Episode 32 – Self-Love, Fear of Dying, Rose Quartz Spheres and a Crappy Day
Listen to this episode here!
In this episode Rachel gets real and emotional about her hardships in the midst of a particularly crappy day. She talks about her contrasting struggle with low self esteem and the huge fear she carries around the wellbeing of her daughter while simultaneously feeling content and happy in leading her first teacher training. She dives into the topic of teaching yoga the “right” way, what it means to find your true voice as a teacher, cursing in class and how fear can push us into arguments with our loved ones. She also talks about the inner critic; that judgmental voice we all have at the back of the head telling us we’re not good enough, and how to counter it by showing up with self compassion.
[001:27] Hi and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl. I’m going to come right out and say it, it’s 9:00pm here in Aruba, I’m sitting in my guest room of my house right now, or actually, I’m half lying down in bed. It’s a guest room, my mom is sleeping in here right now, she’s visiting. I’m exhausted. I’m so tired I don’t even know how I’m speaking into a microphone right now. I don’t know what’s happening. I have super intense lower back pain, so I can’t even really sit up to record this podcast. I’m propped up on pillows and I’m holding the mic in my hand, which I never normally do, and I have no fucking clue what I’m doing right now. (laugh) I don’t know, is there any other people out there recording podcasts that just kind of do it this way? I don’t know. I hope there is.
[002:23] Actually, I would love it, because I don’t get a lot of chances to listen to other podcasts, I would love to immerse myself more in the world of podcasting, because I’m not in it. (laugh) The only real experience I have with podcasts is me once a week recording this one, From The Heart. Every week there is some other sort of kind of magical epiphany that I have through these recordings, and today, well this week, I’ve been putting it off, like every day, I’ve been putting this podcast off, and I don’t know why, and now it’s literally the day after my deadline, like this podcast is just about to be released any second and I haven’t even recorded it yet, and I’m trying to figure out what is happening right now in my life. I don’t know.
[003:14] Let me try to clarify a little bit. So, I am in the midst of a 200-hour yoga teacher training. It’s intensive and we have 52 people from all over the world present here at Island Yoga in Aruba with me for 23 whole days. And it’s such a huge milestone for me. I can’t even begin to tell you. Doing a yoga teacher training is something that I could have done it years and years ago. People request so often for me to do a 200-hour training, and I just, I never felt … I never felt good enough to do it. And this is a big truth, and it’s been kind of a hard and heavy realization for me. I never felt good enough. Every year I’ve been kind of waiting. I know I need to acquire more knowledge, more wisdom. I need to learn more, I need to find more depth. I’m not wise enough, I’m not mature enough, I’m not good enough. And it’s not actually true, this idea of me not being good enough. I have a lot to offer, like, I have a lot of experience and knowledge and wisdom that I have to offer. But I kind of always walk around with this idea that I’m not good enough for a bunch of stuff.
[004:30] This is a recurring theme, I don’t know if it is a theme for anyone listening, but I’ll have a dream or something that I want to create and just kind of this magical feeling of, “Wow, it would be amazing if I could realize or manifest this,” whatever it is. And then there’s that automatic voice in the back of my head that tells me, “Oh, but you’re not good enough for that. Who would want to do that?” For instance, recording this podcast is one of those things. I wanted to do it for years, I think at least the past two years I’ve been talking about it with my husband and with my agent and with friends. “One day I really would love to do a podcast show, because I think I could do it. I think I could be really good at that, and it sounds like a forum that I would really enjoy.” And then I never, ever, ever did it, because I had this voice in the back of my head telling me, “Well who the hell would want to listen to that? What would that mean? You’re going to do that every week and talk about a different topic? Who would want to listen to you speaking for 45 minutes or an hour straight? No no no, just don’t do that.”
[005:27] And it’s just not true, right?! I mean, I do have shit to say. I mean, from just the amazing community that is created around this podcast every week. We have half a million downloads a month. Can we all just take a moment to digest that? We have, on average, like 540,000 downloads of this podcast every month. Kind of insane! And for the past two years I’ve been saying, “No one wants to listen to me speak.” And it’s just, yeah, okay, let’s kind of let me own that for a second. Yes, I have things to say. I might not do it a traditional way, I might not always stay within the framework or within the box, I might not always be planned and structured and professional (laugh) as proven from me just lying down in bed recording this right now, but there’s clearly something that I do in these podcasts that resonate with a bunch of you. And that voice in the back of my head that told me, “You can’t do it, no one gives a shit.” It’s not real. And it’s my own judgment, you know, reflecting and surfacing there.
