Close your eyes, clear your mind and take a deep cleansing breath. Now…. I want you to say three things you love about yourself. Take your time.
Silence. In that silence my mind is racing. Suddenly this the hardest part of yoga class. Why is this so difficult? So I keep repeating it in my head. What do you love about yourself? Ummmm… I’m nice? I like to laugh? Jeez I’m not really used to thinking about myself like this. After all, I’m actually not really all that nice. I yell at people in the car the entire way home from work most days. So what do I do? Ok, just sit here and wait for class to continue. I came up with half of a thing, that’s good enough, right?
Then my instructor says, “Those three things you love, repeat them, remember them. Devote your practice to them”. Yeah, sometimes yoga is really hard.
You see I grew up using what others thought of me to determine what my good qualities were. I started placing my self worth on what others thought of me. Through my yoga practice and years of self discovery, I thought I had moved away from this mentality. But here I was on my mat, brain racing and cloudy. All I could do was shoot down every positive thing that came to my mind and finding an example of why that wasn’t true.
But in all seriousness, why is this so hard? I was internally filtering the things that would come to my mind. Or I would base the things I loved about myself on my relationship with others. Being a good sister is great but that’s not the answer to this exercise. What would your list be.. go ahead you’ve had a chance to think about it at this point.
Would you say you are kind, happy, friendly, intelligent, interesting, quirky, loving, caring, gentle? Maybe you would say you are a great parent or friend? Or maybe you are really good at your job or you have an amazing work ethic? Your mind can really go in a million directions. Are you filtering this list? Are you instantly thinking “would my spouse/best friend think these things of me? What would they think?”. Oh I’m not this or that really, I just want to be. Or I’m not enough of that all the time… the game can go on and on.
The discomfort from my practice that day wasn’t from yoga, it was from my inability to quickly come up with a list.
But yoga has taught me many lessons over the years. One of them is to dance in my discomfort. Yoga has also taught me that if there is something you want, practice, practice, practice, and it will become easier to accomplish. So if there were qualities you wanted to be described as, you get a chance everyday to embrace those qualities, and find ways to be more of that person. Like yoga, you have the chance everyday to step on your mat and be the best version of you possible.
I revisited this the eve of my 30th birthday (Last Week, Tuesday night). I’ve decided to share with you the list I came up with and I would love to hear your three reasons. What do you love about yourself?
1. I love whole heartedly. This sometimes gets me in trouble but I absolutely love this about myself.
2. I challenge myself everyday. This is in my workouts, my business, my goals. I don’t need anyone to tell me good job, or to talk me into that next step (although Dave would probably disagree).
3. I allow myself to dream. Actually I love it. But I rarely make plans, I know the universe usually has something different in store. I love to go with the flow, so dreaming really gets me going in lots of directions at once. It drives most people crazy, but I love this about me.
What about you?
- What do you love about yourself?
- Have you ever found yourself stumped by a question like this?