Thank you to the lovely Sascha who is an amazing meditation professional for these wonderful words.
Beating Yourself Up Let’s face it, there is no-one who can beat you up as badly as yourself. I mean, today I caught myself beating myself up for beating myself up.
I have been working on this i.e not beating myself up, because I realized how it created further stress, was not helping my confidence and self-esteem and ultimately was the worst kind of message to send myself.
Now, having reached a point where at the very least, I am aware of this, I have to take it a step further. If I do slip (and we do) & berate myself, I need to be doubly kind… & forgive myself both instances of beating myself up!
Becoming conscious of our thoughts and messages, involves many levels, areas, layers & depths. If you think about it chastising oneself comes from a specific disconnect(from yourself as a human i.e. not kind or compassionate) & often cruel part of our thinking patterns. Judgmentalism. As an activity of the mind, it takes up valuable real estate in our consciousness. Perhaps a rather large chunk, a veritable mine. In fact, if we reflect on this, we might well be alarmed at how much we participate in judgmentalism – especially towards ourselves! But one thing at a time. A Tibetan Buddhist teacher, told me once that until I allowed loving kindness to reach ME, I could not reach others.
This is so true.
Who Is Judging Whom
So in the first instance, beautiful, beautiful ladies – Let’s start becoming more aware of our Inner Critic. The voice that stresses us out more than anyone else. Often Our Inner Voice of Criticisms (from other people usually loved ones)Past. Ugh. I mean,
Why do we let our past rule our present in this way? Let’s be clear. Past criticism has NO place in the present. Neither does present criticism. Basically ditch criticism, not self-reflection and analysis which are different, but this negatively charged criticism has gotta go…
See if you can catch yourself doing it. It might take some doing. You may well find over time, that it is this voice that is upsetting you the most, holding you back the most and hurting you the most! Notice the times at which you are most vulnerable. Late at night, before bed? When you look in the mirror on a morning when we don’t feel great? It’s easy, isn’t it. It’s so easy, to just “take it out,” on YOU.
You Don’t Need To Be Your Own Enemy & yes, it is easy to despair & send these harmful messages to ourselves, when we’re spending sleepless nights sweating into sheets, when our weight is yo-yoing, when we’re not happy with our bodies, when we snap at people not knowing why –the list goes on.
Here is one of these messages:What’s wrong with me? This message assumes something IS “wrong”. It is easy to think that. In my case, having been ruled by hormonal hell all my life either in the form of PMDD or now Perimenopause at age 40; that is all I thought. What was wrong with me.
However, in thinking that, we are not accepting the present moment, we are not accepting WHO or WHAT as women we really are & we are definitely NOT supporting ourselves. We cannot expect people around us to support us if at the heart of it, that is not the energy we are projecting. How about “There Is Nothing Wrong With Me”? & frankly, there ISN’T anything wrong with you. You are a woman. You are created to experience this. End of. It’s the most natural thing. It is part of who you are, in this existence, in this body.
When we send a message of something “wrong,” to ourself, we create stress, worry, fear of the unknown – all mental activity that creates more anxiety, worry, sorrow, depression…& on & on.
A SIMPLE PRACTICE
In my teaching, I put great importance on grounding. This is what is needed when we spiral out. Take a beat. Take a breath. Pause. Find a place to sit. Support yourself if necessary, against the wall, if sitting on the ground. On a chair. Feet on floor. Rest. Feel the ground beneath your sit bones.
Your feet. Your legs.
Connect. Take a deep breath and say softly to yourself
I am grounded, safe and connected. Do this for a while. You can say this over & over as softly or loudly as you want. The point is to be in the body & connect with the space around you. Pause in this space. Centering in the heart area, take a few breaths here. I accept who I am in totality. I accept who I am. I accept. Do this is any way you like. The main thing is that you really & honestly want to do something to help yourself. Your intention is to help YOU. In the last phase of this simple practice. Still keeping awareness of the sit bones connecting with the ground or chair. Feet. Spine.
Being conscious of the breath being soft and gentle, say to yourself, as long as you like:May I be well.Again, customise this to YOU. Do it as long as you like. Let the phone ring. Do not let it disrupt your wish for yourself. In fact, from this point forward don’t allow anyone or anything (including yourself sabotage your wellness!) Deal? Deal.
End practice by laying on floor feeling the support of the ground beneath the shoulder blades, the back of the heartspace, the pelvis, the legs, the feet, the head. Allow gravity to do its work and…let go. Let it all go. MAY YOU BE WELL. MAY WE ALL BE WELL.
Sascha Akhtar is a Wellness and Meditation Facilitator at www.be-meditation.uk . She teaches one-on-one on Skype, in person, or in workshops around the world. Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter is @ B_Here_B_Now
With thanks to Jane Dowling for having me!