Episode 31: To Live Your Best Life Practice Self Care and Self Love with Melissa Jay

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Melissa Jay is a registered psychologist and yoga teacher who has melded her two loves into Yoga Psychology.  The hard work she puts into her psychology practice and yoga retreats are all done in purpose of her mission, which is "to empower compassionate souls to love themselves unconditionally".  When we take good care of ourselves and ensure that our cups are filled then we are better to be able to show up and be present with the people that we care about.  The result?  Deeper connection, true connection. 

To live your best life you must practice self love and self care.  Part of that is to tune into your inner world, understand how you relate to others (because we relate to each other differently), realize what it is that you need and then ask for it and receive it.  The last part is where many people trip up.  There seems to be a resistance to receiving and it holds us back.  Plug in those earbuds and listen in because Melissa helps us understand four different ways we relate to each other, how to make use of that information (breaking beyond "what's wrong with me?") and gives a compelling case as to why it's important learn to receive what you need from others.

Key Nuggets:

  • We’re all just seeking for lives that feel good on the inside.
  • Self care:
    • They are the little moments throughout the day where we integrate mind, body and spirit.
    • Checking in with your mental wellness is just as important as checking in with your physical wellness.
    • Self care strategies:
      • Can be something simple like a cup of tea
      • Yoga
      • Seeking a counsellor to help get out of our heads and into a place of unconditional self love.  You don’t have to wait until something is terribly wrong.  It’s self-care in up-keeping your mental health
  • There is a difference between empathy and sympathy:
    • Empathy is feeling with someone.  Can take perspective of somebody else and stay out of judgement.  Allows you to stay connected to yourself and ultimately builds your capacity for being kind to yourself when needed.
      • “help me understand”
    • Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone and it does come with a tone of judgement.
    • Brene Brown has an awesome video that helps explain the difference.
  • Breathing and mindful meditation helps create space so that you can understand what you need.
  • Our barriers to connection include worry, guilt, sadness, hurt, fear, stress and overwhelm
    •  Usually it’s one theme that keeps coming up
  • Attachment (psychologically speaking) is connection and we need connection from birth all the way to the end of life.
    • We have different ways of relating to each other. These patterns can change but sometimes it
    • The four attachment patterns (Mary Ainsworth):
      • Secure: when we’re together everything is great and when we are apart it’s still great.  You know that the person you’re connected to has your back
        • Essentially true connection, one with unconditional love. 
        • It doesn’t mean it’s perfect – there are times that you get hurt but you get through it together and you get to be safe to  be your authentic yours.
      • Anxious attachment: needing to be close most of the time and difficult to be independent.  There’s a fear that if you’re away from that person you’ll lose them. Looks like neediness and always wanting to be close.
      • Avoidant attachment: keeping someone that you care about at an armslength.  Fearlful that if you let that person close to them you’ll lose them.  Feelings of anxiety, actually even more anxious than those with an anxious attachment.
      • Disorganized attachment: a small portion of the population where it’s a mix of all of them.
      • Attachment types can be different in each relationship.
      • Depending on where you are in your life you may develop a pattern that keeps showing up.  Ex. You can have an anxious attachment keep showing up in romantic relationships but have secure relationships with your family
      • Awareness of attachment type allows you to better ask for what you need
    • When we are aware of what’s getting in our way then we can as for what we need
    •  Practicing secure attachment
      • Melissa recommends reading the book "Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find - And Keep - Love" by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. It gives real life examples of how the attachment patterns may play out in your life and what to do with the awareness of your attachment type
  • Self love:
    • A practice where we’re able to be kind to ourselves and step into a place where you’re unconditional with yourself.  To check in with yourself often and understand what you’re needing. 
    • Knowing that it's great to give to others and that it’s okay to receive as well
    • The more we give to ourselves, the better we can show up and give to the people that we care about.  Leads to fulfilling relationships
    • The primary ingredient to self-love is self-care ultimately connecting to our hearts
      • Getting to a place where you know what you need and being able to honour that
    • The most common place people falter when trying to practice self love is getting caught up in our brains – all those thoughts.  It’s either projecting us into the future or living in the past.  Moving into the heart is constantly coming back to present moment
      • The question is “how can I stay connected and keep coming back to the present”
      • Melissa’s favorite practice to coming back to present moment is as simple as three cleansing breaths: inhaling fully through your nose and exhaling fully through your mouth
  • Moving through guilt is better than resenting something.
  • By saying no we are actually empowering ourselves

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Take what fits and leave the rest. 

Links and Resources:

If you have any questions for Melissa or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:   www.canmorecounselling.com

Facebook Group: The Self Care Community

Instagram: @yoga_psychology

Resources that were mentioned in this episode:

Brene Brown’s video on empathy

Book: "Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find - And Keep - Love" By Amir Levine and Rachel Heller