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From self-Love To Self-Love ‒ A Journey Of Self-Transformation

Written by: Dr. Jackie Lau, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Self-love: inheritance or birthright?

With a deep appreciation for the combinative approach of neurolinguistic, psychological, and spiritual inter-disciplines, I have co-created with people all over the world in the last decade to transform into more self-awareness, sense of purpose and inner freedom. Along the path of transcendence into self-realization, one theme that we always wind up with no matter the challenge, from trauma to relationships to business building, is “self-love”.

Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form.” ― Eckhart Tolle

We are often told that love, or love for oneself, is an intrinsic capacity, both innate and inherited; it does not depend on any external circumstances or personal traits. Why, then, do we feel that “self-love” is so hard to attain? We are not looking for rainbow and unicorn, but a default felt a sense of joy and contentment. Why the cross-cultural, cross-gender, cross-age struggle?

What if we have got it the other way round all along? Rather than “effort-ing”: to figure out how to attain “self-love”, and to seek something that is perceived as outside of ourselves…what if we start “love-ing”: to first understand how we have blocked ourselves from recognizing this natural state, and to relax the patterns that hinder connection to our true nature?

To tune in and truly see the blocks we have built around our own love opens the gateway to grace and flow.

“Self”-love does not rely on "otherness"

Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” ― Leo Tolstoy

So much about the theme of “self-love” is conceptualized around a sense of separation with others today.

It may be fair to say that people who cross paths in the “self-love” ideation often have had a fair bit of suffering due to external circumstances and our ongoing relationships to them. Let’s take things simply, humbly and lovingly.

There is much and increasing attention given in our society to the invention and use of terminology that emboldens the illusion that we are separate – narcissists, sociopaths, malignant people, energy vampires, etc. And then there are the ones that gained instant creditability and armour through coating with seemingly righteous and positive connotations, such as healthy boundaries, spiritual boundaries, private life, personal matter.

It is tempting, especially when we feel pain, to conclude situations or people with a simple label, with a self-diagnosis or a self-directed diagnosis of others, without attempting to understand the source and cause of such perception.

There are no facts, only interpretations.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Question is, how much of our interpretations is actually the reflection of our own projections or shadow?

All forms of generalization are created to soothe our hurt expectations from specific events or people, to move our attention from a curious and intimate place to one of complacency, apathy and resistance to understand the “general groups”.

“He wouldn’t answer my calls, exactly like what they say about them, narcissists!”

“Asian parents are all like this, why bother telling them my dream of becoming a comedian. I’m not ready to be a doctor or a lawyer anytime soon…”

“I should stop hanging out with them vegan paleo keto fanatics, they are always on my back about every food item I barely glanced at.”

We invent internal dialogues to externalize how we truly feel; all forms of perceived rejection operate ultimately through our sense of powerlessness against another.

Imagine a state of being, where a deep sense of peace and wellbeing does not rely on our guardedness from others whom we perceive, from their temporary expressions, as “weak” or “negative” or “toxic” ‒ fleeting traits that we sometimes also unconsciously exhibit.

The little s and the big S – does size really matter?

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” ― William James

What if I propose to you that self-love can be realized and actualized simply through the process of recognizing the “Self”?

Our disintegrated selves feed on the disintegration between the little self and the big Self. As much as we know that words and labels don’t really represent the true essence of anything other than the trap of the intellect, since the language, we use shapes our model of the world, and the concepts about ourselves and others, let’s willingly get stuck on the level of words for a moment.

Most of who we think we derive from the little self–ego identity, the survivor, dualistic, “self”-seeking through a sense of separation from others, fear-based judgements and “at effect” victimhood.

And then there is the big Self, the undefined and unmanifested, the “at cause” creator, non-dualistic, one-with-all consciousness.

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.” ― Laozi

Much like “Oh this must be a moment of no-thought that the masters speak of!” during meditation, which is itself a thought, identification with the big Self is just another attempt to feed the ego identity, or specifically the spiritual ego, through spiritual materialism.

The Self is inconceivable yet impeccable, and is often retrospectively realized through our inner awareness, from then on it cannot be un-realized or un-known.

No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain.” ― Chögyam Trungpa

Imagine a forgetful frog that wakes up every day with amnesia. One day, having spent most of the afternoon on a marshland, he decides to explore the neighborhood and stumbles across a lake. Seeing water for the first time, curiosity gets the best of him. He dips one leg to test the depth of the water. To his surprise, he instantly feels revitalized by the moisture soaked through his skin into his body. Only then did he realize how dried out his skin has been. He can no longer deny his natural inclination to return to his home of water ― suddenly he remembers, that is where he started off as a tadpole.

This is basically how we live – letting the little self run the show until our skin dries out and we can no longer deny the big Self.

You say, I’ll make believe you are who you think you are if you make believe I am who I think I am.” ― Ram Dass

Most of us are conditioned and socialized to compulsively conceptualize who we are through what we have, what we know, and what we do. We categorize our and others’ actions and behaviors, as soon as they come into our awareness, as some polarized things with a degree of intrinsic goodness or badness, to constantly feed our egoic mind’s need for dualism. Our sensitivity to life is compromised when we live in this predicament – we miss the essence of our vision outside our predetermined knee-jerk reactions to situations; we miss the beauty of Beings, independent of their relationship and function to solely our “selves”.

The moment people remember that they’ve forgotten is a moment of grace.” ― Barbara De Angelis

The journey of Self-transformation has begun with our willingness to see the misalignment and alignment within our “selves”, and between ourselves and others, to come to realize the nature of reality.

Our curiosity about ourselves and others is directly proportional to our degree of openness to express our authentic Self.

Instead of falling into the habitual entrapment of dualistic judgement and resistance, we can allow more. Gently tune into a sense of curiosity and acceptance, to give more rather than to demand for more, to see a more harmonic world.

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Dr. Jackie Lau, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Jackie Lau is a neuroscientist and an experienced international life coach, who is fascinated with human behaviors and the mechanisms underlying our mental and emotional states. With a deep appreciation for the integrative approach of modern psychology, neuroscience and spirituality, Jackie is a top life coach in Australia and has co-created with people all over the world to radically transform into more self-awareness, sense of purpose and inner freedom.

Jackie is trained as a strategic interventionist and breakthrough specialist with Robbins-Madanes Training directed by Tony Robbins, which combines effective techniques evolved from neurolinguistic, psychological, and therapeutic inter-disciplines. As a curious researcher, Jackie completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney Australia, studying the neural circuits governing motivation and reward. She is currently researching on neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease, investigating the molecular basis relating neuroplasticity to cognition.

Leveraging her diverse cultural background, Jackie is profoundly devoted to studying Eastern and Western philosophy and literatures, learning transformative wisdom from influential life strategists and spiritual teachers. In the fervency of her gratitude, for over a decade, she earnestly empowers people from all walks of life to live our authentic virtuous Self and commit to becoming love. Through ingenious modalities including mindset transformation and meditation, Jackie is inspired to cultivate our connection to a deeper world, one that nourishes our spiritual heart rather than feeds our time-bound predicament of patterns, one that channels our fear of pain into lasting pull to joy, appreciation, and peaceful presence.

Jackie loves the art of music and dance. She is trained as a classical violinist from a young age, later on discovered her passion in classical guitar, and has also been a dedicated hip-hop dancer and instructor since her college years. Her creative journey has never ceased to open doors for the extraordinary in the ordinariness of life.

Jackie’s vision is to co-create with the human family, as part of nature, to tune in consciously and align with our thoughts, emotions, actions, to live passionately and playfully with full presence.



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