Wanna grow easefully? Start doing this...
On the first day of my yoga teacher training, we were sitting on the floor of the studio when our teacher (who was part yogi and part evil genius) asked us to sign a contract committing to meditating for an hour a day for the duration of our 12 month course. Within weeks, my fellow trainees started going on and on about how Zen they now felt. 'I can't get angry - even if I try!' they'd gush. I was meditating too. But I wasn't feeling any different. Nine months later, my friends and I were on the couch watching Friends during a weekend away, when - in a heroic act of dedication - I excused myself to go meditate.
As I sat on the bed - eyes closed, no music - the soul-splitting sound of my friend’s alarm blasted from her phone. It screeched continuously for a while, and then stopped.
Then it did it again. And again. And again.
When I rejoined my friends an hour later, I told Amanda that her alarm was going off repeatedly.
‘Oh sorry - that must have been so frustrating for you!’
Ha. It hadn't even occurred to me to get frustrated!
When my fellow trainees had initially raved about their transformations, I'd wanted to roll my eyes. I was working just as hard as them - so where was MY transformation?
That's the (highly-annoying-during-these-Insta-times) thing. Our growth happens at its own pace. Which is sometimes very different to that of our peers.
And here's another complication:
because our most sustainable growth is often the result of slow and steady gains, until something or someone highlights the contrast between who we are now and who we were then, it can be hard for us to see the depth of our own transformation.
But you can circumvent this by training yourself to be on the look out for your own growth (and then celebrating it!).
Consciously looking for places where I've evolved helped me to discover that I'd grown in another unexpected way: these days, I rarely get my feelings hurt.
Back when I didn’t love myself very much, my feelings were constantly getting hurt.
Mostly because I'd be unconsciously looking for evidence that I was shit. Which meant that I would find it. Even in places where it didn’t exist.
Now that I marinate in self love on the daily, when someone says something mean to me (which happens super rarely now), I no longer fashion their words into a knife that I then use to stab my own heart (while conveniently blaming them for my pain).
I’m much more likely to interpret their mean words as a statement of what's going on for them, than as a statement about me or my value.
If you take a minute to do a little stocktake, how have you evolved? What things are you responding differently to now, that you may not have noticed until you decided to look?
If you'd care to share, I’d love to hear it. Just comment down below!
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