I was on my yoga mat in a Hot Power Flow class on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. Let me just say that I haven't done any hot yoga or power yoga in quite a while and so the challenge of the class was more than I remembered. It was just plain hard.
What I noticed half way through the class though was that while it was hard for me to flow from pose to pose (hard pose to hard pose by the way), what was most hard for me was what was happening in my mind.
My Negative Nellie was loud and she was getting louder and louder as the class went on. I caught her saying things like:
- "You can't do that pose."
- "You used to be able to do that flow."
- "This is harder because you're older now."
- "You might not want to come back to this class next week."
- "Why did you quit yoga for so long and make this harder on yourself now?!"
- "Girl, you're weak."
She just wouldn't stop.
Maybe you can relate? Maybe your Negative Nellie gets loud and relentless about your parenting or your workouts or your diet or your work or your looks or ________________. I know from personal experience and from the women I coach that it can take a lot of mindfulness to quiet this critical voice.
During what I'm sure was about the 97th Down Dog of the class, I realized I was being so 'mindful' of my physical body and how well I was (or was not) doing the flows, that I wasn't being mindful of my own self-talk. Which is when I decided to consciously let Nellie know that I didn't need her on my mat with me. Thanks but no thanks. Sorry but not sorry.
Instead I got mindful about my mind. I invited in a more compassionate voice and she had a completely different message and tone. What she mostly said, over and over is: "Angelle, you have done harder things than this. Lots of harder things. This is nourishing for you. There's no perfect way to show up on your mat. Show up like you've done over and over in your life when you've been called to do harder things."
Deep breath. Yes, of course. I've had to show up over and over in my life for things way harder than this. Things like losing my father and my mother-in-law; going through and coming out the other side of intense depression; teaching 30+ kids how to read and write and do math every day; carrying three babies inside of me--two of them at the same time--and then giving birth to each of them; getting my Masters Degree when pregnant with a 1 1/2 year old at home; traveling to NYC 11 times to receive my health coach training when my three kids were 4 and under; having my first grader have an emergency medical procedure under anesthesia; helping my daughter heal from PANDAS/OCD when she was 9; restoring relationships and finances and my own health over the years. And. so. much. more.
That compassionate voice also came through to remind me that I don't need to do hard things alone. Most of the 'harder' things I've done in my life have been with the help of my tribe, whether I asked for their help or they offered it. Connection. Community. Support.
I've shown up in my life and done way harder things than these Power Flows. And that was enough. Enough to carry me through the 2nd half of that still very hard class. That very hard class with a whole bunch of other people who were also showing up for themselves and each other.
I share this with you dear sister of mine, because when you're struggling in your life to take care of yourself; to nourish yourself well; to sit down and eat every day instead of skipping meals or rushing through them; to register for a class you really want to take or to make it through the class after you said yes; to follow through with a program you signed up for (yes, I'm talking to you beautiful 14-Day Resetters here!); to get yourself to bed earlier; to start a business; to quit a job that's life-zapping or to ____________________ AND if your Negative Nellie is non-stop chattering at you about how you're not 'enough', I want you to stop and think about all of the 'harder things you've done' in your life. Let those feelings of strength and wisdom and, as a sister coach calls it, bad-assery fill you up and fuel you through whatever it is you're going through. Invite in connection, community and support.
Let's not sell ourselves short, ladies. You too can get through things that feel hard, especially practicing self-care, because you've done harder things and you are divinely supported.