For Mother’s Day I signed up for an aerial yoga workshop. I’ve had a consistent yoga practice for a few years now, and thought that it would be a fun experience to try. I went into that yoga class feeling free and not worried if my jiggly bits were hanging out or if I was going to be the biggest person in class. In fact, those thoughts hardly ever cross my mind any more. I thought I would struggle with not having enough upper body strength to do it, but I found out my lack of physical strength wasn’t the struggle.
My struggle was trusting my brain and body. I discovered I have the huge disconnect between the two. Neither one trusted the other. I mean how could they? After all the years of torment that I’ve put my body through. My brain was always sending negative messages about how my body wasn’t good enough, small enough, toned enough or whatever enough. It would refuse to feed my body, then when I couldn’t stand it any longer, would convince me to purge the last meal I had engulfed. But my brain couldn’t trust my body either. Just at the sight of food would pack on 2-3 pounds. No matter what diet trend or exercise program I tried. I just got bigger and bigger. This volatile relationship went on for many years. After so many years of abusing myself by binging and purging, taking diet pills, not sleeping for days, starving myself, pouring every ounce of my self into work, or beating myself up with negative self talk, how could I trust myself?
During the class, I found that couldn’t trust myself to allow the freedom to move my body the way I wanted it to and trust that the ropes would support me. What I came to realized, is how trusting I am (or I should say use to be) with other people in regards to my heart and making decisions about my life. Yet I don’t trust myself with any of that. I then realized this was the key to my procrastination, stalling, indecisions, and the lack of follow through on so many things I want to accomplish. It is not failure that I am afraid of. It’s success! Can I trust myself with success, after all the mistakes I’ve made with finances, jobs, relationships, or whatever else I beat myself up for?
For the past few weeks I have been working on building trust in myself and I have to say this relationship is blossoming. Here are some of the things I have been working on to build a trusting relationship with myself.
- Speaking kindly to myself and being my biggest cheerleader. I acknowledge when I’ve done something great. Even if it’s getting through a hard day. Sometimes just getting dressed, making lunches, and getting out the door is a huge victory. A pat on the back is well deserved!
- Grounding myself through mediation and spending time in nature. Being in nature and standing in it’s beauty is so healing. I feel that beauty radiating up through my feet and permeates through every pore in my body. Being in natures makes me feel beautiful. Meditation allows me to stop and be still, and listen to what I need. Even if it’s taking 5 deep breaths several times throughout the day, makes a difference in my thinking.
- Self care. Taking time to address my needs or asking for what I need. Doing things like receiving chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, floating, or even doing an art project. Whatever it is that makes me feel inspired, creative and loved.
- Showing up. Following through with the commitments I make, allows me to be trustworthy and supportive to myself. But also being flexible and holding myself accountable to complete the goals that I have set.
- Expanding social circles and connecting with others. Creating relationships and connecting with boundaries and respect, creates trust. It also allows me to see the love that I give and that is reflected back to me.
- Saying “No!” As a people pleaser and always wanting to help someone in need, I tend to stretch myself thin. This leaves me exhausted, frustrated and angry at myself for taking on too much. I say “no” more often now, and don’t feel guilty.
- Dancing. I dance when I’m cooking. I dance when I playing with my toddler. I dance when I’m brushing my teeth. I dance when I’m happy. I dance when I’m sad. I just dance! I allow my body to move freely without restriction and it doesn’t matter who’s is watching.
- Regular check-ins. I check to see how I am feeling, or what is it that I need in those moments I am feeling anxious, sad or out of control. I practice active listening, identify distorted thinking and do positive reflection when negativity creeps in. Meditation is a great time to do this.
- Intuitive Eating. I listen to my body for what it needs. I pay attention to my cravings and eat a clean diet of healthy whole foods. This doesn’t mean that I miss out on treats or desserts. I will make my own with the cleanest ingredient available. And I eat cacao (chocolate) everyday!
- Seeing myself from a different perspective. I think about how I would I treat a friend, or what advice would a give them. I would never treat or say things that I sometimes say to myself, to a friend or a stranger for that matter. So treating myself as a friend, I am kinder and gentle with myself. Another technique I use when I’m struggling with some type of self-doubt or negative self talk, is envisioning my 6 year old self and comfort the inner child that is hurting. This encourages me to be more compassionate with myself.
Over the past few months I have been really working on healing the relationship with myself. Now my body and mind have a much better relationship and work together to maintain health. Over the past several years, the negative chatter has dissolved and I am in a good space mentally. I have discovered myself worth and cherish the spirit that is within this body. Five years ago I would not have stepped foot in a yoga center. This class was my awakening to success, allowing it to happen and TRUSTING that everything will come together. I trust that I can let go of the ropes and fly. And if I fall, I know the universe will support me with an even better plan than I had envisioned.