Podcast Transcription: The Inner Critic (part 2) in Podcast

Episode 70 – The Inner Critic (part 2)

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In this episode Rachel continues sharing with the rest of her Yoga Teacher Training group on their Inner Critic. The group shares the judgmental, disapproving thoughts they harbour when that negative voice we all have in our heads is leading the way. Now hearing from 50 women from 15 different countries that have shared their most hurtful thoughts they carry about themselves, it becomes so evident that no matter where we come from or how old we are – we are all the same. Then turning toward the Inner Best Friend – the women share the voice that speaks to them with unconditional love and support. What does your inner critic say to you? What would life be like if we spoke to ourselves the way we speak to our best friends? Tune in for the final part of this emotional and vulnerable episode.

[001:15] Hi and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations With Yoga Girl. I am so, so excited to introduce to you all Part 2 of the Inner Critic. What has actually (laugh) becoming one of our most popular podcast episodes of all time. If you haven’t tuned into last week’s episode, I highly suggest that you do. It’s an absolutely beautiful episode. The idea, of course if you heard it you know all about it, but if you’re just tuning in for the first time I’ll give a little bit of a flashback, but during our Yoga Teacher Training here in Aruba we had the idea to record a podcast episode together with the 52 women that are present here, or were present here in the training with me. I just picked a topic, it was, uh, not really random because we’ve been sort of talking about this topic for a little while, so it was in the front of my mind and in my heart. But I picked a topic that I hoped would allow for a bit of heart opening with each person speaking on the podcast, bring forth some emotion, for everyone to just be really present and honest with the beauty that is being vulnerable, the beauty of vulnerability. It’s the most beautiful thing there is.

[002:34] And I chose the topic of the Inner Critic. So, many of us, and it’s actually, I haven’t spoken about the Inner Critic, I haven’t talked that much about it in social media. As soon as this podcast of last week, as it went live, I was just overwhelmed with messages and comments and emails and … yeah, Jesus, tweets, Facebook, all over, from people that had listened in and just were overwhelmed and overcome with emotion from feeling so connected to every single person that shared a piece of their heart in last week’s episode. It was very hard to listen to and not cry! So many people wrote in and were kind of… I think this was one of the most promoted episodes we’ve ever had, by the community, just picking an episode and on their own, without any urge from my end at all, just completely telling other people, telling their communities, their families and friends to go listen to this episode. And the most common thing people wrote or said was, “Make sure you have a box of tissues ready.” Someone wrote me, “Goddamnit, this episode should come with a warning, ‘Don’t Listen at Work.’ Now I’m in my office and just bawling.”

[003:54] It was just so goddamn beautiful and honestly I feel like I’m onto something here. I do these groups all the time, I mean, literally pretty much every month I have some sort of group retreat, a training, something happening at the studio. They’re always vulnerable, they’re always heart-opening. So much emotion present. Of course this group is super mega-special, will have a special place in my heart forever. But I’m thinking, you know, maybe I’ll do episodes like this more often because … So, last week we had 26 women share, so half the group, and the stories that they’re sharing, the vulnerability that they’re opening up with, it’s a completely different … of course, different life, different person, different story than mine. So they were able to connect with people on a level where I just never would be able to. My favorite part about last week’s episode was having people write in with a specific name. You know, they would say, “I resonated so much with what Eva,” or, “I resonated so much with what Kris said, or what Lauren said …” There was just so many people that, just listening to one of the women speak, had a little piece of their heart just cracked open, resonating with their specific words, with their specific story. And, you know, I would not be able to make that connection, you know? We resonate in different ways, and we all speak with different vibrations, different energy. So I feel like just having this platform as an opportunity to really open peoples’ hearts, but in so many more ways than just me sharing my story.

