Making a life change isn’t easy. Maybe you’re trying to get into better shape, cut out sugar and wheat, think more positively about a painful situation. None of these changes are easy to make. Consider this: your choices are an opportunity to put into practice how much you value your mind, body and spirit. Come from this place of love and self-respect and it gets a little easier to get on that treadmill, into downward dog, and just say no to that piece of bread or candy. It gets easier to cut off that negative thought that you know only pulls you downward into the dark abyss. When we approach change from a place of feeling good about it rather than berating ourselves, we’ll be more likely to stick with the discipline we need to follow through.
Look, you may mess up. If you’re human, you will mess up. I find some comfort in that guarantee. It releases the annoying need to be perfect, as if that’s ever possible. Even the most graceful athletes have their slip ups some time. Imperfections keep us humble, not a bad thing.
So if – when – you miss that self-appointed time at the gym, or your favorite yoga class, and shamelessly indulge in that [gluten-free] cupcake, give yourself a break. Don’t let one event defeat you. Allow yourself flexibility, you’re here to enjoy life, too, not just work, work, work. You skipped your practice this time, and I’m sure you had good reason like you’re feeling exhausted from the work week or a health issue, and that’s okay. Balance is not lost. Just don’t eat another cupcake that week. Treat yourself to warm water with lemon, a nice cleanse to take away the guilt and feel good inside and out. If you miss a day, a week or even a month of exercise, so what? There isn’t a fitness guru overseeing your every move, out to punish you with bad workout karma. You start exercising again because you like the way it makes you feel. Not because you feel guilty, or you think you should. You do it because you feel so great afterwards; accomplished, glowing, strong, grounded, relaxed. And you love yourself too much to let your body become stiff and painful. So you gently get back into yoga, stretching and breathing and not giving a damn how long ago it was that you were able to do a headstand. Maybe it was never. That’s not your goal, anyway. Your goal is to relax in the presence of simply being you.