“It’s not your job to like me — it’s mine.” ~~ Byron Katie

When is the last time you stopped and thought about how you feel about yourself? I’d be willing to bet it’s been awhile for most of us, myself included. However, I was challenged this week to stop and really take the time to reflect on how I see myself, so I decided to accept the challenge.

Wow! It was eye opening! I couldn’t believe how much I constantly beat myself up and doubt myself over every little thing! How many times I found myself thinking I wasn’t good enough at this or that, how I didn’t deserve this or that, how I should have done this or that differently. There were so many more negative thoughts than I would have ever imagined, and I didn’t like the fact that I saw myself in these ways. Not one bit!

When setbacks or self-doubt show up, we can become our own worst critic, and it can be very detrimental to our health and well-being. The solution is self-compassion. We need to ensure we find a way to open to, forgive, and move beyond whatever stress and pain we may be feeling. If we don’t, we’ll never be able to move forward.

This week’s focus is to work on finding your self-compassion. Find ways to listen to yourself, support yourself and encourage yourself. Just like you would do for anyone you really care about…do this same thing for yourself. After all, if you can’t like yourself, how can you expect anyone else to like you?

If you are currently going through something difficult in your life, then think about the advice you’d give to a friend who is going through something similar. What would say to encourage and support that person? Whatever it is, offer that same advice to yourself…and then listen to it!

Also, take the time to list out all the good things about yourself. What are your strengths? Refer to this list frequently to remind yourself how wonderful you truly are!

On the mat this week, we’ll be working on some poses that will challenge our hips and shoulders. These areas of the body tend to be where many of us store our stress and emotions. For many of us, this results in extreme tightness in these areas. In every class I’ve ever taught, whenever we get to a really deep hip or shoulder opening pose, I usually hear people beating themselves up. Things like:

  • “I can’t do this!”
  • “I’ll never be able to do that!”
  • “God, I am HORRIBLE in this pose!”

Hey, I know what it’s like…I’m guilty of it myself, when I get the chance to be a student.

So my challenge to you this week on the mat is to change your thinking when you come across these challenging poses. Instead of saying negative things about how you look or feel in the pose, find something good to say. What could you say to support where you happen to be in the pose RIGHT NOW? What could you say to encourage yourself to not give up?

Do this on your mat enough, and you’ll find it easy to do the same when you’re out in the world, doing what you do everyday. Always support yourself, always encourage yourself. And most importantly, always LIKE yourself!

I sure hope to see you on the mat with me this week, but if not, have a great time with this challenge. It may not be easy for you…it was not easy for me, that’s for sure! But the more I worked on this challenge, the better I felt. And I saw that I really am a good person, who is worthy of good things. You are too…you are worthy of good things…you just have to believe it!

Namaste,

Melanie

8/18 Update:
So today was my first class of the week, so the first time with this theme. I told everyone the challenge to be compassionate towards ourselves, and off we went. Then, when we got to the challenging poses, I caught myself over and over again saying how hard they were or how tight I am, etc. looks like I need a LOT more self-compassion. This is going to be a real mental shift for me. But I know I can do it!

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