SELFLOVE is the beginning of transformation. It is only when we learn to fill our own vessels that things start to turn in our lives SELFLOVE with SHARMILA is a podcast to help you keep in touch with your own self.
Welcome to episode 29 of Selflove With Sharmila.
Autumn is here and with it, thoughts of curtains slowly closing on the year.
The festival season too is round the corner – celebrations – though a lot muted this year, will be certainly make its presence – but more than the celebrations out there it is perhaps also time that we should celebrate ourselves this year for being able to go through all the challenges that came our way and how. Unprepared as we were, we simply kept braving it all – one day at a time.
The hard facts and the truths it forced us to face and finally all the self-discoveries that we made while being shut up and locked down for almost half the year – deserves acknowledgement.
Coming out of the lockdown, I only feel the urge to celebrate – not just big things, but the small things as well – things that we often forget to notice in a hurry.
Many of us are quick to be harsh, but seldom do we make time to sit down with our journey.
Selflove is about acknowledging the sentiments of satisfaction and gratitude for making through this difficult year. For most of us - be it work or health, the summer and the monsoon has tested us well during peak lockdown.
Just to tell yourself that you are enough and your journey is unique and how you have been able to live from your personal truth this year – are enough to be grateful for..
Autumn is always a time of reflection and introspection. It’s the harbinger of the emptiness that is about to come.
Many of us started out with goals and plans for the year which never materialized – nevertheless, something else did. For me, the greatest gift for this year has been this selflove podcast as it kept me sane through the lockdown days. It has given me immense reason for celebration.
So as the year comes to close and the festivities and celebrations come alive, give yourself credit for all that you have discovered about yourself this year and in what ways it has helped you grow. And make a note of how you have learnt to love yourself a little bit more. That’s all I have for this episode. Thank you for listening.
Self-denial, the willingness to give up personal pleasures for the sake of another – the doctrine is so ingrained in many cultures world-over that when you talk about self-nourishment, self-care it almost sounds like counter-culture. Welcome to episode 28 of selflove with Sharmila. Today’s episode is on self-denial.
Self-denial or skipping meals, skipping pleasures, being hard on yourself and basically avoiding what your heart desires may seem poetic but are primarily behaviours that spring from and in turn give birth to self-alienation – basically distancing yourself from what you truly love.
Self-loathing may sound like an extreme expression but often springs from a sense of perfectionism that you may have created for yourself or been thrust upon by your environment but which is not truly quite aligned with you or who you are. Self-denial is also about not leading an authentic life. Forms of self-denial as a way of discipline, say by fasting, dietary control, or other hardships when taken on voluntarily are sometimes useful in creating a deeper appreciation as well.
Others feel self-denial involves avoidance and holding back of happiness and pleasurable experiences from oneself that damages other people. Some argue it is a form of a micro suicide because it is threatening to an individual's physical health, emotional well-being, or personal goals. Self-denial is used by almost all religious practices as a way of self-purification. By denying yourself something, you realise how much you actually want something – because you may not buy that dress you saw at the window, but it will keep haunting you forever. A better strategy to replace self-denial with, is – to be able to consciously listen to yourself, and when you are sure that you want something, give it to yourself. With selflove, we can slowly move from self-denial to self-acceptance and fulfilment. That’s all I have on this episode of selflove with Sharmila. Thank you for listening.
Last night in a conversation on Saturday Night Selflove, an Instagram live series we had a detailed discussion on how some of us fail to maximise ourselves – despite knowing full well our abilities or being in the possession of adequate resources. How some of us, when we do have everything put together, end up sabotaging our scope for success - Welcome to episode 27 of Selflove With Sharmila. This week we talk about the subject of self-sabotage – the worm in the wood which slowly eats away at our potentiality as professionals, as humans when you allow your own weaknesses to eat away at yourself. So how do you really identify self-sabotage – imagine a situation where you want to write a book and every time you plan a good long session to write it out, you think of two or more things to do and while attending to them first, you give up on the time slot you fixed for yourself to write your book. Your procrastination kicked in and drove you away from your own self-actualisation. Self-sabotage is dangerous turf and the worst is that no one really knows how it creeps in – some times it is though our work, sometimes it is through the people who obstruct your success or sometimes our own lethargy and lack of discipline kick in to do the damage. So, what are the traits of self-sabotage? Some of the typical signs are Self-criticism, negativity, procrastination, disorganisation, an imposter syndrome, over indulgence, initiating conflicts, being out of focus, comparing yourself to others and questioning your purpose. Basically, any strain of emotion that can erode your focus and faith in your goal, is self-sabotage. It takes immense selflove to understand these strains in ourselves and give them a fair fight so we can achieve what we plan to and not crush under self-created dysfunction. That’s all I have on this episode and I shall be back again with yet another episode of selflove with Sharmila. Keep listening.