[006:36] So, for me to do this 200 hour training, this yoga teacher training really came from the same place, this idea that I’m not good enough, that I can’t do it, and I always kept pushing it into the future, like, “Someday I’m going to acquire enough knowledge that I’ll be good enough to my own level of where I need to be to be able to teach other teachers.” And hell yeah I was there a couple years ago. What I was waiting for, I guess, is my own acknowledgment that it’s okay for me to take up the space and step into this role. That’s been a really big challenge for me, just for me to allow myself to shine. That’s a big thing.
[007:19] And speaking from someone who has a lot of dreams and has a lot of things that I always want to create and realize, and just understanding now that I have that voice in the back of my head all the frickin’ time. Whatever it is, whatever new idea I come up with. I’m my number one supporter, and I’m also my number one own hater (laugh). No one shits on my own ideas the way I do. There’s that voice in the back of my head that’s just not supportive, at all. And I’m starting to become really present with how it works.
[007:59] So today, and it’s also really interesting that this is the topic that I’m choosing to speak about today, but I’m going to talk about the Inner Critic. The inner critic. It’s also part of a lot of the personal development work that I am doing currently is stepping in to listening to this voice, this inner judgment, and how it’s always been present, my whole life, and how it continues to surface. No matter how many great things I do, there is always that part of me that says that I’m not good enough to do X, Y, Z. Here I am right now in the midst of leading this yoga teacher training that I told myself for years I couldn’t do, and it’s just from day one, it’s so fucking awesome. It’s so good! It’s so amazing. And the group that we have here, it’s just, it’s absolutely unbelievable. I asked them all, so after … we took two days to really arrive and integrate into an intention, like, “Why are you here?” There was something really … there’s something that’s always beneath the surface of a longing to start teaching yoga. Like, why do we want to step from that space of being the student and I’m practicing yoga for me and this is something that helps me in different ways, to all of the sudden we get to this place where like, “Hmm, I think I want to do a teacher training because I want to offer this to the world.” There’s a big shift there. And usually we arrive at that space through something challenging, like through something shitty, through something difficult that came our way. All of the sudden we found enough healing or enough overcoming that we want to turn this around and we want to help heal the world through this practice.
[009:40] And to get there we have to do a lot of work, like, a lot of work. And I knew from the start that I didn’t want to have this traditional 200 hour training where, you know, you go to YogaAlliance.com and just X hours doing this, X hours doing anatomy, X hours doing philosophy and the sutras and history and yada yada yada, because it’s not what I teach, yeah? The fact that I can really own that is an awesome step for me, right now. I am not the best yoga philosophy teacher, I am not the best Sanskrit teacher, I am not the best yoga history teacher either. What I teach is really really just around emotions and the heart and healing of the old wounds. And yoga is a really beautiful tool to get there, but it’s not the beginning and the end. It’s part of what I teach.
[010:41] So I’ve been really nervous of how am I going to fit in this box, you know, of the world or of the yoga community or yoga society says that it has to be this way when actually I don’t teach … my style of teaching isn’t that way. It’s not very traditional and, you know, sometimes I curse in class. (laugh) Oh my god, I feel like the yoga police is going to come kill me. Yeah, sometimes I curse in class. I fall, I fart, I laugh … I’m super encouraging of having total halfway insane meltdowns mid-yoga practice, because I think you is a beautiful way to get out of our heads and into our bodies. And in the body we don’t need more structure, we don’t need more, “Do things the right way, do things the perfect way. Color within the lines. Do it this way, dadada, this is what was taught for centuries.” I think we need a little bit more, like, going crazy. Color outside the lines. What am I feeling in this moment and how can I use yoga as a tool to fully step into that emotion and let it out and let it through?
[012:01] And in yoga we see little bits of this. Maybe some emotion that comes up in Savasana or something that shows up in a hip opener, and it’s a very controlled environment. The you community, at least a lot of what I’ve experienced is very … I’m struggling with a way to say this without insulting anyone, but yeah, a little bit uptight! I don’t know, I reached a point where I got really sick of everyone trying to be the most perfect teacher. There’s a lot of ego attached to what lineage you come from and who your teacher’s teacher is, and, you know, how many of the sutras you can reference in your practice and in your teaching. [Exhale] I don’t know, for a while I was just kind of pretending that I was really passionate about all of those things, and yeah, I have read the books and I know a lot of stuff, and I’ve been teaching for a decade. It’s just not where my passion lies.
[013:02] So I think a lot of my struggle of wanting to create a yoga school and actually, okay, if I’m going to teach teachers how to spread the art of yoga, I want it to be in a way where I can authentically say that this is the type of teaching that I fully support. And it’s not that structured and within the lines that maybe a lot of yoga schools are. It’s definitely not what my first 200 hour training was. Holy smokes, not at all. And I’ve shared little bits and pieces of that before.
