First, I wanted to share that personally I have been riding the waves of completions and beginnings… along with all the feelings that emerge from this space. While at times it has felt like a big ass rollercoaster over the past few weeks, I am sitting here with immense gratitude for the freedom and liberated energy I am experiencing by turning towards and facing into all that is here for me to love, own, acknowledge, grieve, and learn.
I am sharing in case you too have had any big moments of transformation and growth lately that have brought you to your knees… YOU are not alone. I plan to share more about my experience as the timing feels ripe and ready.
And now for this edition of the Yoga’licious blog post; if you’ve ever judged your body or felt like you’re “never enough” this one’s for you… enjoy!
Have you ever had that experience of rolling out your mat at a brand-new yoga studio and feeling a wave of self-consciousness roll over you? I had another experience of that about a month ago. If you haven’t had this exact experience, I bet you can still relate. When we’re in a new environment, we’re particularly prone to flare-ups of our fears and insecurities, so if that exact thing hasn’t happened to you, feel free to conjure up a time where you were in a new place and you started to feel like you didn’t quite belong.
With me? Okay!
As I rolled out my mat, old insecurities began rising within me. I started thinking about my body. It has changed a bit over the past few years. I have rolls where none used to exist, and though I don’t weigh myself, I feel my clothes are tighter than they used to be. As I became aware of my body, and the insecurity I was feeling, I found myself looking around the room, judging myself and making up a story that I must be the largest body present, and beginning to wonder, “Why am I even here? Why did I bother coming?”
That question stopped me in my tracks. I paused, took a deep breath, and felt myself flash back to myself at age 18 and 92 lbs. It was my eating disorder days, and I remember walking into the gym, and even though I was slim as could be, I was awash with insecurity. The same feeling I’d been having just a moment before…a feeling of “not being enough as I am.”
And then…I smiled. I laughed to myself a little. I felt another wave of feeling–this time, a surge of compassion for my teenage anorexic self. For the version of me who thought that if I could just manipulate my body into some state of perfectionthen I would finally feel confident and all would be well in the world. Different sizes, same feeling, which in that moment, began to feel laughable.
In that place of compassion, I began my practice. I found myself appreciating every part of me: rolls, sweat, beautiful body. Me, at the weight I am now, and me, as my 18-year-old self, who just wanted to be loved, held and seen for who she was. The me who wanted to be told she was totally safe no matter what her body “looked” like.
I gave myself that acknowledgement on the mat that day. That feeling of safety and acceptance. And my practice, which was led by a dear friend, became aboutmeeting myself in a space where I let it all hang out. A space where–whatever comes up–I can choose to feel it, love it, and let it go without shying away from what’s emerging in my being and my body.
In this space of honoring presence, a real rhythm emerged. It began to feel like a dance, and at the center of it all was a truth for me: my self-worth and confidence, my most essential self, is always available to me, because it lives inside me.
Experiences like these help to remind me that when it comes to yoga or any other discipline, there really is no end point. No “arrival.” And that’s why it’s called a practice. Just like loving ourselves is a practice. The best we can do is be present, notice what’s coming up, meet ourselves with compassion, and practice wholehearted direct expression. Like everything I practice and invite my clients to practice, it’s about how you meet yourself on the journey and how you hold yourself in those tender moments.
Is there anywhere in your life where you’ve recently felt insecurity rising? How can you meet yourself with compassion and presence in those spaces?
P.S. Stay tuned for my next post, in about 2 weeks from now. In it I am revealing a special free offering that I am hosting in June that only comes around once/year! Especially if you’re feeling the vibes of expression and self-acceptance that I am sharing in this email you’re gonna want to stay tuned.