[005:35] So, yeah, if you haven’t already listened into last week’s episode, it was so beautiful. Before we dive into Part 2, so of course this week we have another 26 women, the second half of the group, sharing about their Inner Critic, and also their Best Friend. So, before we dive into that, I just want to take this moment to deeply deeply honor every single person who participated, every woman who bravely stepped into the Terra Shala with me. We had setup one of our smaller shalas here at the studio with just some really cozy lighting and candles and we are sitting in a circle in our meditation chairs, and I had one mic for me and then one mic that we passed around the circle. And no matter, kind of, what mindset everyone was in, before stepping into the shala, like, “Oh I’m just going to go in and do a little two-minute thing on the podcast and just share something, no big deal.” There was kind of a high going on outside because it was some of our final days, we were getting really close to graduation, so the energy was really different outside of this room. But then as soon as each little group stepped into the with me and sat down, it was just so evident that we’re meant to have this conversation, that we’re meant to get these things off of our chest! That we’re meant to actually bring our awareness to that critical, judgmental voice that we have. I mean, almost all of us have that voice in the back or in the front of our minds, at some point, every day. For some of us that voice is just the loudest thing, and it never shuts up! Some of us we have that vicious Inner Critic that never quiets down and it continues to tell us about all of the ways, and how we’re not good enough and we’re never going to succeed and no one is ever going to love us. It’s never ever quiet. And for some of us it’s a voice that pops up and then goes away and then comes back and then goes away, it’s just once in a while, it’s very different for everyone.

[007:35] What I’m definitely sure of, I mean, this I truly believe, is that every time we allow that voice to overtake us, or just sort of to take up that much space in our mind without us being able to identify the voice as a voice, right? Without being able to separate ourselves from the Inner Critic. When we think, or when we become confused, and it feels like the Inner Critic is us, or it speaks truth, and it starts to sort of make decisions for us in our day, it starts to tell us, you know, we actually start reinforcing the Inner Critic every time we listen to it, and we really pay it attention. So, every day, if you have that Inner Critical voice and you’re allowing it to be there without separating from it, even just a little bit, that means tomorrow the Inner Critic is going to be there, and it might be even louder. So, finding that first little gap of just separating ourselves from the Critic, recognizing that, “Oh, there’s that critical voice again.” And I gave a suggestion to the girls before we started recording, we were talking about this, I love the idea of naming the Inner Critic something. One of the girls … everybody had super funny names for their Inner Critic. If you name your Inner Critic, instead of it being, “Oh, here’s this voice that sounds like Truth, maybe it is true, I’m not good enough, I can’t do these things, I’m too fat, too ugly, too whatever, not enough of this, not enough of that …” Put a voice to the Inner Critic so that the next time you catch yourself with that judgmental voice loud in the front of your mind, you can go, like, “Hey! Robert. Pipe down.” (laugh) Or at least, you know, just sort of mentally, to yourself, recognizing that, “Oh, the Critic is here now. Interesting, okay. Do I have to freak out about that? Do I have to react? Should I panic about it or do I have to pay attention? Do I have to listen to this voice like truth? Just a little bit of separation, as in recognizing that the voice is there, and when it gets really loud. It’s just, it’s a really important step to take to … so that we don’t get swallowed up by this idea that we’re not enough. Because of course that’s not true, you know?

[009:43] You can hear it in all the girls’ voices, when we move from the Inner Critic to the Inner Best Friend, sitting in the room with them, just having them share with the voice of the Inner Best Friend, and sometimes that voice is really quiet, it’s more like a whisper, the Inner Critic can get really loud and angry, and the Inner Best Friend just sort of has the back seat all the time. But just watching every woman share what the Inner Best Friend says, and how their faces light up and they’re smiling, and you can sort of like, you know, their whole posture changes, they sit up a little bit taller, all of the sudden it’s totally different body language, almost like a different … different part of that person that’s suddenly speaking. And just imagining, “What would life be like if I spoke to myself with the voice of the Inner Best Friend much more often, or all the time? Is that even a possibility?” I don’t know, because I’m a work in process, as all of you guys know, definitely, definitely.

[010:45] I want to take a moment to share my Inner Critic right now. This is setting the tone for the beautiful episode. Let me close my eyes and take a breath so that I can tap in. (Breath) My Inner Critic, last week I spoke about my Inner Critic and how it’s loud in terms of motherhood, and this is very true whenever I separate from the baby, I immediately feel guilty, like I should be with her all the time. Actually right now, just that I’m sitting at the studio recording this, but, you know, technically I could be at home recording it, so I could squeeze in an extra few minutes with the baby and not have to drive. Like, my Inner Critic gets loud about the stupid in between stuff that doesn’t really make a huge difference. Just driving here just now, literally, I can catch the Inner Critic in the back of my head, beating myself up. “I can’t believe you’re going to spend another 30 minutes away from the baby. You were already away from the baby today. You went to yoga, you did this, you had a meeting. And actually you could take all of your podcast equipment and you could just bring it home, and then you wouldn’t have to be in the car, and then you could just … you would get extra time with the baby that way. Why aren’t you a better mom? Why aren’t you at home right now?”

