“You talk a lot”

… too much, perhaps?

I have, periodically, been informed that I talk a lot. As a teenager, my peers had not yet learned to mince their words, so some would plainly complain that I talk too much.

For a few years I felt quieter. When I deleted all of my social media and stayed off it for the bulk of my university days, and when I lost my phone and changed my number, I lost quite a number of friends along with a whole internet presence and persona. I started keeping to myself and did not actively maintain any new friendships.

It didn’t matter then – disconnecting like that. Given the circumstances it was important that I spent a lot of time without a lot of people.

Now that I’m back home things have started to change. I’ve been “putting myself out there” a little more (even this blog is part of this new development), and I have been trying to connect with some friends, old and new, more regularly.

In the last two weeks one or two people have commented on my talkativeness, and I realise that it has been bugging me.

I do not like that I am occasionally weighed down by a heaviness in my heart that feels like guilt and shame when I start to worry that I am becoming an annoyance.

It feels like such a silly insecurity to carry around.

Really, it is so silly.

It upsets me that I have made so much progress in the self-care aspect of my daily life that I can still feel insecure about things the more rational section of my mind can see are of little to no importance.

Sometimes the heaviness creeps in when you least expect it.

“You talk a lot” could be meant as a neutral comment but that toxic voice inside you can twist it and fill you with all the insecurity and shame of your pubescent years.

“You talk a lot” has a number of stand-ins: “You’re too_____” or “You’re so_____”.

They all feel the same on a bad day.

They all feel as heavy on a bad day.

I do not like that I occasionally feel like an insecure teenager…

 

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The Flipside

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I like that I am more conscious of these toxic thoughts and feelings.

Just a year ago I would have let the negative feeling fester and take over.

Just a year ago I would have consumed the poison.

A year later and I able to take a step back an recognise that sometimes depression comes back, and it can do so insidiously. It can plant its seed in the smallest and most insignificant looking ideas — “You talk a lot”– and if you nurture that seed a plant will take root. “You talk a lot” can turn into “You are terrible at your job,” “You are a disappointment to so-and-so,”  “They would be happier without you”…

Being aware of the way you are talking to yourself is so important, and it starts with the little things.

It is so important that we all remind ourselves that we are enough and we are okay. It is so important to take a step back and recognise that the things people say are not always meant to harm you, and even if they are, you are enough, and you are okay.

When we reflect and be mindful of the nature of the thoughts and emotions we encounter, we empower ourselves with choice.

Once we can step back and recognise that part of the solution to our problems can be found within ourselves, we can choose a healthier way to live our lives

This year I want to choose happiness.

This year I want to choose positivity.

I want to give myself the power of choice.

 

 

Hanan

 

 

 

 

 

When bending feels like breaking

Ah, backbends. Is anyone else a little afraid of backbends? At times I am straight up terrified of bending back when I have nothing to hold on to. My mind starts to race. It’s almost like a fight or flight response is triggered: my hands want to fly towards something to support me and I want to run away from backbending altogether.

Backbending yoga postures, while terrifying at times, are truly amazing. They really expand the chest area (a.k.a. open the heart) and, I don’t know if anyone will get what I am saying here, but they allow me to breathe with clarity. I remember the first time I got into my wheel pose just a couple of months ago. I had the pleasure of experiencing a yummy, full, tingling feeling in my heart centre after coming out of the pose. That was the moment that inspired me to write my very first post about this new #yogajourney.

On that day I hadn’t anticipated how much harder it was going to feel to get into and stay in wheel pose and other backbends. I continue to feel a sharp pinch in my lower back and I often feel defeated when I am not strong enough to hold a pose.

One thing I have come to realise, particularly through practicing backbends, is that the more I learn about different asana, the more aware I become of my ‘mistakes’. It is a sad fact that my brain has been conditioned to berate my body and my being when it does not live up to a particular standard.

This is all to say that sometimes ego gets in the way of fully appreciating your body. Getting onto the mat and doing something for yourself is in itself an accomplishment and a blessing. I used to think that an ego-driven practice could only happen in a public yoga class, but it is clear to me now that ego can lead your practice in a private space too.

It is difficult, but it is important to remember that executing poses is not everything. Some postures take time, and some others may never be accessible to you.

One of my goals for this year is to undo the negative conditioning of my mind. Instead of reacting with harshness and criticism, I’d like my intuitive reaction to be one guided by love and encouragement. Instead of a fight or flight reaction, I want to embrace the experience of yoga – struggle and all. After all, flight or fight responses should only be reserved for actual dangerous, life-or-death scenarios – and let’s hope yoga doesn’t fall into that category for anyone out there (lol, Hunger Games: Yoga Edition, anyone?).

Ok, I have run out of words to type and it’s about 4 hours past my bed time.

Here’s hoping yoga newbies like myself practice safely, and if you ever find that you can’t bend back, lean back.

P.S. This is the backbend practice that triggered today’s yogic reflections. Kino is such an amazing spirit and teacher. Definitely my #WCW.