I know it’s rough out there. You want to be authentic and genuine, allowing a sense of mindfulness to infiltrate every aspect of your life, not just your yoga practice. But sometimes you’re forced to ‘play hard to get’. You don’t want to play games, but sometimes being too vulnerable means losing what you want.
This is for those who have done the groundwork. I really feel that if we’ve processed our own negative emotions then we will put ourselves in a position to assist others. I’ve been practicing yoga and self-development for at least ten years but reading this won’t ‘fix’ you. These steps should be facilitated by other work, like seeing a psychologist or counselor, maintaining a regular yoga or meditation practice and keeping your body healthy with a good diet and movement.
Now, let’s get started!
1. Just for now, make self love your number one priority
From this place you put yourself in the best position to love others and be loved. What would you do if you loved yourself? You wouldn’t chase others, desperate for them to validate you. You would know how awesome you are and not need others’ approval. You would enjoy the delight of your own company and make plans for you, that aren’t dependent on anyone else. Get in the habit of continually asking yourself the question: What would I do if I loved myself?
2. Learn to listen to your body
Remember the last time a relationship didn’t go according to plan or ended badly? Remember saying to yourself later ‘I should have just listened to my gut’? Start to tune into sensations in your body and trust them. If someone makes you so nervous that you feel shaky before a date or you experience a heavy feeling in the pit of your belly at the thought of spending a weekend away with your beloved, perhaps these feelings are giving you some very necessary insight into your subconscious, and hence the likelihood of success in the relationship. Trust your body. It contains so much wisdom that your brain has little insight into.
3. Be present, and know that this too shall pass
Whether you’re going through a rough breakup, or falling blissfully in love, be aware that everything is temporary. Breathe through the rough times. Remember that they too shall pass. When you see negative thoughts and judgments emerging, allow them to be there and pass. When you’re questioning if your current fling has the potential to be ‘the one’, see if you can come back to the present and enjoy the moment. When fantasies begin to arise and you become lost in it all remember: You have no idea what’s going to happen. Don’t question the relationship and your behaviour. Don’t ask if this is what you want. Just enjoy it in the now and allow it to unfold organically.
4. Give yourself space
When you start seeing someone new, you begin to see yourself in new and sometimes challenging ways. Give yourself time during this period. Extra time to nurture yourself and stay grounded, becoming aware of patterns and perhaps insecurities that arise. Sometimes the urge to connect with another can overtake the need to have time to ourselves. Learn to enjoy your own company, and don’t be afraid to reject others when you need time alone. You might think that spending every waking moment with your latest squeeze will make you happy, but we all need time alone to process our own emotions, especially when embarking on a new romantic endeavor.
5. Become familiar with and learn to nurture your inner child
This is perhaps the most difficult task. We all carry wounds from our childhood, and these can be triggered or re-emerged through romantic relationships. When you notice yourself experiencing strong emotions in reaction to a situation with your lover, see if you can sit with that feeling. Try to remember another time that you had this feeling. Keep breathing. Sometimes when we feel the urge to strongly react emotionally, we’re experiencing trauma from our past – often trauma that has little to do with the current situation. Take time to listen to your inner child and nurture yourself before you react to your feelings.