There are several definitions of honor in the Oxford American dictionary, these are the few I think most apply to what I mean when I say honor yourself. Honor: 1. high respect. 2. adherence to what is right. 3. acknowledge. I mostly use this term in the yoga classes that I teach. I think it is equally important on your sticky mats as it is off your sticky mat in our daily lives. Honoring yourself means, listening to your heart/spirit/higher self (whatever you want to call it), doing what is best for you (this does not justify selfishness, but we all have a need for boundaries and a right to say No), resting when you need to rest, modifying anything in your life to better handle whatever your current situation may be and more.
Some examples may help clarify what I mean. In yoga when a pose or variation does not feel good or causes pain, listen to your body, honor it and either change what you are doing or come out and rest. Another example, sometimes the food we eat literally causes physical discomfort or pain. Either because of a sensitivity/allergy, we eat to much, we eat the wrong foods or a combination of the above. Listen to your body, change what you are eating or how much. Acknowledge what your feeling, the messages you are receiving from your brain/body, either I am eating too much or this food doesn’t work for me, and change it! Last example, if what you are doing is out of alignment with your morals, integrity, religious/spiritual beliefs, your intuition or your plate is simply to full, you will likely feel unpleasant and think negatively about the specific situation. Learn from this, change it, honor yourself, live your life in a way that is in alignment with your higher belief system. Set boundaries, step back when life gets to be to much. Tell whomever, I apologize, I over committed myself, I need to resign from this project, I will not be able to help now, maybe next time but for now IT’S NOT WORKING FOR ME!
Why are we making ourselves miserable when we have the power to change it and do different? Lets learn from our insight, our inner wisdom. Lets take better care of ourselves, in doing so we have more to give the world and the people in it. When we honor ourselves and can give from that loving space it is a win win for everyone.
Now there are exceptions and sacrifices we all need and maybe even want to make over a lifetime, but please don’t make a habit of it. Honor your precious self. When you do you will thank yourself for it and feel all the better because you have.