This week I started yoga teacher training.
I’ve been practicing yoga for quite some time now, but being on the “other side of the mat,” so to speak, is a whole different ballgame.
Going to my first class felt like being the new kid at school – signing in, introducing myself to people and heck, even just setting up my space in a classroom-style studio felt foreign and uncomfortable.
I’ve never been good at being a beginner. I like to be comfortable, know what I’m doing and feel like I belong. That is where I draw my confidence from.
During this first class I embarrassed myself, I felt wildly out of my comfort zone when we were asked to practice a few sentences introducing a class (eek!) and I was the only one who didn’t bring a notebook.
But despite all of that, at the end of the class, I felt proud. Proud for showing up, for putting myself out there, and for reminding myself to simply BREATHE during the class when I felt anxious.
We all experience being a beginner countless times throughout our lives regardless of our age:
The beginning of a new friendship or relationship.
Starting a new job, going back to school, or a career change.
Moving to a new city, state or country.
The beauty of new beginnings where we might feel anxious, clunky and out of place, is that they build our resilience and vulnerability muscles. They break down our rigid egos and shine a light on where we may need to heal, expand and grow.
Today I’m sharing a few ways to show yourself grace and compassion during new beginnings in any season of life.
Use new beginnings as a catalyst to better understand what you need in the self love and acceptance department. Are you quick to judge yourself when you are a beginner? Do you find yourself overthinking the words that come out of your mouth, feeling like you need to prove something, or obsessing over the mistakes you make? I certainly do! Rather than beat myself up over it, I’m learning that these habits are all pointing me towards what I need to heal within myself, how I can support myself and how to show myself compassion.
When we throw ourselves into something new, we can choose to use it as a tool to better understand how we react when we are are out of our comfort zone. We can then use this knowledge to deepen our level of self awareness, love and acceptance by learning what changes we need to make internally to support ourselves — not only during this transitional period, but beyond.
Practice showing appreciation for the expansion this chapter is bringing you right now. You know the phrase hindsight is 20/20? It’s always easier to look back upon a period of life and realize how it benefited you. However, it’s not so easy to recognize that when you are in the thick of it. Rather than wait until it’s all said and done to start looking for the insights, look right now. That way, it becomes more about finding the magic in the journey itself rather than reaching the destination.
Invite others in and recognize they are a mirror. What we see in others is often a reflection of what we see in ourselves. Most of the time, this happens unconsciously. Practice welcoming others in during this period of being a beginner, and take note of what stands out about them – whether that be something you admire or perhaps something that rubs you the wrong way. These new seasons of life offer the perfect opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on ourselves from our peers, not only from shared experiences, but by recognizing that they are also our teachers.
Remember that being a beginner is required. No one gets to show up in life being the expert, knowing exactly what they are doing right off the bat. Even those who you look up to the most started right where you are. We are here to learn, grow and help each other along the way. Find comfort in the fact that being a beginner is required (for everyone) in life.
Show yourself grace and humility whenever possible. Have you ever started a new venture and felt like you wanted to be the best or most respected at it? That’s your ego talking — and it will probably bring the need to compete or flow with the status quo with it.
Rather than feed the ego, allow yourself room to make mistakes, feel embarrassed or share your insecurities with those close to you – and don’t forget to have a good laugh about it too! No one else is less human than you. I’m willing to bet most people can relate to your “valleys” more than they can your “mountaintops” when it comes to life experiences. The more we can practice being vulnerable and share the messy parts of ourselves, the more we are opening the door to personal transformation, connection and enlightenment.
What are you at a beginner at right now? What are you learning from it? Leave me a comment below!
This post was originally published on Mindful-LivingBlog.com.