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Cultivating Self-Love: Your Path to Wholeness

Cultivating Self-Love: Your Path to Wholeness

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Cultivating Self-Love: Your Path to Wholeness

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149 Seiten
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Aug 12, 2013


Want to live a more joyful, fulfilling life? One of the best things you can do is to learn to love yourself. Most of us have been taught to treat ourselves with disdain and criticism. Yet within you is a wellspring of love that, when you discover how to tap into it, will increase your compassion, creativity, and joy. This book will lead you on a gentle journey to greater self-love and confidence.

This voyage along the garden path will include releasing your negative-self talk, healing old wounds, learning sacred movement, and discovering your intrinsic worthiness. You'll let go of the need for external validation and uncover a deep source of unconditional love. In the process, you'll explore your unique creative talents, figure out who you really are (and who you're not), and learn healthy ways to live in community.

As you begin to walk the path of self-confident spirituality, you will naturally attract more of the people, situations, and experiences that you desire. The challenges that arise will lead you to even further self-awareness. You'll discover the joy of being in love with yourself, and with life. As this happens, your life will shift. You'll spend more of your time doing the things you love, and loving the things you do.

Step into the garden, and expand the borders of your closest relationship: the one with yourself!

Aug 12, 2013

Über den Autor

Nikki Starcat Shields is a writer, licensed priestess, practical mystic, and fae scholar of the mysteries. She loves to share ways she strives to live her personal spirituality, rooted in reverence and joy, even in the midst of a full, busy modern life. Starcat has been an avid reader since birth, which helped her navigate life despite her highly sensitive Virgo nature. Never having been part of any organized religion, Starcat grew up immersed in the world of Mother Nature and the life of the imagination. She has been an actively practicing Pagan for more than 20 years, studying Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, yoga, Earth-based religions, Tarot, quantum metaphysics, and Reiki healing. Starcat's passions include creativity, daily spiritual practice, books, expanding her self-love, unschooling, dancing, drumming, and dreaming. She is a hippie-geek hybrid who loves The Grateful Dead and playing Dungeons & Dragons. She believes in creative freedom for all beings, loves diversity, and is always learning. She is Pagan, feminist, vegetarian, and polyamorous, but doesn't proselytize. As you can probably tell from her name, Starcat adores cats of all stripes. She loves to swim and is one-quarter mermaid. She is constantly changing. Her writings are focused on personal spirituality, but she has top-secret plans to delve into fiction writing. Starcat walks her spiritual path in Maine and other faerie-approved lands. She can also be found blogging at Starcat's Corner and working on her business, Feline Dreamers,

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Cultivating Self-Love - Nikki Starcat Shields

Cultivating Self-Love: Your Path to Wholeness

by Nikki Starcat Shields

Copyright 2013 Nikki Starcat Shields

Self-published by Tidingdale Press, P.O. Box 235, Hollis Center, ME, USA

Smashwords Edition

Other works by Nikki Starcat Shields can be found at:

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

* * * *


This book is dedicated to two special women: my Mom, Jeannie, and her sister, my Aunt Peg. Thank you for being strong female role models for me, creating an amazing community, and freely offering your unconditional love. I love you so much.

* * * *


Thank you to the many friends who provided inspiration, feedback, and assistance with the creation of Cultivating Self-Love.

The cover photo is by Geneva Nelson of G.E. Nelson Photography. Many thanks to her for sharing her amazing art! Thanks also to my lovely daughter Bridget, who was our cover model. The cover photo and others we're using to promote the book were taken at Shaw's Ridge Farm in Sanford, Maine and Snell Family Farm in Buxton, Maine. We love our local farms and thank them for their willingness to host our photo shoots. Brent BlackLion Nelson, Geneva Nelson, and I designed the final version of the cover.

So much love and thanks to Brent BlackLion Nelson, my creative partner, designer, and editor. The book wouldn't have gotten to you without all his hard work and support.

I offer my heartfelt appreciation to my entire family for all the love, inspiration, good food, and support that enables me to do what I love. Thank you!

* * * *

About the Inspired Living Series

Cultivating Self-Love is the inaugural book in a new series called Inspired Living. In this series, we connect the ancient wisdom of the chakras with ideas and techniques you can use to enhance your daily life. With inspiring personal spirituality as the overall intention, future titles will explore joyful relationships, eating with intent, daily spiritual practice, and more. We'd love your feedback about this book and the series, as well as suggestions for future topics. You can reach Feline Dreamers at our website:


Nikki Starcat Shields and Brent BlackLion Nelson

Feline Dreamers

* * * *

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Why Don't We Love Ourselves?

Chapter 2: Updating Your Mindset

Chapter 3: The Feelings of a Child

Chapter 4: Your Body's Story

Chapter 5: Inquire Within

Chapter 6: The Goal Trap

Chapter 7: The Depths of Inner Space

Chapter 8: Self-Love and Creativity

Chapter 9: Who Are You Now?

Chapter 10: Learning Self-Love Maintenance

Chapter 11: Reemergence

Chapter 12: What's Next?


* * * *


This book is the first in a series of e-books focused on the chakras, and on using the wisdom associated with them to inspire more joy and freedom in your daily life. What are chakras? Put simply, they are the power centers of the body's energy system. These spinning wheels of light help us to regulate our lives on many levels. In the system I use, there are seven major chakras, lined up along the spine. Each is associated with not only a particular zone of the body, but also with certain basic areas of human life. If you'd like more information about the chakras and what they do, please refer to the Resources section at the back of the book.

