Does Self Improvement Cause More Self Suffering?
This year i set out on a quest to fully celebrate my joy, acknowledge my achievements and only follow the things that turned me on.
Sound like every other wanky yoga blog you have ever read? well i'm happy to tell you it's not.
I sat in a clinic in Jan this year waiting for some test results that would confirm whether i needed an operation to remove cervical cancer cells, needless to say i was fucking terrified and in full 'HOW HAVE YOU MISSED THIS, HOW HAVE YOU NOT LOOKED AFTER YOURSELF AND LET THIS HAPPEN'. Honestly, it was the meanest and most brutal my inner critic has ever ever been and as per usual it did nothing but make me feel like a piece of shit. Know that inner critic?
It was divine timing that my oldest bestest friend had landed the day before from London, and after being told that what looked like cancer was actually inflammation, inflammation that my incredible world renowned Gynea wholeheartedly believed was brought on by stress. My best friend looked at me in the car and said hells, you invest so much time and money into your work/self improvement - have you ever thought of doing some coaching purely for your joy? for your desires? for learning how to acknowledge everything you already have and are?
I shrugged my shoulders, i was still in shock from the appointment but i knew if she thought i needed it, i would definatley entertain the idea.
Fast forward 8 months and it has been the greatest, most exciting, confronting (giving yourself joy, what you desire is way harder then it sounds) yet FUFILING journey i have ever ever taken in relation to my own self growth. One that has led me to excel in all areas of my life at record speed, one that has truly allowed me to FEEL into all the places within myself that are already so fucking fantastic but had been abandoned by my bid for seeking self 'improvement' rather then self acceptance and self CELEBRATION.
Now of course this is not an entirely new idea to me, it's one of the many reasons yoga philosophy has me hook line and sinker. Because it's all about rediscovery.
But what is new is adding the following things into my daily life:
- Moving ONLY toward the things that make me feel more alive, more JOY.
- That feel really fucking good in my whole body (its way more honest than your mind)
- Into watering my own garden of flowers every damn day because i'm ALREADY worth every single drop.
- Leaning into my innate talents and playing to my strengths (not weaknesses!!)
- Not pandering and watering feelings of lack/ grasping/the idea that what i already had/was wasn't enough.
I know what you're thinking: Sure Hells, doing all the things you love/and thinking your Ghandi everyday sounds great but,
- Its not realistic.
- Its self indulgent.
- I haven't achieved enough to do that yet.
- I certainly don't have anything to celebrate or talents to share.
Yeh, i see you.
And i want to share with you some defining lessons i've learnt in this experience: popular to contrary belief self improvement was not created to make you feel like shit, or to be confused with endless self suffering. For you to ENDLESSLY be in turmoil why you cleanse your chakras/ drag up all your 'naughty' habits and bid endlessly to change and be better and different and just like everyone on instagram.
Psssst: Did you know 'self improvement' isn't actually mentioned anyway in yogic philosophy? it asks us to do the practice without expectation and let the rest unfold as it's meant. To focus your energy, attention on something and see what happens (sounds like a project that's coming up at the studio!)
Secondly, WE ALL HAVE STRENGTHS AND TALENTS. It's proven by science (Sally told me), its nature. It's why you made the 1 trillion chance of becoming human, because you belong here, without you the world wouldn't be what it is and without you being more you aka playing to your own innate strengths, well the eco system just don't work. Imagine if tigers tried to be birds all day long? and ants tried to be like dolphins? it just wouldn't work. They need to play to their own gifts so we can evolve and be in harmony, right? well you are no different my friend.
Lastly, lets be serious, who wants to live this one precious precious life we have been given suffering? dwelling on our weaknesses? doing stuff that makes us feel average?
No one! right?
I mean, do you?
Ok, are we agreed?
Well then my friend i invite you to join me and be part of a new movement, one that does something DIFFERENT. One where where we still move through all our icky, diffcult and often painful 'stuff' but with a lens of acceptance, self acknowledgment, self love, so that we can FEEL better (not just move onto the next suffering) Where we water and celebrate our strengths, talents and play to them because we were placed here on earth to do so, one where we do more of what we love above anything else..
So tell me, are you ready ?
Click here to find out how you can be part of our new movement The Empowerment Project starting August 19th.
DISCLAIMER: Think this is walk in the park, so easy that you don't need to bother? i challenge you to spend the next 24 hours only doing/eating/speaking/watching things that you really really really want/ that make you feel the best you have ever felt deep deep down in your soul, in your gut, like its your birthday. And tell me how it felt.