Strike That, Reverse It

Lately, I’ve been much more aware of how self-critical I am – and I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I mean, when I look in the mirror, I immediately focus on the negative (oh, bad hair day!), rather than the positive (oooh, my hair is so soft and shiny!).  I’ve always had mirror issues, and they are certainly getting better, but that kind of picking apart is nothing but depressing.  I can feel it pulling me down.

Well, of course I had to use Willy Wonka - and it had to be the first and best one, too.

Well, of course I had to use Willy Wonka – and it had to be the first and best one, too.

So this morning during my Bikram class (yes, okay, okay, I am easily distracted), I decided to form a new habit.  I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but any day can be a good day to make change.  Each time one of those nit-picky negative thoughts floated in, I chased it back out with a positive response.

When I noticed that inadvertent camel toe my shorts were creating (I really need to stop wearing those damn shorts!), I looked at how they were slipping down because they have gotten to be a bit too big.

When I noticed the luggage under my eyes that I hauled back from Miami, I also noticed how those same eyes were sparkling with the joy of a good sweaty class.

When the teacher corrected the alignment of my feet in wind-removing pose, I gloried in how easily I was able to raise my head and see what she meant – and fix it.  Then I noticed what great feet I have.

I won’t bore you with all of the reversals I managed in today’s class – but I will say that there was at least one for every. single. posture.  Just goes to show how many of these self-critical, nit-picky, annoying little thoughts I can have in ninety minutes.

Before you say, “but, but, but, what about self-improvement?”, just don’t.  Obviously, I want to get “better” – whatever that means for me, by the way, not anyone else – and this is a major step in that direction.  Knowing what you need to improve and working at it is not the same thing as tearing yourself apart bit. by. critical. bit.  (See wind-removing pose correction above.)

Oh, and after class, I realized how I could apply this to my reaction to others, hopefully ending a cycle of negative energy that’s been circling for a while.  When that person who has been unreasonably critical of me, without reason, tries it again, I will focus on something positive about him/her.

Even if it’s as simple as “nice shoes”.

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