[013:36] If you can’t tell I’m in kind of a funky mood right now. (laugh) I always really try my absolute best to never insult anyone in this podcast and never call anyone out for anything, but I’m kind of in a funky mood and I’ve been trying to figure out why that is. So, the reason I’m lying in bed right now recording this is because I have insane lower back pain. And I don’t normally have lower back pain. When I have back pain it’s my upper back and it sticks around for a long time, and now I’m just in this lower back sensitive space. And I woke up with that today. Have you ever had a day where you wake up with something that isn’t great, and then you bring that energy into the next moment, and then something that isn’t great happens then, and then you bring it into the next moment and then it’s not so awesome, and then at the end of the day you’ve just had a shit sandwich of a day? That’s been my day today.
[014:27] And I’m having a hard time really integrating and figuring out what’s wrong with my day, because I’m in the midst of this amazing teacher training where on day 5, like, the group is so open, like, we have so much amazing release and processing of emotion and epiphanies and realizations, and everyone is putting there, you know, we write our intentions on the big wall of Island Yoga in the changing room. We have a huge wall that’s just one giant blackboard. Every single intention that’s put up on this board is about the heart! Like, no one shared anything about flexibility or strength or body. No one is here for just Asana, like, at all. And it’s everything I’ve ever wanted! It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. Every single person of these 52 people that we have here, they’re the right person. They’re my kind of person, my tribe. I’m starting here, we’re building something amazing at Island Yoga, and it’s day 5 and somehow I’m having a crappy day! And it doesn’t fit with the fact that I’m so stoked out of my mind with what’s happening in this teacher training in the group. So I’m trying to figure it out, and I guess this podcast is kind of about that, I guess.
[017:22] So I woke up this morning with this insane lower back pain, and weirdly enough, Lea Luna, my baby girl, she slept the entire forking night! Does anybody out there listen or watch The Good Place on NBC? The Good Place with Kristen Bell, if you haven’t watched The Good Place, oh my god, please just do yourself the ginormous favor and start watching it right now. So, it’s on Netflix, The Good Place, it’s the funniest, the best show. It’s basically about this woman who dies and she ends up, when you die there’s a good place and a bad place and she ends up in the good place, and in the good place you can’t curse. So instead of saying fuck she says fork. And now I just can’t stop saying fork instead of fuck. So, anyway, that’s where that comes from.
[018:13] So, my baby, she slept the whole night, and she slept such a heavy sleep that I started freaking out that maybe she had died. (laugh) I mean, it’s so absurd. Any mother, I’m sure you can resonate with this or recognize yourself in this at some point. We have a little monitor that we use, so when we’re having dinner or we’re watching TV or something at night, she’s sleeping. She’s a light sleeper so I can always hear her stirring a little bit, like moving, shifting side to side, turning around. And then last night from the moment I put her down she was just like dead asleep, making zero noise. So I had to go up and like check, like, “Oh my god, is she breathing? Why is she so quiet?” And she’s breathing, she was just sleeping such a heavy sleep. So I think I was up there like five times just in the evening before I went to bed.
[018:59] And then I went to bed, and normally I feed her like at one or at two. She feeds or nurses once a night. And she’s slept through the night a couple of times, but it’s not that common. She usually feeds once a night, and that’s our thing, and I’m loving that. And then I wake up at two and she’s still asleep, and I had to get up and I go to the crib and she’s asleep in the same position that she was, like, at ten, when I went to bed. So then I’m like, okay wait, did she just for some reason stop breathing right now? So I’m almost climbing into her crib so I can get close enough to see her chest. And I can’t see if it’s rising or not, and I’m just like oh my god. And I wake Dennis up and I’m like, “Dennis! Help me! Find out if she’s breathing!” And he just looks at her, he’s like, “Dude. She’s fine. Chill!” (laugh) And I couldn’t chill! And then it took me easily like 30 minutes to, okay, and then she moved a little bit, and I’m like, “Okay, well she’s alive. Why is she sleeping so … well!?” (laugh) I spent the past months complaining that she hasn’t been sleeping, and now she’s sleeping amazingly well and now I’m complaining about that? Like, come on.
[020:00] And then I woke up at like three, at four, at five, at six … she just didn’t wake up to nurse, and instead of just enjoying my full night’s sleep, I was up every forking hour making sure that she was alive and breathing. And then, of course, you know, at six a.m. she was awake and hungry, and I’m just so totally exhausted. And I think the stress, maybe, of just going up and down and just kind of leaning into her crib once an hour for 12 hours, maybe that’s why I have some lower back pain. But anyway, that’s kind of how my morning started.
