I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
November 17, 2016
I have been debating about creating a yoga social media account/page for while. People have asked me whether I have one, and when I told them no, I’ve gotten questions and comments like, “Well, why not?... It would be nice to see some of your sequences and poses posted--it’s inspiring… Everyone (or so-and-so) has one…” And in response, I’ve thought, well, I guess the exposure would be nice… I hear it’s a great marketing tool… But I don’t want to have to market myself, like I’m some kind of product to sell… I went back and forth, deliberating about why I should or shouldn’t; I thought about my values and intentions as both a practitioner and as a teacher; I even touched on my convoluted and unsure opinions (/judgements) on the narcissistic tendencies and culture of social media. I told myself all sorts of stories, and when I started to dig deep into those stories and their origins, I discovered that underneath the stories were deeply embedded habits of self-doubt, shame, even self-loathing. Why would anyone want to see me on Instagram? There are so many other amazing yogis who do far more amazing things and poses... I can’t even stick a handstand… I’m injured right now... The excuses, justifications went on and on.
The seemingly benign and silly questions of whether or not I want to start an Instagram account unveiled lots of shit that I needed to—wanted to—work out that conveniently aligned with the newly found journey of self discovery, learning, and evolution that I had recently embarked on. During all of this, a friend of mine (Sky, @skyyardeni) recommended a book called, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (@brenebrown) just at the right time; when my heart was heavy, laden with all sorts of stories and let downs, making life cumbersome and lonely. It was truly eye-opening for me in so many ways. It blew my heart wide open, and since, I’ve begun this journey of letting myself be vulnerable. What does that mean? Well, to put it in a nutshell, for me, it means…
… saying, “No” and “I don’t know” to myself and others.
… allowing myself to be seen.
… to show up and meet myself exactly where I’m at.
… being completely honest and open.
… trying new things.
… not pretending to know or understand the things I don’t.
.... having uncomfortable conversations.
… being absolutely transparent.
So, in implementing these practices into my life, I had to ask myself some real questions regarding publicizing my practice, and therefore my life, in a sense. I knew that I didn’t want the reason for my sudden internet presence to be solely because other people wanted it.
Why am I sharing this?
What outcome am I hoping for?
How do/will I feel when I’m sharing?
Do my intentions align with my values?
Is there an outcome, response, or lack thereof, that will hurt my feelings?
Will the sharing/posting be in the service of connection or performance?
And in asking these questions I have come to realize that this is a great opportunity to grow and heal from my old wounds and habits of self-doubt, shame, and being/thinking that I’m “not enough.” Because through this practice of sharing through social media—being so honest that sometimes it might even be embarrassing, surrendering to my flaws and weaknesses (and therefore turning them into my strengths and Truths)—I’m engaging with vulnerability in a way that is inescapably revealing. Moreover, I’m hoping that this new public endeavor will deepen my practice—of life and of yoga; that it will hold me accountable; that it will help me transition from, “What will people think?” to “I am enough”; that it will better align my aspirational values with my practiced values (aka walking the talk); that it will help me come to a place of true, unscathed self-acceptance.
I read an amazing blurb on yoga teacher, Matt Giordano’s (@theyogimatt) Instagram post that brought me further clarity on this topic:
“I have faced my share of fear around exposing my self authentically and letting people in to my crazy world. One thing I have come to realize is that by not sharing my authentic and unique self I do everyone around me a disservice especially those closest to me. When I share straight from the source of my heart I create clarity for everyone around me by taking down the convoluted masks I hide behind that create a guessing game. A true sense of Trust is formed when people feel connected to me and the only way for them to truly feel me is for me to allow them to...”
In her book, Brené Brown talks about connection, and how, as people, we all seek and long for connection in one way or another, whether it is with ourselves or with others. I think this is what Matt is talking about as well; connection, even if it’s through our devices’ screens.
I want to come out from behind my mask and tear down the walls of Not Enough, and I am finding many ways to do so in my life. I believe that this will be another tool. And I’m so overwhelmingly excited to share straight from the source of my heart.