Guest Blog: You are stronger than you think you are
I learn something every single time I step onto my yoga mat. Sometimes it’s an incredible new lesson. Sometimes it’s simply a gentle reminder. But it never fails and I always step off the mat more inspired and connected than when I started. I’ll be guest blogging each month to share my latest lesson from the mat with Kristin’s community.
You are stronger than you think you are
This month I’ve learned a lot about internal strength and have determined that we are all so much stronger than we think we are. Strength – true strength – is hidden deep inside of you and is yours for the taking. You’ll be shocked at what is possible simply by tapping into this endless pool of strength.
Think back to the first time you got into a challenging yoga posture. Can you remember how accomplished you felt? You probably felt stronger than you ever thought you were. And you were right. You know why? Because you allowed yourself to believe that you were strong enough. You turned off the voice that told you that you couldn’t do it.
Now think back to all of the times you attempted that same posture and ended up falling. Or freezing at the thought of even trying. Or muttering “Yeah right, that is SO not happening” under your breath. Those thoughts, usually our default, are what keep us feeling inadequate. They keep us from knowing our true strength and, in many cases, from trying for fear of failing.
I’ve been hanging on my mat this month practicing a lot of Kundalini yoga and meditation. Kundalini is the “yoga of awareness” and merges yoga postures, breathing techniques, and deep meditation into a transformational experience. Nothing has taught me more about my own strength than Kundalini. Many of the postures are held or repeated for long periods of time and, without fail, my initial reaction is always to quit. My arms will be shaking and I’ll think that if I don’t drop them immediately they will simply fall off. I’ll feel like they weigh 10 tons and will be on verge of quitting. But I don’t drop them and, you know what, not only do they not fall off but the discomfort goes away! Kundalini has taught me that I have the ability – the strength – to endure and conquer much more than I ever imagined possible.
The lesson this month is an important one. It’s about taking the mindset that allowed you to rock scissor legs side crow and applying it to all areas of your life. Approaching something that, at first glance, seems impossible and knowing that you have the strength to succeed.
Two simple strategies for unlocking your own strength
Remember: Make a list of all of the times you were strong: illness, loss, heartbreak, difficult conversations, childbirth, change, crow pose, 31 minutes of ego eradicator, letting the cookie tray at the staff meeting pass you by, etc. Nothing is too small for your list! Any and everything that made you feel strong belongs on the list. Now commit to reading this list for the next 30 days. This daily reminder of the ways you’ve already demonstrated that you are strong will begin to reprogram your default reaction and remind you just how strong you really are.
Decide: You are as strong as you think you are. Decide that you are strong enough. It’s like Yogi Bhajan said, “Keep up and you’ll be kept up.” The decision that you can handle it will allow you to handle it. And it probably won’t be as hard as you first imagined. Use the mantra “I am strong” in your meditation, silently repeat it when you are faced with a challenge or fear, and look yourself in the mirror each morning and say it out loud.