“Why you can learn to love yourself if you meditate and have a consistent reflective practice.” With Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley and Sasza Lohrey

Meditate and have a consistent reflective practice.In addition to physical, emotional and mental benefits, through meditation, higher information can be brought into your conscious awareness to identify the best course of action towards the highest outcome. Also, it provides an opportunity to become aware of the ways in which you block inner guidance with constant […]

Meditate and have a consistent reflective practice.In addition to physical, emotional and mental benefits, through meditation, higher information can be brought into your conscious awareness to identify the best course of action towards the highest outcome. Also, it provides an opportunity to become aware of the ways in which you block inner guidance with constant thinking and worry.

As a part of my series about “Connecting with Yourself to Live with Better Relationships” I had the pleasure to interview Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley, blogger, memoirist, interviewer and author of The Gift of Crisis: How I Used Meditation to Go from Financial Failure to a Life of Purpose. ​​As a freelance writer, Bridgitte has written online articles for Examiner, Tiny Buddha, Recreate Your Life Story, Medium, Patheos, Thrive Global and Gaia. ​She was the lead writer to launch Oprah Winfrey Network’s Super Soul Sunday website, the 21-Day Become What You Believe Meditation and Seven Days to Restful Sleep for “Oprah & Deepak’s Guide to Whole Health” in addition to various articles for Super Soul Sessions I-III. ​With a writing focus that includes spirituality, change, challenge and transformation, Bridgitte’s writing unexpectedly draws readers inward through her ability to convey complex spiritual concepts in a practical and accessible style. ​Bridgitte’s educational background includes a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and the United States Peace Corps, both which have given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. ​Bridgitte enjoys working with individuals and organizations who are interested in conscious change, conscious creative collaborations, and conscious leadership and empowerment.

Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s Get Intimate! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

As an only child for 16 years, I loved to read beyond my skill level. I always carried a pocket dictionary while reading Stephen King books. I have been writing in journals since I was in the fourth grade. During college, however, I moved away from writing to pursue a “practical and safe” career in medicine.

​Several years later, and after a variety of occupations, I returned to my first love — writing. I have always enjoyed writing and have long told myself I will one day write a book.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

Yes! I’m continuously working on new ideas for personal and collaborative writing projects which contribute to a significant rise in consciousness on the planet. Seeing that I love writing, I’m open to explore various genres. I’m working on a screenplay, a children’s book and will soon begin another book on meditation.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?

In 2003, I made a decision that would have a major impact on my life without realizing my true intentions. While knowing the financial safety net was not securely in place, I decided to remain at home with my daughter instead of returning to work. Previously, when I left our first child in the care of someone else at ten months old, I felt anxious the entire time I was away from him.

I didn’t want to experience those feelings of discomfort again, and I didn’t want my children to feel as alone as I did as a child, so I ignored all external factors and decided not to place our daughter in childcare. I wanted to be the primary caregiver for my children and to show them that, above all else, they were the most important parts of my life.

However, this wasn’t my only motivation; I just didn’t fully understand my complete intentions. I explained the obvious motivations to my husband, but I did not explore the hidden pain that lingered beneath my unyielding position. I didn’t explain this aspect because simply put, I couldn’t. I didn’t yet realize there was a subconscious emotional need underlying my decision — that a deeply wounded part of myself was guiding me in an effort to be healed.

This moment was the catalyst for what would become one of the most difficult periods of my life, and yet the most profoundly liberating and healing. Two years later, my husband was hospitalized due to the onset of conditions for a stroke. He was thirty-three years old, and the primary provider for our family. Since he couldn’t return to work for a few months, we depleted our savings.

We were unprepared for this loss of income, and the situation became very dire, very quickly. It got so bad that I swallowed my pride and asked for loans from my closest friends. I never anticipated being in this position. To be educated and destitute seemed like the most dreadful oxymoron one could imagine. I never thought I’d create a situation so desperate and humiliating that I might potentially jeopardize my closest friendships.

