I remember my first diary. It was red patent leather with an image of a cartoon girl etched on the cover. My first pages of my diary were filled with my 7 year old dreams, worries and daily happenings. I hid my diary under my mattress and each night I would take it out and write my thoughts for the day. When I couldn’t get the words out I would draw pictures to express how I felt.
My daily habit of keeping a diary continued throughout elementary school up until I graduated university and held my first job. Today I have boxes and boxes of emotion filled writings. Each book provides me with a glimpse into the person that I was and the one that I would still become.
As I grow older, I seem to have drifted away from the daily diary entries. I still purchase the journals but instead of a daily entry I now write monthly or sometimes every second month. As I read those pages, I see that several entries have a promise that I will write more often. But then two months pass again, and I haven’t written.
So why? Why was I all of sudden drifting away from a tool that worked so well for so many years? After much pondering, I still wasn’t certain of why I wasn’t journaling. And so I decided to follow the old fool proof method and I took out a pen and wrote.
I wrote out all of my new thoughts and ideas. I wrote about my excitement about becoming a mother, my various careers, my home life and my husband. And then I began to write about me: who I was and who I wanted to become. I kept writing until my hand began to hurt and then I shook it out and wrote some more.
The words just oozed out of my fingers, the unedited thoughts that were meant for my eyes only. And instead of figuring out why I stopped journaling, I remembered the reason why I wrote in the first place. I established it wasn’t that important to figure out the reason why I stopped something I love…sometimes it just happens.
This, of course, got me thinking of my yoga practice. How many times do we beat ourselves up for missing a class or several classes, not eating well and not embracing our true selves? How many people quit their new year’s resolutions because they did not fully follow through with their intentions over the last few weeks?
We need to stop being our worst enemy and berating ourselves for not following through on some arbitrary commitment. Instead we need to acknowledge when we do the things we love and thank ourselves for it.
Stop wasting time feeling guilty about missing last week’s class. Attend today’s class and take the time to enjoy it. Live in the moment and accept yourself for all of your beauty: both your unique flaws and your virtues.
So today give yourself a moment to acknowledge the things and people you love. And then take a few more moments and reflect on what you love about yourself.
If you have stopped doing something that you enjoy, make some time to do it again. And if you don’t get time to do it today, there is always tomorrow.