I Am Enough
One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can’t find someone to love, wear a bathing suit, find a better job or leave a situation that no longer serves us until we lose weight. Instead of viewing the world around us as a place where we can not have the things we desire until we are thin enough, perhaps we should start by telling ourselves, “We are enough.”
Last Year I participated in the #IAmEnough Campaign by Raw Beauty Talks.
I got caught up in my day to day life and sometimes forgot. This quote came up on my facebook. Instead of reading it and sharing it, and forgetting about it when the next inspirational quote came along, I’ve been practicing it. In the privacy of my room, I am comfortable looking at myself in the mirror and really seeing myself. When I look at my reflection, I can say,”I accept myself unconditionally right now.”
Where my self doubt and negative self talk threatens to destroy my self esteem is the occasional glimpse of myself in the mirror at a fitness class. Long held behaviour pattern that threatened my self esteem whenever I saw myself in the mirror at ballet class as a child. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from my image but wanted to curl up in fetal position and hide from the reflection of myself in the mirror. Although I’ve had a lot of support of shifting my perception, occasionally I struggle with body image issues.
On Monday, I dropped into my friend, Emily’s TNA (tush and abs) class at Tantra Fitness. I was terrified to take her class. Emily is an amazing instructor and friend. When she only taught on Saturdays, I told myself that I would be too tired to teach my flexibility yoga class. With the new January schedule, Emily added additional TNA classes to her teaching schedule. “Now you can come to my class,” she said. With a mixture of nervousness and excitement, I agreed.
TNA is a cardio class with strength training and conditioning. The sequences of grapevines, hamstring curls, jumping jacks, squats, and V steps reminded me of a 1980s aerobics class. That could be because with the exception of taking my group fitness training 12 years ago, I haven’t been near a cardio styled class. (Maybe because it is in water, aquafit doesn’t seem to be in that category. If I sweat, I don’t notice it). With a smile on her face, Emily led us through the sequences.
To my surprise, I loved it. A room packed full of like-minded women moving in sequence to the energetic music made me smile. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and faltered. Red faced and sweaty, the parts of my body that I get self-conscious of seemed magnified. For a moment I fumbled through the class a few steps behind everyone else. I couldn’t stop looking at myself in the mirror. Before I could do anything else, I took a deep breath. As the breath travelled through my body, I heard my inside voice saying, “I accept myself unconditionally right now.”
I accept myself unconditionally right now, I told myself. When I took a second look in the mirror as I repeated the mantra in my head, I felt a burst of energy. I could feel my shoulders melting away from my ears and my spine uncoiling itself. I smiled at myself and caught Emily’s eye in the mirror. She smiled. As I felt my body lengthen, I was grateful for my body. I could feel my heart pounding. I noticed I had melded into the rhythm of the class. I no longer stuck out like the girl on the wrong foot in a chorus line. I was me and that was okay.
With a burst of exhilaration, I felt so euphoric that I was able to finish Emily’s class and stay for the next class. On my way home, I marvelled over the burst of energy I infused myself with. By accepting myself unconditionally, I was able to do something that I thought I couldn’t do. When our self confidence fades for a moment or we fall into old behaviour patterns, if we can remember to breathe, sometimes we can move past it. And when we do, we can do anything!