Why is it that I stifle my joy, but fully embrace my angst, anxiety, and negativity?

I frequently put heavier value on the pessimistic sensations than I do the positive vibrations. Over time, it eats away at my optimism and I begin to feel mentally and emotionally fatigued. There are a few ways I am working on this and counteracting my old ways, because change happens from within us and I only have the power to adjust my own thoughts and actions.

Treating myself with kindness so that I may treat others with care as well.

It sounds like a simplistic adjustment, but it requires a huge amount of effort. I worked on positive affirmations this past week (see previous post) and it has developed nicely into a baseline for a better internal dialogue with myself. If I can show others respect, I have to treat myself with respect — and vice versa.

So far, I feel improvement in my mood and have slowed down my reaction time to interactions that make me uncomfortable or angry. I’m cutting myself some slack (my new favorite phrase) and in turn, cutting others some slack as well. My empathy has always been something I’ve taken pride in, so I’m being understanding of my own faults and shortcomings as well.

I don’t have to be perfect.

I read a great article on The Mighty about someone’s experience with the detriments of perfectionism. I’m blessed to have my education and to have the freedom to apply it to my everyday life. However, there reaches a certain point where I take my expectations I have of myself a step too far, leading to total burnout.

Loving myself is about stepping back, focusing on my breath, and realizing that I am human and can never achieve my vision of perfection. And that’s okay! In this respect I am able to love others as I begin to love myself.

This is all a work in progress…

There is no endpoint in sight for my vision of personal change — and therein lies the beauty! It’s a process and what’s so important is the progress. I can’t change my thoughts overnight.

A friend once gave me advice that has lasted with me for several years: Be patient! It is literally a virtue and has guided me to self awareness. I can’t tackle all my demons in one single battle. It requires time, patience, and consistency. Like nurturing a green plant to bring it to bloom, I am watering my growth each day.

Thanks for reading, and be the change you want to see in the world! xo

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. — Benjamin Franklin


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Joanna is an aligned vinyasa RYT-200 certified yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance. Joanna's mission is to bring the teaching of yoga to everybody in an accessible, welcoming and gentle way. Check out Joanna-Yoga.com for services, blogs and updates on all things yoga. Namaste.

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