I have decided to take on a mantra for this year and it is "Don't Try So Hard!". In a recent conversation with one of my wise teachers we examined my tendency to hold myself to a strict and high standard especially in my yoga teaching, and how I beat myself up when I feel I have not performed or shown up the way I want to. I try so very hard, and what it is really about is feeling I need to prove myself worthy. The problem is that that place that seeks to be filled is never satisfied, no matter how hard I might try or how good I might be. This method is madness.
There is a saying, "When you know better, you do better.", I am finally identifying and owning this dysfunctional pattern and now with my mantra as my guide I can continue to make friends with this wounded space and give it what it needs to heal. I have already made some real progress and find myself being less reactive when I make a mistake or things don't come out exceptional in my mind.
I remember in the module on transformational teaching in my 500 hour yoga teacher training Vidya and Devarshi saying "Hear the truth. You are already perfect, complete, infinite and whole just as you are.". I wanted to believe that concept and in truth the deepest part of me did, but this black hole wound kept it from shining through. It is faith in those words though which will fill the hole, nothing else will.
Imagine what it would be like if we all took on this mantra and treated ourselves with less strictness and judgment. What if instead of "Do more, try harder." we could embrace "Do less, be softer."? I don't think this is a call to apathy or laziness. I think it is a call to balance and respect of energy. A good friend recently said to me in a conversation about this very topic of my insecurity in teaching, "Just be yourself, and it will be perfect.", and now I pass that on to you. Whatever you do in any moment, just be yourself, and know, really know, breathe it in, that that is enough.