Welcome to episode 25 of Selflove with Sharmila. I love food, I am a foodie. How many times have you heard this? The truth is – everyone loves to eat. And everyone loves to eat food they have growing up eating, what is close to their culture, what they are familiar with. Everyone loves comfort food which rekindle childhood memories or seems like the most natural form of nourishment. But it seems everyone has an opinion about what food one should eat. What you put on your plate is a matter of culture, politics, status and so much more. To me, what I put on my plate is a personal business. What I love to eat is close to who I am. What I love to eat is something I have learnt through m y family, race, community, culture, origin, history, geography or what have you. What I eat is nobody’s business but mine.Selflove is all about setting all kinds of boundaries, and that also includes the food on your plate. So naturally, I do have a problem with fad diets which try and shock the system and make the metabolism react. Unless it’s a medical condition and your diet is restricted by a physician – when it comes to everyday food habits, I think food is a personal experience and not even a spoonful of it should be compromised or influenced by another’s idea of what it should be for you. In short, the message is, eat what you love and eat well. A lady I met sometime ago said something about eating to me that stuck with me – never eat when you are stressed or when you are not composed. Eat with time on your hand, make eating a ritual and then every meal of your life is a feast. This stuck with me. While compromising your breakfast or lunch has now become a regular lifestyle statement – it is most disrespectful for your body and soul to work while you are hungry or skip meals. Eating is directly related to emotions. Eating disorders, stress eating all stem from underlying mental issues. So how you eat and what you eat is actually reflects your wellness. Eat consciously, spare time to really eat your favourite food frequently to feel fulfilled. Source the foods your crave. Make your own soul food meal plan. The more connected you get with the food you eat, you start rebuilding your connection with not just the food on your plate but the entire idea of nourishment. We grow when we are nourished. As we start eating consciously, we automatically start picking food that is good for us. So pay attention to what you are putting on your plate – make sure you are biting into something your soul craves and not someone’s opinion. With that food for thought, I close this episode and I shall be back again with yet another episode of Selflove With Sharmila. Keep listening.
Many of you may have heard of this story of two saplings – when one sapling, over a period of time when told loving things, grew to become leafy and healthy; the other one which was just abused at and cursed at, eventually withered. Words act on us like that. Welcome to episode 24 of Self love with Sharmila. In this episode we will talk about why we should watch our self-talk. What others say, make an impact on our emotional well-being, affect our self-esteem and self-perception. What we tell ourselves, affect us much more than that. Watch how you react to a difficult situation – you either feel the situation is going to crush you and say – this is not for me. I can’t deal with it. Or you can take it as a challenge and say, I can get over it and find a way around it, and move on. But how do you speak to yourself with selflove and build yourself with your words? Though self-compassion. Positive self-talk can help you lift your mood. “If you can change your – I can’t do this anymore to let me try and find how I can work on this,” you immediately shift your self-talk to a more empowered pitch. Sportsmen do it all the time. A habit of positive self-talk based on selflove can help you shape your world in a whole different way – reduce stress and give clarity where it lacks. Negative self-talk stems from self-blame, focusing on the negative of a situation, catastrophizing or expecting the worst beyond logic, and polarising events as bad or good and not trying to find a middle-ground. So, watch your self-talk. Every time you catch yourself going down a negative spiral, switch out – divert to a more positive thought. As you practice this over a time, you will see your entire approach to problem solving change. It will also begin to tell on your wellbeing. Also, actively cut out negative feedback and surround yourself with positive people. We are like sponges and others negativity often seeps in, so watch that too. Give yourself a positive push each morning, give yourself a pat on the back each night. Make it a selflove habit. On that selflove vitamin shot, I end this episode and I shall be back again with yet another energising episode next Sunday. Till then, keep listening.
