Today’s post is written by guest writer and graduate of Whole Life Yoga’s 200 hour teacher training program, Amanda Whitworth. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We spend so much time walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. For once, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”- Ellen Goodman
The mind is a very powerful thing. The stories we tell ourselves can be vicious and mean, things we wouldn’t even say to our worst enemy yet we hardly blink an eye when we say them to ourselves. It’s these stories we tell ourselves, whether we heard them first through someone else or devised them on our own, that lead us down a dangerous road.
I often find myself walking through life telling myself so many stories it’s almost hard to believe. I am thirty-one years old after all and I SHOULD be exactly where I expected to be at this age, right? I SHOULD be doing exactly what all my friends are doing, right?
More often than I care to admit I get caught up in what I think I should be doing that I fail to see what I AM doing and all the things I HAVE done in my life. At times I get absorbed in this idea that my glass is half empty that I find it hard to believe that in reality, my glass is more then half full.
The normal tape recorder that plays in my head goes a little like this; ‘I’m not creative enough, I don’t have a career to show for, I’m not a wife or a mom, I don’t have an excellent green thumb, I’m not as good of a writer as I wish I was, and worst yet, I’m not yogi enough.” Seriously, this is the negative tape recorder in which I often find playing in my head with little to no effort on my part. So what is my point you’re probably asking?
Lately I’ve been asking myself why do I, like some many others, get caught up in this idea of ‘when I arrive’ I’ll will be the person I always thought I would be? Why can’t I be the person I want to be right now?
To be honest, I don’t have a definitive answer because I think this is subjective to each individual. What I do know is that a lot of these feelings I have are projections and expectations I’ve placed on myself based off of what I think others think of me. Silly, huh?
So where does yoga fit in to all this mental craziness?
Yoga, for me, is teaching me slowly but surely, to see myself and others a little bit clearer. And although there is still that inevitable tape recorder playing in the back of my head, I mean, thirty-one years is a long cycle of habitual negative self talk to break, a regular yoga practice has provided me with some powerful tools to bring with me in my everyday life. For example, back before I practiced yoga, I was terribly reactive towards people who I felt were judgmental towards my life and the choices I had made. I would get super fired up, defensive, and often begrudge them for even voicing an opinion to begin with. It was a harmful and hurtful cycle for both me and those in my life.
Flash forward to now and I honestly feel that what I have learned through a regular practice of asana, meditation, and breath work combined with my experience from taking the Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training course, I have been given another opportunity to look at life differently.
Every day I work on letting go of this idea of ‘when I arrive’ and try to look at each day as an opportunity to be exactly who I am and know that I am exactly where I am suppose to be. I am me. That’s all I can ever be and what I am doing in my life has no relation to anyone else. As long as I am happy, that’s all that matter.
I think Dr. Seuss says it best, “Today you are YOU, that is truer then true. There is no one alive who is youer then YOU!
I hope that all of us can walk through the rooms of our lives and instead of looking for flaws, truly and with a clear mind see our own intentional!
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!