Let me first start by telling you that last night did NOT go as planned. My flight out of Augusta never happened and I had to be shuttled up to Charlotte to catch the late flight. Such is travel….
Second, I am completely voiceless today. This is what lecturing with an allergy situation will get you. And finally, let me note that it’s been more than a year since I last posted an official Meditation Monday post…..when I completed my 108 Sun Salutations! Life was much different for me then and that brings me to….
Affirmations, aka the topic of today’s Meditation Monday post.
I’ve briefly mentioned Affirmations in the past (here and here), but never really talked about my own use of affirming statements. Last week I taught affirmations as a form of meditation to my yoga classes at CFCC. I asked my students to first consider something we’d talked about back when we studied the Yamas – Satya or Truthfulness. In Rebecca Pacheco’s book Do Your Om Thing she asks, What is one lie you need to stop telling yourself right now?
On the flip side of those lies are truths that we should be telling ourselves. The Yamas are how we treat ourselves and others in regards to our words, thoughts, and actions. So, if you’re always lieing to yourself about what you can and cannot do, who you are or are not, and what you do or don’t want…..then you are reinforcing those things at truths. Some yogis say that these negative thought patterns are called Samskaras and can be obstacles to a truly enlightened mind.
If you used to watch old Saturday Night Live episodes (like I did/do), you may remember an Al Franken character known as Stuart Smalley who had a segment called Daily Affirmations which first aired with one of my favorite actors, Kevin Bacon. Stuart’s catch phrase is, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” Stuart would turn to a mirror and recite this affirmation at the end of every skit. He was telling himself what he needed to hear over and over again, until that too sunk in.
As a fitness professional it would be wonderful if I ALWAYS said great things to myself about my performance, my body, etc. But, that’s not reality. I am human and fallible. However, I’m also very aware of this trap thanks to my yoga practice. So, when I asked my students to consider a lie they were telling themselves and then to write an affirmation for the opposite, I also took the time to look inside my own heart at the moment and see what I needed to affirm in my life. It was sitting right in front of me.
There was my newest planner screaming for me to “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful” and so I repeated to myself, “I am my own kind of beautiful” as I meditated. When you meditate thoughts wander in and out of your mind. Those which we don’t intend to use can float on by and those which pertain to your meditation sit and resonate for awhile. I remembered back to how I used to dress before I became a mom. I have often worn whatever I want, not what’s trendy or conventional. I remembered to the times at which I loved my body for what it could do vs. what it looked like. A great example of that is growing two human beings inside of it. I thought back to all of the ways in which I feel creative and alive and how I have this gift to teach and that a large majority of the people I do teach enjoy my teaching.
By repeating my affirmation I was reminded of my own ways in which I find beauty. I find it in the food I make, the flowers I plant, the smiles on the faces of those surrounding me. I find it in a great class or a good post or a favorite book. I find beauty in organizing my checkbook or planning a trip or drawing pictures on my kiddos’ lunch boxes. This weekend was the first in a few that I haven’t spent time looking in the mirror and deciding how I need to change my workout plan to make my body “LOOK” better. I didn’t feel guilty or ashamed of me. I am my own kind of beautiful and you are too.
So, I’m curious….
What is the one lie you need to stop telling yourself?
How do you affirm your truth?