Mantra of the week – "I am accepting of both my good and bad attributes"
This week we have been chatting a lot about duality and the idea that we can live a multitude of truths simultaneously even if they appear to contradict each other. Just because you might be recognised as a ‘chilled out’ person doesn’t mean that you can’t have periods of time when you’re stressed out. You might be viewed as organised and together, but you feel scattered and out of control. Often these oppositions can lead us to think ‘I’m not ‘x’, because I’m actually ‘y’’. We can feel as though we have tricked ourselves and others into thinking we are one way, when in fact we know we can be the complete opposite.
We are living in duality all the time, we love to be active yet can be lazy and sluggish, we are both energetic and exhausted, happy and sad, it can feel as though we are thinking of everything all at once and nothing at all at the same time. Many of us are having conflicted feelings about lockdown. We are experiencing frustration that we cannot see our friends and family in the same ways as before, we cannot travel freely leaving many people feeling trapped, acknowledging these feelings doesn’t mean that we can’t also feel massively grateful for lockdown and the ways in which it protects us, grateful for our national health service and grateful for our safety.
We don’t actually have to pick and choose who we are, nor do we have to worry about being contradictory at times. The reality of being human is that we are a multi-faceted kaleidoscope of personality fragments existing all at once. We can be everything, chilled, stressed, productive, scattered, energetic and sluggish, all at the same time. When we forget this, it can be easy to start pigeon holing ourselves into specific identities. Once we have labeled ourselves a certain identity it can be difficult to align with the other aspects of ourselves. Creating an inward rhetoric of ‘this isn’t me’ to the ways that you react to specific situations.
It is you. It is all you. And that is okay.
Feelings of self-punishment toward our less accepted attributes can lead us to believe that we are only worthy of appreciation from ourselves and others when we display our most valued traits at the surface. This post is an invitation to lay all versions of yourself out in front of you. Both the ones you like and the ones you aren’t as proud of. Be kind to all of them and let them all know that there is a space for them within you, because when we accept our whole selves, we find a healthy balance, a meeting in the middle of all attributes.
Yoga helps to teach us how to balance dualities, being both static and flowing in movement, using strength and suppleness, light and dark, softness and tension, the yin and the yang, the focus on inhalation and exhalation of breath. If you are feeling as though you are struggling to find balance within yourself, consider joining in on some online sessions (links below). Finding a practice that works for you is so helpful in accepting duality. This could be meditation, journaling, therapy, being present with your body through exercise or yoga.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to define yourself by one fragment of the kaleidoscope. Be the whole kaleidoscope, not just the brightest colours.
Kate and Rosanne