Welcome to episode twenty of selflove with Sharmila.
It is a big celebratory episode – 20 weeks of selflove and I can say my own selflove practice has grown immensely thorough these weeks. If you are a listener of this audiocast – I would love to hear your feedback on the same and you are welcome to write to me at email@example.com
It is one thing to indulge yourself once in a while – but it is another thing to be absolutely devoted to your own good. Basically, how to not lose interest in selflove. To mark this week, I have 20 tips for you from a galaxy of suggestions.
First – Don’t be too tough on yourself. Be compassionate with yourself and be thankful to yourself for all that you have put up with, ventured into, showed up for. Selflove is selfcompassion.
Two – Don’t limit yourself. Limiting your self starts with limiting your thoughts and narrow self-perception. Have the courage to expand your life.
Three – Do not let others opinion of you, become your reality. People will often have an opinion about you from their own reality or state of thinking, Don’t bother too much about that.
Four - Make a daily selfcare routine and stick to it. The biggest challenge is to be able to first find a routine with all ingredients for your good and then sticking by it. It’s a great idea to have green tea, but see you do so every day. Its lovely to use an aloevera face pack – to soothe your skin, but see that you do so often. Consistency is the buzzword for selfcare.
Five – Eat health food – sounds like a cliché right? But this is easier said than done and we all know it.
Six – Don’t bother too much about what others are saying about you. Learn to focus on your own wellness.
Seven – Do not try to please people. People pleasing is actually a sign of dependence and may divert you from your own goals.
Eight – Do not become an approval seeker’ Actually approval seekers are also people pleasers, But imagine always trying to please others in order to be approved of – will you not that way lose touch with yourself?
Nine – Dress to be happy. Trying to fit is perhaps worst manifested in what we wear. Pick clothes that make you happy, every day.
Ten - Be your own best friend. If you can’t befriend yourself – how do you think you will be able to strike friendships?
Eleven – Surround yourself with people who lift you up. People rub off on us. Surround yourself with people who make you happy.
Twelve – Invest in yourself. A study course, a new book, a subscription to a great magazine – what ever may be your food for growth – invest in it.
Thirteen – Stay invested in yourself. Don’t give up too easily. Stay invested in yourself. Selflove is about standing by yourself all through the journey.
Fourteen – Make big plans for yourself. Don’t shrink you plans to make it convenient for everyone.
Fifteen – Don’t sell yourself short. An easy follow up of point fourteen – when you shrink yourself, you also short-sell yourself.
Sixteen – be a continuous learner. There is no substitute for learning.
Seventeen – Get health check ups. There can be no selflove without good health. Keep a check on your health and see whether you are doing your best to maintain it.
Eighteen – Forgive the past. Don’t get trapped in the bygones. Train yourself to live in the present.
Nineteen – Protect your energy. Because not everyone around you will be a cheerleader for yourself love. So pick and choose interactions.
Tip Twenty – keep listening to Selflove With Sharmila.
That’s all I have for this week – and I shall be back again with yet another episode of Selflove With Sharmila. Keep Listening.
Selflove if for givers, empaths, compulsive compromises. Some even disregard their own emotions and allow others to shrink them. Here's a remedy - sit down with your emotions. Listen, closely, carefully to yourself.
Guilt is perhaps the most useless emotion one can feel when one wants to walk the path of selflove. If not checked, guilt can push you towards self neglect because the a sense of guilt springs from unworthiness.
Do you over-function?
