Tag Archives: Life

What does it mean to be ready?

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A lot of my healing over the years stems from the need to accept myself – my whole self. I think everyone has varying degrees of this experience embedded in their lives – wanting to fit in and feel “accepted” by their families, peers, communities – whoever it may be. For me I experienced a heightened sense of this need growing up adopted-Korean in a predominantly white community. Being inherently different on the outside forced me to make peace with the world one part by accepting myself and one part by trying to fit in desperately. Let me tell you only one of these parts worked.

As a teen attending Korean Culture Camp, I went through self-esteem classes each year. Definitely one of my least favorite aspects of camp. Really all I cared about was mandu (Korean dumplings) and plum candy. (I paid for that care later in life – will save for another post). But the self-esteem classes at the time weren’t especially helpful or practical. I just thought of it as fluff – acknowledging that my peers and I were prone to lower self-esteems than everyone else and yet not recognizing that we were not feeling open or receptive enough to share about it or even identify this about our very nature. It was one of those classes you just go to to only wait for it to be over. You maybe even feel worse about yourself, afterwards knowing that you have a bad self-esteem. It’s victimizing. So then what to do with oneself? [Go to the camp store and buy some more potato snacks, right?]

Well years later I can say an important part often missing from those early self-esteem talks was the readiness factor. It is possible that at camp they touched on the idea of self-compassion, but it took me until my post college years to really understand that practicing self-compassion could alter the effects of low self-esteem. Funny how education and learning works…you can only retain and understand the message when you are ready, and messages become clearer to you when it becomes personal.

At the same time, if we all waited until we were completely “ready” we would never move forward. (This is a popular topic among the new parent camp, believe me, I hear it all the time :)). So what does it mean to be ready? And why does it matter?

Of course there is no simple answer. But I find there is this delicate balance with the readiness factor – you cannot push yourself somewhere you are not ready to be (or you can, but you may force yourself into a healing crisis), but you also must push yourself beyond what you believe is possible at times. The key I’ve found for me is not doing too much of one or the other. Do a little of both. Let the busyness inside you settle, and stir up the well-rested parts within you.

I always say in my yoga classes, if you tend to move and breathe slowly, allow yourself to increase the pace of your breath, or viceversa, if you are a person who breathes fast and is moving quickly all the time, let yourself slow down your movements. It’s good to switch things up, it keeps us well and it challenges us to be better people.

In what parts of your life are you putting on the brakes because you are not ready and sincerely need more time? In what ways are you ready to move forward but are stalled because of habit or fear?

Challenge: This week find a way to either slow down or speed up something that needs attention in your life.

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Setting goals

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I’ve been staring back and forth between my to-do list and this blank page. Back and forth. Back…and forth.

I’m feeling uninspired, and I wonder why.

lack of motivation

But actually, the more I think about it I don’t wonder at all. I guess I failed to mention that between glancing at my list of tasks and my computer screen, I have also been watching the snow falling tirelessly outside my window. It seems to never end.

I will skip detailing my Earth day/global warming/look outside and see the evidence speech (although I feel it stirring within me a little), because most of our spirits would not benefit from that right now. I know it certainly wouldn’t motivate me, and right now I need some motivation.

So, how is it that I continue to type? Because I am in the business of goal setting. The goal I set for myself that is due for tomorrow is “to write a blog post”. What is interesting about this goal I set is that when I ask myself the question, “why is it important to me?” I draw a blank…

Why do I write blogs?

If I had to play coach on myself, the immediate answer I guess is simple, I write blogs with the hope to share information and stories that I believe may be helpful to others. Is that enough to motivate me to write? No, not always.

I’m sorry. I do love you all, but it’s not enough to get me going everyday – especially on a day like today. And if I put on my coaching hat, I understand that my tendency is completely normal. External motivators will not give me the strongest push to follow through with the goals I set in life. The best motivation comes from within. It has to be connected to me and nobody else. I have to care (unlike the fellow in the photo).

Lucky for you/and me, I am quite stubborn, so despite having no idea what this post would entail as I started, I came on anyway and am doing it just so I can cross it off my list. Am I proud of that? Not necessarily.

So what does this all mean, then?

What it means for me is that I need to look more carefully at my blogging practice and determine what it is that I really get from it. Because as altruistic as I’d like to be, I know that if I am not able to answer the question in a way that connects my goal of writing a blog to a personal need, then it is going to be tough for me to sustain it in a way that is genuine and enjoyable for everyone. By understanding why it is important to me, I will be able to deliver content that is more meaningful for all of us, and theoretically I would not have to drag my feet so much (resist) when I come on to write.

From prose to practice

Next time you set a goal and you find your progress is stalling, ask yourself, why is it important to me? Wait patiently for the answer to come and see what you learn. Give yourself some time. Don’t rush the process. If you wait and wait and still can’t figure it out, ask yourself how you can shift your goal in a way that would create more meaning for you.

Or book an appointment with me and we can talk it through together 🙂 Email me at kali[dot]j[dot]higgins[at]gmail[dot]com. Stay tuned for more details/website launch coming soon! 🙂

Fall & Recover

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“There is a split in the human psyche between each person’s rational and intellectual side and our chaotic and emotional being. The true essence of modern dance is the movement that happens in between these extremes.”

“Dance occurs in the fearful moment between falling and recovering by the arc swept by a body moving between equilibrium and uncontrol.”

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fall and recoverI am not a dancer, but I love this concept. Mainly, I want to live this concept.

People always talk about balance as being so important to our well-being. I used to be one of those people. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not simply about balance and stability. It is about a rhythmic balance. It’s not one or the other, it’s somewhere in between. Its not about smooth sailing. It’s about rising after falling.

Life doesn’t work in a way that’s completely balanced. There isn’t one good day for every bad day. Being a good person doesn’t stop bad things from happening to you. That’s just not how it is. In life there are ups and downs, and what’s important is to make some sort of rhythm out of the highs and lows. We must find the space between equilibrium and uncontrol that allows us to live our lives on the edge. We must trust the rhythm of falling and recovering.  We must not be afraid of falling, and we must know how it is that we recover.

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Yesterday, I mumbled and stuttered through my 75 minute yoga sequence – the sequence I am to teach to graduate from my teacher training. It was supposed to be a rough draft, and it was certainly rough. After I taught it I almost wanted to crawl back in bed and quit my training all together. Isn’t teaching supposed to be easier? I thought. No, it’s not. After talking with my husband I realized that I need to put more effort into my teaching if I really want to become a great teacher.

In order to fall, we must put ourselves out there, but we must be real with our efforts. Over the past few years, with my holistic lens and many interests I have always had one foot out the door throughout many of my experiences. For example, when I was working a nice gig in a “green” job, I found myself signing up for a couple weekend programs related to wellness. I even started volunteering as a doula at a hospital. I wasn’t totally invested in my day job, and because of my multiple efforts I could not engage fully in the world. Living that way certainly got me to fall but not the kind of way I am talking about in this post. Now I am aiming for the kind of fall that happens when you put yourself out there and you put all you have into it. Whatever the it may be.

Today I taught a 30 minute yoga sequence to some teens and it was amazing. Just one day after questioning my choice to be a yoga teacher, I had a reality check. While at first I was attached to my bad teaching experience and then became attached to my awesome experience, I realize now, that I cannot be attached to either outcome.

Now I see that both of these outcomes are part of life, part of the rhythmic balance – the dance. And I know that the more I put myself out into the world, the more I will fall. And as long as I fall with integrity and full engagement, I know it will become easier to recover and grow stronger with each new experience.