"Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle."- Napoleon Hill
If you have ever been to one of our workshops, retreats, or online events, you know that we pride ourselves in redefining what it means to be "self-centered", based on what we call "The Four Seeds of Self-Care- consistently eating well, sleeping well, meditating/praying, and exercising. We also always say, "We know because we know, not because we know better", meaning Kinda and I have spent years developing our own self-care practices, and we know in our bones that as mothers, wives, friends, or volunteers, we are no good to anyone unless we have taken care of ourselves first. That is the simple message we incessantly share, believing that these tiny adjustments to any lifestyle can be enough to change a person's entire life for the better. And since we only have one life to live, and time is a tickin', it behooves us all to get to work sooner rather than later to make a positive impact on our quality of life and the people we share it with.
For me, exercise is the seed of self-care where I excel. I know without a doubt that if I go too many days in a row without exercising, my mental state suffers. I feel sluggish, more irritable with my family, and less motivated to take care of my numerous daily responsibilities. I feel the same way about the food I eat. I'm actually doing a Whole 30 reset as we speak(Day 26, thank God), devoting 30 days to get back on track from my sugar and alcohol rush during the holidays. However, I could go quite sometime with improper sleep habits and lack of meditation before I started to feel the effects. We are all different in what is easier to consistently practice and what we may find more challenging. So since I know how good I feel when I exercise, I decided to take my yoga practice to the next level with a private instructor. Kassandra at Namaste Your Life developed a routine for me that was tailor made to my personality, including the incorporation of breath work to address certain areas of my body that needed particular attention. I couldn't wait to get started. However, I was in for quite the surprise. What I experienced was like nothing I had done before and I was ultimately left with a headache and a sore throat from all that huffing and puffing.
"You have to go through it to get to it."- Rachel Hart
I consider myself to be both in pretty good shape as well as a long time yoga practitioner, so I was caught off guard when I wasn't able to make it through the duration of the active, breath-infused poses without having to slow down or rest completely. It was a revelation to see how very little we use the gift of our breath in daily life compared to its all encompassing power in the practice. It was also very eye opening to notice that even though the practice was difficult and a struggle to get through, and even though it took the bulk of the day for my sore throat and headache to go away, I was left empowered and wanting more. After speaking to my instructor I learned that the physical ramifications were just a byproduct of not being hydrated enough, toxins being eliminated from my body, and the use of my breath in a new and energetically directed way. "You have to go through it to get to it", I declared, and we both laughed. Now I realize those words are true in more ways than one.
You have to go through it to get to it. That's true for anything you want in this life. Which you can have. Anytime. As long as you are ready to go through it to get to it. That is a mindset that is so important to adopt for anything you are trying to accomplish because there will inevitably come a time when it's going to get hard. The struggle IS real. My Dad used to take me to the driving range to teach me how to hit a golf ball and after fifty times trying to hit the damn thing he would chuckle and say, "If it were easy everyone would be doing it." And that is precisely what sets apart the people who accomplish their goals and meet challenges head on. The will to work for it. The understanding that not if, but WHEN it gets hard, is the exact time that they MUST not quit, because they know that what's on the other side of that struggle to hit the golf ball, that diet, that workout routine, is the sweet spot. The thing that makes it all worth it, the thing that validates that there is strength in the struggle. But you have to go through it to get to it.
With love and gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel