I’m not too sure about sharing this blog post.
My heart says let it out, while my mind says we’re not ready to be exposed. My heart says I’m tired of carrying this heavy weight, my mind says shut up and deal with it, you have more important things to do than write a blog post. To my mind’s credit, there are pressing items that need my attention, but to my heart’s credit, this post feels necessary in the wake of recent events. Now is the time to be vulnerable.
Today’s topic: the voice self-loathing and the shift to ownership.
I’ve just returned home from leading two transformative yoga retreats in Bali.
We visited Bali six years ago, before I began yoga teacher training, before The Journey Junkie was a thing, before we ever uttered a word about sailing, before I believed in the power to manifest my dreams, before I believed in my ability to start and grow a business, before ANY OF THIS. So to return to Bali six years later, having transformed my entire life and now guiding others to transform theirs, was SURREAL.
It still is surreal.
But even with all of this magnificence, I’ve been subjecting myself to a non-stop recording of self-loathing. It’s as if my body-mind-soul complex split into two and part of me was holding space for 41 souls, while the other part was harshly critiquing my every move.
Everything was up for judgement, everything had an undertone of self-hatred.
- You didn’t cue that posture well enough.
- You were present enough.
- Your words weren’t impactful enough, they didn’t flow well.
- You missed this really important piece.
- You haven’t set an intention in days, maybe weeks.
- You haven’t done your morning practices.
- Your monthly workload is suffering, it needs your attention.
- Your studio group feels abandoned.
- You’re not embracing the moon, how dare you tell others too?
- You’re overeating at every meal, you’re gaining weight.
- You’re buying more than you need, stop shopping.
- You said you weren’t going to drink alcohol, but you are, you are a failure.
- You’re not honoring your boundaries between yoga classes, you need to rest.
- You’re hiding in your room between yoga classes, go socialize.
- Your emails are piling up, don’t you see that?
- Your leggings are getting tighter, maybe wear a shirt over your bra today?
- You were too bossy earlier, better to be silent and stop talking.
- You aren’t sharing enough on Instagram to promote future retreats.
- You’re on your phone too much, put it down, be present.
- You don’t have a right to teach this material, stop pretending like you do.
- You’re paying attention to some more than others, get it together.
- You’ve lost so much strength these past few years, stop teaching strong practices?
- You haven’t finished that anatomy course yet, you shouldn’t be teaching yoga.
- You aren’t certified in restorative yoga, stop designing these classes?
- You aren’t sleeping long enough, why is your phone near the bed?
- Your husband feels abandoned, when’s the last time we had sex?
- You aren’t doing the work right now, who are you to share this work?
And on and on the self-loathing recording rolls with only one person having the ability to lower the volume, pause the track, or discard of the contents. That person is me. That person is you. That person is us. The people who are curious about our RIGHT TO FEEL WHOLE – body, mind, and soul.
So here I am, taking the first step to STOP the damn recording and replace it with a new track.
I always share with people that the first step to change anything is awareness, followed by stretching from within and setting intentions, followed by stretching towards your intentions using your attention, and finally by taking compassionate action.
But I believe another step is needed, that step being FORGIVENESS.
After we’ve awakened to the self-loathing track through awareness or mindfulness and before we begin to lay down powerful and positive intentions, let’s insert a moment of forgiveness.
- A moment to forgive our words, those that have hurt us and others.
- A moment to forgive other’s words, those that have hurt us.
- A moment to forgive our actions, those that have hurt us and others.
- A moment to forgive other’s actions, those that have hurt us.
Let’s give ourselves permission to write down these words and actions and then perform a private ceremony where we imagine ourselves being cleansed or purified of them. You can burn your writings, release them into the sea, say a prayer for yourself or another, or save the words in a journal. Do what feels necessary.
Then, what are your intentions?
The word intention derives from the latin root, in-tendre, which means to stretch from within. This means your intentions are solely yours, they are unique to you, they are not your conditioning, your programming, what others expect of you, they are yours and only yours.
- Place your hands on your heart.
- Close your eyes.
- Go inward.
- Invite your breath to become present.
- Sense your aliveness.
- Stay here for 10 – 20 breaths.
- Return to your body.
- Open your eyes.
With this power and presence, begin to craft your intentions.
What lives within that is seeking to live without? What are your inward desires that want to be manifested? What lives within your consciousness that deserves existence on the earth plane?
These are your intentions. Write them. Make them known.
Now, what are the aligned actions that will fulfill your intentions?
Spotlight on the word aligned here. We so often move from intention setting to extreme action taking which leads to exhaustion, burnout, fatigue, and the all too familiar self-loathing experience. Can we do less, but with more meaning and focus? This is the challenge here.
Can we use our attention superpowers to only do what is necessary? Can we remove the distractions (aka the digital devices) so we can take aligned action? And can we take action compassionately? Leading with the sense of “I AM ENOUGH” regardless of the outcome?
I use this four step process over and over again to return home, to come back to my center, to connect with my power. It’s a necessary process. It has to happen. Over and over. The cycle repeats. I return back. I reorganize myself. I begin again.
……maybe in a few decades the process won’t happen so often, and if it does, does it really matter?
Finally, to seal this conversation and the shift from self-loathing to ownership, I want to return to the leading yoga retreats in Bali thing. From the outside peering in, it’s easy to believe that I’m living the dream via our current lifestyle, our successful business, and the experiences we’re sharing, but please know that all of us – regardless of how glamorous our social media feeds appear – are battling our own self-loathing recordings.
Never let yourself believe that another isn’t experiencing the same universal demons. You are not alone. Ever. We are on this journey together. Every experience is an opportunity to learn. Every day is a new invitation to return home and feel whole.
Now the question is, how will we respond? Will we say yes or no?
I’m choosing to say yes and it’s my hope that you will RSVP and say yes too.
All my love and ownership,
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.