Two days past Christmas. How did stillness go? Were you able to find a moment to yourself? Here's a quick recap on my approach, successes and short comings to yesterdays challenge:
Yesterday morning, I got to sleep in. Having the time to sleep in and not worry about any tasks and prioritizing rest for my body and for my mind was amazing. I slept relatively well and when I woke up, I allowed myself to enjoy the feeling of relaxing in bed. I posted the challenge on my instagram and on here then embraced the feeling of my warm blankets, my perfectly squishy pillows underneath my head and it was so relaxing. I just wanted to stay there. I thought about getting up to eat but I'm recognizing once I realized how comfortable in this quiet observing relaxed state, how LAZY I wanted to continue to be. Sloth mode. I did get some things done and eat and then decided between going for a run and enjoying an episode of TV/napping. I decided to get back in bed, pop on my brand new Roku and watched the remainder of an episode of TV I had started. After that was to decide how to use the next hour, I decided I'd do 5 - 10 minutes of shavasana - I did controlled breath work and laid out on my bed in my fuzzy blanket. I lost track of how long I actually did it but I did appreciate taking time to meditate, it used to be part of my daily routine but I haven't done it regularly in a long time. After that, I set a 20 minute nap timer, dozed off. It felt like 2 minutes!
After talking to my mom on the phone, I went to the yoga studio early and did a few things, they weren't still but I tried to find a quiet mind while doing them. It is really easy for me to cue/talk/criticize my work to change quality and play with texture especially when dancing. But today, I put on some Mumford and Sons and hit record and just danced in a way that felt good trying to quiet the critic and commentary in my head and just groove. It was nice as I haven't taken time to improv in a long time, I used to do it daily as well, for me for my sanity and creativity... but with less access to open space and restricted time I haven't made it a priority. So it wasn't literally still, but I did intentionally try to make my mind separate and allow my body to speak. It wasn't 100% of the time, but it did feel full to dance without my own head giving feedback.
Before teaching, I did a quick 15 minute personal practice with the intention of being still or finding stillness before moving to the next pose. I was much more challenging to teach and cue people because the yogi must be receptive and listening for it to happen. Not to say they weren't listening but with different tempos and each persons' body needing a little more here or there I recognized how it is just something to cue and remind of and hope they find/recognize more still for themselves and for no one else. For their practice.
Applying that mentality in Charlie's class started really strong, I like to flow, to keep moving and fidget especially in very uncomfortable positions but I did manage to be able to reset and catch myself many times throughout the class. It was definitely challenging for me. We did start and end class using bolsters - it was easier than usual to find that stillness and quiet mind. I'll be curious to know if that was a product of being well rested, my mentality in class, or the multiple approaches I used to find "stillness". There were definitely some huge moments of - "wow, not moving.... mind racing now...." in difficult poses and uncomfortable positions. I tried to come back to my breath, it was not always as easy.
Yesterday did make me want to try to meditate more often, getting that back in my daily routine. I remember when I was doing it everyday - it really did have a profound impact on my day. Whether I did it in the morning, or the evening - it set a tone for myself. I'll admit, my daily list of To-Dos for my wellness is getting REALLY long - but I'm going to try to do it before bed to set my body into a relaxed before sleep, I think it will help. Sleep and I have an inconsistent relationship but when I was meditating, reading, and praying during my YYT and after my break up, it did shift my mindset. I'll keep you posted if I'm able to keep myself accountable to meditate and keep you posted on any notable shifts!
Now to what you are here for:
Day 3: Accept a Compliment
This might sound simple. Its not. Go ahead try it. Fully accept a compliment.
Do you ever hear, "Aren't they cute? They were a gift!" While it acknowledges some good trait, it deflects from the value of the compliment. Accepting a compliment goes beyond acknowledging that something is liked with a shifted a response. Why has it become so uncomfortable and awkward to just say thank you. I remember after seeing Mean Girls specifically (I'm sure other movies influenced this as well and then caught like wild fire) when she is complimented for being pretty she said " aw, wow thank you" to which the complimenter said, "So you think your really pretty" --- I remember thinking, is this what goes through someones mind when they give a compliment. And as if I was not the only person, "thank you" was traded out with "right?" I know I'm guilty of this. I'm pretty sure I did it last week unintentionally - "Oh my gosh right? I got them on the clearance rack" Did the value of its purchase really matter? There was a time when stressing how cheap things were felt like a statement saying you don't have to shop at brand name places to find good clothing, but in looking at it, I'm not entirely sure that information is relevant unless asked for. That is pride in the find getting in the way of saying "Thank you." or "Wow thank you, you have no idea how much that means" That part seems easy enough... but the next part is a little harder....
This is not a moment for it to be a battle of the compliments. You are not going to win anything by switching focus. It is always kind to give a compliment but do not feel it must be met with one especially if it weren't going to be said without prompting. On the flip side, don't give the complimenter grief or discredit them in the process of your deflection. An example - I was complimented on the ceremony I wrote and did for my friends wedding, genuinely bothered by losing my place during the ceremony and have a few moments stumbling over my words... I responded with "I could have done better, it was so much smoother this morning when I was practicing. I fumbled over my words." Instead of saying, "thank you, I tried to capture the essence of who they are and what today means to them." I denied their compliment and pulled away from a ceremony by saying this. I didn't mean to reject it - but it wasn't my intention behind my words, I was disappointed in the lack of perfection for my friends... but was blinded by that to see that beyond those mistakes people were still touched.
Does your body language become closed off? Have you ever thought about how your body may betray you? Try not to back away or cross your arms in discomfort. To be honest, it isn't something I really think about but as I was preparing for more graceful ways to accept a compliment more than one article and blog mentioned this. I was surprised, I'm not entirely sure it is something I notice either but it will be something I look for and try to keep in mind.
BELIEVE IT. If someone says you look pretty, say thank you. Not "well thanks BUT I'm not sure about that" or "I wouldn't go that far" (I'm the biggest culprit of that this. I don't know why I'm doing it. Why it comes from my mouth but it totally takes away from someones kindness. It rejects something they didn't have to say to you in the first place.