Cultivating Self-Love focuses on the second or sacral chakra. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is svadhisthana, which means sweetness, or to sweeten. The sacral chakra is located just below the navel. The color of this chakra is orange, and the element associated with it is water. One of its symbols is the moon, and it is associated with the cups suite in Tarot. The sacral chakra is focused on sexuality, sensuality, and our emotions.

Some of the concepts associated with the second chakra are change, pleasure, movement, and nurturing. It is primarily concerned with socialization, which is quite a loaded term in our culture. At its simplest, this means relating to others. This chakra, the second, is built upon the duality of the number two. There is the self, and the other. Us and them. The lover and the beloved. Opposites attract, and we are often drawn to qualities in others that we haven't cultivated in ourselves. We desire. We yearn.

This is a complex relationship, especially for women. There is a lot of baggage built up around how we relate to others. We tend to seek out the other without regard for ourselves. Our feminine qualities of receptivity, nurturing, and grace are often used to help others, to please them. While this compassionate giving is valuable, it becomes an empty gesture if we are not also nurturing ourselves. The yin-yang symbol shows the interconnected nature of duality. We need the strength of our inner lives as a balance to the work we do in the outer world.

This chakra is all about desire. We seek nourishment, warmth, and the gentleness of touch. We want the simple sensual pleasures of life. We offer our empathy to those in our world, hoping for their love and recognition in return. If we repress this desire for love it leads to blockage and disconnection. Yet relying on others to fill our cup is a tricky prospect at best.

In order for the sacral chakra to be fully expressed, it must be allowed to move and flow. When we focus on filling our own cup, nurturing ourselves regularly, we are more adaptable and joyful. From that space of empowerment, we can be open to sharing our love and nurturing with those in our community. Self-love is arguably the most basic form of love, the obvious place to start. It brings us joy and pleasure, which puts us in tune with the natural flow of energy. We are more able to experience life's fullness, and the expansion that comes with really feeling what is happening in each moment.

Self-love forms a clear foundation for being present in each moment, for ourselves and those we love. Yet for many of us, self-love seems to be a goal that is far from our reach, perhaps even one that feels unattainable. How did we get so disconnected, so far from the fountain of love that is our natural birthright?

Back to top.

* * * *

Chapter 1: Why Don't We Love Ourselves?

Have you ever watched a well-adjusted toddler at play? She is completely and uniquely herself. She navigates her world with confidence, discovering new things and honing her personal preferences. She loves herself unconditionally, without question. When something upsets her, she looks for comfort, knowing that she is deserving of a parent's loving arms. When she is delighted, she laughs with sheer uncensored glee. When she is ready to sleep, she relaxes into a restorative rest. Even her moments of frustration are short-lived, her emotions expressed fully and then released, forgotten as she moves on to the next exciting experience.

Small children often have a magical air about them. You can tell that they are still strongly connected with their Divine inner source. They have not been here long, and they are naturally aware of their connection with all things, seen and unseen. How many adults do you know with that type of strong connection?

Why is it that we lose our connection and love of self over time? How do we get from that happy exploring toddler to an adult riddled with self-doubt and apprehension? For the most part, we absorb it from a society that has gradually become cut off from the wellspring of love that we are all born with. We were taught by our families and by the media that we are not, in fact, enough. Our churches teach us that we are filled with sin, our families (often in a well-meaning attempt to help us become a better person) point out our flaws, and our teachers try to cram our giant spirits into smaller and smaller boxes.

Our culture is not set up for instilling confidence. Instead of building self-worth, we are constantly urged to learn from the experts, compare ourselves with others, and try to be a better person. Life-long learning is certainly a valuable thing, and there is plenty that we can learn from those who have gone before us. Yet we forget that we are the ones who are the experts on our own experience. We bury our intuition under layers of conditioning.

Most spiritual people are seekers, wanting to learn more and to become a better and better version of ourselves. This is a good thing. Yet along with seeking wisdom from the external world, it is key to remember that there is an infinite inner world awaiting our exploration. We are eternal beings. We bring with us into life a vast expanse of wisdom, and we enhance that wisdom as we learn from our experiences.

We often ignore that personal wisdom, instead seeking out the latest guru, book, or program to help us find more happiness and peace. Behind our seeking is an emptiness, a yearning to be someone else or to do things another way. There is no sense of acceptance of who we are, of what we bring to this world.

Instead, we are filled with self-loathing and self-criticism. Even when you have been walking a spiritual path for a while, there is self-judgment, often hidden deep underneath the surface. This is the result of growing up in a culture that values surface appearances and fitting in.

If you're a mystic inclined toward the spiritual world, an artist who sees things in unusual ways, or an empath sensitive to the feelings of those around you, you'll already be familiar with feeling like an outsider. Mainstream society is uncomfortable with those who do things differently, or look too deeply into things in life that are taken for granted.

It begins in school, where the focus is on getting a diverse body of students to think and act as one. School is not set up to foster creativity or individuality. On the most basic level, teachers faced with a large classroom of students must try and move them along at the same pace for purely practical reasons. The grading system, while set up to evaluate knowledge, becomes competitive. Social competition soon follows. Kids assimilate this way of thinking, and popularity contests are an ongoing part of daily life. You are judged not only by your grades or behavior, but also the clothes you wear, who you talk to, your hobbies, what your parents do...and

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