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A GOOD SELF-ESTEEM IS something that many Australians lack. People have done studies on this previously, and I even read a book years ago about how Australian Aborigines also have a low self-esteem, and the thesis proposed by this author – who was in fact a Christian missionary (and I regret that I no longer recall the name of the book or author) – was that it is something that we pick up by interaction with Mother Earth. People have pointed to a strong influx in

mid-19th Century of Irish potato farmers, destitute because of the Great Famine caused by potato blight, and that, because of their impoverished circumstances, they brought with them low self-esteem which filtered through society. Who can say? However, it’s obvious

that we are a bit ‘down on ourselves’ in this country. So I am happy to bring you a few articles in this issue which deal with self-love which, it seems to me, is needed before self-esteem can exist. I remember years ago that a woman

running a workshop explained how we could love ourselves more fully if we made our bedrooms into beautiful nesting places where we felt pampered and where everything was neat, clean and beautiful. I don’t think for a moment that she meant that a beautiful bedroom alone is enough to get people to love themselves, though it is one helpful factor. Interestingly, the reverse could be true – that, if you have low self-love, a dreadful bedroom would make you feel worse. Indeed in movies, where the director wishes to depict abject poverty or a person without hope, s/he will often show a dirty mattress and pillow with no

covering, and other bedroom ugliness. While some people may be oblivious

at the conscious level of being affected by ugly surroundings and even harsh noises, I am sure that we are all subject to dips and troughs in our moods – and long-term harshness will have a long-term effect on our personalities. I always like to take things to extremes to test my theories. Imagine what effect it would have on you to live in a sewer or to work in an environment where everyone screamed at top note. Shudder! Get rid of those thoughts and now

imagine walking on the beach in winter with the ozone spraying around you – no, not in your bathers – nice and rugged up against the cold. Then imagine walking into a stunningly beautiful cathedral – or a forest. What a difference in feelings these evoke. So watch who and what you surround

yourself with because lots of little yukky moments may add up. Julian Noel in his article this issue

speaks of the very same thing – but in a far more inspirational way, as you’d expect from him. Turn to p.8. What do you think about St Valentine’s

Day ... overdone and commercial or a nice way to remember loved ones? This year I decided I really wanted to do something beautiful with my man. He was a bit stuck in the mud about it because of the commercial aspects, but he’s a very generous and giving guy. So, despite his own misgivings, we headed to the hills to celebrate. We’ve previously found a powerful

spot amongst tall tree ferns and gigantic mountain ash trees in which to meditate. As soon as I sit down and close my

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eyes I’m ‘out there’. The first time we went there I was meditating before we even got to the seat, and my head felt as though it was opening up or lifting off. Anyway, I asked Frank if we could go there for Valentine’s and then have a little picnic. As he loves meditating there as well, it was an easy decision. We walked hand in hand in the pre-

dusk hush of the bush, meditated, and walked back to the picnic area. We spread out red cotton placemats on the wooden table and I got out some pastries I’d made with organic eggs, home grown silverbeet and anchovies – simple yet yummy. Frank had brought a candle in a glass (labelled ‘Love’) and he lit that and poured bubbly into two stemmed glasses. We kissed and proceeded to eat and drink. So that brings me back to doing things

with good vibrations. It also brings me to my recurring thought about how much easier it is to love yourself when someone else loves you – but there is no room to discuss that here. Please enjoy the various articles on self-love in this issue and write to me about your ideas of self-love and being loved. Finally, another topic that I wrestle

with – how much to do/plan versus how much to allow – is answered admirably by Kryon – see page 44.

With love

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