[020:34] And then from there, I just had like … I woke up stressed over this and just not feeling amazing or awesome. And then I had this pain, and then the next thing that happened is just, like, my mom is here and my sister is here helping with the baby for the teacher training and Dennis is here, and then Dennis was annoyed at my mom for something, I can’t remember what. There was like a little tension at the breakfast table, it wasn’t a huge thing. Then my mom drove me to work and she was going to pick up paint because we’re painting Luna’s room so that we can get her her own room soon. And then right after that, like, I started fighting with Dennis about the stupidest forking thing. And it’s, honestly, it’s such a stupid fight I don’t even want to talk about it because it’s embarrassing of how ridiculous that we even fight.
[021:24] Okay, I’m going to share it anyway. So, we have the most amazing problem anyone has ever had, ever. I’m embarrassed to even speak this out loud, but I’ve shared this a little bit in my Instagram story, we’re building a pool here in our backyard. We’ve lived here for four years in this house, and since we moved in it’s been a dream of mine to manifest, like, a pool in the backyard. Then when I got pregnant I was like, oh my god, I really want to … because we live in Aruba, it’s super hot and warm, and … like, we’re pretty close to the ocean but not that close, and we have to get in the car. I was like, you know, having the baby and having a little pool in the backyard where we can, like a little saltwater pool where we can swim in the day, like, that would be so amazing. And then over the past four years it’s been something that we really worked toward creating. And then this year is the year where we saved up enough money and we’re doing it and it’s awesome.
[022:14] And then me and my husband Dennis, we’re very different in this way. I like to, if I want to do something, I want to do it now. I want to just go for it and get it done. I hate waiting for stuff. I’m very impatient. Really bad at just biding my time. So for me the fact that we’ve had like four years and that this pool that I’ve wanted for so long still hasn’t been realized or manifested has been like, ugh. And now the baby, you know, she’s eight months and she loves the water so much. And then like two months ago I was like, “You know what? We’ve worked so forking hard this year, like, it’s absolutely insane. We never do anything for ourselves. We just … We never splurge on anything.” And Dennis is a really modest guy, doesn’t like to spend money on anything. And I’m like, “You know what? I want to get this forking pool! Now.” And of course he was like, “Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, come on, no no no, we have to plan this out, we need to take our time. Should we go to the bank and get a loan? Should we do this? We have to plan it out with a garden… Let’s take-“ and I’m like, “You know what? I don’t want, no, I don’t want to wait. I want to do this now.” And we have my entire family coming here in December for Christmas. I was like, “You know what? If we do it right now, we can have this done by mid-December. We can do it now.” And I just kind of made the executive decision of, like, fork it. We’re going to have this happen right away.
[023:38] And that’s what’s happening. So they’re building now in the backyard. They’ve been excavating, and today they poured the concrete, and like this amazing thing is happening, and I’m so frickin’ excited about it. And then for some reason, like, me and Dennis have, of course this is rooted into something else. We rarely fight, but over the past couple of months we’ve had a recurring theme of a fight that’s kind of … it surfaces when we’re stressed or when one of us feels overwhelmed, and then it goes away, and then we’re fine, and then it comes back. And it is the struggle with fully settling into our roles as parents, balancing that with work. Yeah. It’s really hard. It really is really really hard. We do it a nontraditional way because I’m the mom and I’m the woman but I’m also the one who is, like, working, like now I’m working way more than full-time. So Dennis is home with Luna a lot, which he loves, and it was kind of how we’d decided things from the beginning. But it’s, of course, a really big transition for him. He’s used to working really hard and at the studio and managing administrational stuff and money and, like, he’s always the behind the scenes guy, and now he’s had to take a really big step back so that he can be home with the baby.
[024:59] And of course I understand, you know, this is a big shift. And also being, I guess, in the male role of the traditional idea of being the provider, there’s a big transition that’s happening there, and I understand it’s a struggle. And it’s a struggle for me because I don’t want to be away from her. So I kind of … if I’m working really hard, I kind of walk around feeling jealous that he’s with the baby in the day and I’m missing out on things, and then I come home and they have this super bond, and I was away all day and I just, like … it’s really hard. And then he’s looking at me like I get to do this thing where I’m fulfilled and I’m working and feeling super purposeful every day, and he’s just home with the baby, you know? So we both have our own struggles.
[025:38] I don’t know, the last podcast we recorded was a couple months ago, we talk about this a lot. But this fight that we have is recurring, and I know Dennis’ big struggle is that he sometimes feels like I make too many of the big decisions in our family. I’m the doer and I’m the goer and I’m like go go go, working, doing all of this stuff, and then now he’s kind of home with the baby, and it’s a challenging transition.
