One of the things we were taught in our Yoga teacher training is to instruct our participants to let go of Judgement, Comparison and Expectation. Of themselves and of the others who are practicing around them.
To just accept what their own bodies are willing to do that day, and realize that the people around them are doing the same thing. To push to our edge each day, but to listen to our bodies and let them guide us in what is appropriate to us today.
It’s a wonderful concept. One that more of us should embrace. And not just in our yoga practice, but in every area of our lives.
I’ve been working at this for some time now.
It’s not easy. But it’s coming. Slowly and surely, it’s coming. Some days it’s there more than others. Some days it’s not there at all. It’s so easy to get down on ourselves. So many insults that we can let pass through our inner thoughts – all directed at ourselves.
For example, last night I was trying to take this photo and I was fighting with the lighting because it wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. I was frustrated. VERY frustrated. I called on a friend and vented a bit and I was mad at myself for being “too stupid” to be able to figure it out.
He was kind to me. Told me that it takes patience and practice to learn lighting. and he said “you’re not stupid”.
I somehow, thought it was ok to call myself stupid, because I’ve been doing that deep down inside for years over so many things. All the put downs in my own head from the time I was a young girl, learned from the careless thoughts of others and from experiences that made me lose so much of my confidence. I said them for so long, that I began to believe it. It’s kind of sad when someone else believes in you more than you do. If a friend had come to me with this same issue and said that about themselves I’d have been outraged! I would have said “Stop saying that!! You’re not stupid!!”
I once read a saying that you probably have seen as well, but it really stuck with me. It said “If your best friend talked to you the way you talk to yourself, would they still be your best friend?”
Man.. that is just so…. so… so………. freaking direct, right? It makes so much sense. You expect a friend to be realistic and honest with you, but you don’t need or want them to put you down all the time. That’s hurtful.
So why do we do it to ourselves?
What if we were kinder to ourselves? What if we were more patient with ourselves? What if we forgave ourselves for making mistakes, like we would with other people?
So, let’s work on letting go. Let go of that Judgement that you hold over yourself. Of feeling like you have to get everything perfect every time. Let go of comparison. Quit comparing yourself to the person standing next to you, and wishing you were better than them, or thinking that they don’t match up to you. Let go of those high expectations that you think you should be able to reach right at this moment. Keep your expectations for the long term. Realize that you have work to do to reach them, and set your goals, but don’t let them run your life.
But most of all, let’s try to accept ourselves for our strengths and for our weaknesses. They are the things that make us who and what we are. When we can accept those things, we can move in a positive direction to be the best person we can be. Inside our minds, and out.