Choose Your Words Wisely.
Guess what? I cried for the first time on my mat today in what seems like forever. (Just so you know, I’m secretly loving telling you about all the times I cry on this trip.) While trying to get into a pose, my knee started to hurt. On the second attempt, I tried the pose and immediately got out of it. I laid on my mat as tears sprung in my eyes. You’re knee hurts. You can’t do this. You’ll never get this pose. Everyone else is better than you. You’ll never amount to anything. Why are you even trying? You think YOU can teach yoga? My thoughts began to snowball.
And then, my instructor threw me a life raft.
Watch your thoughts, she said. Where are they taking you? Can you see them coming and just let them pass? Practice non-attachment, she said. And then, it clicked. The third time we got into the pose, I did it better than I’ve ever done it before. That, my friends, is yoga in action.
I’m learning that my physical practice is only one part of the equation. It prepares you to handle the emotions and thoughts that pop up, thus allowing you to manage your them and create stillness in the mind – the second part of the equation.
When you were younger, how many times did your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or teachers tell you to choose our words carefully? To think before you speak? Or, my all-time favorite, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all? I heard those words over and over again growing up.
And for the most part, they stuck with me. Let’s be honest, I don’t always practice what I preach (just ask my sisters). However, I wasn’t taught was to apply that same philosophy to my self-talk, my inner voice.
Think back through your day. How many times did you tell yourself any of the following:
- I can’t do that.
- I can’t have that.
- I shouldn’t eat that.
- I’m too fat.
- I’m too old.
- I’m not pretty.
- I’ve got too many wrinkles
- My skin looks terrible.
- I’m not smart enough.
- Nobody will like me.
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m not worthy enough.
- I don’t deserve it.
I’m beginning to recognize that I practice a lot of negative self-talk. And as you can see from my mat episode this morning, my thoughts escalate to extremes rather quickly. If I don’t think highly of myself, how am I supposed to think highly of others? How am I supposed to show up as my best self in this world, in relationships, in friendships, or for clients? Your self-talk has a ripple effect that, if left unaddressed, can have profound effects on your overall health and happiness.
So I leave you with this – choose your words wisely. Most importantly, apply the lesson to your self-talk. To the words you choose to tell yourself about YOU. About who you are, what you stand for and where you’re going. You are enough. Just as you are my sweet friends and readers.
Me, I’m going to continue my meditation practice, deepen my yoga practice, attempt non-attachment to my thoughts, and just continue to enjoy this wave that I’m riding. It’s proving to be a really great ride!