I had an experience yesterday that challenged me. It started with me being tired and a bit exhausted emotionally, which meant that everything was on the surface. I had some judgements and preconceived ideas about what I was going to experience and I worked hard at trying to let those go and be open to something new. It did not go well.
My tolerance for a lack of respect through words is pretty low on my best of days, when I am exhausted, my firey temperament comes out. Once I felt a lack of respect through inappropriate language, shaming and blaming, I felt the wall around my heart slide up, and I completely shut down. It was almost as if I could see myself slamming the doors to my heart and mind and no one, particularly not this person, was going to get in.
I removed myself from the situation. Once in my car, all of the old patterns, the limiting beliefs about myself came rushing to the surface. I started to tell myself that I am too sensitive, that I need to be more open, and that I am obviously not fit enough, pretty enough, strong enough, fun enough, open enough, enough to fit in to this tribe of people who about 30 minutes previously I felt kinship with. It was obviously me that was the problem. So I took a breath. Then a few more. Then asked myself what I needed, and took a few more breaths.
Have you ever had that moment? Where you stand up for what you believe in, but then the voices of inadequacy rush in and sabotage the moment? Changing it from one where you stood for principles important to you, to a moment where you were obviously not good enough to be part of the collective? A part of me hopes someone else is saying "yes!", but that also makes me sad that others are in this position that I sometimes find myself in.
I am extremely grateful that I have people in my life that I can call and text to say "I need you to be a cheerleader for me because I just had this experience where I feel not good enough and I need to hear I rock". I love that these people stick up for me, get mad with me, and are in my corner. These people are so important to have. I hope you have these people when your limiting beliefs arise.
Since yesterday, my thoughts have been returning to this experience. I have felt that this experience has brought forward all of my teachings in a big way. I have been doing my best to soften, to open my heart, and to breathe. To let go of judgement about how I reacted, how I was triggered, and how I beat myself up, even though I wouldn't have wanted to do things any differently. Yoga has taught me that it is okay to react, and that the most healing thing to do is to soften and not judge the reaction. I am still a work in progress, but it is coming along. I am also trying to soften my judgement of the person, her business, and what she teaches. Trying to give her love and compassion for where she is on her journey and to recognize that her offerings would be wonderful for someone else, just not for me.
The lesson I have found in all of this, is that I wish to strive not to strive. I don't want to arrive on my mat in order to burn calories, or gain muscle, or touch my toes. I want to arrive on my mat so that I can say "hello body, I love you, what would make you feel good?". If I burn calories, get strength or flexibility these will be wonderful side effects of showing up and honouring my body.
I want to move so slowly that I feel every bit of my arm as it extends, I want to feel the full breath entering my lungs and feel the beauty of my life, I want to connect with my heart and all the hurt pieces inside of me and say "I see you, and you are beautiful despite your scars". I want to melt away all of the judgement, the pushing myself to move faster and push further. I want to slow down and truly feel who I am, deep down inside. If this isn't what you wish for your practice, I honour that, I know amazing teachers who can give you the opposite of my style, my flow. But I have learned through all of this that I am not willing to sacrifice my authenticity to fit into a mould, and man have I grown because I am not sure I could say that three years ago.
Hello Body, I love you, what would make you feel good today?
This is my practice. This is what I bring to my teaching. This is why I believe my students return. And I promise to continue to do this with a smile, a joke, and so much love in my heart that it feels ready to burst.
Hello Body, Mind, Breath, I love you, I love you for your many lessons, teaching, limitations, and strengths. I love your perfect imperfections and for letting me live inside you. What can I do to feel good today?