All your firsts are special—first day of school, first time using a pen or getting your hair coloured, first time frying or baking a bread, first time going on a date or quarantined, first …. (long list, fill at your own leisure).
First own hair cut.
Even saying that makes me happy. The sound of snip snip has always been therapeutic to me. In fact, I start getting warnings from people every year as summer approaches — ‘Don’t get your hair cut short this time’! So I decided to do it myself. Just took the scissors and snip-snip! To tell you the truth it was scary at first— what if I goof up? Luckily ‘stay-at-home’ made it easy; now that the lockdown is extended.
I’ll just pause here.
What if there wasn’t a lockdown, I messed it up and looked goofy for a bit? Would I be judged badly and would people not let me be? As I stood in front of the mirror, hair drenched and dripping- I was combing my hair over and over; I would raise the scissor to my head and lower it. This went on for five minutes. It’s just fringes man! (Go for It); No! If it actually goes bad…? YES! NO! YES, NO!
That’s it!! That moment when I decided for myself —that’s what self acceptance is. You own the goofiest decisions, you own your worst nightmares and you own your insecurities. Every time I do these impulsive things, my need for validation dies a little.
I am going to rewind back to 2009…
I am standing on my yoga mat, at a1000yoga; A chilly morning, at half past six, I’m profusely sweating all over my mat (my warm up sweat would be your post workout sweat). After the regular bout of Suryanamaskar, I found myself literally tugging my body forward holding my toes in Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold). My back is curved and I’m hell bent (literally) to get myself to reach perfection in that very moment. (This was my fight against complacency-clearly OTT).
My breathing was fast like I was on a treadmill and face contorted, like I could just deliver something on my mat. Dj my yoga teacher must’ve seen my little act; her soft and loud words still ring clearly in my head today- “Don’t fight with your body. Acknowledge where you are in the posture today and breathe into the posture.”
(Deep breath and sigh) Acceptance right in that moment.
For the next few days I’d just be happy to hold my toes and stay instead of wanting my back to fold forward. Slowly, I eased into it, over time and now I can easily have my entire body fold like a clip.
Now I’m facing the mirror, feeling the small tufts of hair, no longer a part of me (I didn’t know my hair was soft). Looked up at myself I couldn’t stop smiling. I never really accepted that I have a problem with my self belief. I would doubt myself all the time, (sometimes it’s good to be a little unsure is what I was feeding on). I stopped believing what I told myself. For just uploading a picture on social media I would need two opinions, for the caption I’d ask my brother to read. What my mind told me wasn’t good enough until something outside validated it.
Now that I accepted where I am (seeking validation), I knew where I wanted to go. Instead of putting it under the carpet acknowledge the flaws, breathe into it and let yourself bloom. I wanted to break this pattern of looking for validation from outside and own what’s coming from within. Acceptance doesn’t come easily to many of us, but owning yourself completely leaves you feeling responsible for yourself and that is freedom.
What are you trying to accept about yourself? Your physical body, emotional strength, skills you don’t have yet, pronunciation, social skills, you’re not where you want to be? Whatever it may be, just sit down with yourself, once in a while and check on yourself. What is it you keep fighting with? What are you holding yourself against? How hard do you make your own life? Are you accepted in your own head?Continue reading Accept and Bloom