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Choose To Be Happy

Saturday, March 07, 2015

My favorite yoga teacher, Adriene Mishler, sent out an email this week encouraging her readers to commit to no more miserable fitness dates with our bodies. She's got me thinking about what keeps us going on our fitness journeys and what interferes.

I continue to work on noticing and rooting out negative self-talk. I used to ignore it, thinking it's a bit harsh, but essentially coaching myself. Now I'm coming to see it as destructive and demoralizing. Instead of ignoring it, I'm trying to notice it and tell myself, "Stop! This isn't helpful." Then I try to get at what is the emotion behind the self-talk. Am I afraid of something? Anxious? Frustrated? The more I look deeply at the self-talk, the better I can discover the hidden emotions, and address them with compassion.

Contempt for self is magnified when we don't root it out of our inner voices. And self-loathing habits of thought don't promote health. They ultimately promote self-doubt and stagnation. When we believe the nasty self-talk, we act from that foundation. We undermine ourselves, we look for failure as confirmation of our self-doubt, and we give up. Often, we give up in the midst of a successful streak, because the success is too confrontational to our habitual beliefs about ourselves.

It is time to turn away from self-doubt and turn toward happiness and health. We do so when we make these lifestyle changes from a place of affirmation, self-worth, and love, rather than scorn and punishment. I am inviting myself to find praise and value in each moment, even the moments of setback and confusion.

Happiness and success are more than the absence of challenges. Rather, they follow consistent efforts to change bad habits. They are the results of our commitment to actively strive for health, joy, well-being, light-heartedness, wholeness and courage.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful week, friends.

Working on yourself and working on your body should feel good and can be fun! No more miserable dates with your body. -- Adriene Mishler
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