This is a very personal blog post I am writing, but I have been thinking about it for a few weeks now, especially the last week where, perhaps because of the full moon, my anxiety got worse and self-doubt skyrocketed
Even at my most stressed, I had never suffered from anxiety before. I definitively had burnouts and adrenal fatigue (who doesn’t, right?) but the past few weeks I have been actually feeling anxious and had attacks in the middle of the night as well as in the middle of yoga classes.
My logical self is saying that it is just the outcome of a long year, where, as much as I am one of the lucky people who makes a living out of something they love, I am exhausted and, only now, sitting in the sunshine, in Portugal, I have some time to gather my thoughts.
But I think the anxiety I feel goes beyond fatigue. I have realized that the massive shift of energy (especially since we had those 2 very weird looking days in London) in the world has touched me deeper than I realized. The world is in a negative state and most people are reacting to that, some, like the Empaths out there, are taking it all in, and it is a tsunami of emotions coming through.
But what made me really think about what I was feeling is the lack of support we have around (unless we bluntly ask for it) and one major reason for it is: social media.
We, including myself, only share the best moments of the day on a platform designed to make everyone feel that others have it “better” than us. As much as this is not the marketing message of Instagram and Facebook, let’s face it, how many followers would one get if they were sharing everything that is going wrong with them? I have seen posts where people rant every single day and people reject their attitude as “negative”. Of course, we want to see inspirational words, positive posts and get even more positive vibes from what we look at, but life is not perfect and there should be a balance where one could share the “life sucks” experience vs. “all if perfect” (if they wanted to)
I am not advocating negativity on social media, do not get me wrong, I am just sharing that we need to be aware of the thin line between reality and fabricated moments, because that way we can feel better about our lives and we can also cope better when that little insecurity “voice” comes in and says: “you see? You can’t but others can”! No thank you!
On the other side of the spectrum, we need to also learn that social media is not a place to bully people or being bullied and that we need to know how to stop that behavior when it comes our way, as again, people tend to become a lot worse behind a screen, when in reality they try and be more understanding and have a conversation instead of sharing links and telling people off for having different opinions. (Pointing out those exceptions exists and live conversations can be as awful as online)
As a Yoga Teacher and Coach I really wish I could say that I have my shit together all the time, but that would be a lie. My social media posts are normally about things I care about and make me grateful, but I also feel inadequate sometimes .
I don’t feel confident enough to do beautiful poses in front of a camera; I am afraid that if I go up in a headstand I will fall and look ridiculous (that happens in class too sometimes), I am afraid my body doesn’t look like other teachers’ and although I work hard at making sure I feel good about myself, I feel that I am not where others are (what does that even mean!?)
Recently, I have been attacked on social media for sharing different opinions about Vaccinations, Microwaves and Cancer. It was a never ending stream of abusive messages from one guy and bullying from a couple of others. Feeling already sensitive about my own energy and my own being, those comments made me feel defeated, not because I think I am wrong, rather because I feel that people are unable to see other’s points of view and will try and discredit anything that challenges what they know.
I personally feel this is dangerous but what do you do? Fight? Not a good use of energy! So you try and be diplomatic and just pose a question: what if by looking at those subjects from another angle, you could see that there are things we need to wonder about?
I personally do not like telling people what I think is right; I just share why I think that way, not because it is right, but because it makes sense to me!
Outside social media, I was also energetically attacked by a student (I saw a video by Doreen Virtue speaking about energetic attacks and it felt like she was describing how I felt)
When you teach, it can sometimes happen that the class will feels disconnected, of you do (not just from class but pretty much everything)! Teachers are humans too and it is hard to always be “on point”.
So I had this class where I was feeling out of it and one man, who looked uninterested, judgmental and full of pride, just made me feel awful from the moment he walked into the food. Most importantly, he made negative remarks; not as feedback, but as judgments. On a normal day I would have said: “bless you” and “farewell” but that day, no matter how many lovely comments I received from other students his energy took over me. I am still recovering from it.
I realize it was not about him but rather the realization that people miss the whole point of yoga, to begin with, and they will feel entitled to comment and pass judgment instead of inspiring the teacher to do better and getting to know her/him.
It is very hard to portray reality, and especially our feelings online, but if you are going through something hard, remember others are too even if you do not see it behind the screen and filters we apply to all aspects of our lives nowadays
Give yourself permission to feel terrible, I am and during my massage yesterday I allowed myself to burst into tears in front of a therapist I never met before. She offered one thing only: kindness! No judgment and no pressure, just kindness and that energy, her gesture, her love, was the catalyst to open up about all this and say that at times I go through hard patches but I try to learn from them, because we are the only ones who can decide if we can make it or not and if there are things we ought to change in our lives, let’s do so without fear, because the outcome will always be better than where we are now.