by Amina Tumi, Hair Salon Owner, London, England
I have been inspired to really start to listen to what I feel and this has made a profound difference to my life. Natalie Benhayon has brought my attention to deeply cherishing ME, something that I had not given myself permission to do before, even though I knew it was something that I was missing. I have always relied on other people to make me feel good and tell me how amazing I am, as opposed to feeling this way for myself. It has been remarkable to feel how this is changing my life, the difference it is making in my day, and in turn in my relationships with others.
It really has been simple changes that have made huge differences, such as giving myself more time in the mornings so I can feel what I need. I sometimes now have a bath in the mornings if my body needs it (I would never have given myself time for that before) – or really feeling into what I would like to wear and being playful with myself with what I choose. Then there is resting when my body needs it, and I have to say I’ve really had to learn how to rest as I have always been such a ‘doing kind of person‘ – even when I am exhausted I would still find myself doing things. I am finding that the key has been to do these self-nurturing things regularly and not just now-and-then… and so making them a way of life. Who would have thought that to simply start to cherish you and your body and adore yourself in a way that can only be considered as something very beautiful, would have such an impact.
Why is it that no-one is teaching this in the world? Why are we not reading articles on this? Who are we calling true inspirations? From what I have seen and felt from people who we call inspirational, we need to be attractive / sexy (get lots of male attention), have a good body (even if you are unhealthy or your body is fake), have an important or famous job that pays well, and make life all about you, your issues and what you have done in the world. The difference that has been presented by Natalie Benhayon is that we need to start with a true relationship with ourselves, one that is about a real and strong connection with yourself, your body and the way you do everything – allowing yourself time to truly listen to what your body needs in a way that gives it (the body) an opportunity to be honest. What I found very interesting when I first started to listen to how my body felt was that in fact, I did not want to look at how my body was feeling! Shortly after, I realised why this was the case; it was because my body felt so very exhausted because of the way I had been living, that I did not want to feel how awful I was in fact feeling. When I finally did allow myself to listen, I felt like I could not move for two whole days just due to how exhausted my body was from the way I had been choosing to live. So from there I started to build a relationship with my body that is far more attentive and responsive, which I have to say, has been profound for me in so many ways…
I run a busy hair salon in London and the way in which I work now is completely different to how I worked before. Don’t get me wrong! I still work hard and in some ways harder, but now I work in a way where I honour my body – letting it tell me what it wants and needs and then I listen and respond. This new relationship with myself has also reshaped the way in which I deal with staff, and as a result my relationships with them are now amazing on so many levels. This had always been an area in which I had struggled before, and I would often find myself complaining about not being able to find the right person. However, what has become clear to me is that the way I was towards myself was also the way I was with my staff – I would not give myself time to see how I was feeling and what I needed, and so too I did not give them time to see how they were and what they needed. In addition, I had such high expectations of myself that if I did not exceed them then I had failed, and so with the same measure, this is how I was with my staff too – and who wants to work for someone who puts that much pressure on you!? I could also be hard on myself when I made mistakes and likewise, of course, I was hard on my staff when they too made mistakes. By being gentle and loving towards myself I am continuing to expose such unnecessary behaviours, which I now know not only exhaust me, but can also create obstacles and problems that would take time and energy to sort out.
Instead I have found that there is a lovely way to do everything that in fact does not exhaust me at all. For example, being gentle with my body when I get dressed and not rushing in the morning to get to work, and starting my day at work by being very gentle and present with everything I touch and do. I continue to work on coming back to that gentle way every time I catch myself going back into old habits of doing things in a rough, tough way that I can feel really hardens my body and makes me very exhausted.
As simple as it sounds, I continue to keep adoring and truly taking care of myself, which has been a complete revelation and amazing learning, both for me and for others around me.