Tuesday, September 15, 2009

uoıʇdǝɔɹǝd ɟo ɹǝʇʇɐɯ ɐ sı sʇsıxǝ ʎןnɹʇ ʇɐɥʍ

˙uoıʇdǝɔɹǝd ʇnoqɐ ןןɐ s,ʇı ˙ʇı ǝƃuɐɥɔ oʇ ʎɐʍ ʇsǝısɐǝ ǝɥʇ sı ǝɟıן ʇɐ ʞooן noʎ ʎɐʍ ǝɥʇ ƃuıƃuɐɥɔ

I'd love to say that I have mastered my own ability to change my perspective on things. I haven't. Far from it. (Is it even possible to ever master such a task?) Instead, I am writing this in an attempt to tackle a belief that I am trying to change. Life is a series of lessons, and the minute you think you really 'get it', you are presented with another challenge.

Case in point: I was at a Vinyasa yoga class at the gym on Thursday. Now, I must first tell you that I am not a big believer in hiding my body, even the parts that I don't like. Doing that only allows them to grow bigger (because I'm not dealing with them) and really, I don't believe that they can actually be hidden. I think that, regardless of what we wear, people can see what our bodies generally look like. 

When I do yoga, I wear very fitted tops so that when I am in an inverted position, I don't have to worry about my shirt riding up. I've been taking yoga at a studio that, thank God, doesn't have mirrors. But this particular Vinyasa class was in the gym, in the group fitness room that's plastered with three mirrored walls. As I sat in Sukhasana (cross-legged), I was forced to sit looking at my reflection. Though my asana felt good, I noticed all of the parts of my body that I don't like to look at, taking me out of the joy of the pose. I remembered that all the people in my yoga classes have seen me like this, looking not-so-fabulous, and I began hating the outfit that I was so confident in moments before. I started to see myself as ʇɐɟ, and then mindfully chose to change my perception. I chose to see myself as a healthy woman who is working towards a leaner, stronger body.

It's not easy, to mindfully see and change how you see and what you see, and I cannot guarantee that the situation won't repeat itself for me the next time I am in front of a mirror. Likely, it will. But like any bad habit, breaking it takes time, and the choice to work through the process.

My perception of more personal things is a much greater struggle for me, but since I want to have a calmer, more relaxed response to button-pushing charges, working on my perception is important. Life's flow sometimes takes me to places of discomfort, and it's my work to sit with the discomfort and find it's root, rather than to transform it to a general misconception. Talking through my irrational thought process also helps to break it down and disassemble it.

When we work toward being healthier, all of our past experiences send us a message as to how successful we might be. If you've failed at eating well every time you've tried, chances are you are going to perceive yourself as being unable to do it, as a failure. If you change your perception though, everything can change. Say to yourself, "I know all the things that have caused me to fail in the past, so this time I will have a plan in place for how to deal with them." This will give you a better chance at succeeding.

Perception is a strange thing. It is usually based on past experiences that are not relevant to what is currently going on, and more often than not, our perception doesn't match reality. Being mindful of this is the first step.

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