Winter Solstice - A Time for Reflection
Reflect. Recognize. Renew.
One of my favorite parts of a retreat is watching our guests transform. Most arrive on Friday looking tired and stressed. By Sunday morning, not only do guests look 10 years younger, they have a big smile on their face and their energy is lighter. I call it the Yoga Retreat makeover! Get your Yoga Retreat Makeover when you join us for a retreat.
I’ve noticed change is most evident for guests who show up as their authentic selves and actively engage with other guests including guests they’ve met for the first time. I’ve struggled with being my authentic self because of fear. Maybe you can relate. I’ve found my confidence in myself is strongest when I deliberately venture out of my comfort zone. When I get uncomfortable, survive and even flourish, I feel more confident.
Accept Yourself For who you are. Not who someone in your life tells you, you SHOULD be. You are beautifully and uniquely you. If you struggle with connecting with the real you. Try the following exercises.
After my divorce I struggled with my identity. I had lived my life according to what my ex husband wanted. When I did the above exercises, it helped me to discern the "me" I'd always been, but had lost touch with. I had pushed my true self down deep and stifled my wants and desires. When I embraced the "new me," it was powerful. It was the first step to overcoming so many of the fears that I had - being a single mom, financial concerns, being alone - and it is exactly how I got to where I am today.
Once you discover "You" be you. Without apology. Every day. All the time.
Find Gratitude for Your Journey
Look back at your journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. Take a moment to acknowledge you are where you are today because of the choices you made over the years. Maybe some decisions led you down a path of darkness. Acknowledge what you’ve learned and what you’d do or are doing differently. Identify times you felt compelled to go one way, but you chose to go another, for financial, romantic or any other reason.
Trust Your Intuition
Intuition is the brain on auto pilot, using past experiences and cumulative knowledge, to make a decision. Often intuition is ignored in favor of thinking through a problem to find a solution. Intuition isn’t some pseudo science, it’s actual science. Once you discover your intuition, commit to trusting it.
I’ve had moments of intuition so strong it was a physical reaction. And I hate to say there were times I completely ignored my intuition or rationalized it away. I’m here to tell you, those times didn’t go so well.
Now when my intuition speaks, I listen. I become still and quiet, close my eyes and let go of all physical distractions. Then I can discern what is my intuition versus my overactive imagination.
Identify Your Fears
Make a list of your fears. The ones that scare the crap out of you, the ones that may seem silly and irrational. There’s no way to overcome fear, if you’re not exactly certain what you’re afraid of. There’s usually a reason for a fear, maybe you can even identify the source by journaling or with the help of a trusted counselor.
Get out of your Comfort Zone
Put yourself in (safe) situations where you feel either vaguely uncomfortable or super uncomfortable. Start small. Don’t judge your reaction. Give yourself time and space. If you feel like running away or leaving, see if you can stay a little bit longer. I believe thriving outside of your comfort zone is a little like strengthening your biceps – the more you use it, the stronger you become.
Nothing is accomplished in a day or a week or even a year. Give yourself time to overcome the fears that have been holding you back. Start by setting a long term goal and then achievable steps to getting there.
Overcoming fear is certainly not easy. But I believe by putting yourself in a challenging and uncomfortable situation, and not just surviving, but thriving builds confidence and allows the fears to become a little bit less until they disappear. Thriving outside of your comfort zone is the key to so much. Are you ready to take the first step?