This week Ondrea Levine announced the death of her work and life partner of 40 years, Stephen Levine, on Facebook. Theirs was no 9 to 5 job – together, they lead conscious living/dying workshops teaching meditation, compassion, forgiveness and spirituality to thousands of people all over the world. I came across their work on my own journey into meditation some time ago.
In Ondrea’s Facebook announcement about Stephen’s passing she writes ‘treasure yourselves’. It takes a vastly spacious heart and mind to proffer such guidance to your followers only hours after your husband has died. Not even a whiff of self-pity for Ondrea, just appreciation and wisdom.
Today, there are many who would urge us to cherish ourselves. But how exactly do you do this? In my line of work, I often come across people who show how little they treasure themselves: those who are addicted to all forms of do-ing leaving the body in a constant state of alertness like a car engine that can’t be switched off; neglected feet exposing rough, calloused and cracked heels; people pleasers who lack the ability to say ‘no’ and end up ill and weary; the overly consciousness who allow themselves to take on more than they can cope with and burn out.
Guilt, shame and unworthiness get in the way of treasuring ourselves. If you knew that you were so much more than the flesh and bones with a busy thinking head that you carry around every day, you might just make more of an effort to look after the sparkly treasures within you.
In the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most important ancient texts in Indian spiritual literature, it is made very clear that each human being contains a droplet of the same force that turns the universe. When this force is consciously cultivated through yoga, meditation and wholesome living, it expands enough that you shed the sense of smallness that hounds you like a hungry dog.
So, how do you treasure yourself? Feel free to share – it may just change someone else’s life and boost your karma points.