. A perfect balance in any partnership is easier said than achieved
. Most partnerships turn resentful when one is an over functioner
. An over functioner steps above the brief – takes on more than is needed and healthy and in the long term, burns out and renders the under functioner – useless
. Check if you volunteer to do things for others which they can do themselves, easily
. Strike a balance in your work and personal partnerships with CLEAR defined roles and expectations
. Over functioning for another person leads to mutual resentment
. Function as much as needed, not more, not less in a healthy partnership.
. Mutual respect and clarity of purpose and expectations are key to thriving partnership.
Can You Easily Cook For Yourself?
. Homemade food is the best kind of food there is, then why do we throng food courts?
. We all have an individual relationship with food
. How we eat and what we eat and how much we eat are all linked to how conscious we are about our body needs and health
. Overeating, starving, emotional eating, skipping meals, binge eating or drinking just reflect our emotional response to food
. Being able to cook for yourself is a great sign of selfcare and selflove
. As we work on ourselves and become more and more mindful about our needs, our eating pattern changes
. As we shift towards healthy, soul food – meals become a feat and we transform our health inside out
You Can Mother Yourself
. Motherhood comes with a whole set of expectations – can you meet them all? Of course not.
. How to walk the golden mean of being the perfect mother? Don’t even go there.
. Complete acceptance and nurture – a mother is naturally wired to offer these.
. A human mother can never be the epitome of motherhood – each of us have flaws; lets accept that and move on
. Separate your human mother from your idea of motherhood
. If you have mother-wound and think your mother was not enough for you in nurture, care, attention, find out which areas of life area affected by this feeling
. Tend to these areas of your life with self-parenting. Self-mothering techniques – nurture yourself
. Find a proxy mom for areas of your life where you think need support for growth - mostly a mentor or a coach.
. Acknowledge the mother inside you and see what are you nurturing and growing
. Mothers are human and also carry wounds and flaws – accept your mom and she accepts you, unconditionally.
Who Determines Your Worth?
When a crisis hits, as it has now – the first thing that gets affected is ‘value’ – What is your value – at work – what is your value, in relationships – to people you spend time with. But this sort of value is about what utility you are bringing to the other person’s life – are you a support to their aspirations and wellbeing? Are your fuelling their dreams or even escape?
Self-worth at work
At workplace – it is about what you are contributing or what is being extracted from you – what is your cost-effectiveness, so, it basically just boils down to some bare bone facts.
People face all of this from time to time in their lives – but it is perhaps now a glaring global truth – the big question of what is your value. You can coach yourself to calibrate your true value.
So what Is my value? Is it about how useful I am to you to cater to your needs? About how much I fuel your aspiration or your expectations?
Do I make you laugh, feel good or aid your success?
Yes if this is a professional setting with defined expectations for which you are paid.
Self-worth and relationships
But in personal space, what is your value? In the personal space, your value is determined by familiarity, shared values – compassion, love, safety and goodwill.
What is your personal growth journey. What do you score in the selflove department?
So, your selflove score determines your self-worth score
. It Is Time To Measure Your True Worth
. No one can make your feel redundant without your permission
. Others value you depending on their needs and wants – that has nothing to do with who you are
. Your value to a person and organisation can change when it is based on transaction and the needs have either been met or not
. As long as we remain committed to ourselves, we remain invested in ourselves
. Remember, no externality – a circumstance, a person can make me valueless or redundant
. Learn to value yourself for your true qualities – resilience, cheerfulness, joy, commitment, purpose, honesty, transparency, courage.
. What are your qualities which you are proud of?
. The only one who determines your worth is YOU.
For more selflove inspiration – go to www.sharmilabhowmick.com
Welcome to Episode Seven of Selflove with sharmila – my weekly podcast is as much about waking myself to selflove as it is for you.
As I explore ways and ideas to keep tapping on inherent knowledge and help integrate them in our daily lives and keep the focus right where it belongs – to our personal wellness and wellbeing. This week, the podcast is about something I’m passionate about – aroma, perfume, good smell, incense.
