Why Do We Want to Practice Our Best is Enough?
In my life, I have been defeated many times. Most of the times were a result of my own fear based in comparing myself to others or worse, some ideal of perfect that not even the most accomplished could hope to match. By telling myself that “My best is enough,” I can actually move forward with my day. Otherwise, I am caught in a holding pattern of fear and doubt. Sometimes it can even be as simple as not knowing if I should move to the kitchen or the dining room, to put the dishes away, or to bring the boxes up stairs. I am caught in the fear of wasting time. We might have heard that time is money, and the less efficient I feel that I am, the more I am afraid of losing money, and the less I actually am able to do. This is a viscous cycle which can perpetuate exponentially if not address.
How to raise to the Challenge in a Loving Way
Why did others seem to get the job done, and even come back for more with enthusiasm. I was able to see the way these artists lived their lives and spent their time since we worked so closely with each other. The biggest difference was their Love for what they did. They had fun, and knew that their best was enough for themselves even if others might not always accept it as being complete or good enough. I, on the other hand, had made the work a task that I had to do. I started to doubt if I loved art at all. The truth is that whether I make art or not matters little, rather, it is the mindset or spirit with which I make the art and live within during the course of the day, and through all the judgments from the outside. I used to have the mindset of “My best is enough,” and at my happiest my best was more than enough! That spirit of passion and truth in the joy of my self expression sustained me in my art making for so long, but I had a weak practice in place of reaffirming that “My best was enough.” I did not celebrate my accomplishments or believe others when they said I was doing well. I practiced self hate regularly, questioning my very reason for being. And, with greater challenges, my confidence dwindled and was eventually crushed.
I am relearning how to remind myself of this truth that to often ends up getting lost in our adult lives. One very good method of doing so is doing an activity that challenges you, and brings you excitement and joy, is difficult for you at the same time, but not so overwhelming that you can not make progress. Sometimes merely waking in the morning could be that challenge for me. Waking up, ready for whatever the day might bring always ends up bring a smile to my face. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer than other times, and that is a perfect time to remind myself that “My best is enough.” Otherwise, I have these critics in my head yelling at me that I should have woken up sooner, that I am wasting time and, as a result, money. They also like to remind me that I am getting older, but I have seen young people that act as if they are old, and older people act as if they are young. Let's breath life into our day by reminding ourselves “My best is enough.” Let's smile, and have fun with the challenges of our lives! Interestingly enough, they are our greatest opportunities to Love and learn to be better versions of ourselves. For that we can be very grateful! :-)
Megan Bruneau, a clinical counselor, has written a very insightful article about letting go of regrets and forgiving yourself for decisions that have caused you pain. I found points 5 and 6 particularly insightful.
Rebecca Gladding M.D. clarifies mindfulness practice's use of judgment and non judgment. This is the very reason that I felt compelled to write “My best is enough,” and not “I am enough.” I am certainly enough, and so are you, but using the word best helps us connect to our “Wise Advocate” as Gladding calls it. This is the person inside us that is looking out for our best interests, and help us decide what to do. Yes this is a form of judgment, but the good kind. While bad judgment is self destructive, shaming us for behavior and decisions, good judgment from our “Wise Advocate” prevents the destructive choices that will lead us and those around us to more hurt.
Jennifer Kass, a love mentor, has a very strong personal voice, and tells her own story very well for the benefit of others. She has had quite a journey in life, and her messages are always inspiring to me. This is an article and podcast about forgiving yourself and letting go of the baggage you've been holding onto. I still use the pray that she gives at the end of this podcast whenever I am working. “I forgive myself for accepting and allowing a lack of personal power. I forgive myself for decisions and choices that I have made in which I have experienced disappointment.”
How Vrksasana can Help Us Grow Strong Roots Inside and Out
Vrksasana or tree pose is a fun challenge to my own yoga practice. It is all about balancing on one side our the other. My right side is normally better than my left, but if my mind is not still, and focused, it might be the reverse. It is always very fun to see what happens if I go into it with a mindset of “My best is enough.” I almost always fall out of the posture if I have the “Perfect is only enough” attitude. The best way to get myself back into a place where I can attempt the posture again is to tell myself, “I Love you, Aaron, for exactly who you are! :-) (actually smiling here and laughing) Your best is enough.” That is usually enough to help me refocus on what the posture is about, balance and stability. Vrksasana is such a good way to measure where my mind is, other poses might seem like they allow you to let your concentration slip, but it is near impossible to balance on one foot without being all there.
