Hi everyone! I thought I would start a new series on this blog called “Lessons from the Mat.” As you probably know by now, I have been practicing yoga for a while (I’m at the 7 year mark!).
I’ve learned a lot of lessons on (and off) the mat, particularly over the last year or so. I find that the more in tune with yourself and your practice you are, the more you are able to confront reality. That is, the more you are able to both see and accept what’s really going on. And that is the most powerful way to learn about ourselves.
We often have a tendency to numb out uncomfortable feelings and experiences. It’s pretty scary to learn to just sit with everything. To be honest about your life, your relationships, who you are, and the kind of person you’re becoming.
I’ve had to do this time and time again, and with practice, I’ve become better at it. At just sitting with the discomfort. In fact, I sometimes crave it, particularly when things get a little messy. Because I know that if you take the easy way out, sooner or later you’ll have to confront the things you’ve been avoiding. So dramatic, but hey – you can run but you can’t hide.
So the lessons I’ve been learning on the mat are more valuable than anything my parents have paid tuition for. (I’m very grateful for my education. But just being real.) Here’s the first one I would like to share with you:
You are whole.
Ba dam tss.
Yes. You are a complete person. Even if you feel flawed – which we all are, beautifully so. Even if you feel completely broken, or someone in your life is making you feel like you’re not enough. Even if that person is you. None of that makes you incomplete.
We live in a society that profits off of our insecurities, more so than ever before. We’re constantly searching for something to fill that void, to make us feel whole again – a Prince(ss) Charming, the latest accessory, or maybe even that ‘life-changing’ mascara. If we are lucky, some of these things may bring us joy. But they won’t make us feel whole.
And that is why the search never ends.
You, just as you are, in this messy and imperfect life that you may be living, are just as you are meant to be right now. If you’re doing your best, keep doing your best. And if not, don’t be afraid to try a little harder. It’s okay to be scared, just as long as you keep taking steps forward, one after the other. Even if you stumble.
Don’t be afraid to accept yourself fully and let yourself do the best that you can do. Don’t be afraid to keep reaching higher. You can never compare to anyone else. One step forward for you is just as valuable as anyone else’s. Regardless of how things may seem, we are all made of the same matter. No one is a lesser person than anyone else. Honor who you are by accepting yourself fully, and you will start to treat others with the same kind of compassion.
When you are in touch with who you are, you can learn to accept your gifts and your flaws as you uncover them. This is who you are. The yin and the yang, the good and the bad, the accomplishments and the still-in-progress. No one can complete you, and no one can make you feel less worthy. You are whole.