“Spiritual transformation is not a goal that can be attained, but an ongoing process of evolution.”
-Dr. Debra Reble

The screech of an eagle drew my attention from the trail conditions leading away from the Gila Cliff Dwellings, a National Park Service Monument in New Mexico, to the trail head. I stopped and watched for the majestic bird navigate the gusting wind currents. He soared high, to the left and the right. He tucked his wings close to his body and dived with alarming speed towards the earth and then spread his wing to soar upward to the heavens.

I continued down the hillside path and a realization embraced my mind, body and soul. The internal dialog began with the simple question, “What does self-love feel like? Why is it that so many of us are confused and believe we are unable to obtain it?”

I listened to the voice within continue, “What if we don’t understand, unable to imagine or comprehend what self-love feels like. Self-love is not the romanticized version, or puppy-love, that energizes us with a sense of excitement. It’s not about being courted and showered with roses. Self-love is being comfortable with yourself; a level of comfort that feels peaceful, calm and without worry of am I good enough, does anyone care or other thoughts of lack. There’s an unconditional respect of Self’s basic needs.”

Whoa.

…an unconditional respect of Self’s basic needs.

Confidence was not mentioned; nor appearance, weight, finances, marital status or living conditions.

Those words soaked in as I took a few more steps further down the trail. I realized I was in a complete state of peace and experiencing the moment. I wasn’t concerned about past events nor apprehensive of what’s next. My attention was fixed solely on where I was on the trail, my surroundings and the eagle soaring above me.

I was at peace and everything felt comfortable.

I was experiencing love with life and Self.

Was this the elusive feeling I’ve been discounting as unimportant? What emotional high was I anticipating? Was I expecting that self-love would give me that tingly-all-over rush of a new relationship? Seriously, do we – I – have an unrealistic expectation of what self-love feels like?

A raven appeared to slowly float straight down in front of my truck after I backed out of the parking space and put the truck in drive. I said, “Sweetie, you have to move. I can’t see you and don’t want to hurt you.” He hopped to have a view of me through the driver’s window. We stared at each other; watching. Another raven swooped down, landed about ten feet from the truck and broke my stare-down with the first raven. The second raven looked at me and started pecking at the rocks in the parking lot and proceeded to ignore my presences. The first raven hopped over to the second one. A smile welled up from my heart and I thanked them for their message.

In the 50 Common Birds of the Southwest that I received ninety minutes prior for joining the Western National Parks Association, the association author wrote: “Ravens have had a significant impact upon man’s cultural history. They were the basis for many omens and were predominant in the folklore and myth of many peoples who believed they had supernatural powers. To Native American people of the Pacific Northwest, the raven was a god, bringing life and order to nature.”

Nature offers only unconditional love. Nature is not jealous or self-defeating. Nature is not judgmental, unkind or vindictive.

In that moment I fully understood – without a doubt – what self-love is. It is natural.

The response I received from How Long Would It Take warmed my heart. Thank you.

There is no step one, step two, step three to self-love. There isn’t a magic formula to follow or an equation that if you do this or that you’ll get ___ (desired result).

Breaking down these expectations is not as easy as one would belief. Or as complicated as the wanna-be-gurus tell us as they promote their books, workshops and other services so they can turn around and start selling other folks on how to earn $100K in a month. You know the snake-oil peddler-type.

I have a clearer understanding on how we have a significant role in the ebb and flow of life. To feel one element, we must experience the other: good and horrific days, excitement of accomplishment and self-destructive loathing, laughter and crying, lovable and hated, celebrated and ignored. And, yet, somehow everything balances out.

So now I get it. Mother Nature’s evolution balances the web of all life with unconditional love.

As far as the Raven’s message, that’s only for me to know. 

Captured moments along the way…

The Raven
Gila Cliff Dwellings, National Park Monument, New Mexico
City of Rocks State Park in Faywood, New Mexico
Big Florida Mountain, Rockhound State Park in Deming, New Mexico

Explore the adventures that got me here…

A Chiweenie Tale

A Chiweenie Tale

The Adventure Continues...“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” –Thom JonesA large gator waited, still and silent, outside the gated door. Willie James was not afraid. He's a brave soul. Empowered...

On The Move

On The Move

The Adventure Continues..."Everything changes when you begin to love yourself. You no longer send out energy of desperation or need to be filled from the outside. You become a powerful source within yourself that attracts better. The more you love who you are, the...

Finding The Words To Write

Finding The Words To Write

The Adventure Continues..."Telling a writer to relax is like telling a man to relax while being examined for a hernia, and as for confidence, see how stiffly he sits, glaring at the screen that awaits his words. See how often he gets up to look for something to eat or...

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About The Author

C.K. Kochis

I am a writer; it's what I do. My mission in life is to guide women exhausted from nurturing others and the stagnation of daily routines to ignite self-love through the power of their words. I am utilizing my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach education as the foundation of ElementsForAHealthierLife.com to create a platform for coaches and leaders to share pearls of wisdom and professional insights. I wrote, designed and published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer's Guidebook”. My virtual assistant clients keep me creatively busy, while my grandsons teach me about the importance of play.