Your sense of smell is the most powerful way of guiding you to inner wellbeing. We perceive our world through the five senses – touch, vision, taste, smell and hearing ability. We will explore this week what good smell does to us when we can use it to get to feel more grounded in our physical experience. Those of us who have been raised in traditional Indian homes, know that twice a day we burn incense in the house. Good incense is part of our daily lives – some special ones used for clearing the energy of our houses, frankincense, loban, camphor and so on. Sandlewood, rose, jasmine are common household aroma, which is easily a part of the culture. Aroma oils are not so new, but alternate additions to this existing culture of adding good smell to our living environment daily.
People have used aroma for treatment for years. Each of us use it in some form of the other – not all of us use it consciously each day, but they still are very much part of our habits. When I give reiki treatment to anyone in person, I use aroma oils to make the healing experience powerful. Humans have used aromatherapy since ancient cultures – resins, balms, oils we have known their value for years – while they are strongly used for religious purposes – they have strong psychological benefits as they help to shift mood by bringing in a sense of calm, joy or even induce sleep.
Welcome to episode six of selflove with sharmila. This is a happy week and the podcast has already completed one hundred plays. It was an interesting week too how I got to accomplish so much over emails, videoconferences, phone calls and Instagram lives. In fact just yesterday, I participated in an online literature festival where I spoke on writing as therapy. There’s a purpose to all kinds of writing – we write to inform, to communicate, to record and to express – but there’s a very important part that writing serves which is as a way to connect with our own selves – with our emotions and feelings, hurts and unresolved questions. Free flowing writing, without censure is a great way to help release a lot of pent up worries and reactions and emotions. Free flowing writing if you have inner work to do, can be done every night for as long as you want. Just write three pages of whatever is it that you want to release and ideally, never get back to these pages – just forget them and move on. I usually advise people to tear up these pages so you never have to revisit them. So eventually, over a period of time, such writing lets you release a lot of unaddressed issues that you may have not wanted to confront. Writing out your thoughts and difficult emotions is a very easy way to process them. Regular writing and processing of emotions helps you internalize messages and brings for clarity. It is also the most private way of dealing with your life experience. Some tips while doing this writing therapy is that you should give yourself the freedom to write as you want, freely and easily. Particularly because this writing has no audience but yourself, it will be helpful if you can be candid about it. Once you start doing it, you will soon realise the effect it has on your emotional wellbeing. Here on, we can also work on some specific issues through writing therapy. Dealing with anger is one of them. You could sit down and write down all the people who make you absolutely angry from time to time and them write a note to each of them expressing your anger and why they make you feel that way. If you have some people who may have hurt you in past, you can individually write messages to them by expressing your hurt. But acknowledging the fact how they have hurt you and in a way conveying it – you are freeing yourself up a certain space in your mind. You can do the same exercise to look forward in life. You can write letters to your younger self or to your older self and connect perfectly with your own life story. The more you connect with yourself, the more you will start thriving in every aspect of your life and get back in touch with yourself, 100 percent. That is the value of writing as therapy and I hope this inspires you to start your own free flowing personal writing work, so you can help yourself and maximise your life. That’s all for today, and I shall be back next week with a fresh episode of SelfloveWithSharmila. Stay tuned.
Welcome to the fifth episode of selflove with sharmila. It has been a very interesting journey so far while recording this podcast. While talking about selflove, selftrust and the value of self compassion, there have been a hundred different things that started coming to my notice about my own life which I started attending to – over working for instance. Over the last few weeks the entire world has gone one a work from home mode. And surprisingly, contrary to what people thought initially that work from home is going to be all about easy schedules with no commute time and we would breeze through our days, the opposite happened. Are you working too much?
Welcome to the fourth episode of selflove with Sharmila. This week, we discuss our need for human connection - with our peers, colleagues, family and friends. But the necessity to choose our social interactions wisely.
As humans we crave connection. But over the last few weeks that our social lives have been disrupted by disease, we have all gone into corrective modes. Social distancing is a great educator. It is also a period of getting in touch with ourselves and truly forging a bond with our own self and learning to spend time in enrichment and growth. Selflove is about protecting our energy from externalities. Selflove is about not letting our own judgment come in our own way.
Most of us are busy and hyperactive and do not have time left for our own refection. We often give too much of ourselves to our work, our family and friends. When our personal resources fall thin, we are left looking for entertainment or community to help build us up.