[026:01] So, the fight that we’re having now, which is like … so forking stupid … we are like really tight with the final piece of the budget to get this pool to be finished. It’s such a luxury problem it’s a joke. And it’s important for me that we finish the deck around the pool so that we can, you know, enter and exit the pool and chill by the pool, and that Luna can crawl around or whatever. And then it’s really important for Dennis that we don’t have sand and dirt enter the pool, so he wants to lay a gravel or something, stones or something in the garden. Because we live on the north shore and there’s a lot of wind and dust or whatever. This is what it is. And this small discussion of where we should put the last piece of the money that we have saved up for this has escalated and escalated and escalated and turned, today, turned into a ginormous fight. (laugh) And I mean, like, there’s so many real issues in the world, there are so many big things and real, genuine, awful things to fight about, and we’re fighting about the detail of how we will manifest the final piece of the puzzle of this luxury dream that we’re manifesting. We have the same thing that we want.
[027:18] Then we had this huge fight today and we’re fighting about this stupid thing, and then I’m overwhelmed and tired and my back hurts, and I’m just like … And of course sitting with it now, I know it’s not about the forking pool. I know it’s not about the forking garden. It’s about a way bigger, way deeper issue of what are our roles in this family constellation? What are our roles as parents? How is this going to work? If one of us isn’t content, how are we going to manage and shift that? It’s a big thing, to feel purposeful and to … there’s a lot cooking beneath all of this. But yeah, I’d rather go deeper into that maybe in another podcast episode with Dennis so that I’m not just talking over his head here.
[028:05] But anyway, so then this stupid fight escalated into something really bad, and then I had to leave the house while we’re fighting, which I really hate. So we’re in the midst of a fight without clearing the fight before we were done. And then I get to work, and then stepping back into the group where I get to super immerse myself in everything and I just forgot about everything else. And then we had a break, and then I’m trying to pump because I’m breastfeeding and then when I’m away I have to pump, and then I’m so annoyed with Dennis still about this thing that I couldn’t pump, and I’m sitting there with a breast pump and nothing is flowing, and anyone who has ever pumped, which is basically the shittiest fucking thing … there’s nothing exciting about sitting with a breast pump. It just wasn’t working. And then I didn’t come home on time and then I got into a weird fight with my mom, and then Luna didn’t want to fall asleep, and then we left the house and when we came back the oven was on, so they had the oven had been on for five hours at the house. And then my mom dropped my favorite rose quartz crystal and it broke. And then in the midst of that, and I’m fighting with Dennis, I’m annoyed with my mom, Luna doesn’t want to sleep, my back is killing me, I’m exhausted, I don’t understand why I’m having a shitty day because my life is fine, and then I realize, “Oh, I haven’t recorded the podcast.” (laugh) Basically, I just laid down I bed with the microphone, and here we are!
[031:08] I don’t know, and now I don’t know what, you know … I don’t know if there’s any awesome takeaway of anything that I’m sharing. I guess the beauty of sharing this stuff is that we’re all just human beings and we all struggle with the same shit. We all struggle with the same shit, it’s just not easy all the time. And for me, also, I guess it’s a big reality check to vent these things out loud because I take shit for granted. I take stuff for granted a lot. I think when I’m just immersed in something really great it kind of bugs me that it takes so little for me to have my whole mood shifted. Like, my life is beautiful. It’s really, really, really good. The issues that I have, they’re like absolute, total, luxury issues. But I also don’t want to minimize them, because they are here and they’re present and they’re real, right? So when I have a shitty day, or my back aches, or I’m fighting with my husband, that’s a real thing, so I want to acknowledge that and see that it’s a valid thing to feel this way. I’m not, just because I have a good life, it’s not like I don’t have the right to sit and feel lousy at times. I really do.
[032:25] Then there’s that voice, that Inner Critic, that voice in the back of my head that’s, throughout this day, constantly telling me to, “Well, chipper up! Be happier! Just soldier on, brush it off, do better!” And that voice in the back of my head, it’s just always telling me to improve something. I always can do better, whether it’s like I can lead the teacher training group even better, I can immerse myself even more, even though I’m basically spooning them in class. I love them so much I’m pouring myself into them. The voice in the back of my head is like, “I should probably have breakfast and lunch and dinner with them and sleep in their beds with them.” (laugh) Like, the voice in the back of my head, no matter how hard I work, it’s never enough. No matter, objectively, how much I think that my point of view is valid in whatever fights or issues I have with my husband, the voice in the back of my head is like, “Well, just stop. Just let him have his way, just let all of this go. Find something to be really happy about. Life is so good.” Then it’s, the truth of this is, if I have to continuously push toward being happier and happier and happier and every time something hard comes my way that voice in the back of my head goes, “What the hell do you have to complain about? Just be happy. Well, if I’m not happy in that moment, there’s a reason that that’s the case. There’s a reason that all of this stuff surfaces, and I don’t think it is healthy to just tell yourself, “You’re fine, soldier on.” And then swallow it and then pretend like everything is great if it’s not, right?
