Are you aware that knowing what you love about yourself empowers you to live a fuller life?
I am experiencing it right now… I’m me and I feel me. There is nothing I do not like about myself now. From the imperfect image in the mirror, which does not need any Photoshop, to the fragility I feel about myself, I love it all and I’m grateful for it.
I am ME - a woman who wants it all! Meeting all my obligations, expectations and responsibilities, but yet also having the guts to say NO when enough is enough and making self-care a priority.
I have worn many hats during different stages of my life. I did not feel inadequate in any of them. It was an honour to be able to provide and care for others, until I sapped myself dry. I was afraid to disappoint others or be their burden. On the other hand, I was in a constant battle with my willingness to serve myself correctly. I disappointed myself. I criticised my looks and my imperfect English, I disapproved of my efforts, sabotaged my confidence, and told myself hurtful things and disconnecting from the self-care I desperately needed.
I feel ME more each day now, as I balance my fears, doubts, anger, self-care, self-love with the gentle touch of kindness and humbleness. I owe myself an apology for neglecting my desire to be respected and understood by nobody other than myself.
Sitting in silence for few minutes is what I do every morning and night now. The process of un-tangling my corrective judgemental mind is a work in progress. Always striving to be less critical and to accept myself for who I am, from the one who is loved for getting things done promptly to the one who occasionally feels shitty about herself.
My self-discovery journey is partly credited to my Yin Yoga practice.
Yin Yoga has taught me to trust my body, as it is the gate keeper to my daily excitements and struggles. My body understands me best. I say so because I shied away from my mirror reflection when I was unjust to myself. When I have been kind and generous, my reflection showed otherwise.
However, Yin yoga may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is a slow, meditative form of yoga that helps me to ground the mind and to be present in the moment. It is as simple as surrender, let go, rest and love yourself. Each different stage of your presence has a direct impact on your overall experience with the practice.
You learn to be gentle with yourself, as you stay fully aware of the body’s sensations when you are in passive stretched postures. Fundamentally, you want to get some deep rest but very soon, you will notice that the body does not have the ability to rest fully. How can you get comfortable, stay relaxed and be light when you are ‘battling’ with the discomfort, aches and pains? In fact, these aches and pains are your body’s way of getting your attention. It is not all that bad. Appreciate it, listen to it and learn not to reject it.
As you stretch with gentleness in mind, you are creating space within yourself for healing. Improving circulation in the joints and enhancing the flow of energy that improves your health and well-being. Besides, you will also receive clarity in the mind with those deep mindful breaths. You may then begin to better understand the stiffness in the body and how to handle it wisely.
Sitting quietly opens the window of opportunity to re-assess what matters to me through understanding the emotions I carry inside me. I have allowed myself to experience how the deep stretches help to unfold those hidden experiences from my past. I do not hold back, I let it take over me completely as I know I’m safe within my sacred space. The deep stretches of yin yoga release not only the physical discomfort or pain; they expose me to and assist me in relieving deeper emotional challenges.
An hour or more in my practice allows me to sit patiently with my aches and pain including feelings. I learnt to give in to it and happily reward myself with an instant relief at the end of each stretch.
At the end of each practice, I feel much gratitude, love and comfort. I also find the space in me where gentleness and kindness in my mind magnifies and I’m ready to take on more by putting fear and doubts aside. When I am submissive to my inner dialogue, I get more out of it. When I re-visit my vulnerability, it gives me strength to be true to my purpose, value and expectation. My body has all the answers to my needs. All I have to do is make time for it.
Making time for self-care is priority as only I can love myself completely and know exactly what I need. I know I deserve my care and I’m also getting better at doing so because I hardly shy away from the mirror now. I’m celebrating me and I feel me regardless of what others say or think.