When we decide to make change, often the greatest obstacles in our path is the feeling of being overwhelmed. There is so much, so far to go, so much to change – guess I should just stay exactly as I am- If the subconscious mind could speak, we would hear undertone of fear as we attempt to make headway.
It has been said, that it takes about 21 days or three weeks to form a new habit, if that is right, then think of this time as a built-in grace period of trial and error. This is not to say that you will be meditating for 30 minutes a day and holding headstand for 5 minutes at a time three weeks in to your new practice. Of course not. And to expect anything close to perfection is as self-destructive as not beginning out of fear of “failure”.
Often this is the swinging pendulum of sabotaging thoughts that occur when we want to step on a path of something that feels intimidating to us, like yoga and meditation. The Instigram and media promises that yoga is only accessible for the young, thin and beautiful. The patient. Wow, I am none of those so I may not be meant to be a yoga person. Or maybe “meditation is just not for me.’” We would respectfully disagree.
Overcoming Our Mental Talk of Failure
I am intentionally calling out these stories because they have so strongly trapped all of us, in some form, whether around yoga and meditation or maybe another desirable change that we talked ourselves out of. Why do we do this?
Fear is just natural. We are so deeply conditioned to stay the route of least resistance, to stay the same because we like to feel safe and comfortable. But, we also deeply desire wellbeing – it is our most natural state to feel inherently WELL within every aspect of our life and we must not let fear be an excuse to not be the person we desire.
The next, best, honest, kind thing
When it comes to instating new self-care routines, instead of scrapping everything we’re used all at once, may we instead vow to ourselves to just do the “next, best, honest, kind thing” that relates to the new thing we are looking to bring in. In Sanskrit, the language much of Yoga’s wisdom was inscribed in, there is a word for this. It is Krama, or step-by-step progression. If we are to just show up, to decide, to step on the mat, or the meditation cushion, that is more than enough.
We have to begin somewhere and to know this is encouraging, we can get our result-oriented mind out of the way so that the real transformation can begin. Because, what if it’s not about the result? We must over-ride the drive to achieve when it comes to Being Well and taking steps towards embodying this. When we are on the path of true and total wellness, there is no short cut, no quick-fix to calmness, balance, health. A deep commitment to the process is a really powerful, and necessary way to begin.
Self-care is deeply personal, and only YOU can do the appropriate work that is unique and individual to your needs.
Everyday Kindness And Compassion
It's merely encouragement fueled by kindness and compassion
Get really clear on your intention. Your “why.” Return to it often, especially when the frustration arrives. What deeper, highly loving part of you wants to feel better? Why?
Krama. Step by Step. Just start. Do one small, loving thing. Try again. Become curious about the current state of your Being rather than becoming swamped in “not doing it right” If this pertains to yoga, can you notice how you feel when you breathe differently in poses than maybe you ever have before? In regards to meditation, can you sit diligently and compassionately with Self for just three minutes? A flood of thoughts may be rushing through you. Expect this. Notice it. Continue to be with.
Another Sanskrit term, Bhavana, means “to cultivate the opposite.” In short form, this means bring in the positive, new and different prior to removing the negative, stale, old. With the healthier choices in the front, the not-so will just organically become irrelevant. We just literally will not need them anymore. Be patient with this process. This is meant to encourage you to keep coming back to the practice and the new EVEN IF the old is still lingering. This pertains to actions, thoughts, mindset, habits, all of the above.
Ruminate in the moments where you notice a positive shift. Feel so deeply the way you were able to feel calmer than ever during a particular practice, feel immense gratitude for your growing ability to “stay with” the body as you’re moving in yoga or sitting in meditation. Positive rumination reinforces the process and this really gets the brain to begin to change its default modes into desiring the more healthful choice.
Believe in the truth that things take time, but that the change is occurring. Probably more rapidly than you realize. The body is attuned to its natural state of total wellness and deeply desires feeling well.
A Meditation For You
As a gift from my heart, please follow the meditation I Have prepared for you, I ask you read it out loud and meditate upon it,
May we all choose the path of wellness in a way that allows us to experience ourselves more honestly, more completely, more health-fully. May we all open in towards ourselves with love in the challenging moments. May we savor and cherish each and every milestone. May we all believe we are so, so worthy of total wellbeing. May this truth fuel our practice, day in and day out.