[012:00] I catch myself with that voice, like, “Oh my god, yes.” And then I start thinking, “Okay, wait, should I pack up my stuff and stress?” But then I know if I go home I’m going to feel completely torn, and it’s really hard for me to focus and be present with anything when I’m with the baby. There’s a reason I decided to record this podcast at the office today, because I need that space! But if I listen to the Inner Critic, suddenly I can feel my heartbeat just, you know, beating faster, and I start feeling stressed. Like, oh my god. And I kind of park the car, and I did it a little bit sloppily, like, I’m dashing out of the car so that I can rush, rush, rush, rush, rush and get this podcast thing done so I can go home and be with the baby more so that I’m not a bad mom.

[012:43] (laugh) And of course speaking this now, this is just … It’s ridiculous! I know it’s ridiculous, and I know 30 minutes more or less, for me, at work, like… One, it’s not the end of the world, and two, this is not a good way to judge whether or not I’m a good mom! Like, at all! My Inner Critic just tells me all sorts of non-truths about what it means to show up for your baby as a good mother. I know even if I did go home and I did all of this stuff at home, the Inner Critic is still going to be there about something else. I had that the other day, like, we just wrapped this teacher training and it’s been 23 days, nonstop, super intense, and I had two days off immediately afterwards, and we have a retreat actually starting tomorrow. So I had just a tiny couple of days off. And I had a whole day, just the day after the training, where I was just at home, lounging by the pool, cleaning up around the house, just being with the baby, taking it really easy. And then in the early afternoon the baby went down for her nap, and I just was kind of reaching for my book, this novel that I’m reading right now, and then I heard my Inner Critic, like, “Uh, shouldn’t you reach for your computer instead? Like, don’t have a ton of work to do that you’ve been just putting off for these 23 days? Like, come on, you had a whole half-day of rest.” And I can actually sense myself, like, “Oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Actually, now that I think of it, I have so much work to do. I really should not be reading some stupid novel. Like, what is that going to give me?” And I turn around and I open my computer! (laugh) Like, I wasn’t able to separate this sort of judgmental voice that tells me … I mean, this voice is so strong, I literally worked for a month straight, without a break. And the Inner Critic tells me that half a day off, it’s like, “It’s enough already. Come on, get back to work. Get back to work. Work a little harder, work longer hours, don’t rest, definitely don’t rest. Resting is a waste of time.” That’s my Inner Critic getting pretty loud.

[014:45] And it wasn’t until I kind of caught myself, like, mid-email, and I look outside and the sun is shining, and the baby is sleeping, and the baby, she doesn’t sleep for that long. I had this really kind of brief moment of just sitting back alone, you know, to rest, to restore, to soften, to relax, to just do whatever I want to do. And the Inner Critic get so loud that I was like, “No no no no no, I shouldn’t read my book, I should get to those emails now.” And I just, you know, launched right in.

[015:12] But when I caught the voice I was able to, like, “Okay, you know, these emails can wait. I have a retreat in two days. I actually, not only do I deserve to rest, but I can rest whenever the hell I goddamn want to! I don’t need anybody’s permission, when it comes to resting or to soften, I don’t need it! If I want to relax, if I want to read my book, it’s my … it’s my opportunity to do that, so just let me be!” And the more I just, you know, kind of have that looking at, “Okay, when is the Inner Critic loud?” I catch it. Sometimes it’s once an hour, sometimes it’s kind of all through the day, I catch myself in those moment of the Inner Critic getting really really really loud.

