I don’t know if you can see it, but you’re changing.
You’re trying so hard to eat right or to work out regularly. You throw all your effort behind your goals and head straight into what you think needs fixing.
But then you look at the number on the scale or your reflection in the mirror and you forget where you came from. You forget the person you were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. A decade ago. You’re caught in that continuous self-improvement trap and you just don’t ever feel good enough. It’s too easy to focus on what you’re still lacking, that you’re not “there” yet, that “you’ll be happy when.” It’s too easy to fall back into that pattern of thinking that tells you that you’re not “that type of person.” You’re not fit. You’re not the kind of person who enjoys healthy food. You’re not the type of person who can lose weight or put on muscle or plank or touch their toes. It’s so easy to hide in that narrative of who you think you are. It’s a comfort zone. It’s safe.
When we think we know who we are, we become that. But I see you quite differently. From the outside, I see someone strong and relentless and driven. I see someone who has overcome so much in her life. You are more than enough just as you are.
In mindfulness practice, there are two important concepts to grasp. The first is awareness. You see it: a thought, idea, belief, memory, emotion, sensation. The second is compassion, love, and acceptance. It is allowing whatever it is to just be. It’s difficult enough to be aware, it can be an entirely different monster to accept something that is uncomfortable. But, when we accept, allow, and breathe into the discomfort, the sensation may dissipate. When we approach the situation with love, rather than fighting it, it has an opportunity to leave. If we fight something, it often doesn’t do much besides waste energy. Think about the last time you worried about something. Did the worry prevent it from happening? Absolutely not!
The same can be said for your goals. When we see our attachment to a specific outcome and then subsequently just allow things to be as they are, we may find that our situations work out just fine- or better!
Take for example, my plans for the day. I wanted to get some work done and go to barre3, but my baby had very different plans. She woke up at 3:45 this morning and didn’t go back to sleep until 5. I was able to get another 40 or so minutes of sleep, but I knew that today would not be what I’d expected it to be. Sure enough, her first nap was very short and I made the decision to favor her second nap over going to a barre class.
It was a good decision, because she’s currently taking a great snooze. I decided not to fight it and try to work too much while she was awake, because she was grumpy. Instead of the workout class, I did some solo yoga and now I’m getting some work done, without coming from a place of feeling like I’m lacking in time. In fact, my hips have been bugging me this week, and my body probably enjoyed the gentler exercise.
I was aware that my day would not go as planned, and then I allowed it to just be. Fighting the situation would have made me stressed out about my self-imposed deadlines. Instead, I was able to enjoy the time with my baby, rather than resenting her for eating up my work time. My daughter had a present mommy. And now, I’m enjoying writing for the first time in a month, because my creative flow isn’t blocked off by stress. So many wins!
Now, I’m not telling you to quit trying or give up. Allowing or letting go detaches us from an outcome and grounds us in the present moment, giving us a sense of joy in the process. Giving up is what happens when we no longer have hope. Allowing trusts the process and brings hope that we will get what we need. Giving up is distrust in ourselves.
My Own Journey
So when I tell you that you’re changing, believe me. I know that it can be hard to see sometimes.
I’ve been on a seven month long journey to figure out who I am. I am doing the hard work to change, to become a conscious being, to accept myself as imperfect, and to really get in touch with who I am as a person, a mother, and a business owner. Most days, it can be very difficult to see how far I’ve come. It can be hard to see my progress objectively because I’m comparing my progress to what I want it to be. But, that’s not a productive use of energy, particularly because I still don’t know who that person is!
My new nurse coach and I had our session on Monday and she told me how different I seemed to her, that I was more grounded and confident in myself. Sometimes it takes that outside pair of eyes to get you to turn inward and see the truth of your efforts and I realized that she was absolutely correct in her assessment.
Feel the Change
I am stronger than I was seven months ago. I have a much clearer vision for my business and for motherhood. My self care practice is natural to me and nourishes me, and I know is the most important thing I can do each and every day for everyone around me. I can identify my own strengths, manifest my deepest desires, and be grateful for all my abundance. I more easily live into and experience joy.
More than anything, I have a kindness for myself that I didn’t have just three months ago. This concept of allowing has been seeping into my being. It was very slow at first, as I have been conditioned by our society to do and be and try our hardest all the time. Parts of me are still very much wired that way. But I’m realizing that through learning how to trust myself and my inner wisdom, I’m able to let go a little more. I can breathe into the discomfort a bit, rather than resist and fight like I always have. If you knew me during my last pregnancy, you know that fighting and resisting is my go-to move.
I’m not saying I’m cured. Seven months won’t take away 32 years of war with myself. But, it’s a really great start.
So, today I invite you to just allow and let things be. You’re changing. Trust that you are doing the work in exactly the way it needs to be done. Sometimes the best, most uncomfortable thing we can do is to sit with our pain. Breathe into it. Love it. Accept it. Be gentle and kind.
It is through that willingness that we can see how far we’ve come.
May you be happy and healthy,
Featured image by The Gawnes. Other photography collected from Unsplash.com.