You Can Change Your Life by Loving Yourself

Learning to take care of your heart, to accept the pain that comes with seeing the people you love suffer, and to be okay with suffering yourself, is the true work of self-love—and it begins with the breath.

Adobe Stock/ Konstantin Yuganov

There is a self-love crisis in American right now—and globally too. We aren’t at peace with ourselves, we don’t fully know ourselves, and as a result we don’t feel comfortable or safe. Sometimes this lack of self-love reflects our psychological underpinnings, but often it’s a reaction to stuff fully out of our control. And when people don’t fully know or understand themselves, they lash out, punishing either themselves or the outside world for something they can’t fully explain or describe. 

Let’s be real about something. Life is easier when you don’t care so much. Life doesn’t hurt quite so bad if you just don’t care what happens to you or the people around you. If you’re scared about how you’re going to feed your kids, it’s easier to watch them go hungry if you harden your heart and shut off the flow of love between you and them. If you’re failing out of school and can see no future for yourself, it’s easier to get through the day if you tell yourself, F**k it. I don’t care. 

Learning to let yourself care, to accept the pain that comes with seeing the people you love suffer,…

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About the author

Ali Smith

Ali co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He has over 15 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations. Through his work at the Holistic Life Foundation he has helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs at public and private schools, drug treatment centers, juvenile detention centers, mental crisis facilities, and retreat centers, nationally and internationally.

About the author

Atman Smith

Atman is a co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation. He served as Director of Youth Programming for ten years, Director of Fundraising for five years, and currently serves as the Director of Development. Since 2001, he has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to a diverse population including underserved and high-risk youth in Baltimore City Public Schools, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges.

About the author

Andres Gonzalez

Andres is a co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation. For sixteen years, Andres has taught yoga to diverse populations throughout the world, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, mental crisis facilities, homeless shelters, wellness centers, colleges, private schools and other various venues throughout the nation and throughout the world. He has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State’s Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study.