I recently started a class combining hypnosis and yoga. Its designed to bring your mind and body into balance and allow you to live a healthier life. In each class we talk about balancing certain areas of our life, stress, eating etc. This week we talked about the messages we send to ourselves, consciously or unconsciously.
Now we all know that we can be our own worst critics. We lable ourselves. We are our harshest judges, the Simon Cowell of our lives. We pick at our faults. This outfit makes me look fat. I'm having a bad hair day (month, year, whatever). My stomach, my butt, my legs are too big. I couldn't possibly wear a bathing suit, people at the beach might think I'm the great white whale. And so on.
If I said half of the things to someone that I say to myself, that person would hate me. I would never think of doing that. And I don't want to raise my daughter to think that way about herself. So why is it okay for me to think those things about myself?
Part of the challenge for this week's class is to change the soundtrack our mind is playing. We are supposed to be nice to ourselves. To find the things about ourselves we like and to look at our "faults" differently. We are supposed to practice kindness with ourselves.
And its hard. Normally when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror as I brush my teeth, I would press play on the tape in my head and the criticisms would begin. Now I search for a new tape to play. I might say I am glad I woke up this morning and was able to walk to the bathroom. I am thankful for my health, for my strong legs that carry me where I want to go.
Its taken me years to get to this point, I am not sure how much I can change in a week. Maybe its enough to recognize the bad thoughts. Once I know that they are there, I can try to change them.