[015:57] I’ve also been meditating on the Inner Best Friend and how we have that inner, supportive voice. And I was also thinking, well, is there something good about the Inner Critic? Is the Inner Critic, it’s there for a reason, right? It’s not like this kind of schizophrenic person with different personalities. It’s just a voice, and it’s me talking to myself, it’s the thoughts that I bring attention to in a day. Are they positive or are they negative? And, I’m realizing that the Inner Critic, however vicious and terrible and mean and mean-spirited it can be, it’s made its way there because it wants to protect me. This is a big revelation, for me! The Inner Critic, it’s been a voice that’s gotten louder in terms of specific things, because the Inner Critic is always worried that I’m going to be left out. The Inner Critic is worried I’m not going to have enough. It’s worried that I’m not going to be liked enough, I’m not going to be loved enough, that I’m not going to be successful enough, that I’m not going to be a good enough mom. And by speaking these, you know, these judgmental thoughts out loud all the time, the Inner Critic actually thinks it’s doing me a favor. The Inner Critic … What if, I mean, just bear with me while I throw this crazy idea out there. What if the voice of the Inner Critic comes from a place of love? Whoa. I’m serious though. What if it comes from a place of love? What if the Inner Critic and the Inner Best Friend have more in common than we think they do? The Inner Best Friend is trying to keep me safe, right? It’s trying to keep me safe, trying to make sure I’m protected. But then when I look and I listen to the things that the Inner Critic says again and again and again, if I scale away the surface of it, the Inner Critic is doing the same thing, just from a completely different angle. It’s the Inner Critic that says, “Hey, you gotta work harder so you’re more successful, so people will love you,” right? And then the Inner Best Friend is like, “Hey, it’s okay, you gotta soften a little bit more so that you can love yourself, and then people will love you.” (laugh) They’re kind of saying the same things, they just have very different ways of showing up in the back of my mind.

[018:20] Realizing that, and especially when I’m just kind of taking the emotion out of what the Inner Critic says, now that I’m able to separate more and more, and learning how similar these voices are, and how at the end of the day, the Inner Critic isn’t there to be this malicious, vicious, hateful voice. The Inner Critic is there because I think I’m protecting myself, right? So if I don’t let people in, my heart won’t break, and I won’t have pain like I had before. If I keep these walls up really high and really solid, like a fortress, no one’s going to climb over them and kind of open my heart and then leave me vulnerable to heartbreak. Because that happened before, so it’s better if I put these walls up here, and I won’t let people in, because then at least I won’t have more pain. Can you guys kind of see where I’m going with this?

[019:11] Realizing that the Inner Critic stems from the same place as the Inner Best Friend, that these two voices are trying to get to the same endgame, they’re trying to get to the same place, where we are safe, where we’re protected, where we’re loved, where we’re whole, where we feel complete and calm, where there is peak and beauty in our lives. Of course, you know, choosing to listen to the Inner Best Friend or maybe reinforcing the voice of the Inner Best Friend a little bit more, or a whole lot more, it’s going to change our lives, altogether. I mean, hell yes, it might just completely transform the way we look at the world, the way the world reflects back at us. 100%. But it’s been an important piece for me to recognize, that, okay, I don’t have to hate my Inner Critic, like it’s some sort of evil voice in the back of my head. I can kind of recognize that the Inner Critic is there, and then I can show up with love. Instead of resentment, instead of, like, “Ugh, just shut up.” Because that’s sort of that judgment coming in through the back door. Just showing up with love. “Okay, I have these thoughts, this mind, this ego that’s constantly trying to protect me all the time, making sure that I’m safe and cared for,” and all of those things. And I can just again and again choose to bring myself back to a place of love, to focus on those loving thoughts, but without creating more of the judgment by hating that Inner Critical voice, but recognizing that it’s coming from a place of love, too, however strangely it’s showing up in our lives.

[020:45] So, my Inner Critic right now is telling me that I’m blabbering on for too long, this podcast now, because we have 20 beautiful women about to share stories of their Inner Critics and their Inner Best Friends, so I’m going to tell my Inner Critic, who, I don’t know why I’ve named him Robert. I’ve known many Roberts in my life that I love and cherish, it’s just, I don’t know how that came to be, but my Inner Critic, Robert, is going to quiet down a little bit so I can seal this introduction and just, really, from the bottom of my heart, tell you all how grateful I am that you’re listening! How grateful I am that you are doing this exercise along with us. That you are also evaluating that voice, right? Separating ourselves a little bit so that we can listen before we jump to the conclusion of truth. And making more space for the loving, loving, kind thoughts and letting the Inner Best Friend be who steers the ship, right? And then using the tools that we have available, the tools of the body, the breath … maybe yoga, the practice, as ways to anchor ourselves back into this moment again and again. Because, when we’re present, and this is the beauty of it all, when we’re 100% present, in this moment, here, now … both of those voices are quiet. And it’s a pretty peaceful place to be. (Deep Breath) So, without further ado, I present to you The Inner Critic Part 2.

