Self-Acceptance is More Crucial than Self-Improvement
Striving towards an ideal of yourself, driven by #expectations created by a mind bogged down with false believes about who you are, impacts greatly on the journey of #selfdiscovery. A simple yet powerful approach, which has within it an opening to bliss, is the act of Self-Acceptance.
In this daily age, the norm seems to be keeping up with the Jones (well it can almost be replaced with the Kardashians). Whether it is landing that high paying career, or living a #holistic life, or being a "Super Mum", or being an #entrepreneur with aims to making it big in your own way.... there seems to always be this pressure to perform, to seek more, to do more, to become more ..... to #strive instead of #thrive. And this is also true for those engaging in #selfgrowth work. Self-improvement is yet another way that the #ego can latch onto the notion of striving for more, with the view that how things are now, just isn't enough. The pressure to be more than what we are can be very counterproductive.
"But surely we all have things about yourselves we want to change and things in our lives that we want to be different." I hear you say. And the answer is "YES." This is not what is being questioned. It is the approach that is. For most of us their is a tendency to over give with an over emphasis on pushing forward which leads to a dullness within our emotional bodies.
Let's start by looking at the difference between #selfimprovement and #selfacceptance.
Self-Improvement V's Self-Acceptance
Here are definitions for both:
"self-improvement the improvement of one's knowledge, status, or character by one's own efforts." "the act of improving yourself."
"self-acceptance is an individual's satisfaction or happiness with oneself, .... Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses. It results in an individual's feeling about oneself, that they are of "unique worth".
Let's Break this down even further
as it says, acting, therefore you are striving to be someone different, in one way or another, than who you actually are.
it requires effort... yet the path of so many self-growth practices such as yoga, meditation, Qi Gong emphasis the notion of The Art of Not Doing, effortlessness. Coming into a space of #stillness and allowing motion to take form from here. In other words presence.
focusing on the aspects of one's character or life that needs enhancing or upgrading. So often these aspects stem from our inabilities or weaknesses which are tainted with #selfjudgement. They come with a negative slant and can feed the lack of self-worthiness and our inner doubts. "I am no good at .... so therefore if I improve on that by doing .... than this will happen and changes will happen within my life."
so often driven by thoughts, #mindset and the mental bodies. These aspects require lots of discipline and practices to be able to master the beneficial effects of "coming from the mind.
satisfaction & #happiness with who you are, right now, without needing to change, alter or modify x,y or z. Yes we all have faults, we all have inabilities, and we all have things about ourselves which we wish we could change. They are a part of you and make up who you are. So accept that, you don't have to like it, just accept it... the liking will come later. Self-acceptance is embracing the totality of yourself, just as you are.
the #awareness of oneself. It is sitting with yourself and truthfully realizing what your strengths are, where your weaknesses are and what drives you, fills you, makes you feel whole. This is the discovery of your #authentic self.
the feelings you have about yourself. Sometimes feelings may not be nice (but is this due to the judgmental thoughts that are feeding them?). Self-acceptance is noticing what emotions arise and sitting with them, not trying to alter or change them. As it is through the waves of (e) motions that we understand ourselves even more deeply.... "That created a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach... let's accept that is not for me." " A feeling of intense joy arose when doing ..... accept that this is one of your passions."
your unique worth. Those words alone create such an ease. There are so many quotes from such wise sages out there that confirms your uniqueness. That all of creation came together in a one-of-a-kind blend of divinity to create you.... all of you.... even those parts you hide in the shadow, as they are still divinity in the form of you. Now that is worth embracing.
A Modern Day Yogis Journey into Self-Acceptance
Now don't misinterpret what is being said. Self-growth and self-discover is a passion that fuel every one of my days. Spent many years in the past focusing on self-improvement.
Remember years back, Mum was helping unpack after a move, and she commented, whilst doing the book shelf, "Don't you own any novels Vicki? They are all #selfhelp books!" (#lol)
Was striving to become the best version of myself that was possible. In doing so though, became extremely unbalanced mentally and physically burnt out. In my twenties had so many wake up calls where the #angels were crying out to me. Just kept pushing forward though, visualizing the ideal me that would be manifested sometime in the future.
Than along come a turning point upon my path #Kundaliniyoga & #meditation. This practice instilled deep within me that, "Yoga is the practice of self-acceptance not self-improvement."
By then, yoga had been in my life for already ten years so yoga was life, therefore replaced the word "Life is the practice of self-acceptance not self-improvement".
Once this concept solidified within my being, oh what an ease arose. And the most peculiar occurrence started to happen. All that was being seek and strive towards just was there.
No more pressure was needed to be the best version of myself because there was a deep reverence to the notion that, I was and always had been the best version of myself... even in the darkest of times.
So beautiful people sit within an acceptance of the #uniqueness that is the totality of you and be okay with that.