Self Compassion

Self Compassion

Within the last month or so, while teaching a class I spoke to addressing the thoughts of the self critic while practicing. I didn’t even think before I said something like, “Don’t try to push the critical thought aside, accept it and wrap it with a hug” It sounded completely cheesy as it came out, and I just smiled at my own inner critic.
Brené Brown through her writings & presentations recently introduced to me how self criticism is a way that our limbic (animal) brain protects itself from outer threats. It’s a part of the brain that we need to keep us safe and the only thing we can control is our response to it. So instead of trying to stop your inner critic, recognize that it’s trying to protect you and decide you’ll use your thinking brain to figure things out.
So what about those times that you miss this step and over react to an unreal or lower level threat? I’ve recently gained a new perspective on the difference between guilt and remorse. Guilt comes along with the idea that you’re inherently bad, punishment is needed and unfortunately it tends to lock in the negative pattern. Remorse however, comes from empathy and understands that your actions are not in align with your principals. You are more likely to change the behavior when you experience remorse. So it’s okay to have remorse that you didn’t respond to your inner critic very well.
Take a moment to evaluate your own patterns of self criticism and see if this might help you find some ease or direction. Dive deeper by practicing mindfulness meditation. You can find guided meditations on the insight app or podcasts by Tara Brach.

Wishing you more smiles and less worry.

Reliability

Reliability

Another yoga teacher recently responded to my Instagram post where I asked what people do to energize themselves. As a fellow introvert, she commented that she was reading Daring Greatly by the fire. I’m not sure why, but I jumped on ordering the book. It’s the first book in a long while that kept my interest intensely and really hit me in the feels. I’m still digesting everything, but am watching Youtube presentations by the author, Brené Brown, as a result. I watched one that I posted to my Facebook page where she talks about trust. When I had time, I went back and watched it again to take notes. Her translation of her research on vulnerability is providing a shift in me that I have yet to fully take in, but it’s the self evaluation I’m needing.
One of the components she talks about in how to build trust is reliability. I think it’s natural for us to think of someone else and think, yes I don’t trust them because they don’t do what they say they’ll do. However, Brené excellently spins each concept of trust back to oneself. After all, without the ability to trust ourselves, how can we love ourselves. Without self love, how can we expect others to love us. So, can you trust yourself to be reliable? Do you do what you say you’re going to do over and over and over again? Not for others, but for yourself. I don’t. I fail miserably at this. I say I’m going to practice yoga and meditate more often. I say I’m going to start swimming, play on my Indo board….I say I’m going to start blogging regularly. I say, I say, I say. I never looked at this as being reliable to myself. I’m sure many of you can relate. We’re available and reliable to others, but not to ourselves. I don’t know how long the road will be to change this, but I definitely want to build trust in myself so I can enhance my relationships in my life and improve my self love and compassion.
Please share your struggles and successes with being self reliable. We would love to learn and grow together.

May you have less worries and more smiles. (I say this at the end of every class I teach and I mean it sincerely every time)

Our Physical Body

Our Physical Body

Last weekend as part of my training, I was fortunate to participate in learning at a cadaver lab. My previous interest with the brain/neuroscience and medical TV shows had me excited for the opportunity, but I’m sure you can imagine this experience was not quite the same. First, kudos to anyone that has illustrated the body in all its combined complexity as a simple picture in a book. Secondly, kudos to the other books that address the complex emotions we have around our physical body.

We all have the same parts (not differentiating between gender organs here), yet each of us is unique. I know that might not seem profound to some, but it matters. Many of us push our bodies beyond their limits attempting to achieve goals; in sports, in vanity, and in health. We need to recognize what standard we are using and its origin. I would love to say my reflection of my experience at the cadaver lab left me glowing with appreciation for my body and all that it can do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m amazed by our biology, but I also have to acknowledge my frustrations with my own body.

At first I thought my frustrations may be age related, but I can think back to the ridiculous amount of ankle sprains and feelings of frustration in my youth. Next I can remember how not coping with a great deal of stress severely impacted me physically (hair loss, weight loss, insomnia, etc). I was also discontent while I was attempting to “run through” what have now developed into Morton’s Neuroma in both feet. Recently, I’ve been frustrated having 6 lithotripsies in the last 8 months (kidney stones). I know I’m not alone when it comes to being annoyed by my body.

So with each frustration we have to remind ourselves to remember where we are, not where we used to be. It does us no good to ignore what’s going on as much as it’s not good to long for something in the past. Next thing is to focus on what we can do for improvement (drink water, practice yoga, breathe deeply, etc). And lastly, we need to practice gratitude for the awesome things that are working grandly in our bodies. They truly are amazing vessels.

Kind Regards,

Sandy

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