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Radical Self Love Bootcamp!

February 2, 2012

I enrolled in Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love Bootcamp today (and ordered her book). I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now and the fact that Gala’s Self Love Bootcamp and her book Love and Sequins are half-price all month-long in honor of February and Valentine’s Day was just too good to pass up, so when I got paid today, I went for it.

Gala Darling, the blog and the person, are pretty amazing. That’s her actual name by the way, Gala Darling, she had it legally changed once upon a time. I have no idea what it was before… not that it matters. Anyhow, she’s originally from New Zealand, I believe, and currently resides in New York where she’s pretty much taking over the world “with a sparkly fist.”

I just wanted to pass this info along to anyone interested in self-affirmation, self-realization, and self-love, because this lady has really poured her heart and soul into the radical self-love movement, and since everything is half-off for the month of February, this is as good a time as any to really delve into the whole “loving yourself” thing, which is incredibly important… for everyone.

I joined this morning and I’ve already read the whole course from back to front. Obviously, I didn’t really get a chance to work on any of the “lessons,” since it’s supposed to be a month-long course (with lifetime membership to the forum), but I got a good sense of what it was all about and I plan on re-reading the whole things, slowly, giving everything its due consideration.

One thing I found really interesting is how when the Dalai Lama first came to the States he had no concept of self-hate. As the story goes:

The Dalai Lama was on one of his first visits to the United States. A yoga teacher, Sharon Salzberg, raised her hand to ask a question. “How can we work with self-hatred?,” she asked. A look of confusion came over the Dalai Lama’s face. “Self-hatred?,” he repeated. “What is that?” The people in the room — translators, therapists & teachers — took a while to explain it to him. The more they spoke about it, the more mystified he looked. He looked even more shocked when the people gathered there told him that self-hatred was not a rare occurrence; that it was a common experience among the people they knew. “How could they feel that way about themselves when everyone has Buddha nature?”, he asked the room. Then he said, “I thought I had a very good acquaintance with the mind, but now I feel quite ignorant. I find this very, very strange.”

This story is equal parts damning & inspiring. On one hand, it speaks to about how oppressive Western culture can be. We are always told we’re not good enough, & always being asked to live up to those Judeo-Christian ideals of being “good” versus being “bad” or “evil”. To people in Western culture, life is a competition. Who has more money, a better body, a more attractive family? Who has more prestige, better holidays, a more extravagant car? The people who make it to the top of the totem pole quickly realise that all this ceaseless competition is pointless… & some of them let us know, but we choose to block it out. We continue to compete, to fight for what we think we want. We have truly been fooled. We are slaves to the system, & the system is crushing us. It’s making us hate ourselves.

But on the other hand, this story gives us a taste of what it means to live without self-loathing. In fact, it shows us that self-loathing is a CHOICE! The Dalai Lama’s point of view is as illuminating as what he learned on that first trip to America. His reaction to that question about self-loathing proves that there are people — millions of people! — who have NEVER experienced those feelings! They have never grappled with self-loathing or despair over who they are. It really is possible to live without self-hatred. This, of course, means it is possible for you, too!

– Excerpt from the Radical Self Love Bootcamp

I don’t really buy into the whole more money, better car kind of competition, but we all feel out own kinds of pressure, which we sometimes internalize in very self-destructive ways. When you think about it, it’s crazy how many people fall into this downward spiral of self-loathing. Wouldn’t it be amazing to live in a society where the concept of self-hate was something that made no sense to you? A good place to start is with yourself and then spreading that love to the rest of the world. You can’t really do one without the other. It might not be easy to break years of learned patterns and cycles, but it’s sure as hell worth it. If only to make this world of ours just a tad better.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2012 8:49 pm

    One of the problems with those of us who have experienced self-loathing is that we haven’t been told we are deity since childhood.
    I mean this both facetiously and seriously.

  2. February 2, 2012 9:08 pm

    Haha, yes, I hum, see your point, but I still think it’s interesting that the idea of the self is completely different in various parts of the world, and that without our particular view of self our brand of self-loathing doesn’t exist. I mean, we’re never as harsh with other people as we are with ourselves (at least that’s my experience) and when you live in a community that recognizes the interconnectedness of everything it becomes harder to hate yourself in that individual kind of way.

    I realize that some people haven’t had the experience of being nurtured, and loved, or made to feel special, but even the people who are constantly told by their parents or whoever else that they are special can turn against themselves in that self-destructive way. Being told that your a “deity” since childhood could have a very different outcome if you haven’t been taught compassion for yourself and others as well.

    It’s not enough to be told your special, you have to understand it for yourself, I mean really understand that we’re all worth love. That were all special and deserving of what’s best. And that we… ah, I’m tired, haha. I’ll get back to this when I can make more sense out of it…

  3. February 3, 2012 12:54 am

    To clarify, the serious side of my comment was that we are taught that God is something distant and holy and not-us (especially if we are female!). If we believed we were one with God, or Goddess, or the world, or the universe, we would be easier on ourselves. This comes back to the “interconnectedness of everything” that you mention. Individual specialness is pretty meager compared with that kind of wholeness. I’m tired too, maybe I am just reiterating your point.

  4. February 3, 2012 12:56 am

    I think we agree. (Still tired.. and still haven’t gone to bed.)

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