Love and value yourself

I was volunteering in my younger son’s classroom this morning and I looked around at all the 3 and 4 year olds and I thought to myself, right now all of these beautiful children love and value themselves. They know no different.  My next thought was that there may be a time when they do not love and value themselves. In that moment I silently made a wish for all the children.  I wished that they would never lose sight of their significance and that they would always love themselves. It brought tears to my eyes knowing that every one of those children have the opportunity to share there own unique gifts with the world so long as they continue to love themselves.

I was emotional because I could see myself in those children.  I realized at some point I lost sight of my love for myself.  And I lost sight of my own value and my own uniqueness.

I have been a yoga teacher for many years, but I have been afraid to really share my love for yoga with the world in fear of being criticized. In my 20’s, when yoga wasn’t very popular, I used to hide in my room and do my practice in fear that someone would see me and think I was weird.

Fast forward to my 30’s, now yoga is very popular and it is actually cool to practice yoga.  But I still lived in fear of sharing my love for yoga.  I didn’t think I was good enough, I didn’t see the value in myself.  I didn’t see that I could share my own unique experience of the practice of yoga and spirituality.

And so I made a promise to myself that I would put myself out there for the world to see.  I would make myself vulnerable to criticism because I wanted to share myself, I wanted to share my love for all things spiritual. In putting myself out there, I began to see the value I could add to the world.  I began to worry less about the criticism and began to find love in my ability to share myself.

What I realized is that I had been looking to others for recognition and so I was afraid of criticism. When in reality, I was needing to love and value myself.  And when I could truly see my own value, then others could see the value in me.

And so here I am putting my thoughts into words, putting my experiences in writing knowing that maybe someone out there may be feeling this same way.  And I am here to encourage you to get out there and live your truth. Love yourself for who you are and find value in your uniqueness.  There is only one you, so shine your light bright for all to see! You are beautiful!

Thank you for reading, listening, for being YOU.

With Love and Light and Soulfulness, 

Shauna Lay