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I made a big mistake yesterday.

My old self would have beaten myself up until I was sick with regret. I used to agonize over my mistakes and think about them incessantly, replaying the mortifying loop in my head until I became my own worst enemy. If a friend made the same mistake, I would encourage forgiveness, saying no one would remember tomorrow! But because it was me, myself, and I, the voice in my head used to say the opposite: people will hate you, think less of you, you're unworthy.

Instead of allowing this spiral, my resourced self went into my toolbox for self-regulation devices. Here are the steps I went through in order to move effectively and efficiently through the discomfort of error:

1) Feel my Feelings: I allow myself to feel all of the embarrassment. I let the same thoughts I would inevitably have had of condemnation, shame, fear of judgement, regret... I don't get stuck there, though.

2) Validation: I affirm those feelings and sit with the part of myself that needs to be heard: my 13 year old self. I ask her what she needs and she responds, "Please confirm that I'm going to be ok."

3) Counter Thoughts: I offer up perspectives that oppose my initial ones, "Yes you made a mistake, but does that change your worth? If people were to think less of you in that moment, are you still safe, worthy, and whole?" The answer to these questions was a unanimous duh!

4) Gentle Reminder: I remind myself that EVERYONE makes mistakes. This is what is to be a human being!

5) Humor: Find the humor in it, this is another cosmic learning experience. This too shall pass and will barely be a memory in a month, year, decade from now. It was hard, but I'm still alive! (This tool I learned from an acting textbook called "Audition" by Michael Shurtleff).

6) Offering: I give myself compassion, forgiveness, and so much love!

7) Begin Again.

I was shocked at how quickly I was able to move through all of these steps and calm my inner 13 year old down. Throughout the night, I would be reminded of my mistake and instead of jumping on the bandwagon of shame, I quickly course corrected with a big belly breath and on the exhale told myself that "we will not be going there." There is no need to go there again. The mistake happened, we learned, move on. The suffering of the mistake lasts longer in the mind than the experience itself. By tuning fully into the present moment, I am able to recognize that my mistake no longer exists and fully able to enjoy what is instead of agonizing over what was. Nothing else matters than this moment, right here, right now.

As I continue to cultivate these tools and work with them more quickly, I reaffirm my trust in my practice and the relationship I have with myself.

Perhaps this mistake needed to occur in order for me to witness the power of my practice.



P.S. If you would like to gain some of these self-regulation tools to add to your toolbox, let's set up a FREE 30-minute Consultation Call to see if we'd be a good fit. You'll get to practice yoga your way, cultivate a meditation practice, and understand yourself better: what greater gift is there?!

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