So yesterday I was working with a life coach to create a personal mantra. I had the first part down: I’m safe. That sounded infinitely relaxing and comforting. What else? she asked me. I’m worthy. I said. Hmmm, it’s missing something, she said. How about I’m 100% worthy, I offered. Worthy of what? she asked. And I stared like a deer into headlights. After a good 30-second silence, I had to confess, “I don’t know.” So she made a suggestion, you can follow along with me below:
Try this right now (you might want to close your office door if you’re at work): Out loud say, “I am worthy of love, belonging and connection.” If you want extra credit, go to the bathroom and make this declaration out load in front of the mirror while looking into your own eyes.
Was there any hesitation in your voice? A catch in your throat? Any strange sensations in your body? Did you fully believe yourself?
When I first tried this I got through the love part ok, but belonging felt foreign to me, as in, “What do you mean exactly? Belong to what, where? I’m confused.” And when I said the word “connection” I actually felt a mild sense of aversion, which showed up like “I don’t know that I even need or want that, that even sounds painful!”
When I looked a little deeper I had to admit to myself that deep down inside I often operate unconsciously from the assumption that of course I don’t belong (here on this planet, having this human experience with the rest of you) and so obviously I’m not looking to try to connect anytime soon lest you remind me that I don’t belong here and maybe don’t even deserve love (gasp!) Then I realized that if I am operating from a place where there’s no belonging or connecting, then am I really being open to giving and receiving love? Or even knowing what it really is? Imagine a newborn infant. Imagine all the babies who have just been born in this instant. Are any of them not deserving of love, belonging and connection? Where did I start to believe that perhaps this wasn’t true about myself? What about you? Who told you that you weren’t worthy of any of these things?
The thought that I may be operating from an internal place hostile to love really shocked me. I know I have experienced the sensation that I call love (as a complete package with belonging and connection inside of it) – with family, friends, the beauty of nature and especially the animals in my life. And I do have an amazing and powerful tribe of people in the yoga community, at my studio and in Baptiste studios around the world where I truly know that I belong and I am connected. My vision for Radiance Power Yoga is that it be a place where everyone feels a sense of love, belonging and connection.
However, I am left in this moment with a sneaking suspicion that I may not truly be experiencing the fullness of true, open and undefended love as much as I might. And so I am practicing saying (out loud as must as possible) I am worthy of love, belonging and connection, over and over and over again. I’m imagining it’s a lot like practicing handstand. Even though we really don’t believe it’s possible, if we keep taking those little hops, over and over and over again, one day, almost without us realizing it there we are hovering weightlessly above our mat suspended in the pose.
I invite you to practice with me, and let’s take flight together!