Tamara J Allen

authentic me

Being a Beginner

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I’m not great at being a beginner at things.  I am way too hard on myself and feel I “should” be able to pick something up quickly and if I can’t, it more often than not frustrates me and starts the negative self-talk loop in my head. I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this.  I don’t completely know where this comes from.  I know I was good at school as a kid without having to work at it much and maybe somehow my head understood being “smart” as being able to do anything I tried well the first time or two I did it.  Maybe that’s just the excuse I give myself to not have to be responsible for my thoughts/feelings/reactions to not being able to just pick something up and do it well in the first few times.  But it is still causing me problems in my “now”.  Trying something new fills me with dread many times and fear that I won’t be “good enough” at it to continue.  Seems silly when I think about it, since I remember telling my boys many, many times as they were growing up that it’s ok to not be great at something the first time or two you try something – that’s what practice is for.  Hmmm, if only I could have actually HEARD those words deep inside and taken them to heart.  But, the lesson comes around and around again until we are ready to address it and work on it. 🙂

I signed up to take Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Level 3 starting in June.  Some groundwork I need to do for myself before June is to commit to and become consistent with my daily home yoga practice.  I have dabbled in a home practice and while I have received my 200-hour yoga teacher certification, which encouraged us to start and be consistent with a home practice, I have always preferred going to a studio for classes.  I had this notion in my head of what a home practice should look like and I felt I could not do it, so I never gave myself a chance to try it and explore on my own what it could be and should be FOR ME.  It is not feasible for me to go to a studio everyday right now, so I began searching my heart to see how I was going to handle this.  A requirement of the Level 3 training is a daily home practice, so I had to decide how much I want to do this training and how much I want to grow.  I could choose not to do the training and continue to live my life the way I have been, or I could choose to do the training, try some new things, learn about myself – when to push and when to back off, really dig deep and uncover who I am and what I’m made of.  I had the realization the other day that I have dreams inside me bigger than even I can comprehend.  I told this to my husband and he said “yea, I knew that about you a long time ago.”  Damn, why can’t I see what he sees!!  Anyway, if I’m going to become the person that can open those dreams up and actually accomplish them, I’m can’t skate by only doing what I know.  I’m going to have to try new things, suck at them, fall down, get up, try again, get closer, fall again, get up again, try again.  That person is going to have to be a beginner at a lot of things.  She is going to have to allow herself to FEEL all those emotions that come up.  Each and every one of them, fully, completely, thank them for stopping by and then let them go.  Don’t hang on to the anxiety of new, or the frustration of confusion, or the embarrassment of mistakes, or the elation of finally getting it.  It’s all part of the lesson, but don’t get hung up on any one piece.

I dug deep and decided I want to do the training and in the process grow into a much better version of myself.  So, I read a few articles online and found a few that inspired me to get on my mat at home.  I did a week solid – including Christmas morning for some grounding before everyone came over, which was a great thing considering the couple of fiascos that happened that day, to which I did not completely come unglued, although I did react.  It’s a little difficult not to freak out a tiny bit when there is water leaking from the ceiling into the main level bathroom and you aren’t sure what is causing it, or when the oven decides to keep turning off while you are trying to cook rolls for Christmas dinner. Thankfully, those incidents turned out to not be as bad as my head thought they might.  I took the 26th to just enjoy some quiet time in the morning, then I got sick for several days, so my yoga became taking care of myself and resting.  Now, I’m either being lazy or I’m just enjoying my husband taking some time off from work and spending it with him before we go full force back into routine.  Either way, I’m in my now and enjoying it, so I’m not stressing about it.  I feel I have a better handle on what I want and need my home yoga practice to look like and I was really enjoying it, so I believe I will get back to it.

A couple of articles that really struck me and gave me the push I needed to just get on the mat and get into my body are listed below.

The Basic Principles of Building a Home Yoga Practice by Kara-Leah Grant, found here http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/how-to-build-a-home-yoga-practice/

The Beginner’s Guide to Home Yoga Practice by Kate Hanley, found here https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-beginners-guide-to-home-yoga-practice

The idea that I can give myself permission to tap into my body to listen to what it needs and to create the type of practice that feeds my body each day instead of having to force myself to go through poses I think I should be doing is a relief.  It makes me WANT to get on the mat because I know if I honor my body there will be days where I will want to create heat and sweat will drip from me and others where I need some yummy yin followed by my favorite restorative pose. I will find balance and become healthier and this will translate out into my life.

Allowing myself to be a beginner at a home practice will assist in my growth of being a willing beginner at many things in my life.  I think this will be a good thing and a nice way to start 2015.  Give yourself permission to be a beginner at something and see what happens!  It might surprise you.

Wishing you all many blessings for a spectacular 2015.



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