At Strala, we are familiar with the idea of getting into ourselves by exploring the way we move. We are encouraged to explore how we feel in every inch of our body, in a way of moving that is free of restrictions. We are challenged to explore all 360 degrees of our movements, instead of just moving from front to back, or side to side. This way of exploring leads us to discover not only what movements feel good to our body, but also to other things that are good for us. We start choosing to live better and make other good decisions for ourselves.
When it comes to exploring our thoughts and feelings, however, we are not always as generous. Most of us have the tendency to quickly dismiss any negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, maybe because we are afraid of being considered over-sensitive, uncool, or weak. While this seems like a quick and easy way out, since our body is a physical manifestation of our thoughts and feelings, suppressed thoughts and emotions can find their way to manifest in our body. It could be in the form of pain in certain areas, or disturbance in our bodily functions.
Allowing ourselves to listen to our thoughts and feelings does not mean that we have to analyze every single one of them. Considering the complexity of our mind and intricacy of our heart, it would be impossible to do so. Having said that, just as we learn to ease ourselves into unfamiliar positions in yoga, we can also learn to ease ourselves into unfamiliar territories within us. There are thoughts and feelings that we don’t mind admitting and sharing with others. There are also others that we prefer to ignore or hide, because we don’t like to admit that they are parts of us.
No one likes negative thoughts or feelings, so it is normal that our initial reaction is to dismiss them. Dwelling in negativity is neither healthy nor helpful, but asking ourselves what led us to thinking or feeling in such ways could guide us to interesting discoveries about ourselves. For example, when you hear a little voice inside you saying “I’m not lovable,” rather than just dismissing it by responding “Of course that’s not true,” you may want to ask yourself what it was that made you feel that way. Did someone you care about treat you badly, or say unkind words to you? If so, does their behavior toward you determine how you value yourself? By asking these questions, you will eventually arrive at the same conclusion: that your initial thought of being unlovable was not true. Instead of immediately dismissing your thought, however, you give yourself the permission to accept this this thought, and find out the reasons behind it. Just as exploration in movement can lead to interesting discoveries about our body, exploration in our thoughts and feelings can do the same to our mind and heart. Take the time to do both, and find your way into you.