I constantly asked myself, “How could anyone who is relatively intelligent be in a predicament where basic needs are difficult to meet? How could we, or I have made so many bad choices? How could I have been so selfish?” I now see that I’d dug my heels deeply into the abyss of self-pity, and these were the wrong questions to ask. This was a limited way to view the situation. By asking questions that perpetuated my role as the victim, it prolonged my feelings of helplessness.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

When you look at your reflection in a mirror, the primary purpose of a mirror is to reflect. The mirror is there for you to look at what is reflected back to you. The reflection beckons you to open your eyes to look deeply to see your true reflection; to identify what is not real, what is not truly you so you can let it go. The reflective mirror reflects the virtues and qualities you admire in yourself as well as the shortcomings and qualities you reject. What you see outside of yourself and dislike in someone else, is an aspect of yourself which you have not embraced within yourself. The same applies to what you see in someone else that you like or admire. It is an aspect of yourself which you have embraced. We all have aspects of ourselves that we want to hide from, be separate from, reject and avoid. These aspects are easy to identify because you judge them and attach negative labels to them.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

There is no need for self-imposed suffering due to a limited perception of ourselves. We are so much more than the limited perceptions we harbor of ourselves. The stripping away of a self-negating identity and negative thought patterns, along with the release of attachment to limiting stories we believe about ourselves allows for the expansion of self-love to begin.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

I think what keeps some people stuck in mediocre relationships is when they use dissatisfaction, or mediocrity in their life to re-affirm an addiction to fear or perhaps to being a victim. It’s imperative to look at the wounded parts of yourself, which have a more profound role in creating dysfunction than some may care to admit.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

It was very easy to blame the aforementioned problems I experienced on my husband, my family, and my situation — all things outside of me. It was, however, extremely difficult to accept that I really needed to take a deeply thorough look at myself and my role in creating the crisis.

I subconsciously created an experience in my life that felt so bad that the only place I could go was within — exactly where I needed to go. I needed to stop looking outside of myself for love and to release my fear of abandonment by clinging to a stay-at-home situation that we could not afford.

I was forced to begin to ask the more profound questions:

· What is the lesson in this?

· And how can I grow?

· Is this perceived problem an opportunity for spiritual growth?

· What is my true intention behind this choice?

· Is the dominant belief that motivates my action healthy or one of self-sabotage?

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

The importance of truly being with yourself and being alone cannot be overstated. It is vital to personal growth as an intimate and endearing form of self-care. Being alone allows you to be with yourself to gain clarity on what you think, what you want and what you need without harboring self-judgment.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

Without self-judgment and the belief in your own unworthiness, you can have a deeper experience of loving yourself and others.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

Meditate and have a consistent reflective practice.In addition to physical, emotional and mental benefits, through meditation, higher information can be brought into your conscious awareness to identify the best course of action towards the highest outcome. Also, it provides an opportunity to become aware of the ways in which you block inner guidance with constant thinking and worry.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

With the weight of all we experienced on my mind, I wanted desperately to feel relief, to feel inspired. So, I started saying aloud, “I just want to be inspired,” over and over again. Without realizing what was happening and by voicing aloud that I wanted to feel inspired, I made a proclamation to the universe that I was finally ready to receive help.

The five following points help you strengthen love for yourself, and connection to others, when there is a willingness to engage a new way of thinking, a new way of perceiving life and a new approach to living it:

1. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”

2. Before any action is taken, decide what it is you really want and set the intention.

3. Be reflective and stop all judgment of yourself and others.

4. Meditate consistently to re-connect with yourself.

5. Be appreciative. Showing gratitude begins the internal shift that allows you to see love and connection to all things.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

1. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, Harville Hendrix Ph.D.

2. Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, Stan Tatkin PsyD MFT and Harville Hendrix PhD

I highly recommend both books to address the importance of loving ourselves and each other into maturity, understanding yourself, what you do in relationships, and how to get to a point where you accept your partner as is.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

This is the time to be with your heart, precisely at a time when it feels most difficult, most out of reach and the last option. Have the courage to be with yourself, to trust your heart to lead you onto your highest life path. Let your most pressing ideas pass through you into the world, by continuously taking another step. Know without needing external validation that you are taking inspired action to bring about the highest good, not just for yourself, but for everyone involved.

Trusting your heart along with these combined efforts will show you time and time again you are capable of much more than you thought possible.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” –Mother Teresa

Small acts of kindness, intentions based in integrity and heart-centered aspirations for the collective go a long way when we realize the far reaching impact of working together.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

About the Author:

Sasza Lohrey is the Founder & CEO of BBXX, a digital platform for intimacy and wellbeing. She is also the host of the BBXX podcast, “Let’s Get Intimate!” which hosts provocative and entertaining conversations with experts in order to challenge the way our culture conditions us to talk about sex, intimacy, and healthy relationships. BBXX was created in order to help people better understand themselves, so that they then can form deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others. Sasza is a former D1 athlete with a background in psychology and digital media. She is a member of the Women of Sex Tech collective, the co-mentorship community Dreamers and Doers, and a regular columnist for several online publications. Originally from the Bay Area, Sasza founded BBXX during a Stanford entrepreneurship program in Santiago, Chile. Learn more on our website and listen to more interviews with experts on our top-rated podcast!

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