what learning is there to deepen?

Creating a Vision for the year to come:

1. As you stand on one of the peaks from last year looking forward, what future is calling you? What is the essence of what is next for you? What do you want to achieve or accomplish?

2. What risks and challenges will you take on?

3. What more of you desires to be expressed -- for example, self-love, self-compassion, self-value, self-acceptance?

4. What self-lies (e.g., "I am not powerful.") are you ready and willing to end?

5. What new level of abundance and success are you willing to embrace?

6. How will you deepen your relationship to your spirituality?

Completing this process will help you begin 2018 with clarity, focus and commitment. May it serve to help you step forward and SHINE in 2018!

If you have questions or would like to discuss this process with me, feel free to contact me. I’d be delighted to support you in making 2018 your best year yet.

yell in from out back by the grill. She’s

made it a fun meal – homemade pizzas

on the grill – so that everyone can talk

and relax as they put their pizza

together. Even your kids are able to

settle into comfortable conversation. As

you round the bend in the counter to add

your mozzarella, you see her huge stash

of tea. “Oh, you love tea too? Where do

you find loose tea? I can’t find it

anywhere.” “Oh, let me make you a cup.

Here, pick one that sounds good.” And,

so it begins. The invitation to dinner has

become an invitation in. Something as

simple as cans of tea on a shelf has

connected two hearts.

Can’t you just feel the difference? I’m

glad there are good hotels and

restaurants in the world. I really am. I

just think we should bring hospitality

back home a bit more. Where the

invitation is not a duty of the job; but a

delight of the heart.