I have a confession to make. Sometimes I think that I’m a hypocrite.
Here on this blog, I talk about treasuring the small things in life, trying to be mindful, trying to be grateful, trying to live my life with intention. But the thing is, I don’t always do that. Actually, I haven’t done any of those things in the past week or so.
I’ve been stuck in a yucky funk and I can’t get out.
Last year, I worked really hard on acceptance – on not getting caught up and bogged down by the things that happened in my life, things that I had no control over and could not change. Dwelling on those moments felt like wasted energy and I wanted to focus on productive actions, the things that would make me happier and healthier. Instead of dwelling, I learned from those experiences and moved forward. Yes, I would have moments of being stuck but I would pull myself out of those funks.
That was a big step for me. In the past, I would get stuck FOREVER in one place – thinking, contemplating, overthinking.
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
This month, I’ve been observing and participating in Humble Beginning Yoga’s Instagram challenge. While Nichole has dedicated a pose for each day of the month, this challenge is different in that there is a specific intention /theme and anatomical focus for the week. Last week’s theme was releasing negative emotions with a focus on the hips and pelvis.
We tend to store our stress, fears and negative emotions in our hips and pelvis. That’s why hip opening poses can often stir up a lot of emotion for people. That’s why we can be super tight in these areas and why it feels so so good to release. Hip openers are some of my favorite poses.
Yet, as I practiced last week, I did notice a lot of negative energy and thoughts bubble up. They were particularly palpable as I attempted 8 Angle Pose or Astavakrasana.
- can’t do it
- can’t do arm balances
- not strong enough
- my leg hurts
- gonna pull my hamstring again
- I give up
- I give up
- I give up
That was the chorus of thoughts singing in my head.
Rather than mindlessly singing along with the tune, I stopped – I physically stopped to shake those words out of my head. Then, I took note of my fear and said, “Screw it. It doesn’t matter as long as you are trying to do this for the right reason and not just because you want to muscle into the pose and snap a picture to post on Instagram. Why are you doing this?”
The final outcome didn’t matter (it wasn’t pretty) and I tried my best to release those thoughts.
And I realized that’s what I needed more of - Release.
I entered into this new year really excited. I have plans and dreams – things I want to do and accomplish this year and believe wholeheartedly that I could – no, that I will accomplish. I am focusing on living my life with intention, ensuring that there is purpose behind my actions. I thought that this was the secret and the key to being efficient and productive.
However, while I can focus on making sure that my intentions line up and that my head and heart are in the same place, that still doesn’t get me THERE. I still need to act.
The problem is that my approach to “acting” isn’t working anymore. I’ve been planning and preparing, reading and plotting, so much so that I think I’ve paralyzed myself, which has allowed pesky negative and self-defeating thoughts to enter into my mind.
Maybe I need two words for this year? Intention and Release? I’m ready to let go of those old habits and patterns of thought that are no longer working for me. I’m ready to let go of bad emotions and fear that has been holding me back from moving forward and from pursuing that dream/plan/vision I have in mind.
How do you handle self-defeating thoughts? How do you move yourself to act? What are you ready to release this year?
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