COVID-19 has presented us with many challenges. The feeling of isolation, disruption of our “normal” routines, new stress and anxiety with even saying “global pandemic”, etc. Mental and emotional wellbeing is something that I find myself thinking about often. Especially on days where I can’t quite find the motivation to go for walk or even leave the house, and I just want to not be in my office, sitting on the couch, escaping it all by watching some weird show on Netflix.
Yoga has given me a lot of tools to work with. I don’t do yoga to feel better, although that’s definitely one of the many benefits. I do yoga to help me stay equipped to navigate change and to stay self-aware of how I’m feeling, inside and out. It’s easy to revert to old habits or develop new habits that don’t serve us during times of instability or when we experience trauma. And we are experiencing trauma right now. So we can’t fool ourselves into thinking all of this is ok, we are ok. Yes, faith and God’s strength will get us through this challenging time, but having self-awareness and knowledge should inform us that getting through it doesn’t mean we won’t need to heal or recover from what we are experiencing.
Self care must be a priority.
It’s so easy for anyone, especially working moms, to prioritize ourselves back to the bottom of the list in the times of struggle or uncertainty. We are care takers. We tend to put the oxygen mask on others first, before saving ourselves. We absorb all the possible scenarios of life, and often become the filter or shock absorber to so many; to protect, save, and keep on task. But sacrifice has a cost. And sometimes that cost is “our” time to breathe, regroup, and really assess how we are feeling.
And at the same time, while we sit around at home, it becomes too easy to live vicariously through others via social media. And that’s an even bigger trick as it feeds our insecurities, our self-doubt, as we compare a single post to life. And if we aren’t selective enough, it can influence how we see ourselves and all the good that surrounds us. It can “mislead” us down a path of thinking that we fall short; we are too big, too small, not rich enough, not smart enough, etc.
I need to continue to see me, and not just what I’m not.
I was listening to music on the way back from dropping my daughter off at school and Demi Lovato’s song “I Love Me” came on. Can’t say I heard it before or maybe I have but wasn’t really paying attention. The lyrics reminded me why the term “Live Free” means so much to me.
(Lyrics from the song) Flipping though all these magazines (or FB, IG... fill in the blank) Telling me who I’m supposed to be Way too good at camouflage Can’t see what I am I just see what I’m not I’m guilty ‘bout everything that I eat Jedi level sabotage Voices in my head make up my entourage ‘Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself But I’m an expert at giving love to someone else I wonder when I love me is enough?
This track stopped me in my tracks.
This song made me take inventory on what I’m consuming from a social media and environmental aspect super quick! Part of my journey is learning to accept me in this present moment; unconditional acceptance.
There was a time that I use to be in bondage over a comparison to someone else, regardless if I knew them or not. I compared my size, my weight, how I looked in jeans, leggings, dresses… Even now, it would be easy to compare how advanced my yoga practice is, especially if I measured it by the shapes and poses verses by the connection I feel with my body and breath. But yoga helped me shift my mindset.
This mindset is what being “FIT” Faith Inspired Transformation is all about. It’s about releasing ourselves from someone else’s idea of perfection and replacing it with appreciation and gratitude towards our unique and God-given purpose. Being FIT is being able to be still, be self-aware, and recognize what brings you joy. Being FIT is making choices that serve you, making adjustments when it doesn’t, with the goal to feel good and feel that joy. This in turn gives you the ability to share your joy with others.
To experience change in your life, you have to first start inward. The core of a self love practice is your mindset and emotional wellbeing.
So today I went to yoga. I filled my heart with laughter and good conversation with a friend. I filled my belly with pumpkin pancakes (it’s Fall Y’all). And I breathed in a few moments of normalcy, even if it was through a face mask, to refill my cup and pay it forward. I came home and hugged my family, listened to what they had to say, and was still and present in that moment. And I felt joy. I was grateful. I was blessed.
Psalms 139:14 “You are fearfully and wonderfully made”
Love you, stay well, be kind 🙏🏼❤️