20 Comments

  1. Debra Reble

    Wow Cindy, I’m blown away by not only your exquisite writing but your sheer vulnerability in this post. And this insight, that self-love is “…an unconditional respect of Self’s basic needs” is so simple and poignant. Self-love is just that respecting the beautiful essence we are as divine beings with basic physical needs. Thank you for highlighting my quote too! Much love and blessings <3

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      It warms my heart to know that this post resonates with you, Debra. When I read the first sentence you wrote in The Spiritual Path: Beyond the Proverbial Pink Bubble of Complacency, I knew I had to share it with my readers. Thank you for your kind words. Much love and blessings to you, as well.

      Reply
  2. Crystal Cockerham

    CIndy, I feel like you nailed it square on the head! Yet those things that are so simple, that’s where the meat is so-to-speak. It is unraveling the layers that keep a person from unconditionally respecting themself and their basic needs. I have a certain affinity for Ravens myself-what a gift they gave you!

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      Ravens, crows, eagles and hawks have been guiding me on this journey. I see them everywhere I go. And when I do not, I know my time in that location should be limited. The messages the eagle and raven gifted me had a significant impact on my mindset. Thank you for your kindness, Crystal!

      Reply
  3. Vatsala Shukla

    Fascinating that you actually had a stare down with not 1 but 2 ravens, Cindy, and from the looks of it, you won!

    Self-love – I am completely with you on this one. I don’t think one can do a 12 Program to start loving oneself and what would be a sign of self-love depends on the situation and context. Some days its me putting my foot down and doing my own thing and other times its simply being content in my surroundings.

    Thank you for the lovely photographs. Enjoying your travels vicariously.

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      YES! I agree – some days it’s about standing firm and doing our own thing, and other times it’s simply being content with where we’re at. The time with the ravens was truly memorable. Thanks for joining me on this journey. I’m looking forward to what’s next.

      Reply
  4. Barb Parcells

    Nature has no agenda. We can learn a lot from that. I’ve learned that my power rests in the sacred, present moment. There is no past, no future, no good enough, etc. There is just now. What we do with it is what will determine our lives. P.S. I’ll bet the raven’s message was awesome!

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      I like that, “my power rests in the sacred, present moment.” Agreed.

      Reply
  5. Lisa Hutchison

    I love connecting with nature and noticing all the gifts she offers. I agree “Nature offers only unconditional love. “Thanks for sharing your experience Cindy. Great post!

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      You’re welcome, Lisa. Thank you.

      Reply
  6. Debra Oakland

    Nature speaks to us when we stop and pay attention, and you sure did. This is a magical experience that taught you so much in a short time. When you say, “In that moment I fully understood – without a doubt – what self-love is. It is natural.” Wow, powerful mojo from the ravens. You are blessed!

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      It is powerful “mojo”, isn’t it? Thanks for your kind words, Debra.

      Reply
  7. Rachel

    What a deep and meaningful journey you are on and thank you for taking me along with you with your exquisite writing. I love how present you are to receive the messages of the divine through the world of nature. I feel very connected to ravens, whenever the show up in my life I feel my heart and mind expand. So glad those two ravens came to deliver a message of self love.

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      Rachel, thank you for joining me on this journey. It’s wonderful that you feel connected to ravens, and experience heart and mind expansion when they appear in your life. They are wise ones with grand messages. Many blessings to you…

      Reply
  8. Kris Groth

    Thank you, Cindy. I needed this message. We make things so complicated and hard on ourselves, when really it can be that simple. when we take the time to listen, and to be, the answer is right there waiting.

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      You are very welcome, Kris. It warms my heart that the messages of self-love resonates with you and expanded an inner knowing. Thank you for your kind words. Here’s to simplifying and knowing it can be that simple!

      Reply
  9. Kathleen

    Nature loves wonderous variety. You are right, Cindy. We are being taught that the revelation of deep inner feeling should be boisterous when in truth, “It’s a quiet thing… A very quiet thing…” Blessings in your travels. Thank you for your beautiful writing. <3

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you for your kind words and sharing your wisdom, Kathleen.

      Reply
  10. Ruthie Lewis

    Thank you for this, Cindy!! So beautiful and came at a time that I needed to be reminded. I have some big decisions to make that feel unfair and overwhelming, but self-love is paramount for getting through the excitement and disappointment and fear. Sounds like you are having a great journey and I’m sure it’s not all roses, but oh how nature can play such a huge part! Wishing you well and holding you close

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      You are most welcome, Ruthie. I’m glad this post reached you when the messages would have an impact. Self-love is paramount; that’s a beautiful and powerful statement. Many blessings your journey. I know you’ll make the most loving decisions for YOU.

      Reply

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