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What does your compassionate voice say?

Because I’ve been a bit under the weather for the past couple of weeks I haven’t been doing my morning routine of gentle yoga and journaling because I was conserving energy for ‘important things’. As I have started to recover, I noticed a reluctance to go back to this routine and found myself making excuses not to do it. The more I avoided this part of my self-care the more I found myself feeling frustrated with my body for not being able to do the things I want it to do. I knew the two were connected but still found myself resistant to getting back on my mat so I decided to practice what I preach to my clients. This week I made a commitment to start each day on my mat, but I gave myself permission to stop after the first breathing exercise if I wanted to. To help make this as easy as possible I even everything out the night before next to my bed so I would have to step over it to avoid doing it.

How often do we let the critical internal voice drive our actions, listen to reasons we ‘can’t’ or ‘shouldn’t’ do certain things? How different is it when we focus on what we can do and support ourselves to make more helpful choices? Laying my yoga mat out the night before seems like such a small thing; how could it possibly make such a big difference? But that one small action the night before took away some of the barriers to doing what I know to be helpful, and once I had started that morning routine it was much easier to follow on to the next step, and the next, until here I am sat at my desk far earlier than normal writing a post, that I had been struggling with all week. I may not be doing as full a practice as I did before I was ill, but that’s ok, the important part is that I am doing something, and I know I will be able to build it back up.

One of the biggest differences has been the way I talk to myself. Rather that continuing to be frustrated and berating myself for what I’m not doing, I am speaking to myself from a place of compassion and focussing on what is possible. This allows me to make choices which support me to do the things I can which in turn helps me to do the activities which support my wellbeing. Responding to ourselves from a place of compassion can be one of the most powerful ways to disrupt negative cycles in our lives, if only we let that part of us have a say.

What would you be doing differently this week if you planned it from a place of compassion?

Three yoga blocks stacked on a yoga mat. Text reads ‘What does your compassionate voice say?’

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