I've been blessed to be married to a very wise teacher. And my wife came home from a yoga class the other day with a very powerful insight.
She had been doing a yoga pose and was not satisfied with the quality of her effort. The pose was not where she thought it should be. It was a twist and she had not twisted as far as she thought she should be able to. Her spine was not as straight as she thought it should be. In short, she thought she should be better in the pose than she was at that particular time.
She noticed a critical voice in her head telling her how badly she was doing the pose. Her insight was to realize it doesn't have to be this way. We can encourage ourselves instead of berating. Or we can simply be with our experience rather than running an internal commentary of any sort. She was excited to be able to share that with her yoga students. To show them that the voice of effort doesn't have to be a harsh critic.
We all try things. New things, old things, things we are skilled at and things where we struggle. Maybe we're giving a presentation, or writing a report, or learning something new. It could be anything.
What do we say to ourselves as we try? Are we an encouraging coach? An ill-tempered nag? What do we add to, or take away from, the experience with our self criticism?
To reach a state of flow, we always need to flirt with that line where things are doable but still challenging. And to be kind to ourselves when we're on that edge, instead of beating ourselves up, is a precious gift.
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