Heather StrangDear Heather,

How do I find enough love in the moment, in order to rise above total and complete irritation/misanthropy? Sometimes I want to beat people up. Help!

-S.O.

Dear S.O.,

Take a deep breath sista! While it may appear that people are irritating and need to be beaten with a stick, in truth, that’s just a manifestation of your ego placing others as separate from you. Trust me; I know it can be difficult, especially when you’re getting cut off in traffic. But in order to live consciously you must connect with the love within yourself. And then spread it to every person you meet.

So how do you find this love, you ask?

First, connect with the love you have for yourself; it can make things a lot easier when you need to conjure it up in an aggravating moment. Remember, we are all just people. Follow the recommendations below to feel the love, even in the most irritating of moments:

Write three things you love about yourself. Every day. Go to a mirror, read them out loud and finish it with, “I love you S.O.” I know it will feel uber cheesy at first, but this practice works. Within 6 months of doing this practice daily, my self-esteem significantly improved. I stopped focusing on the things I didn’t like about myself and was drawn to the beautiful parts of who I am. It works!

Watch Kundun, a movie about the Dalai Lama’s life. It illustrates what true love and compassion looks like. For the Chinese government, no less – not an easy task.

Meditation will connect you to your true self, and thus bring out the love. Try Jack Kornfield’s Meditation for Beginners, or do this simple exercise – this works particularly well when faced with a perturbing situation:

-Begin breathing deeply from your belly.

-Close your eyes (if you can).

-Imagine that every thought coming into your head is a leaf floating gently down a     river.

-Breathe into each thought that comes up, and scatter it down the river.

-Continue doing this until you feel calm.

If you can implement these three conscious living action items, you will immediately begin to feel the love. For yourself and your fellow man. I promise.

Much love,

Heather

About Heather Strang:

Heather Strang is a writer and success coach passionate about conscious living. Her writing has appeared in national blogs, books and a host of print and online publications including The Twenty-Something Manifesto, Women’s eNews, NicoleWilliams.com, Amaze magazine, White Apricot, The Oregonian, Portland Tribune, NW Women’s Journal and many others. She also writes the highly visible Eat Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free and Low Sugar blog for women seeking healthy food alternatives. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Heather meditating on the beach, creating new recipes and exploring the possibilities of the universe.