[022:24] Rachel: Continuing to take deep belly breaths, bringing awareness and the sensation all the way down to the low belly … and starting to bring our awareness back to the topic that we journaled and shared on yesterday, this idea of the Inner Critic, that inner critical voice, that inner judgmental voice, a voice that sometimes, or oftentimes, tells us that we’re not enough. And then also remembering that second voice, the voice of the Inner Best Friend, the voice that tells us that, yes, you are, or yes, you can. Just noticing what comes up, what’s stirred around your heart center, just from anchoring toward this topic. And continuing to stay anchored in the breath, just go ahead and open the eyes. Hi, Kat.

Kat: Hi.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Kat: My Inner Critic tells me that I am not strong enough. The reason this is is that I was diagnosed with Myositis five years ago, and that’s a rare muscle disease. I was diagnosed not really knowing what it was, and I lost all movement from my hips up, so I became paralyzed. And I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia three years ago. So, when I was diagnosed, I just didn’t know what to do, and I lost all strength in my body and had to learn everything again on movement. It was just really scary. So now, kind of going through that, yoga saved me. I would go to my mat and just cry, and just breathe. And then I would lay there again the next day and I would just cry and breathe. I’ll never forget the day I came into Cat/Cow, and I was just like, “I made it! I made it on all fours again.” Now, being here is just … it’s amazing. It’s empowering.

But every single day, I wake up, and my body is in pain, and I tell myself I’m not strong enough because I look around me and everyone … you know, I’m like, “Oh, I’m not at handstand yet, but maybe I’ll get there one day.” But even, just, showing up at my mat every day, I just, I question myself, all the time, every day. That I’m not as good as anyone else, or I’m not strong, I need to gain more muscle back, or what am I doing here?” I once went to a class after I was diagnosed thinking I wanted to move again, because I’d got into Cat/Cow, so I was so excited! I went to a class and the teacher in the class said, “Oh, people with chronic illnesses can’t do Warrior 2.” And I really wanted to stand up and do Warrior 2, to show her, but I didn’t. I just sat there and, you know, left the room and cried, and went home and thought, “Is she right? Am I ever going to be able to do that again?” And now I know she was wrong. If you get an illness, you can do anything. My doctor told me I wasn’t able, you know, that I’m going to lose all muscle one day and not move.

So I get scared, every day, that I’m just not strong enough, that one day I’m going to wake up and it’s going to happen again. So, that’s kind of my Inner Critic, and it’s always there, it’s every day, that I’m just not good enough.

Rachel: And if you would speak to yourself right now from that other voice, the voice of the Inner Best Friend, a voice that’s just supportive and full of love and kindness? What does it say?

Kat: My Inner Best Friend tells me that my strength is my greatest gift. That my story is my greatest gift. My inner strength is, you know, immeasurable. It would tell me to share my story. You know, I don’t tell people that I’m sick. A lot of even my friends don’t even know what I went through, like, my new friends. But to share it and be empowered by it, because I think it really can show other people that anyone can do it. If you really put your mind to it and focus. So, you know, my Inner Friend would tell me I’m a badass! (laugh) You know, I go through it every day on my own. I didn’t go to yoga classes after I got sick because I was too scared! I was scared after that woman told me I couldn’t do Warrior 2, thinking, “Why should I show up?” And I would just roll my mat out every day and just do it on my own and read books, because I knew, like, movement was so key to my life. Yeah, so my Inner Best Friend would just say, like, “Hey, Cat, you’re strong. You’re a badass girl and you’re now a yoga teacher.” And I really want to teach others that have gone through chronic illness, like, “Don’t listen to what anyone else has to say. You know your body and you can heal yourself.” Inner strength is a big gift, and I think my story is actually a gift. I don’t know where I would be without it.

Rachel: Thank you.

Kat: Thank you.

[028:11] Rachel: Romy, hi.

