This practice is similar to our 21 Positive things I notice practice, yet with a more personal note. What you do is write down 20 things you love about yourself, things that you are just so happy about. These can be things you said, or did, or even thought about. It can be 20 things from this morning or in the last 20 years. No restrictions. Just write without stopping, without censoring what emerges. No judging, just writing. No evaluating, just writing.
Let me tell you why this is such an important practice:
We all have an ego-mind and for various reasons, it tends to be critical - sometimes extremely critical. When you hear a voice within you that says why you are not good enough or complains and nags you without pity, this is the voice of the ego. The ego mind is great friend once it is befriended. But like an unattended pet who is going crazy tearing up your living room, the ego mind manifests itself to get attention. It wants to be of service to us, yet we do not know how to use its help. Until the friendship and respect blossoms between us and our ego-mind, the relationship is build on weak legs.
There are ways to befriend the ego. And one way to do it is to start loving, appreciating, adoring and completely accepting ourselves. Yes, this is key! When you write down 20 things you love about yourself, the ego-mind is watching. Just like a pet who sees how you are making your home tear-proof. It is aware that things are changing.
It may come back to you stronger and more aggressive, in the initial days when you are beginning to take active steps, in the form of practices, to change certain things in the environment of your mind. And that's okay. This is the storm which eventually dies down. You might hear very critical voices and self-demeaning messages. Just become aware of it and come back to your practices. Your relationship with the ego is now in the process of transformation.
Once the process of transformation is complete, you will find an absolute great friend in the ego. Just like your loving dog who does tricks to amuse you, picks up the mail from the door or smells out danger for you when you are sleeping, and dives into the water if you are drowning. Afterall, our ego-mind served our ancestors well when we needed the fight/flight response to survive. Now, the ego-mind needs to transcend its role and help us transform and transition into our new consciousness.
So begin with a step. Small step. Build on it, step-by-step. Practice-by-practice. Begin now, write out 20 loving and appreciative things about you and if you dare, about your ego :-)