I finally made it to my yoga mat, sadly and a bit ashamed to say for the first time in almost three weeks; besides the random downdogs when I first wake up. All I can say is, “hallelujah for yoga!” Being out of touch with the deep benefits of the practice, I was revitalized with a sense of self during class. Life is always spot on to give us what we need when we need it and boy, today was my day to break through.
Waking up feeling stocked full of judgment, I started playing the usual stress tapes in my head…anything I could find about my character or image to critique as if I was a judge on life’s version of American Idol: the good, the bad and the full-out horrible. After debating whether to ride my bike, run, climb, or go to yoga, I settled on yoga knowing that although less intense, I felt a yearning to get on my mat and connect with myself. The first 15 minutes of class consisted of a back and forth between “wow this is why I do this!” and “what am I going to do after this?” — then, it HIT ME…
…I’m done! I’m done thinking I’m not good enough or worthy or beautiful enough! I’m sick of choosing to stress myself out when I don’t have to, whether it be planning, balancing my checkbook or analyzing my food choices. The time will still pass with the same seconds in a minute whether I come from hate or love. The only person who knows the truth is ME! Not you, not my yoga teacher, not some stranger on the street…you are living the reality you create and it all starts with our thoughts, ambitions, beliefs and self-talk.
The rest of the class was so much more enjoyable when I focused on appreciating my body for supporting and holding me up each day, dealing with the abuses of daily life and leading me forward on my path. When I dropped the judgement, I clearly understood that there’s a difference between resignation and surrendering.
No matter the subject: self, job, relationship, or goal — when we resign or give in to the source of power, we are losing our empowered capability to be heard. If we resign to our partner (professionally or intimately) for being “better” or “right” or “wrong” from a negative place of judgement, we give up our personal power and become defeated. But if we surrender to our emotions, rather than giving in as if we had no choice, defeat becomes victory because we can invite in conscious acceptance or a more panoramic view of the situation. My buddhist teacher, Tory, always instructs us to look with eyes from the back of our head, expanding our vision of reality, rather than from the narrow mindset easily hypnotizing us to drive forward harder only focused on what we think we need. If we get too stuck in only seeing half of the real picture, we resign to feeling powerless. But if we can surrender to the fact that we aren’t perfect and don’t always have the answer — we gain strength by letting go, not giving up!
In yoga class, I realized that I didn’t have to put up with giving my power away to my negative emotions. My ego did not have to win YET AGAIN. I think the question then becomes, can we resolve the issues with our ego, boss, significant other, mother, or whomever so that we don’t throw our hands up and “say f*ck it, I’m done!”?? You don’t have to resign to being less than anything or anyone. You can fight for your right to be you. You are the only one getting in the way or allowing an unhealthy pattern to continue. Accepting this personal responsibility is heavy. But when we do, we capitalize on transformation and satisfaction.
You can bask in the rays of your own love, living not selfishly, but self-fully! Sometimes surrendering means acknowledging that we are helpless, hopeless and/or powerless to whatever is fighting us. But then we look from the back of our heads, take a deep breath and move forward knowing that we are exactly where we need to be and who we need to be. And of course, it never stops! Only 20 minutes after I step off my mat I hurt my knee, which is becoming a normal procedure. And I’m back to square one of stopping the numerous judgements running straight at me. It comes in different boxes but it’s always the same package: learning to be at peace with ourselves no matter how awesome or completely difficult, irritating, frustrating or unfair a situation may seem to be.
Don’t resign! Reclaim your power! Your worth is not determined by what you do; it is determined by what you believe you are! It’s your choice…