Day 12 of yoga was tough today! My body is wondering what is going on! Crista, who’s one of my favourite yoag instructors and now good friend (!), was teaching the class and I let her know before it started not to worry if I spent the entire thing lying on my back. Thankfully it didn’t come to this and I was able to practice for most of the class but I was struggling. Prior to the start of class she encouraged us to set an intention – mine was to be gentle with myself. Gentle. This is a common reminder to myself. If I ever forget it, I just have to say my name out loud – as it means “caring/kind” in french (gentille). Funny eh?! It’s a good reminder!
My friends and family know me well. I’m too hard on myself. I’m always striving for more. I’ve learned to try and stop striving for perfection, but it’s still tough for me to be kind to myself. I could have gotten upset with myself for being tired today but I chose otherwise. In the past I would have considered this to be ‘lazy’, but today I reminded myself to be gentle and to accept that my body is just tired. That’s all. Just tired. I showed up. That’s what is most important anyways. Showing up gets you far in life – I know that much.
Another reason I chose to write about being gentle with yourself is because my pictures are up on the lululemon website for online shopping!! When I saw some of the pictures, my instant reaction was to start picking it apart. Look at that weird part of myself, or my hair looks funny! When I noticed these thoughts coming I took a breath, looked away from the screen and told myself to be gentle. Stop always picking at yourself woman!! That’s what I could hear Michelle saying in the back of my mind. She’s the one who gave me this card which I keep on my fridge. My friends know me well!
Do you ever find yourself looking at yourself in a picture and saying, “ewwww!”, and then when you see it a few days later you think, “oh, it’s not that bad?!“. I know I do. We are often too harsh on ourselves!!! I have to stop this! I remember when I first started going to counselling, she recommended me – actually it was my homework – to go home, look in the mirror and tell myself that I loved myself. To tell myself I was beautiful. To look into my own eyes and believe this. As if my good friend was telling me. At first, this was so hard to do. If I couldn’t say these beautiful words to myself, how could I expect anyone else to?? How could I radiate beauty if I didn’t fully believe it myself. So I practiced. I learned to love saying this to myself. I AM BEAUTIFUL!! Not in a cocky way by ANY MEANS, but in a way that means I LOVE YOU. To myself. It’s so important to love ourselves and to believe we are beautiful from the inside, which ultimately reflects the outside.
After you finish reading this, head on over to a mirror and proclaim to this piece of glass how beautiful and totally RAD you are! Say whatever you would say to that beautiful face what you would say to your best friend when she/he needed a pick me up. Why is it that we can easily call other people beautiful and tell them we love them, but it’s so much more difficult to tell this to ourselves – to actually believe it. I know that once I started to believe it, life got a whole lot better. If I can’t love myself, who will?! And who cares what anyone thinks! LOVE YOURSELF for who you are. As corny as this sounds, it made such a difference in my life. Believe you are great. Show this greatness to the world. No more hiding it!! It’s in there – just let it out!!
Be gentle with yourself and show the world how much love and beauty you are. Walk the talk. Start with talking yourself into believing it, and you’ll eventually and undoubtedly start walking it.
Smile with your heart!