Maitri is an ancient Sanskrit word that refers to self-compassion, unconditional friendship and acceptance of oneself. Maitri brings with it the basic understanding needed to find true happiness and joy.
When living within the concept of Maitri, we see the world as a positive place and perceive life as a positive experience. We have enough trust in the God of our understanding – and enough trust in self to weather the challenges life brings to us. While we meet these challenges, we continue to grow into greater wisdom and internal peacefulness. We feel safe, happy, loved, and we enjoy life. We are living a now focused, mindful life.
We are healthiest when we view feelings as teachers. I always use the stagnant pond analogy to explain the necessity of allowing emotional flow. Emotional flow is the art of embracing the wisdom of what you feel and then letting the feeling and your response to it go.
A stagnant pond has little or no movement. The water and all life in the pond rest within its rim. Slowly, the stagnant pond becomes more and more toxic to itself and its surroundings. The surface of the water turns green and slimy, and the pond water begins to stink.
Stored up, bottled up negative feelings become an internal stagnant pond. The stored up feelings and your reactions to them make your system toxic and create stress, anxiety, depression, and perhaps compromise your physical health. Conversely, feelings that flow in, are embraced and quickly released lower stress, lower anxiety, and strengthen your entire body-mind system. You are managing life in a positive way.
We are what we think. A physical impact accompanies every thought, sometimes through sensation and always through some kind of alteration of body chemistry. Positive thoughts create feelings of happiness and joy and impact each system of your body in a positive way. Negative thought create more negative thoughts and feelings of sadness, depression, hopelessness, and fear. They have a negative impact on each body system.
Happy thoughts result in relaxation, enabling easy, fluid physical movement and less physical pain. Negative thoughts result in a stressed body, inhibited physical movement, and increased physical pain.
We are like magnets. If our mind – body is loaded with positive thoughts and feelings, we attract people and situations that are happy and positive. Our positivity grows. If we are sad, depressed, stressed out, and overwhelmed, we attract people and situations that create more of the same. Life begins to feel hopeless and we begin to feel helpless to make positive change.
I’m including the list of heart virtues that appears in Nurturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care even though the chart has lost column formatting. Virtues are aspects of love and therefore create a positive inner atmosphere and ultimately a positive life. The more virtues we embrace, the more positive we become.
Building a positive inner atmosphere allows you to beome your authentic self; the self you were born to become.
Appendix A: A List of Virtues—Aspects of Love
Abundance Enliven Honor Patience Strengthen
Acceptance Equality Hopefulness Peacefulness Supportive
Accomplishment Excellence Humility Perceptiveness Sureness
Accountability Excitement Humor Playfulness Sympathetic
Accuracy Expansion Important Pleasure Tactfulness
Achievement Expressiveness Inclusive Poise Teaching
Adaptability Exuberance Insight Positivity Tenacity
Agreeable Faithfulness Inspiration Prayer Tenderness
Alertness Festive Integration Prayerful Thoughtfulness
Assistance Fitness Integrity Presence Togetherness
Attuned Flexible Joy Protect Treasured
Balance Focus Kindness Purity Trust
Beauty Forgiveness Leadership Quietness Trustworthiness
Belief Forthrightness Limitlessness Radiance Truth
Calmness Friendliness Listen Reconciliation Truthfulness
Centered Friendship Love Regard Understanding
Choice Generosity Loyalty Reflection Unfailing
Clarity Gentleness Mastery Relaxation Unification
Comfort Genuineness Meaningfulness Restfulness Unity
Communication Giving Mercy Responsiveness Usefulness
Compassion Gratefulness Merriment Reverence Valor
Compromise Gratitude Mindfulness Rootedness Vibrancy
Concentration Growth Naturalness Safety Vigor
Consciousness Guidance Noticing Service Vitality
Courage Hallowed Nourishment Silence Virtuous
Creativity Happiness Nurturing Simplicity Warmth
Dependability Harmony Obedience Sincerity Wholeness
Devotion Healing Oneness Smiling Wisdom
Empathy Health Openness Softness Wise
Encouragement Helpfulness Opportunity Solidarity Working
Energetic Holiness Orderliness Steadiness Worthiness
I encourage you to meditate with the virtues that attract you. Breathe in the chosen virtue, and allow the energy to circulate through your body. Exhale all things inconsistent with the chosen virtue. Continue this way for several minutes until you can feel the essence of the virtue within.
Nurturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care contains multiple lists of affirmations to help you develop a positive inner life. Here is a partial list of the Boosting My Immune System affirmations. Notice the strength of the words and the positive impact they make.
- Love heals me.
- With each inhale I breathe love into my body.
- Love is my connection to inner wisdom and universal consciousness.
- Health and strength fill my body all day long.
- I love my body.
- I live one day at a time with gratitude.
- I choose to enjoy my life: To love sing, play, laugh, create.
- My healing comes as a result of deep internal restfulness.
- I choose to nurture myself with positive thoughts, words, and actions.