Do you feel your own power? Do you feel in control of your life? Do you feel completely happy in your own skin?
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions then please know you’re not alone!
Low self-esteem is rife in our society (particularly amongst sensitive people who’ve had a lifetime of people telling them not to be so emotional, to get over it, and to grow a thicker skin).
Feeling crap about yourself in some way is a hidden epidemic and a taboo subject as it’s rarely talked about. Who wants to admit to feeling this way?
It’s contributing towards the high levels of stress and anxiety and mental health issues in our society.
A broken record
There are many and complex factors contributing to feelings of low self-worth from upbringing to schooling to life experience, to what you take into your body/mind through food and media.
But there’s a clear thread in the messages we’re fed through the media and advertising that deeply contributes to this.
The message that you’re broken and you need fixing.
I recently shared these words of wisdom at the end of my weekly yoga classes and I felt it resonated with my students:
“Stop trying to ‘fix’ yourself; you’re not broken! You are perfectly imperfect and powerful beyond measure.” ~ Steve Maraboli
It’s a truth that we live in a world where a lot of people make a lot of money from telling us we’re broken and that if we buy their product it will be make you feel better and fix you.
We’re bombarded with subtle insidious messages hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day.
It’s bound to wear you down!
And sometimes personal development & spiritual teachings can compound that. Buy this book / do this course / follow this practice to be a better person.
Realize your inner power
So, how do we deal with all this without letting it erode our spirit and soul?
By feeding our inner strength, practising being present and choosing how to feel.
Yoga gives us this power. We strengthen our body/mind, we release fears and conditioning and habits from our body/mind. We learn to focus; we learn to see clearly; we learn to know and love ourselves.
Now, I often talk about the transformational journey yoga takes us on.
*BUT* I don’t think you need fixing.
The journey yoga takes us on is to reveal what was already there: your beautiful human soul; your inner wisdom; your infinite power.
Yoga and mindfulness and meditation don’t fix you or make you a better person.
Instead, they clear away the layers of metaphorical grime that years of negative messages and life’s challenges have covered you in, to reveal the beautiful shining lustrous gem at your centre: your true self … which was there all along.
Think and breathe yourself strong
For me, the biggest and most beautiful journey yoga, mindfulness and meditation has taken me on is from a place of lack of self-trust, self-belief and self-acceptance to a place of inner strength, trust, resilience and self-appreciation.
It’s taught me (and continues to teach me) that I truly am powerful.
Remember you have all the inner resources you need.
Willpower, love, strength, compassion, curiosity, wisdom … it’s all there ready to be tapped into.
Here’s a simple but powerful breathing technique to help to build a sense of inner power and that you are in the driving seat of your life.
The Empowerment Breath
Practise it each morning and see the difference it makes to your life!
- Sit or kneel in an upright position.
- Breathe in as you bring your hands, palms together, in front of the centre of your chest.
- Breathe out, extending your arms forward, turn the palms outwards and keep the index fingers and thumbs together to form a triangle.
- Take a deep in-breath.
- On the out-breath make the sound “ssssss” taking your arms out to the sides and then down towards the ground. Feel the expansion in the area of your chest.
AFFIRM: I believe in myself. I am in control of my life.
You are powerful. You are courageous. You are strong.
I’ll leave you with these wise words:
“When you become the master of your mind, you are master of everything.” Swami Satchidananda