We’re constantly being told that we’re not good enough. Too fat, too thin, too lazy, too loud, too quiet, too short…(insert your own personal criticism here).
Often this criticism is implied by advertisers who are happy to ‘fix’ our ‘problems’. All we have to do is give them our money and they’ll make it all go away. Remember, ‘you’re worth it!’ Classic advertising protocol, tell them there’s a problem then provide a solution.
As a result of this and other factors most of us have learned to be experts in self criticism. For most people, negative self talk ranges somewhere between self deprecation and self hatred.
This attitude towards ourselves is even praised as humility. Not being ‘too big for our boots’. We become experts at denying compliments, we put ourselves down and consequently feel pretty crappy about ourselves in general.
By denying the miracle that each and every one of us is, is to miss the truth that lies at our core. We are all incredible. We are all beautiful and filled potential. In fact, we are all one. This truth is what we connect to through our yoga practice.
On our yoga mats, we practice being uncritical and grateful for what our bodies and minds can offer. I hope that you’ll continue to do that this week but I’m also challenging you to take it off the mat.
Stand in front of your mirror, full length if you have one, and take a really good look at yourself.
Yup, naked if possible.
Look and look and look. Keeping looking until any embarrassment fades away. It’s just you!
Listen for the phrases that come up. Notice when they are critical and ask yourself, where did that come from? When did I start to believe this about myself?
Stay in front of the mirror until you can find, at least, three complimentary things to say about yourself. (These compliments are not allowed to end with the phrase’…for my age.’)
Practice seeing the strength and beauty of your body, the sharpness of your mind, the kindness of your heart.
Tell yourself new stories. Stories about your strength, your resilience and your beauty, within and without. Recognize the battles your body has brought you through and the things that you love about it. Drop the old criticisms and see yourself as those who love you see you. As a vessel of beauty, love and intelligence. In short, rewrite your inner dialogue.
The second step of this challenge is to accept the next compliment you are given without equivocation or denial. Own your awesomeness.
As we learn to accept ourselves we make it possible to live up to our potential, no longer held back by negative self talk. Imagine a world where everyone lives like this. Imagine a world where we all accept ourselves and, as a result, each other.
See you in class. Let me know how you get on with the challenge.
Finally, boost your confidence with this great video from TED Ex speaker Tracey Spicer on stripping away the armour we’ve been told we need to wear.
My schedule ~
Tuesday – Flow Yoga at 9.15 am
Wednesday – Flow Yoga at 6.15 pm
Thursday – Flow Yoga at 9.15 am
Thursday – Flow Yoga at 12.15 pm
Thursday – INSANITY at 6.15 pm
Saturday – Flow Yoga at 9.15 am Monica will be guest teaching this class