[034:06] Right now it’s just, you know, objectively life is good and awesome, but … I guess beneath all of this I’m just probably really tired. (laugh) That’s also a very much a mom thing for me to say. I can sense and see that correlation between that negative judgmental voice in the back of my head and how it gets louder when I’m exhausted. When I’m exhausted or when I’m not taking care of myself that voice has more space to grow really really loud. And some of the work that I’ve been doing, I mentioned at the very beginning of the podcast, I’m doing a lot of personal development work, specifically around self-compassion, self-love, and what to do with this inner critic, with this inner judgmental voice. Because we all have it. It’s there, for all of us. Depending on how aware we are and how objective we can be of the fact that we are not that voice, that voice that tells you that you’re not good enough, there’s a gap between that voice and who you actually are, you’re actual genuine core. Especially if you can listen to that voice and disidentify from it.
[035:18] Part of the work that I’m doing now is we’re creating something really amazing in the online sphere, so I can’t talk too much about it yet, but it’s a new type of … It’s like a tech project that I’m working on that might just change the world, but it’s about how we can take this emotional work, so the work that I do as a yoga teacher that’s about the heart and about allowing emotions to surface in a healthy way, about developing more self-compassion. How can we take that and scale it in a way so that it’s not limited to whoever can show up and be here in the room, right? So if you can’t afford to do a yoga teacher training or come to a retreat or go to a studio and take classes or whatever it is, you know, go to therapy, whatever it is that you do that heals you, how can we use the online world to scale it and create something that’s accessible to help change peoples’ lives and to help create tools to heal yourself. Not just for a limited amount of people, but maybe for millions. Like, is that possible? Yeah, I’m really close to being able to share more about this product, but it’s something that’s coming very, very, very soon.
[036:33] The work that I’ve been doing is centered around my own vulnerabilities. So my own level of self-compassion and self-love. Part of this is I got to take a test, a really in depth test about how self-compassionate am I? And then I’m looking at myself from the outside, I’m like, I’m like really good at the self-love thing. (laugh) I teach it, I write about it all the time, I talk about it all the time, I’m really good at looking in the mirror and focusing on the good things. I’m good at giving myself credit, and I’m good at sharing, inventing, and being vulnerable and speaking about the things that are hard for me. I’m pretty good at showing myself love and stuff.
[037:13] And then I did this test and even as I did the test I had that voice in the back in my head that was like, “You’re probably nailing this test. You’re really good.” And I got a really shitty result! I was below average when it comes to showing myself self-compassion! Like, below average. (laugh) And I was so shocked by this! I just couldn’t really believe it. And the part of the test, or the parts I guess of my personality where it showed up through the test that I was really struggling is letting myself fail. That’s a big thing. Letting myself fail, the standards at which I hold myself, the standards of success, I guess, I think that was the term, that I measure myself against all the time. Which basically correlates to the fact that I never take a break. I always feel like I have to work harder. I always feel like I have to do more, and if I ever do take a break and relax, I feel super guilty. Like, I never sleep in. No matter what. I never sleep in. And if I ever sleep in I have to have a reason, like, I didn’t sleep all night because the baby was up all night so I can take an extra hour here. And even then I feel kind of guilty, like I could have done something better with that hour.
[038:34] Is anybody else at all like this, or am I just totally weird? I don’t know. Or, I have to feel, for me to take a real break, I need to deserve it. I need to have worked really really really hard, I need to have created something really huge, I need to have like really exerted myself in some shape or form and then I deserve to take a break.
[038:55] When I was doing this work the guy … so one of the, I don’t know, I’m calling him my personal therapist, which isn’t really what it is, I don’t know how to phrase this. But he asked me, “Okay, but do you really need to … what if you just want to take a break?” And I was like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “Do you have to deserve to rest? Can’t you just rest because you want to rest? Because you long to rest?” And it was a totally foreign concept to me. I have never, never even contemplated the idea of just taking a break, like, just stopping. Unless it is because I really deserve it, or because I’ve done something so big and so intense that like, okay, I’m going to take a day now and go to the beach because I just led a really intense retreat. Then I do that. But to just give myself that break, for no reason other than I just want to do it? Never. Never ever contemplated that. So I hold myself, I measure myself against these super high standards that I have to perform all the time, and that’s just fucking exhausting! And I didn’t really know, I haven’t really been aware of that fact. Not letting myself fail at anything, it means I have to always exceed my own expectations. I have to always to really well. I have to always do great stuff. That means that I never say no to anything, almost ever. And if there’s something that I feel like, oh, this is scary, or I don’t know … if it’s any inclination of like, well that might help me grow, or grow the business, or grow the studio, or for me to grow as a person, I always say yes, even if it gives me a lot of anxiety, and I force myself to do it.
