I used to do yoga with a friend of mine. She would watch me struggle into poses and struggle to hold them – I’m not really a yoga type – and after awhile she’d say,
“Be gentle with yourself.”
Have you ever done your best work when you’ve felt like you’re struggling? I haven’t. My best work flows. It feels good to do it and it makes me feel great.
There are lots of days we’re asked to “lean in” and work hard, but this doesn’t mean we have to be unkind and thoughtless about ourselves. Not a bad thing to remember from time to time.
it was my birthday this week and I was reminded of another birthday, many years ago, during which I did a workshop about mastering the self and your own self-expression. I’m not always someone who enjoys public soul-searching but it proved to be one of the best workshops I’ve ever done. I left it feeling open and free and happy in my own skin.
The leaders created a very safe space in which to explore but still, one task proved to be the most difficult for everyone. This was to write a love letter – to yourself – and then to read it aloud to the small groups we were working in.
Try it. I guarantee you will find it difficult to seriously address yourself and express positive, loving feelings. Then try reading it aloud. Every single person who did this at the workshop had tears in their eyes as they were speaking.
These days we’re all asked to do a lot – to do the best for our clients and our employer, to support our families and friends, to make money, to achieve, to do what sometimes feels like the impossible, to commit to what we love. How can you do those things, how can you commit, if you can’t love and support who you are?