You are on a journey and so am I. It is called life. At some point during our lives we all recognize that we are on a quest for our best self -- learning lessons, making mistakes, repeating lessons, and finally moving forward to learn more. Some of us become aware of this process earlier than others; I was a late bloomer.
For this trip we are taking we will need to pack lighter --and that will involve releasing whatever holds us back; Fear, Doubt, Anger, Regret, Shame or even just the mean voice in our head.
There was a time when I could not say:
I am whole.
I am powerful.
I am divine.
Because I didn’t believe it myself.
As women we need to stop determining our value through the way others see us. We need to stop looking outside of ourselves for the answers and giving our personal power away to bosses, coworkers, boyfriends, husbands, children, friends, or whomever. We need to dig within to see our value and start seeing ourselves as perfect just the way we are. Then we need to start playing to our strengths so we can grow into our true selves.
When we stop trying to please others, or quit attempting to be who we think we should be and live as the person we really are, life gets so much easier, so much lighter. Only then are we free to fully breathe, free to experience joy and love and able to appreciate the present moment we are in. If we love ourselves, own who we really are and stand up for what we need and want, we then allow others to truly "see" us; and in turn we are able to really "see". A big part of my personal journey to well-being has been learning how to pack lighter and ditch the junk that weighed me down.
I often ask my yoga students to tune into their breath and body and to mentally let go of the things that weigh them down at the beginning of class. But sometimes I wonder if they even know what I am talking about. Years ago as I sat in my first yoga classes it was a foreign concept to me. I recognized that I had a mean inner voice that continually made me think I needed to do better at everything, but I didn’t really understand I had the power to “let go” of anything. And I didn’t comprehend how great it would feel to actually let go of the heavy burden of control, worry, judgment, and accomplishment I traveled with.
I was so used to carrying around that extra weight, I knew no other way to be.
Stress and I were one; as a result I lived so far from the peaceful place inside of me that I had lost touch with what it even felt like. I never floated, or went with the flow, or enjoyed any moment fully. There was always something else I felt I should be accomplishing, or finishing or worrying about. I was always swimming upstream.
The early exposure I had to mindfulness via my very first yoga instructors at the Y were the beginning nudges that smoothed the way for my mind, body and spirit to transform. I truly wish for everyone to feel lighter in their minds and freer in their bodies. So much joy comes from letting go of the unrealistic standards that weigh us down. And so much authenticity comes from the loosening of the strict standards we hold ourselves to. If a Type A like me can learn to let go and learn to believe in themselves again, I believe anyone can.
If you are unsure how to begin this process, here are some ideas:
Make time to be still. In the quiet is where we hear our inner voice--the one who isn't mean. Just be at peace and let go of the need to accomplish. Practice this daily until you realize how much you need it.
Take a class. Something that tunes you in: i.e. yoga, tai chi, qigong, personal growth, meditation or a mindfulness class.
Walk in nature. (Without music or someone else to listen/talk to--listen instead to the sounds of nature around you, smell the scents of the earth, let the breeze wash over you).
Create. Make something, anything. Paint, Draw, Doodle, Sew, Photograph---use your creative energy to create without judgement or purpose--just do it for the fun of it.
Move your body. Dance to music or hula hoop, rock climb, skateboard, ski --just move and be joy-filled with the movement; it does a body and soul good.
There are so many fun ways to begin tuning inward, figure out what works for you by trying something new. Or you can hire a personal coach or sign up for a personal growth workshop -- whatever you choose to do, please believe in yourself enough to get started down the path of lightening your load.