You are your own best teacher. This wise phrase is how one of my yoga instructors always begins a Bikram Yoga class. You have 90 minutes in a very hot and steamy room, to focus on yourself. Most people, especially those that are parents, do not have the opportunity to focus just on themselves. It is a gift, but it is also very difficult. As humans we are all flawed, our bodies are uneven, we are unbalanced, irrational, temperamental, we make mistakes, we forget and we get sick. But when life does not go your way, which is most of the time, we can find opportunities to learn and perhaps to grow, but we don’t always do that either.
In my work as a psychotherapist, it is easy for me to sit in a room with a stranger, and as I hear their thoughts, feelings and stories unfold, I can readily identify where they are creating destructive patterns and offer a possible new perspective towards a solution. People have pain they bury in their hearts and body and sometimes almost need permission to let it out. That is where therapy helps. For me, my yoga practice is a source of therapy. It is a place of quiet and meditation, I have two young children, so my house is rarely quiet. As a single mother, I have constant responsibilities to care for my sons and my house, all on my own. And sometimes it is overwhelming. I need a place where I can take care of me, and I have discovered that to be a very hot room, filled with very positive and beautiful people, all trying to make their bodies and ultimately lives, a little healthier.
But as a therapist I am not good at all at recognizing my own mistakes, flaws, or solving my own problems. I have a few very close friends who are privy to hear my personal dramas unfold. I have realized through the Bikram 60 day challenge, I have been relying less on my friends for advice and truly creating less drama in my life. I’m dealing with things that in the past I have avoided. I am confronting people with the truth, even if it is difficult. I have a tendency to want to make everyone happy. Well, guess what.. that’s pretty impossible. So even if I am presented with a situation that makes me uncomfortable… I try to make it work for another, but in the end causing drama for myself. It’s usually the same problem we create over and over in our lives. Perhaps the problem deals with relationships, money, our work, trying to get organized, trying to make a change, etc. If you examine your life, you will probably find you seem to experience the same type of problem again and again.
So take a step back, breathe, take a good look at yourself… and smile! You are your own best teacher…learn from your mistakes… and believe that you are amazing!