Romy: Hi.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Romy: My Inner Critic, um … Is telling a lot, like, every time. For me it feels like it a constant battle between the Critic and the Best Friend. It’s like … I was thinking about playing the Hide and Seek game. It should be fun, but sometimes it’s hard for me to find the other voice. The Inner Critic shows up in different ways. For example, taking this teacher training, actually, it was a gift from my husband, knowing I have to leave my kids, like, every day. And I was thinking that if I could … taking this time for yourself, it has made me feel, like, guilty somehow. I think the critic says, “Okay, why do you take this time for yourself? You leave your kids.” Related, what you said in that one sharing, for example, hearing, “They really like to be with daddy,” I love it when I hear it, but it’s just some Critic that says, “Okay, when I leave three weeks, what will that change in the way they look at me?” So, I think that’s my critic that shows up. A lot.

Rachel: And do you sometimes have that other voice? That kind, loving voice?

Romy: When you asked to share about that, it made me realize that sometimes it’s difficult to find that Friend (crying) … to find a true Best Friend because I was realizing that a lot of other people around me are telling me that I’m a good mom, or, “Yes you can do this, because you need the time for yourself.” Luckily, because otherwise I think I wouldn’t be able to do it. So there will be, like, a voice who is telling me, “Okay, you can do this.” Yes, I believe I can do it, because I know it’s in my heart, and I know a lot of things come from the heart. I tell myself, like, every day that, yeah, that I also deserve the time to do this, find myself … Yeah. Just, listen more to what is inside and speaking out loud what you are feeling and, yeah.

Rachel: And if you would speak to yourself in that loving voice right now, what would that voice say?

Romy: That I am here, right now, exactly where I am meant to be, and it feels like that is really true.

Rachel: Thank you.

Romy: You’re welcome. Thank you.

[032:03] Rachel: Bethany. What does your Inner Critic say?

Bethany: My Inner Critic tells me that … people don’t want to hear me talk. (crying) They just wait for me to stop. And when I think about why that is, I think it stems from childhood trauma and not easily making friends with my peers, and having a lot of problems at home with my mother, who is mentally ill and very unstable, which left me with severe separation anxiety and problems with anxiety and lack of stability and self-confidence. Lately my Inner Critic is telling me … that I’m fat and I don’t have a good body anymore, and I maybe never will, because I had a child. (crying) There’s some things that just won’t ever be the same. I guess that’s mostly it right now.

Rachel: Maybe that’s a lot. So if you would close your eyes and just take a deep breath right now, let’s see if you can breathe some comfort into the belly, to the legs, to the feet. And just experiencing your body. Not judging it or looking at it from the outside, but just feeling this moment in your body. Connecting to another voice, voice of support, of the inner cheerleader, the Inner Best Friend, because she is there, what does she say?

Bethany: Ironically, I hear her almost as often as I hear my Inner Critic. It feels like, almost like my wisdom or strength is more powerful. She says that I am amazing and strong and it’s a gift that I gave life to my son, and it’s something to be celebrated and honored and the changes in my body are a reflection of that. That the society and world that we live in is an illusion, and the beliefs that I have about how my body should look is a product of that. That I should be more gentle with myself and that … I have powerful messages to share and bring to people in my life and people do want to hear what I have to say, and that I have every reason to be confident even if it’s hard to find it. That’s basically it. (laugh)

Rachel: Can you imagine what life would be like if you spoke to yourself more with that voice of kindness than you did with the critical voice?

Bethany: Yeah, I think it would be much more peaceful and … healthy. (laugh) And empowering. And I think I would be happier and more successful and feel more love and have more opportunities to celebrate all of the amazing things about life, instead of living in a dark place of pain and living in the past, sometimes.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing your heart.

Bethany: Thank you.

Rachel: Thank you.

[037:25] Rachel: Lizzie.

Lizzie: Hi.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Lizzie: My Inner Critic was heightened when I actually found out that I got into this program. I signed up just because I knew I wanted to, and I never gave it another thought. Then when I got the email that I got in, I had about an hour or two of just pure happiness and excitement, and then when I was by myself after telling my friends and family, I started hearing this voice of the Inner Critic, and she was saying, like, “You got in by sheer luck. You got in because someone else couldn’t be there, someone else better, someone more qualified. You’re not experienced enough, you don’t have enough insightful things to say. You can’t kick effortlessly into a handstand.” My Inner Critic was comparing myself to people I saw portrayed as yoga teachers on social media. I’m not skinny enough, I’m not pretty enough to be a yoga teacher. Are people going to judge me when I say yoga is my passion and expect me to be this super fit, beautiful girl? Because that’s often what we see on social media, and it was so frustrating because how could I ever believe this idea that my physical appearance, which really means nothing, could come in the way of what I know my inner self wants so badly? It’s my passion, and my Inner Critic was telling me, in so many ways, that maybe I shouldn’t follow this stream, and I wasn’t strong enough or good enough to fulfill it.