[040:36] But now I’m starting realize, like, what part of me, what is it in me that I can’t just, like, love myself and give myself enough self-compassion to just be the way I am? Is it not okay for me to just be Rachel and just, you know, be human and sometimes fail and sometimes not do great and sometimes not want to get out of bed and sometimes want to sleep in for no reason and, I don’t know, lie on the couch and watch forking Netflix and just do nothing? Can I just do that without feeling guilty, if that’s the case? It’s a really, for me, this is … I kind of feel like I’m digging into something that’s new. The fact that I scored fairly low on that test, like, it was a big eye opener for me. It was a really big eye opener for me.
[043:03] And I’m trying now to sit with, okay, well how can I become more compassionate? How can I … toward myself, because I know how I show up for the rest of the world. And this also a big thing. So what I’ve learned throughout this work is there are three types of people in the world. There are givers, people that and give and they want to be of service to others and rescue others and help others and fix others, and they give and give and give no matter how full or empty their own cup is. So there’s givers and then there’s takers, people that take other people’s energy, that are always grabbing and kind of bringing more to themselves to fill their own cup. And then there’s matchers, which is the type of person that will match with whoever they’re spending time with. So if they’re spending time in a group of givers they become giving, and if they’re spending time in a group of takers, they become taking.
[043:56] The question was, okay, so there’s science on this, actually real, extensive, big scientific studies on what type of person is the happiest person, and what type of person is the least happy. So, they asked me to guess, like, okay, so who do you think is the least happy of all? Where is the most depression, most anxiety, most eating disorders, lowest self-esteem, really, like, scientifically-proven, which type of person do you think is the least happy? And I was like, damn, I don’t know, I mean I hope it’s the takers that are the least happy. No, it’s the givers. Givers are scientifically-proven to be the least happy people, that give and give and give and give. And then they asked who do you think are the most happy? They have more success, more abundance, more contentment, feeling fulfilled in their lives, you know. And I’m like, I don’t know, is it the matchers? Who is it? They said, also the givers. Givers who know how to set boundaries and how to fill their cup first before they give. And this really blew my mind.
[045:06] So, the least happy people in the world are the givers, and the happiest people in the world are also the givers, but givers that know how to set boundaries. So that means when my own cup is empty, I say no, and I don’t give anymore. And I focus on myself, and I fill my own cup. Then when my cup is overflowing, then I can redirect that to the world, and I keep giving. So the people that know how to set healthy boundaries for themselves, that know how to say no, that know how to really show themselves enough self-compassion to fill their own cup, to take care of themselves first, and then use that abundance to give to other people, those are the happiest and most fulfilled people in the world.
[045:50] And I’ve been really bad at that last little piece, the boundary of when is my cup starting to empty and how do I fill it up first? Because I like to just keep going and going and going and going and going, and I used to think it was totally normal to lead a yoga retreat for five or six days, and then need two months to recover because I would feel so drained. Or I would need to like, you know, drink a bottle of wine at the end of the day, because I just couldn’t root myself in my own body, because I felt so immersed in other people’s energy, and I would just pour myself out completely into another human being.
[046:29] So now this work that I’m really trying to do is, first of all, listen, find that boundary, right? So, first of all, when am I being really critical toward myself when it comes to giving myself enough compassion and rest and healing and space, and the things that I just need because I need them. Not because I have to deserve it to get it, but just because I want that. Where does that voice tell me that I’m not enough, and how can I let something else speak louder? How can I become my own friend and really bring forth some kindness?
[047:09] So, doing these exercises today, we’re trying to really listen to this voice today, going through all of this stuff, like, okay, for instance, probably waking up in the morning feeling, I mean I woke up in the morning feeling this total … oh my god, I’m touching on a total truth right now because my eyes are welling up and I’m almost crying. So, I spent the whole night worried that my baby was going to die. Like, totally irrational, okay, I’m full on crying now. Totally irrational, not real. You know, but I was up once an hour checking that she was breathing because I had this fear that she wasn’t okay. Is it strange that I kind of woke up to a really shitty day? Oh god, and that’s … literally, there’s no bigger fear in my whole life than the fear of something happening to Lea Luna. There’s no more paralyzing fear. And it’s not until just now that I’m speaking these words that I’m actually making this connection that me spending the entire night obsessively checking if she was alive probably set a really shitty tone for my day. And I didn’t talk about it in the morning. I didn’t share it … I mean, I just had one moment in the night where I told Dennis and he was like, “You’re being crazy,” and went to bed. But I probably should have shared that and maybe cried about it a little bit, because clearly there was a huge clog of fear stuck in my throat. Which probably is why that lower back pain was showing up, because I wasn’t giving myself enough space to just feel that sensation, right? Just to feel that fear of, you know, what if something would happen to her? Or that sadness of not being able to rest, and feeling just trust and assured that she’s okay. Like, there’s a lot of heavy heavy emotion that sits in that. And I didn’t do that. I didn’t give myself that space. I just kind of, yeah, what did I do? Rushed off and dove into teach and stayed really busy and then got into a fight with Dennis, which clearly has nothing to do with our fucking pool. But maybe more me feeling alone in that feeling. I don’t know. Like, he doesn’t have that same worry as me. And I’ve had a lot of loss in my life. I don’t know, continue to have a lot of loss in my life. He doesn’t come from that same background, so he doesn’t have that same automatic fear. He’s not walking around waiting for the other show to drop, and I always am. And the shoe dropping, like if anything happening with the baby, it’s too big for me to even bring to the front of my mind, I guess. I can’t even make it like a conscious fear, because I don’t think I could function. If I made the fear that I have of something happening to her, if I brought it forth in my daily life, I would not be able to go to work. I would not be able to leave her for one second, I would not be able to function as a human being, because it’s too big.