Physical and Mental Benefits
Regular practice of vrksasana will help us realize balance and stability in the legs physically, and as our minds are focused on that, we begin to think of this more and more in our daily lives. Then those difficult challenges at the work place or wherever will be met with the same focus on stability and balance. Our legs, feet, lower back, and hips will benefit physically; strengthened tendons in the feet, strengthened and toned the legs up to the buttocks, relieved sciatica, increased pelvic stability, as well as strengthened the bones of the legs and hips. Besides knowing that we are practicing something that is so good for us, our legs and feet will be planted firmly on the ground in each step and stance, and our self confidence and esteem will raise as a result of this new more balanced and stable feeling that we move through life with.
Cnyha has written a great article about the health benefits of tree pose.
All of the yoga postures correspond with an energy center of your body known as a chakra. These charkras are important to the way that we feel inside as well as interact with the world. The root chakra or mooladhara is the chakra that vrksasana helps activate. Mooladhara is considered the grounding chakra and home to your primal energy. When there is an imbalance here we might experience constipation, weight issues, fatigue, and back pain. Emotionally we might feel insecurity, poor decision making, and anxiety if this chakra is closed. When this charka is opened in balanced we will feel confident and stable. Even if you aren't sure about chakras because you don't know much about them and they seem a little magical. They do to me. Take some time to check how you feel inside and what your health condition is. Let's practice vrksasana with an open mind and heart, and see if we feel a difference.
Learn more about Mooladhara or root chakra at chakras.info.
PRECAUTIONS BEFORE PRACTICING
This posture is not for those that are experiencing headaches, insomnia, or low blood pressure. Those with high blood pressure should not raise their arms above their heads.
Tips for Balancing
In all balances, it is helpful to choose a stationary point some distance in front of your gaze to look at somewhere in the room before attempting the balance. This point is called a drishti in Sanskrit. The drishti will guard one from distraction, and prevent falling out of the pose.
Dristi even goes beyond focus and concentration on the yoga mat though, having a dristi and focus in life will help one see more clearly day to day that which is unimportant to their idea of success in life. Taken even further, dristi is leading us to the one truth of Love.
Here is an eye opening interview of Daved Harshada Wagner, meditation teacher, and his point of view concerning drishti.
Let's play vrksasana
- Stand in tadasana. Learn how to from the yoga pose of the week by clicking the link below.
- Shift your weight to your right foot.
- Turn you left foot 90 degrees from you right, so that it is pointing out from your body.
- Lift your left foot off the ground, pointing you toe downward, as if you are a ballerina.
- Raise you left foot up, gently sliding it up the right leg as high as it can go. Make sure that your foot is above or below the knee.
- If your foot is above the knee, grab your left ankle with your left hand, and place the heal of your left foot in your groin if this is comfortable.
- Raise your arms about your head, palms facing each other
- You may touch your palms together over your head if you are able.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute, or however long you wish or are able.
- Recommended feel good practice: As you are holding your pose remember to smile, “Your best is enough.” You could even repeat, “My best is enough,” in your mind, or out loud for an even larger confidence boost. To really inspire yourself try, “My best is more than enough.” Also, be creative and come up with your own affirmations or mantras that might ring more true for you. Remember that affirmations, mantras, and even the postures themselves are meant to serve you and your greater good. If you listen your mind, body, and spirit will tell you what that is best practice for you.
- Repeat the above steps on the opposite side.
- Recommended feel good practice: Once you are done clap, congratulating yourself for practicing, and thank your body for serving you so well (no matter if you were able to keep your balance or not).
If there is a topic you are passionate about or question that you would like answered about how to Love ourselves better, I would love to here it. Please write a comment about it here or on Face Book in the "For the Love of Self" discussion area.
Thank you so much for the time you have spent here today! It is an honor for me to be able to touch someone's life. If you didn't know it already, I hope that you have realized that “Your best is enough,” as a result of reading this. Laughter, hugs, and smiles to you my friend! May only Love and goodness greet you today!! Love, Aaron Szczurek :-)