Freeing Up The Tension
When we are overtired, stressed, overworked, anxious, overwhelmed, poorly, it’s common to hold tension in our bodies. Particularly in the head, neck, shoulder, upper back region, and down in the hips, belly and glute muscles (buttocks). And if we exert ourselves too much physically, it can leave us feeling tight, achy and sore. Also, when we fall out of our rhythm of practising yoga or other exercise / movement practices, we too can become a bit stiff and creaky.
As you most likely have experienced, when you feel good physically, when you feel flexible, strong, and mobile, it positively affects your mindset and mood. Therefore, to show up as the best version of yourself, taking care of your body is foundational and fundamental. So roll out that yoga mat, have a relaxing salt bath with essential oils, make time for meditation and get an early nights sleep.
The Benefits Of Yoga
The benefits of yoga are not just physical, but mental and emotional also, so you really are setting yourself up for success in mind, body and life by having a regular practice and a good teacher.
Through practising yoga it helps us become more mindful of our thoughts and how we feel. If we carry this level of awareness off the mat and into our lives it helps us become more mindful of our words and actions as well. Maybe you find yourself; consciously re-considering reaching for those unhealthy food choices; or consciously holding back from saying something you will later regret.
Our thoughts, words and actions have a direct impact on how we show up in the world, so to be the best version of yourself keep up the yoga and meditation. It’s easy to forget, when practising yoga when you’re putting in the time and effort, sweating and stretching away, that its serving a higher purpose and you will reap even more benefits, long term, off the mat.
The Roles We Play
Depending on our environment, personal, work, social etc., we’ll be required to show up slightly differently. In different areas of our lives, different things are required of us, and we choose to grow in different ways as well.
Whether we are trying to be a more patient parent, a more disciplined yogin, a more compassionate leader, or a more polite being out and about town, we have to pay attention to the personal accountability that comes with that.
It easy to go about our days and fall into behavioural patterns that don’t best serve us or others. That’s why I believe it’s helpful to regularly check in with ourselves to see how we are feeling and how well we are showing up for ourselves and others. We must hold ourselves responsible for the mistakes we make, for the areas we fall short, for those we let down (including ourselves) and for the effect we have on others. Then make amends and strive to do better, where possible, even if that means prioritising taking care of your own wellbeing first.
If you find it hard to commit to things, finding an accountability partner is a good option and having to check in with them will hopefully keep you on the right path. If you work better as a team, you could buddy up with someone or multiple people, venture on the ‘showing up’ journey together and remain accountable to each other.
Helping - Self / Others
“It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, by doing so, you are taking part in the divine circle of giving and receiving. While we often focus on what the request means for the asker/recipient, we should remember that giving can be transformative for the helper… By not asking for help when you need it, you are blocking that flow.” Amoretta Morris
Remembering our inter-connectedness is key; seeking out help or chatting things through with someone might actually be what we need so we can then show up better in the world. Or maybe you helping someone then helps them be in a better position to help someone else, and the circle of support and healing continues.
Just Showing Up
“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.” Brené Brown
Sometimes even just showing up is enough, like in instances if we have fallen off the bandwagon, if we lack consistency, or if it’s something new or scary. For some things in our lives, we may be trying to fine-tune or level up how we show up; other times, we need to honour where we are at and be proud of ourselves for taking the first step in the right direction. Like when we are trying to build a new habit, or maintain one, showing up is all you need to do and before you know it your doing what you set out to achieve.
Journal Reflections / Taking Action
Look at the examples below.
Now create your own ‘life’ breakdown, so it’s relevant to you.
Choose one way in each area in which you wish to improve in how you show up.
Decide upon one way to make this happen.
Self – Committed to eating more whole, plant-based foods = Buy more fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts & seeds in weekly shop.
Partner / Dating – Better listener = Pay them more attention, listen more consciously – less multi-tasking, listen to understand (not to just respond), speak less.
Job – Better time management = Set deadlines, create time for deep work and time to rest and reset.
Children – Play more = Get involved, do more of what they find fun, stay engaged.
Community – Get involved = Research communities that share similar interests and values, explore ways of how one can be of service.
To not overwhelm yourself I recommend choosing one area to work on in the beginning, make that your focus and your personal growth goal, then when you feel ready move onto another.
Or, by all means, activate them all simultaneously if you are ready for some deep work and radical shifts.
Remember, though, to keep looking after your physical body, stretching it, finding space and creating openness so that you can find more freedom and function optimally in mind and heart. And so you can keep showing up as the best version of yourself, for you, your family, friends, colleagues and community.
“Be a warrior when it comes to delivering on your ambitions. And a saint when it comes to treating people with respect, modelling generosity, and showing up with outright love.”