Authentic Self

Several weeks ago I opted to take a training course in booty barre yoga. This is a mixture of yoga, pilates, and ballet. Initially I was excited. When I was 4 years old, I remember wishing in a star to become a ballerina. I never took one proper ballet class. Perhaps I was taking this course now to satisfy that 4 year old . Another part of me felt obligated, as we had purchased barres for our workspace where I teach yoga and I needed it start using them out of guilt. I also had taken barre classes at my gym and was amazed by the workout and wanted to share that with my community. Therefore the achiever in me felt I needed to become an instructor.

And then reality struck.

I went to the course and was overwhelmed with sadness. Everyone in the course was either at some point a professional dancer or a dance instructor, with a ballerina body. This triggered my lack of self confidence in my body image, as my ethnic body did not fit this mold. The two classes we were required to teach on film for certification were planned out to the minute with no room for creativity or flexibility. The songs to be played in the background of your classes were even mandated to be at 126 bpm. I felt this was stifling my creativity as an instructor. I appreciated fluidity over forced structure and internally began building up a wall.

I called my husband from my hotel with a depleted sense of self. What had I done? There was nothing wrong with this training. The reason I was upset is I knew that I was not honouring my authentic self.

I had been spending so much of my everyday life devoted to making choices in what I wore, what I listened to, who I hung out with to be my authentic me. And here I was taking a course in something I didn’t love, out of guilt, and a perceived expectation I placed on my self from others, and my 4 year old self. In taking an all weekend course two hours from home, I was giving up my sacred spare time for something I didn’t care about anymore.

It reminded me of the life principle Derek Sivers once spoke about. Derek is the founder of CD baby and author to numerous books. He had mentioned that at one point in his life he was becoming overwhelmed with numerous obligations that included travel and incessant meetings. Although he was wealthy, he was living a life that wasn’t his. He had a breaking point and decided that his choices were going to be simplified to either F*ck yes or no. On so many occasions we live our lives out of perceived obligations. We all are only granted with a limited amount of time per week, regardless of the amount of money we make or age we are at. When we fill it with things that don’t matter, it leaves no space in our lives for anything. An opportunity may arise for something that we truly love, and we may not have the bandwidth to fit it in.

And so this is what I am vowing, to live life with authenticity. Make choices in my life either as F*ck Yes or No!

I encourage you to reflect on how you are currently living your life . Is it aligned with your values? Perhaps we have grown and shifted but our goals and values had remained the same as they were 10 years ago. It may be a good time to check them if they are current, or else you may be living your life to honour the you from 10 years ago versus the you that exists today.

Who are you living your life for?

Be courageous by being authentic !

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