There is so much more to me than meets the eye.
I am so many more things than what can be seen in a world of filtered, “show-and-tell” perspectives.
I wish the world would not become so accustomed to their gaze. I wish we would lean into our hearts more. With our hearts, we can feel what is, and with our gaze we can only see through our lens of fear or love.
We often make our lives too hard by fusing ourselves into others’ stories, ones that aren’t ours, ones that are lived through fear, expectation, and shame. Think about how we see people on social media—we think they have it all together, only to find out that they are struggling too. We think that they are wrong because their stories don’t resonate with us (or we do not understand), only to find out later we’ve experienced similar hardships and shame and can relate. Think about that friend who seemed like the world was at their doorstep, only to watch at some point the world around them crash and burn. We’re left wondering how it all came to this.
On social media, we often project what we know onto someone else instead of observing, listening, and feeling compassion with our hearts.
As a woman and an athlete, I struggle to be truly seen in a world that is so hyper-focused on bodies and sexuality. I struggled to be seen for the strength and skill I have created in a world that thinks everything can be achieved in 30 days. My movement practice was about managing my mental health and saving my life, but on the outside looking in, people only see a body, an outfit, or a skill—and they don’t realise my real wealth is my health, and it saved my life because it is self-care.
What many don’t realize is self-care is more discipline than pleasure. In a world of bubble baths and candles for self-care, I’m an “up at 5 a.m. for 10 years” girl—yes, I get up to train and learn these life skills. In a world of body judgement and shame, I’m a girl who is using self-discipline to build my tools for life so I don’t find myself in the wells of darkness and shame.
In a world of instant gratification, a focus on numbers, and too many “shoulds,” it is worth going within and focusing on our own story, so we can find ourselves and make our life more aligned for ourselves and those around us. And in turn, our lives then become more fluent, whole, and easier.
It’s worth taking the risk of choosing who you know you can be and doing the work so you can breathe.
Because in a world where life is hard for us all, the difference between those who shine and those who struggle is the way we breathe into our own or not. In a world of excuses, and regrets, of buying things to make us feel better and accruing likes for worthiness (instant gratification), and of exchanging relationships like they are a material thing, be the human who is not settling for a version of themselves that other people imagine them to be. Work on building friendships and nourishing them and creating communities of love, not likes. Travel to learn new ways of being, to live instead of buy things. Show those around you that social media is a gift of connection—when used with love—as is our breath.
As a health and well-being coach, yoga teacher, personal trainer, and author, my tip to those wanting to grow and feel better is to adopt a “do it now” attitude. This mentality has assisted me to build self-discipline and grow. Want to work out? Then stop scrolling—do it now. Thinking about calling a friend or texting or responding? Do it now. Laundry to fold? Do it now? Dropped something on the floor? Pick it up now. It’s the small things that matter. What can you do now?
Let us stop missing the days when everyone wasn’t too busy. People reached out and said, “Hi. I’m thinking of you.” Texts were cherished and responded to, and conversations expanded. Many, like me, feel that this world is just way too much, and yet it still lacks a depth of connections; loneliness is hitting us all.
For me, movement is medicine, and you need to find your medicine too. However, that medicine isn’t external. It is sitting within you. Movement allows me to feel it all and use it so it doesn’t bring me down.
To those struggling and feeling too much, like you can’t move forward, stillness is your home. While my advice to adopt a “do it now” attitude helps us to start, it is still important to also do nothing. It is here in both the quiet and the noise that the songs of life are composed. It is where the folds in a blank piece of paper are formed, creating magnificent origami. It is the contrast between movement and deep pause that manifests us.
So today, join me as I start a new habit that you can too. Start asking yourself: Am I stressed, or am I just thinking about things in a stressful way?
Because in a world where we all focus outside of ourselves, please remember we can’t change the world or others, but we can change ourselves and our thoughts. And sometimes we are really the ones making life harder than it needs to be.
How am I making life harder than it needs to be?
Am I stressed or thinking of the situation in a stressful way?
Now breathe and you will see that—with no gimmick, no new item to buy, and nothing external—you are able to change and hold power for free with just these simple questions.