We get addicted to people, we need to talk all the time. We need to keep busy all the time to prevent ourselves from getting intimate with our own thoughts. We even ignore stress building from inside.
But isolation, personal time and social distancing are a great way to cleanse your social calendar. Mindless group activity – joining up communities just to belong or out of fear of missing out – motional erosion. Choosing company which is aligned with your wellbeing and growth. Also choosing to be around people who uplift. With excessive access to technology, we are connected to 100s of people at all time. Messages, calls are being bombarded. So how do we create healthy connections?
Lets think quality over quantity. What about having a handful of friends who you share a nurturing space with? Like making time to meet them or doing things together instead of just sending whatsapp messages and likes? What about creating hobby based communities where people cometogether and learn?
Welcome to episode three of Selflove with Sharmila. This is a tough week for a lot of us – restricted from the world, confined to working from home and social distancing from friends and peers.
Times like this, when we are forced to cocoon are often times for intense transformation.
To transform any situation, one needs inner work. And this is perhaps the best time that you could put some of that in place and practice serious selflove.
Now where do we start Possibly from the phone on which you are listening to this podcast.
If you are being bombarded with information, it could be a good idea to set some boundaries around it. Excessive sharing of information can often lead to anxiety and really not have any real impact on your wellbeing. Protect your time and energy. Remember, no one cal force you to take a call or respond to panic without your consent.
How about trying to protect your sense of space at this time as well – emotional and physical?
Our minds need sanitizing like our hands.
Clean out negativity, Clean out your social media feed of the same. Clean out some habits and some mindsets which may no longer be serving you.
Here are a few things that we need to practice ourselves over the coming week and may be for as long as we want to.
What am I communicating? Am I reacting from fear?
If I am sending out fear, is my fear paralysing me from taking action?
Without community and working by ourselves from home could get lonely too. So instead of fear- based thoughts, can I do something to enrich myself at this time? How can I get out of the boredom of just being at home and continue to be in a healthy state of mind.
Once you find yourself in that happy space, here are some ideas to create an enriching personal time and ask yourself.
1. What about the books I wanted to read or the movies I wanted to watch – isn’t now the perfect time!
2. Can I use this time for intense selfcare?
3. While physical mobility is restricted, isn’t this a good time to do some stretches at home?
4. Because we are mostly restricted indoors and almost everyone else is, why not make phone calls to friends. Seeking connection is a basic human need – but we have video calls and meeting apps and more to help us. Let’s try and meet some friends online!
5. Get creative – instead of just reacting to information on social media, why not get creative at this time and make use of the time in a healthy manner?
If we look at it closely, this period of time could be an opportunity for immense personal growth – being in your own space and being able to focus on your environment would automatically help your set your house in order – your emotional home, and your physical home. Use this time wisely! If you have questions, you are free to connect with me on my Instagram – where I post on the handle - @ShormiWrites. You could also connect with me on my facebook page Selflove with Sharmila.
Until the next episode, keep loving yourself, be safe and I shall be back next Sunday with the next episode of Selflove With Sharmila
Welcome to the second episode of SELFLOVE with SHARMILA. In this episode we explore the value of creating self trust so that we develop a healthy self-esteem. Trust is a muscle, built over time. We can build it each day through a simple exercise. Here's how.
Welcome to the very first episode of SELFLOVE with SHARMILA. Today we try and understand the difference between being loved and loving our own self. Being loved by a parent, a partner, a friend of course, serves to nurture and validate. But the vessel needs to be filled continuously. What if, we could fill this vessel by our own self. What if we could understand where exactly we are vulnerable and which part of us needs healing and care? We would then slowly begin to build our own reserve of self-worth and slowly build a pillar of strength from our own true self. The journey to our own self is one of patience and persistence but not impossible. Selflove springs from a space of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge builds with self-acceptance and waking up to our reality and facing it as is, with courage. For a moment, close your eyes and make an audit of our health. Are we living your best health condition? What about our love life – is it how we want it to be? What about our work – does it fulfil us?
Let's begin a self-audit!