Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Embrace what your practice looks like without fear of expectations creeping in or comparison tainting the essence of what your yoga practice is for you.
Practices of any kind always manifest similarly to the waves of the ocean - a constant ebb and flow, ebb and flow.. Some phases of our lives see our practices high in strength & certainty. They become a core part of our routines & our mindsets. During others, they can fall so far into the background noise it's easy to wonder if they were ever there at all. And it's becoming clearer that there's nothing wrong with that.
“Practices of any kind always manifest similarly to the waves of the ocean - a constant ebb and flow, ebb and flow..."
The only issue is our perception towards that; the expectations we hold. But more importantly, the way we feel. If at some moments our lack of practicing whatever it is that makes us feel good is impacting us negatively, then it's time to return. However, there may be times when its absence could be beneficial to us. The only reference point is how you feel - and that can be a challenging thing to always remember.
As I'm learning to navigate what it means to exist in a loving partnership, I'm being reminded a lot about myself. I learnt long ago that I am the kind of person who has to help herself - I am anxious, I worry a lot, I get caught up overthinking - and, I also existed in a very toxic relationship for over three years. I became conditioned to living in a very toxic environment over a long period of time that exacerbated any natural worries and left me with a lot of incorrect perceptions, expectations and fears when it comes to relationships. My situation couldn't be more polar opposite now. But being blessed to be loved by someone unconditionally doesn't suddenly magic all those things away.
I realised today something I can't believe ever slipped from my awareness in the first place - that I still need to put the work in on myself to manage those feelings & to keep myself in a good headspace. Holding myself accountable for that is something i've let slide recently even though I know it's essential to ensuring I am giving back to the world the best of me, but also giving myself the chance to live the highest quality of life - both with, and without, my boyfriend. The hard work doesn't stop simply because I'm now experiencing a beautiful & healthy relationship, & losing sight of that has been a major failing of mine in these last few months.
This recognition is important for me in that now I can begin coming back to everything I need - to my yoga, my meditation, my writing.. I used to fill my life with practices & routines & things that grounded me & I used to think I did those things at a time when I needed to survive through pain & insults & constant abandonment so I didn't fall apart. Oils, crystals, card readings, empowering books & podcasts, writing, spiritual practices - I saw all of these things as tools to my emotional survival. And now my life is no longer characterised by explosive arguments & a myriad of ways someone can destroy another, I forgot that I still need all those things for me. Yes, they were necessary before to help me cope, and whilst their purpose may have changed for me, they are no less essential to my overall alignment & clarity of mind. Now I must return to these things that saved my soul & use them as a portal back to my authentic self; the best me - so that now i'm finally where I was always supposed to be, I am able to enjoy it; to flourish in this new love that feels like home and make sure any trauma still living within me can be set free, leaving us with only hearts beating in harmony with the waves outside our bedroom window..
Healing takes time. Choosing yourself is a practice - one that we must keep on committing to, every-damn-day. So if you're healing, or navigating something new, be kind to yourself.. It takes time. We all fall back from the things that we know are good from us - more often than we care to admit! I hope you find the time to do something for yourself today that you know will benefit you. I went over the road to the beach today and got on my mat for the first time innnnn... a very long time. I can already feel the difference & I hope for you that you find the courage to do something for yourself as well.
Choosing to prioritise our mental health, our wellbeing, our peace of mind is so freaking important. Don't allow any negative beliefs or emotions to cloud your need to care for yourself. Be strong in your commitment to yourself, not just today but all of the time.