Getting a health & fitness coaching business off the ground means getting my work out there too. Brand recognition of sorts. I finished up a pumped-up power yoga session with photos to showcase on social media and immediately hated them. Where was my hour glass figure? Why does the illusion of the pose and the top have me looking fuller? And why do I let such things take away from the point of the damn photo? Because no matter how much self-confidence I have and how much I advocate that size really isn't what counts, I'm still human. And my inner critic still has shit to say that isn't nice.
Our Beauty Remains Within
Something was different about this time though. Just yesterday my inner critic was actually nice. The message was that my hard work is paying off and to keep working at it, girl. I knew it wasn't me this time. It was the effects of my top. Even when I'm feeling most confident, I am not one to strip down to only my yoga bra/yoga pants. My top may get yanked up to wipe the sweat from my brow and become so saturated from the perspiration that I should remove it to avoid moisture from sitting on my skin. But having it covering my exhausted muscles prevents me from staring at my reflection in the mirror and criticizing my beautiful imperfections. No matter how gorgeous my back is, regardless of how strong my arms have become, it's too easy to pinch my midsection that hangs over a little. My top works as a shield against anyone who might compliment my figure, because though I know my hard work as a warrior yoga woman has payed off physically, I'm too embarrassed to display personal areas of my body. These areas are the parts of me that took a beating with harsh words. These areas are parts of me I used to hate myself with once a time ago. I now hold them too close to my heart and protect them from the old me. Besides, I want my personality and my smile to be what shines.
Anyway. Tonight, I had an epiphany. So I did what I never do. I took off the f*****g top and re-snapped some photos. Was I completely thrilled with my body being exposed? Honestly, not 100%. But I kept the shirt off, realizing that the cloth that was covering my body was really causing the issue.
This led me to ponder how much beauty remains within each of us that is hidden underneath the weight of our lives? What if we stripped off the stress from always trying to be perfect creatures, what if we replaced negative thoughts that cause us to project ourselves as being unapproachable? What if we removed outside factors from our lives and allowed our true beauty to emerge? We were born with an immeasurable light that shines bright within our soul. Over time that beauty within may have been damaged a little or a lot. We learned to protect that light. We added a protective shield over ourselves, because the people we trusted told us we loved too much, cared to much and had too much light that caused them to feel less shiny.
Exposing our vulnerable sides may be really uncomfortable, and it it's definitely not something we share with everyone. Not at first, anyway. But what if we allowed ourselves moments in solitude to "just be"? Just be who we want to be? Could we then open up ourselves without restriction to our partner? To our children? To our parents(!!)? What's the worse that could happen? If anyone, and I MEAN ANYONE, doesn't love you for who you really are, emotions and feeling and opinions exposed, then I say **** them. They don't deserve you and that gives you permission to decide if that relationship is serving you the way it should. However, they may actually see who we are and love us how we deserve to be loved. Unconditionally.
But first we must learn to be real and honest with ourselves. And tonight I got real. Instead of hating on myself, I aimed the daggers at what was really causing the issue, which was that top.
What are the metaphorical tops in your life? I encourage you to explore anything that is weighing you down and preventing you from shining bright like the gem you are.
The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste,