Happy WedZENday all you wonderful humans.
It feels so good to be back at this – and even though it’s not all happening in the right order for my creative writers version of OCD, the writing is happening and it needs to happen so I’m letting it go and letting it happen.
So as you know, I co-started (is that a word) a Yoga Studio (still, WTF) with one of the most beautiful souls Lexi (not WTF, she really is). Something that I have always cherished about my Yoga practice has been the idea of setting an intention for the practice before it even begins. It’s this beautiful moment of stillness on your mat before you take your first movement, and there is something about that space, that stillness that just holds so much potential within it. We have started working with a different intention each week and offering them to our classes in our own way. It’s funny how this life works sometimes because when Ellie and I were trying to decide what to write about for our post, her idea and the intention we have been working with kind of aligned in the weird way that things do sometimes.
Ellie presents “I aint gonna shrink for you, bitches.”
Yesterday, I had an encounter with a ‘hater’ at the gym. I am not sure what is so offensive about a handstand or my yoga practice, but its not the first time I have been told my type of training isn’t welcome in the gym. As far as I am concerned, if there is freedom of speech in politics, there is most certainly freedom of movement in training. As I walked out I so wished that synchronicity would blast Taylor Swift’s, ‘Shake It Off’ through the gym while I left my haters to hate. Sadly as life would have it, it was just some Katy Perry, which in hindsight was probably best.
Experiencing haters of all magnitudes throughout life has brought me to realise not everyone is going to love you, nor is everyone going to wish the best for you. Not everyone’s intentions are authentic but as long as you always act from spaces of kindness, spaces of love, you wont be broken. If we took every judgment and harsh word in our lives to heart we would feel far too much hurt for one existence. So we simply understand that the judger, whose opinion is negatively judging you, is not a judgment that needs to be of any value to you. If you can learn to forgive and let go, you begin to realise your true worth and understand the magical power of just letting stuff go. I know that most hater encounters don’t come from a place of real hate, it comes from insecurity, a bad association or a sensitive button that’s been pushed. It’s less of a reflection of you and more a reflection of them and their weaknesses.
Be sure of yourself – and being sure of yourself isn’t attitude, it’s understanding that you have every right to be here and exist and expand into whatever and whoever you want to be, that your expansion and life is limitless, justified and beautiful. Act with kindness but don’t ever let your light be dimmed because for every one hater there are more supporters than your hands and toes could count. Keep doing you and you’ll unknowingly inspire others to do the same. Just whatever you do -don’t ever, ever shrink.
Hello, it’s me again (said in King Julian’s accent from Madagascar).
I’d like to just take a moment and appreciate Ellie’s title here…
And here’s the funny thing – it fits so perfectly into Lex and my intention for the studio, and for ourselves last week because we were working with the idea of staying authentic to ourselves and to our convictions, despite what other people are doing and often in spite of what other people around us are doing. Let me start off by make this perfectly clear, opening WILD THING yoga studio has been the most exhilarating, wee-in-your-pants terrifying, laugh-to-keep-from-crying thing either Lex or myself have ever done. It was born out of a very real love for what we do, what yoga has done for us and what yoga is. Trust me when I say I feel the weight of that in everything that we do there. So if you think walking around with your heart on your sleeve is scary, try pouring it out onto the walls of a studio (and the walls of the inter-web).
Before we had even opened, before I had even started teaching, I had someone I trusted (and someone I looked up to) question my capability and ability as a teacher, while simultaneously saying the exact opposite to me directly. It’s funny how someone can bring something up in you like that. How someone else can manage to trigger something in you that you didn’t even know was there. How they can find your insecurity, your doubt and pull it right up from deep-down where you hid it, so deep down that you didn’t even know it was there and bring it right up to the surface for you to look at. And I mean really look at.
I’ll tell you this much for free, I was crushed for a little while. I had the wind knocked out of my excited little sailboat before it even had a chance to leave the harbour and I couldn’t be more grateful for it if I tried to be. Because you know what I realised post curl-up-on-the-couch-under-my-cats-eating-speckled-eggs -big-fat-ugly cry? The only reason that it upset me in the first place was because it was MY doubt that was scaring me. In that moment I realised that I didn’t back myself. And you see, the problem is.. this is something I routinely seem to do, or rather, this is something I used to do.
So yes. That was the day that I probably felt the lowest about myself that I have in an exceptionally long time. That was also the day that I did this for a couple of hours..
But you know what else?
That was the day that I believed that I could actually be a yoga teacher. That was the day that I believed in myself. And that was also the last day I will ever catch myself shrinking to make someone else more comfortable.
Here’s to sticking to convictions. Here’s to you listening to you. Because you know ‘that inner voice’ that people like to talk about? It really is there. It’s always there. You just have to learn how to listen to it again. That’s your authenticity. That’s your truth.
That’s what matters.