Moving forward with Grace and Confidence
Moving forward with grace and confidence and using mantra to change your life course…
As a child and young adult I was a dancer. Dance and ballet in particular were my whole life from the age of 7-23. I loved it wholeheartedly. Only one thing plagued me: a lack of confidence. I was filled with self doubt and worry that I wasn’t good enough and the culture of my school encouraged comparison and perfectionistic thinking. This lack of confidence undermined my performance, especially when I was singled out to perform alone. None of my teachers raised the question of my ability but nevertheless, it eventually became the reason I left dance and chose a different life path.
One of the things I love about teaching and practicing yoga is the repetition and daily practice. For me moving and being in my body are familiar and I’m at home in the sensation of merging breath and body movement together.
Four years ago, when I decided to retire from my career as a school psychologist and decided to reinvent myself as a teacher of yoga, I was once again filled with self-doubt and worry.
To help overcome my fear I saw a coach who encouraged me to learn to develop new thinking paths to counteract my negative, and fearful thought patterns. I developed a mantra I repeated whenever I taught. This mantra embodied the qualities opposite of how I was feeling. My mantra became the phrase ”calm, confident and competent.”
I repeated this mantra every time I was filled with self doubt and feeling not good enough. Over the past four years I’ve used the mantra often especially when tackling new challenging situations. I have learned that through this rewiring process I have become more sure of myself and comfortable in my own skin as a yoga teacher and therapist. I have learned I can draw upon all my life experience and this experience has made me more valued as a teacher not less so. I have also learned that there is room for many different types of teachers and the most important quality to embody is authenticity and to shine in my uniqueness. When I can do this I can be relaxed, funny and spontaneous.
Last year, in anticipation of another challenge for my teaching, I again encountered this familiar demon of doubt. And found an addition mantra that has served me well. My new mantra became “It is safe for me to share my gifts with the world.”
My two mantras have emboldened me to move into this new chapter of my life, my teaching, my therapy practice and life as a grandmother and mother.