Last night, my girlfriend asked me “Do you think you are too hard on yourself?” After some quiet contemplation, tears started to fall from my eyes as I realized that my expectations of myself are far greater than anything I would ever imagine from anyone else.This got me thinking. Why do we do this to ourselves? What is it that we need to prove? Why is it so hard to look at our lives and be completely content with where we are at this moment, rather than fretting about the past? What we “should” have or could have done. Or worrying about what the future may bring? Wouldn’t it be nice to look in the mirror and see the beautiful, worthwhile person looking back at you, rather than judging every aspect of that reflection?
Our bodies can’t tell the difference between our thoughts and reality, so our thoughts, then become our reality as our body sends messages to all of our cells to respond to the information coming in. With this is mind, if we are constantly putting ourselves down, worrying too much, or in many of our cases, over working and putting too much unnecessary stress and expectations on ourselves, our bodies then must send out a “flight or fight” signal.
In time, this constant nervous system firing depletes oneself, causing “dis-eases” within our bodies. This “dis-ease” can manifest in many different ways. It can come in the form of chronic pain, fertility issues, and other illnesses.
On the other hand, if we project positivity and give our body the nourishment and love it deserves, our cells will not have to work overtime and the expression of our genes can literally change. Those perceived “flaws” will disappear and we will become the healthiest, happiest version of ourselves.
Creating this shift in our way of thinking takes constant practice. It is something that I personally struggle with every day, and need to remind myself of all the time. Making time to meditate, taking a relaxing walk in nature, or practicing positive self-talk, are a few ways to connect with our own spirit, to give ourselves the time to heal our lives. In yoga, it is common practice to set an “intention” prior to each class or to repeat a “mantra” such as, “I am loved”, “I am happy”, I am grateful”,” I am at peace”. Give yourself care by taking a look in the mirror; telling your reflection “I love you”. Feed yourself natural foods, paint your toes, or get a massage.
Do whatever suits you best, to let your body and your mind know that you are worthwhile and that you value yourself, where you are right now (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).
That being said, I believe it is still very important to make goals and to strive to reach them, but enjoy every step of the way. Don’t let your life go by constantly being too busy, or too “stressed”. Let your journey unfold organically, appreciate every day that you are alive, and give thanks to yourself for holding you up and allowing you the ability to just be you in all of your magnificence.