What you’re worth.
The majority of the years I have spent on this planet, I have spent feeling like I was never good enough. For certain people, places or experiences. For things I owned, for gifts I received. I constantly felt guilty of what I had because I never felt worthy. And you know what? That feeling is really shitty.
Although I chose to not dwell on the past, there are certain experiences that contributed to my current teeter tottering of self worth. The biggest contributing experiences where those with the opposite sex. The way I allowed myself to feel during and after a relationship. Several times I allowed myself to be treated poorly and instead of smartening up and realizing it was their own insecurities and issues that led them to that behaviour, I instead internalized it and took it personally. I allowed myself to feel as if that was the way I deserved to be treated.
It’s funny how situations you thought you dealt with actually linger on and plant a deeper seed. Over time, I finally felt the weight suffocate me and split over into other situations. After personal successes in the yoga world however, I started to question the way I thought of myself. Although it was hard for me to acknowledge I was even feeling this way deep down, I eventually realized how wrong I was. So I dealt with it on my mat. I focused on the good, reflected on the positives, acknowledged the tiny accomplishments and let everything else slide off my back. But I’m not writing to tell you my story, I’m writing to talk about yours.
One of the many things I enjoy about teaching yoga, is the opportunity I have to really see the most raw and pure form of a person. When someone expresses themselves on the mat fully, I see them. I connect with them. I understand them. What I see all to often are students watch in defeat as others float, balance or fly into more challenging poses. The one’s who prefer not to try something new for fear of failure. The one’s who laugh as if it’s a joke that they should ever be able to do an inversion. Those are the one’s that bother me because I so badly wish I could open up their brains, change some thought and behavioural patterns around and stitch them back up so they could realize that they ARE good enough. When I see these students, I see myself. I am reminded of the person deep down inside that spent years feeling unworthy.
I’m here to tell those of your questioning your self worth that there is nothing in yoga and nothing in life that you are not good enough for. I have taught paraplegics, quadriplegics, students with injuries and I myself managed to practice daily when I physically had everything against me. And not a single one of us isn’t good enough for yoga. Not a single one of us is not good enough for the things we want in life.
But no article or words from a stranger can change years of accumulated thought patterns, so maybe instead I’ll say this; I feel you. I’ve been there and as I slowly crawl my way out of this self made hole, I’m starting to see what true and honest self worth looks like. It looks like relaxed shoulders, a proud chest, a lengthy breath. It looks like a dedicated effort doing handstand kicks. A wobble leg in tree. A subtle topple in balancing half moon. A determination towards achieving the possibilities. To gaining what we deserve.
It looks like an image I have in my head of the first time I saw a lion up close in Africa. He was powerful. He was fearless. He was strong. A thick layer of stillness, calm and peace poured over him. Nothing in the world bothered him, not our jeep, not our cameras, not our excited giggles. Nothing in the world could shake him.