If your life has been conditioned with guilt, shame or self-loathing, substituting them with self-compassion may feel uncomfortable. You may not feel that you are worthy to receive love, blessings and other positive feelings.
Dr. Lia Bernardo, a psychoneurologist, has set up a program where you can visualize positive views of yourself with the end goal of accepting the self, improving performance and building self-
“Self-love is the solution to most people’s emotional issues,” says Bernardo.
In the past two years, Bernardo’s company, Atma-Prema Well-Being Group, has been holding “Experience Your Wholeness”—a weekend retreat as part of Anya Resort Tagaytay’s Inner Journeys well-being package.
In designing the workshop, Bernardo uses the tools of psychoneurology, the study of how the brain and nervous system can be used to develop one’s potentials.
“We integrate life lessons with working through the unconscious mind and ancient spiritual practices. The unconscious mind is trained to create new thinking patterns and beliefs that generate happiness.”
Unlike Atma-Prema’s corporate workshop, “Refresh, Rejuvenate, Reward,” which focuses on stress management, burnout prevention and integrating life purpose into the work, “Experience Your Wholeness” aims to help participants restore a true relationship with themselves, which, in turn, is the foundation for improved relationships with others.
Bernardo’s template combines gentle exercises and breath work to boost the energy, as well as creative activities and methods to declutter the mind of unhappy experiences, negative self-image and unhealthy emotions.
“You grow when you accept who you are. That is the greatest gift,” says Bernardo.
The crux of the workshop is “raising your frequency” or becoming more aware of how to use your thoughts and attitudes to manifest what you want in life. It works on the premise that the core of the human being is spiritual energy which works at certain vibrations or frequencies. Self-validation through positive affirmations, energy healing and meditation elevate one’s frequency levels.
Through positive affirmations about themselves, participants realize that their true identity is not based on other people’s opinions or the pressures from society.
“We make you believe what is good about you. Focus on an affirmation for 21 days. It becomes a habit and a part of you,” says Bernardo.
Participants experience the family feeling in group activities. They validate others by looking at their eyes, the windows of their soul, and feeling their energies.
A session is devoted to dealing with guilt and shame and a ritual of letting go.
“You’re peeling off your vulnerabilities. When shame is hidden, you bring it out, take away its power and get rid of it,” says Bernardo.
She underscores how the venue is important in raising one’s frequency. She works closely with Anya Resort to ensure that the guests are well-rested in a caring environment and the meals are clean and wholesome so that they can meditate easily.
Many participants have described the retreat as “life-changing.” Some are repeat participants who learn something new each time.
“The retreat is a gift to yourself,” says Bernardo.
September is Self-Care Awareness Month. It was created to remind us to put our needs first before others.—CONTRIBUTED
Atma-Prema can organize self-care retreats for a minimum of eight participants. Email [email protected]