Rachel: And is there also a kinder voice there?

Lizzie: Yes.

Rachel: An Inner Best Friend.

Lizzie: My Inner Best Friend tells me that I was meant to be here, and that it wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t here, and that the whole universe wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t a part of it, and that I do matter. That I can help people with following my dreams and impact people in a really positive way, by sharing my message. This scared the crap out of me, the idea of talking to people about my vulnerabilities, but my Inner Best Friend told me, “You have to do it, you have this opportunity for a reason, and people are going to listen to what you’re saying, and maybe it’ll help someone. You have the power to help someone who is going through this, these type of thoughts.” My Inner Best Friend tells me I can do anything and that, yeah, my Inner Best Friend was with me when I was teaching my graduation sequence, and she was just overcoming me with this feeling of, “You belong here and everything in your life leading up to now has brought you here, to these people, in this place, and you’re going to do amazing things from here. You have no limits.” Yeah. She rocks.

Rachel: She rocks. You rock! Thank you for sharing.

Lizzie: (laugh) Thank you.

[Commercial Break]

[042:51] Rachel: Laura, hi.

Laura: Hi.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Laura: My Inner Critic won’t shut up. All the time. It tells me that I’m not smart enough and I’m not strong enough or thin enough or emotional enough. It tells me I’m an emotionally-closed person and I can’t connect well with people. It tells me that I don’t understand people very well, and that I don’t belong.

Rachel: Do you feel like sometimes that voice is kind of what leads the way?

Laura: Most definitely, yeah. I feel detached a lot, and I try not to express myself very much because of that voice. I label myself as not a very emotional person because of it, but I clearly have motions! (crying)

Rachel: If you take a deep breath right now and just, bringing some awareness away from the voice, away from that judgment and into the body, where your heart is, where your belly is, all the way down to the legs, to the feet. Knowing that when you’re present in the body, it’s easier to access this other voice, this voice that’s supportive and here for you and talking to you in a different way. What does that voice say?

Laura: That voice tells me that I deserve to be here, and I deserve to take up space. I can connect with people and I can help people, and I am smart enough and I am kind enough and maybe I can have a mutual understanding with people.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart.

Laura: Thank you.

[045:17] Rachel: Emily.

Emily: Hello.

Rachel: Do you have an Inner Critic?

Emily: I have an Inner Critic, and she’s a tough one. My Inner Critic tells me that I’m not deserving. (crying) I am not noticed, that everyone sees me. That I am replaceable. I’m not enough, that I do not love hard enough, do not give enough, I’m too emotional (laugh). My Inner Critic was strong enough to never sign up for this even though I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be here for probably over five years. But I never signed up until a spot opened up and someone else prior had taken the chance with me and stuck their head out for me and wrote a letter for me, and then, finally, I stuck my head out and said, “If someone else loves me this much and thinks that this is the right thing, how can I not take the chance on myself?” So, my Inner Critic leads a lot of my life.

But my Inner Best Friend says I am valuable, I am worthy, I am deserving. I am loved, I am supported. I’m a great daughter, a wonderful friend. I hold space, I am made of love, (crying) I’m made to fill in the spaces of this world with the love that overflows in me. I deserve to be here, right now, always. That I am enough, I am valued, I can take up space, I can be held. I’m good, I’m kind, I’m giving.

Rachel: (crying) I love you so damn much.

Emily: I love you so much.

Rachel: I love you, I love you so much.

[047:59] Rachel: Morgan, what does your Inner Critic say?

Morgan: Well (laugh), um, at a very young age I had a lot of suicide in my immediate family, and I remember thinking that I was so young and, like, I mean, so perfect, and that that should have been enough to stop my family members from wanting to die, like, me just being alive. But, it wasn’t, and this harvested this belief in me that I’m not enough, and nothing that I will ever do will be enough, and everyone I love will leave me at some point. And then I open my eyes and it’s not real, and I know that I’m surrounded by love. (crying)

And then my Inner Best Friend says that I am smart and amazing, and so worth the love that everyone needs, including me. (laugh) That felt good to say.