[050:17] So I think a part of me is shoving that fear down a little bit every day. And it’s clearly creating a bunch of shit. (laugh) In my life. Like fighting with him about stupid stuff because maybe I don’t feel like I have support there, like I’m not seen or held in that fear. I think I just … Yeah. Need to sit with him and talk about this for a moment, because it’s clearly a lot bigger than I pretend that it is.
[050:53] Oh my god, it’s so funny how this podcast is turning into this now, I know. (laugh) And then I always feel the automatic urge to apologize when I cry, even though I know there’s beauty in this and just letting myself sit with this for a moment. So I guess the question is right now how can I show myself more self-love, more compassion? How can I rest, I think. I have another, let me think, 18 days of teacher training (laugh). So finding out on day five that I might be overdoing it, maybe I’m kind of overexerting myself and I need to find a really good way to rest and soften and just be with my husband and my baby in a way that isn’t rushed or stressed, and in a way that isn’t me panicking about, you know, someone dying. I think that would be a good thing.
[051:56] (laugh) Oh god! Yeah, wow. Okay. So, this was good. This was good, yeah. I mean … The thing is that I’m sitting now with this, my mom dropped this giant … I have this big rose quartz sphere, it’s just like a ball of rose quartz. It’s one of the biggest crystals that I have, it’s bigger than my fist. I just shared it on my Instagram story because it’s been on the center of the table in the living room for a really long time. And I’ve been kind of confused with this rose quartz because I felt so drawn to it. And then when I received it, like, I haven’t really used it in my practice. I just kind of sit and I hold it sometimes, but I’m not doing anything else with it. I’m not moving it around or anything. It has this tiny little stem that it stands on. And when my mom and my sister came they looked at it and they’re like, “Uh oh, that thing is going to roll off the table one day.” And I’m like, “Well, it hasn’t for the past month, so please don’t push this off the table, because this is a very important crystal.” And then today at the end of this shitty day, my mom, she bumped it with her leg or something, and for the ten seconds it took for it to roll off the table and then bounce and break over the tile floor, she just stood there and she said, “No no no no no. No no no no no! NO NO NO NO NO!” And I was looking at her and I was like, “What do you mean no? Why are you saying no for ten seconds?” And then I heard it go, like, boom, and it just bounced off the floor.
[053:32] And I’m sitting now and I’m so sad about it, like so upset, and I’m like, “What does it mean?” My rose quartz, it’s full of little cracks now and it’s broken. I mean, it’s still in tact, but it’s broken inside. And maybe this is just a really … like a manifestation of the little cracks that I have in my own heart. Like the fear that I walk around with in my own heart. Maybe I need to let those cracks show sometimes and speak about that pain, and not, you know, not show up as in tact and perfect, like everything is fine and all of this, but just kind of … Yeah, let that pain and that sorrow and that fear surface so that I can have a shitty moment because I had a hard night and a shitty morning and not let that reflect in an entire day and have a really shitty, like, full day. That’s my learning today.
[054:37] So I’m looking at this rose quartz sphere right now, it’s even more beautiful now, I think. I think it breaking just … perfected it even more. So, whatever you are working with in your own life, hmm, whatever shit is surfacing, whatever hard moments or hard days, I just invite you to sit with that and to listen to that voice in the back of your head, and whatever it tells you, if you can become aware of that judgment, if it’s there, that criticism, and kind of how can you give yourself some more compassion in this moment? Whether it’s take a break or to rest or to speak a fear out loud or to ask for help. That’s a big one, and it’s a big one for me too. To ask for help when we need it. I’m going to … I’m going to show myself some compassion and go to bed. (laugh)
[055:39] Thank you for listening. Thank you thank you. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, thank you. I love you.
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