February 14 is Valentine’s Day, a special day when people celebrate their love. Whether it’s your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, expressing your romantic feelings with roses, chocolates, and expensive dinners to your loved one is a tradition in the US and in many other parts of the world.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is a growing trend here in Cambodia, and also are seminars and classes about self awareness and the spiritual development of values such as respect and love.
Recently, I was invited to attend a Raja Yoga Meditation and Positive Thinking class. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to meditate and take care of myself, both physically and spiritually.
The introductory session was on a Saturday, for two hours in the afternoon. I was not prepared that the first session’s topic was self-esteem. Well, I think I have it, but what I found out was that I don’t really have it – completely.
Raja Yoga Education Centre has classes completely free of charge in both English and Khmer languages. Each course consists of a series of lessons, once a week, taught in small groups or on an individual basis. The courses include: Self-Esteem, Letting Go, Inner Leadership, and Stress Management.
The program is a community service and registered as an NGO.
When we have high self-esteem, we take good care of ourselves; we feed the mind with healthy food and exercise, and take care of our body physically. I haven’t been able to do this, and also realised that I haven’t found “The Holy Grail” – which is our worthiness, our purpose in life and our peace of mind.
Going on a journey alone can be scary, especially when you have the comforts of a support system that tells you what a great person you are. It is when we step out of our comfort zone that we get tested. You have to be mentally strong, as this is the challenge. Yes, it has happened to me.
The visiting speaker talked about a case involving a young man, and she stated: “He feels he is dirt in his father’s eyes.
He and his brother studied for an exam, and the father paid for the schooling – and he failed. The father was upset with him and the young man feels he doesn’t have value.”
This was a case of someone with low self-esteem, and his own father comparing a piece of paper to success and not seeing him as a human being, let alone his own son.
The young generation’s expectations are so high that pressure can be overwhelming. Self-esteem affects everything in life.
After the classes, continuing the process is the only requirements for success.
The rewards of inner spiritual development and meditation are measured through the time and efforts that you put in.
You must learn to love yourself first – if you don’t, you can’t love anyone in a balanced way.
Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Social Agenda with Soma Norodom
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.