Early in the morning one Thanksgiving, I took a two hour long “gratitude” yoga class. It was wonderful- lots of community, peace, love, good vibes, and beautiful wisdom & insight from many different instructors on God’s amazing grace and the heart of gratitude. At the very end of the class, one of the instructors asked us to think about one thing that we absolutely loved about ourselves. It sounded easy enough.
Surely, I could find lots of things that I loved about myself! I have been fortunate enough to have some super rad people say encouraging things to me throughout my life, so I’ll just dig into that library and find something! But then I paused...
The instructor didn’t ask me to think about what other people loved about me. She asked ME what I loved about ME.
1. Find What You Love About You
I sat there in half-pigeon (which is an excruciating hip-opening yoga pose, semi-equivalent in body-feels to burning alive) distraught. How is it that all of these people see all of these things in me, but I can’t actually see any of them in myself? That is ludicrous.
I dug deep and finally decided that the one thing I loved about myself was my undying commitment to grow, and to change, and to evolve into a better version of myself as a wife, a mom, a business owner, a leader, and a person. Once I actually came to the place where I realized that there was this one thing that I really, really loved about myself, my heart nearly exploded. (And not because we had done like 27 utkatasanas (chair poses)).
It is awesome to receive words of encouragement from others, particularly if the way that you give and receive love is through encouragement, like me. (read my blog on the five love languages!) Words of encouragement make me come alive when I am feeling like I can’t take one more step. They give me the motivation to remain steadfast in my personal growth and development and to continue to provide inspiration to others. That being said, hearing it from myself was a completely different experience.
Telling MYSELF that I truly loved this thing about me… it felt… real. Like really real.
I realized that although people may say encouraging things to me, I don’t actually believe them, because I constantly have this critical chick, known as my inner voice or "drunk monkey", unrolling the scroll of all of the negative things that I think about myself based on my own past experiences, and what others have said to and about me, and reading them off like a damn medical assistant in a pre-appointment consult. I don’t believe that I am who they say I am, simply because I don't allow those thought to penetrate my heart and mind. I silence those beautiful words of encouragement with, “Yeah, but...”s.
2. "Re-contextualize" The Darkness to Light
Just as I got through that eye opening thought, she posed another question for us to meditate on, as we were dying a slow death in a 47-hour long whatthef*ckasana (pigeon pose) now on the left side. She asked us to think of the one thing we absolutely hated most about ourselves. Yess! This time, my list was endless! I unravelled the scroll, cleared my throat, and began reading off the list of all of the things that I hated about myself to find the one thing that I really, truly hated the most. Found it! My inconsistency/lack of commitment.
So now, I was back to a familiar feeling: l failure. But then the instructor threw me for a loop. She asked the class to really dive into that one thing that we hated about ourselves and find the positive attributes that have come from that, because
as she so eloquently taught us, “even in our dark, there is light”. Whoa.
That shook me up a bit. I began to think on that. All of a sudden, I felt chills cover every square inch of my body from the very top of my skull to the soles of my feet, as I came to the realization that the very thing I hated about myself- that I have always hated about myself- is also the one thing I love most about myself. I am inconsistent. But that inconsistency and lack of commitment also produced this mildly crazy, Jersey-Shore-loving beach chick, who will stop at nothing to reach her goals, finding creative solutions whenever blockades come in her way, so that she can break down the barriers, do whatever the heck she feels led to do, live her best life, and be the best version of herself that she can be.
If my real estate team is not bringing in enough capital this quarter, you can rest assured that we're switching gears immediately. If it didn't work last quarter, it ain't gonna work this quarter, so I'll figure out a better way. At Rockstar, we will never get stuck doing the things we've always done, just because we've always done them that way. Change is always going to happen with me. And maybe that's a good thing.
I will never be complacent. I will never get stuck in a funk and be unable to grow out of it. I just won't. I will always keep moving.
I finally moved my partially paralyzed, but now super stretchy leg out of half pigeon (OMG finally!) and as I moved through the rest of my yoga practice, I couldn’t shut my mind off. I couldn’t get my focus back. I was too excited. The veil was lifted and I realized something:
3. Allow the Awakening to Happen
Maybe I am not a complete and utter failure. Maybe I am a complicated, messy, perhaps beautiful creature, who can’t always figure herself out, but tries her best, and has more to offer to the world than she realizes. If only I could apply this instructor's wisdom, that what I allow into my heart and mind matters.
What you tell yourself about yourself matters. You can’t change the world or be the best version of yourself if you keep focusing on the negative inside. I used myself as an example, so that you can use me as a mirror to yourself. What do you believe about you? The stories that we believe can create a concrete, unbreakable ceiling if they are not serving us.
I’d like to encourage you today to find the light in your darkness, and see if it is as revelatory for you as it was for me. What is the one thing you hate most about YOURself? Now where is the light in your darkness? How precious you are, Rockstar. Let that sink in. And dig deep. Until next time friends, I am sending you peace, love and good vibes from my home to your’s.
Christina Sciarretta is the CEO and Chief Content Creator of Rockstar Real Estate & Media Group. Her mission and passion is to connect, support, and empower the women and girls of the Jersey Shore.