“Do what feels good, not what looks good” (except when it comes to heels, when it comes to heels – always wear them)
These were the words of encouragement and inspiration during a recent yoga class that I attended. I don’t even remember what pose it was that we were in but the moment these words were said I became totally fixated on them with the thought “you are so right” going through my mind. How often we do things because of how they will look – whether it be by posting a picture on social media, wearing something that doesn’t represent us (but the teenage sales associate said it looked amazing!) or even just walking through our everyday life by being something or someone that we are not (sigh).
If you know anything about me I’m an curious soul. I like to seek out information (i.e. ask a lot of questions), overthink it, contemplate it and often put it to the test. So I did – obviously. In that very moment and for every pose that came after it. When I completely ditched the notion of what “looks good”, everything about being in the poses changed. And note, this is coming from a mindful soul with an over-active self-reflection personality. Once I moved on to the “feeling good vs. looking good” part I started to self-reflect on what aspects of my practice were rooted in looking good. I can tell you that all of them boiled down to “expectations”. Expectations that actually had nothing to do with anyone else other than me, myself and I (double sigh).
What would your life feel like if you dropped the expectations? Expectations of how it should be, what it should look like and who you should be? How would your life change and how would you feel without the expectations (and consequently the self-judgement and punishment of not meeting them)?