When you feel like someone important in your life has given up on you, it can be a slippery slope into oblivion.
This topic is close to my heart today, after a realization I just had.
I was at yoga recently. Front row. Not any easy place to hide from the teacher. I love to do things I'm good at, it gives me such a boost in my self-esteem and a rush of positive feelings. I'm pretty good at most yoga poses.
But, I have been known to skirt around the edges of things I'm not so good at.
In yoga, I have a subversive avoidance that goes on. Firstly, the headstand… it scares the crap out of me, I'm paranoid I'm going to fall, land on my back, and break something. Secondly, anything that involves crazy upper body strength like using your arms to flip you from a seated position into a plank position. I always watch the teacher do it and think to myself, “Yeah right, let's all just do that shall we?! Look at your bulging arm muscles, mine are puny!”
However, this particular day I got called out. As he asked us to try the above mentioned yoga movement, I followed the instruction but I had already made up my mind I couldn't do it, thanks to my yoga story which it seems I was a little too attached too – “I am flexible but have no upper body strength”. Well, my yoga teacher stared at me with a look on his face like, “Really? That's all you've got. You are totally piking out!”
Nowhere to hide, I decided perhaps that there was a remote chance I could pull out a better effort. To my shock, under the glare of his gaze, I actually managed to get myself about 10 times higher off the ground than my previous efforts. Not quite a flip from seated to plank position, but a marked improvement. Progress thanks to my teacher. Progress thanks to him not giving up on me, when I had definitely given up on myself. This sort of behavior is actually not like me at all, which makes it easy to pretend it doesn't happen. I would say confidently that I never give up on myself. I'm like a machine for goal setting, trail blazing and breaking boundaries. But I realized, this is not a blanket truth. There are areas where I hide out and give up on myself because of some silly story I make up. No one is immune to this.
We naturally gravitate to what we are good at and avoid what we are not good at, but that leaves us no room for expansion.
This blog idea came to me this morning when I was standing on my head for the first time ever in my life. Yes, today at home in my morning yoga routine, I finally managed to pull off a headstand for an entire 30 seconds unaided (i.e. I was not leaning against the wall!). I had this lightning strike insight, while upside down, about how I used to look at other people doing headstand and think, “Oh that's so awesome for them… I'm never going to do that”. I totally always gave up on myself before I even got started. I didn't really care back then because I thought there wasn't anything particularly special about a headstand, and I reasoned I wasn't missing out on anything, but oh how wrong I was! Not only is a headstand freaking awesome fun and physically great for you, but I feel like my own hero for deciding to get over myself and try it properly, and to have finally done it. It might seem like a really small thing to you, but often it is the small things in our lives that have the greatest impact.
You don't know what you're missing out on in life until you are willing to risk trying it and finding out for yourself!
When you give up on yourself, it spells the beginning of the end…
It means you are biding your time as life passes you by, not truly living. You must not give up on yourself! When you back yourself, and participate fully and believe there is a possibility that nothing is off limits to you, there is a vitality that races through you, and that emanates outward into your life. That vitality is what brings you a sense of aliveness, of presence, of joy – it is what brings meaning to the small moments of your life… meaning beyond doing the dishes, and taking out the trash, and making the bed, and going to work, and doing the shopping, and running your normal routine, and wondering when life will really begin for you…
It will begin when you decide never to give up on yourself – whether it's as small and seemingly ridiculous as giving 100% to every yoga move you do, or whether it's something big and audacious like backing yourself in a career change or new business, or to change your eating and health habits to regain your most vibrant physical self, or maybe it's to back yourself in love or friendships.
As soon as you declare to back yourself fully, it's the beginning of a whole new phase of your life.
It's the moment when the most important person in your life, YOU, showed up and told you that they would never let you down, that you can do anything, and that they would love and support you no matter what.
Where have you given up on yourself?
Where do you need to start showing up for yourself fully?
No one is coming to save you. The person you are waiting for is you!
With love, Bernadette