Hey there gorgeous!
Happy Spring officially. There is so much magic in the air from the full moon, Easter, springtime- so much space for renewal, release, creating space, and opening into possibility.
Which is why I was pretty surprised this morning to get smacked in the face with a huge blast of shame.
My first instinct when I felt this was to hide this from the world.
Pretend it doesn’t exist, that everything is FINE.
Because that feels easier.
Less chance of rejection.
Better to just shove it aside.
Except that’s not the work I do. That’s not what creates wild freedom.
It’s pretty impossible to feel at home with yourself when you are sweeping parts of yourself under the rug.
So, here goes.
Over the weekend I created a yoga video for you to support you in opening up your body and being to all that is awakening and being created right now. A spring renewal- shedding the old, making space for magic and possibilities.
When I opened up iMovie this morning to finish editing, it had pulled up a project I created a little over 2 years ago- when I was still teaching fitness classes full time, and my world revolved around the gym, fitness, and nutrition.
In that project, I was demonstrating push-ups, and it looked like this:
Editing the yoga video I created this weekend, my plank looks like this:
Over the past two years my focus has been on health rather than fitness. Creating a healthy relationship with my body and myself beyond the scope of training, while still maintaining health and a sense of well being. That has been the focus. I know my body doesn’t look the same.
I KNOW that. And the work I do, that we do together, is around the whole picture of what it means to be YOU, to be ME, unapologetically. To focus on freedom and ease, and connecting within, and releasing pressure to look or be a certain way in the world.
And, along with that, old patterns and habits and judgments can run DEEP.
For the first 20+ years of my life, I based my worth around my looks, and always came up short. Even at my most physically fit, a part of me believed I wasn’t good enough and would never be enough.
Now, after almost two years of doing work I love, traveling the world, and continuously learning and being with myself, I can truly say and believe I am enough- and enough doesn’t much factor into my decisions and actions anymore. A few weeks ago I wrote to you about The Myth of Enough, and how true freedom lies beyond organizing the world into enough or not enough.
And, no one is perfect.
This morning when I saw this image I felt a huge shock of ‘not enough’.
All my old stories and insecurities came rushing in, and my body was flooded with sensations- closed throat, tense shoulders, tears in my eyes, no breathing.
My thoughts were something like this:
“Wow I used to look like THAT?”
“Yeah not even close now”
“C’mon Kate, you’re better than that, who cares how you look?”
“I spent all my time back then worrying about how I looked. That’s so sad.”
“Should I be worried about how I look now?”
“I kind of do care about my appearance.”
“Is everyone going to judge me?”
“Do I care?”
“What’s even happening right now?”
For a few minutes there I wanted to die.
I felt so uncomfortable. Judging myself, and judging the judgement. Hardcore vicious cycle.
I was about halfway through a full-on shame spiral that wanted me to curl up on the couch and escape from reality however I could, when I stopped. Sat up. Took a deep breath.
And then I started laughing. Because I remembered- this is the game we all play. With our bodies, our jobs, our relationships, comparing ourselves to each other, to ourselves- and how much energy goes into that?!
Did I really want to throw away my whole day, delete the yoga video (the thought crossed my mind), and wallow?
I’ve done a lot of work on my own shame. A lot of it’s gone, and what’s left I can usually feel, process, and release pretty quickly. But it’s still there. I don’t know if it ever goes away completely. I both absolutely love my body and miss the strength and level of fitness I used to have.
I’m not immune to societal pressure for how I’m supposed to look, nor do I let it run my life.
Did I feel like crap for a few minutes this morning when I saw that?
You bet I did.
Do I feel any less whole, less me, less worthy for it?
For a second there? Yeah, I did. And then I remembered.
The work that we do isn’t so you will never feel negatively about yourself again. It’s so you can be aware of those feelings, understand why you feel that way, and allow it to be so it doesn’t get stuck inside you and run your life.
That is freedom. It’s feeling it- whatever IT is in the moment- and then continuing to move forward for you.
And this example may seem silly to you. Logically, it kind of does to me too. And at the same time, that sensation of shame, that something is wrong with me, that can feel very real. When shame shows up for any of us, it can feel soul crushing. I can only hope in sharing me, you feel permission to be you, all of you- whatever your experience is today.
Oh yeah- here’s that yoga flow. Allow your breath and your movements to re-connect you to the center of who you are. Release what doesn’t need to be there, and create space for possibility.