Rachel: Hm, do you want to say it again?

Morgan: No. (laugh)

Rachel: Go on, say it again.

Morgan: I’m so deserving of love. So fucking worth it.

Rachel: What was that? I couldn’t hear you over here in the back.

Morgan: So fucking worth it. (laugh)

Rachel: So worthy of love, hm.

Morgan: So, so worthy.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing.

Morgan: Thank you.

[049:45] Rachel: Ida. What does your Inner Critic say?

Ida: My Inner Critic tells me that I’m never enough, that I need to be good at everything, all the time, and that even if I succeed in one field, I still have a lot more to accomplish before it’s enough. My Inner Best Friend, on the other hand, is very compassionate and always convinces me that I am enough just by being myself and if I can find peace in my body, it doesn’t always matter what the outside world means about it.

Rachel: And if you would just close your eyes and take a breath and, speaking to yourself with that loving voice right now, what does that voice say right now?

Ida: Well, it says that I’m sitting in a room recording a podcast with Yoga Girl, so I feel like I’ve come pretty far (laugh) just by being myself! (laugh)

Rachel: (laugh) Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

Ida: Thank you.

[051:13] Rachel: Krystin, what does your Inner Critic say?

Krystin: My Inner Critic constantly tells me not to speak, to hold everything inside. That nothing I do or say will be good enough, that situations in the past will keep on happening, even though they don’t. Constantly, just the what-ifs and not the … just being. I can’t just be, constantly, live there. My Inner Best Friend says, “Fuck. That. Noise.” All the time. That I can speak, that I do have good ideas. They might be a little big and crazy, but they’re good, and they’re true. My Inner Best Friend says I deserve what has been given to me right now. That the situations were just situations in the past. That that’s not my life now, that I can choose. Back then I couldn’t, and now I can. And I constantly do, I constantly choose love. I constantly choose truth, and I just want to spread it! I don’t need to hold it in.

Rachel: You’re shining right now.

Krystin: (laugh)

Rachel: Everyone’s just smiling, hearing you speak. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

[052:59] Rachel: Sabrina. Oh boy. What does your Inner Critic say?

Sabrina: My Inner Critic always says that I’m not doing enough, that anytime I take to relax or even enjoy social time is time I should be dedicating to myself in order to create what I want to offer the world. No matter where I am, it’s never, again, enough. But if I … Once I begin trying, I feel like I should have been there months ago, or a year ago. But, my Inner Best Friend continues to say, you know, it’s almost like the universe within me saying, “Everything is okay, and everything works out, and I am where I’m supposed to be.” You know, she’s a good voice to have. (laugh) No one of the two steer my ship, but they’re definitely always on my shoulders.

Rachel: And do you think you’d still be able to achieve and to get where you want to go if you had less of that Inner Critic and more of the Best Friend?

Sabrina: Yeah, it eats away at my courage, which I always thought was the brightest part of my being. So, I just want to align my passion with action at all times.

Rachel: Thank you.

[054:51] Rachel: Hanna. What does your Inner Critic say?

Hanna: My Inner Critic is always expecting perfection and ripping myself apart after so much that I do. After we were considering this topic, I wrote down what my Inner Best Friend would say to my Inner Critic. Do you mind if I share?

Rachel: Go ahead.

Hanna: Okay. “You lash out in fear and spit words that burn and scar. Your intentions are rooted in dirt that does not provide growth or nutrients. You do not pulse life in my veins. You drain and take, but never give. You resent the way that I am blooming, and how I am crawling up the walls you’ve so carefully built to cage me in. I will never be who you expect me to be. Allow me to go through my seasons, because sometimes I soak up too much sun, or absorb too much from the storms. I will not reside in your shadow. You cannot entangle yourself in my roots, or stunt my growth. I am meant to rise up. I am meant to be seen.”

Rachel: And if you would just close your eyes for a moment and speak to yourself in the voice of your Inner Best Friend, what does she say right now?

Hanna: You have so much love. You have so much to give to yourself and others. You are so much more than you think.

Rachel: thank you for sharing.

[056:28] Rachel: Collette. Do you have an Inner Critic?

Collette: No, I have no Inner Critic (laugh).

Rachel: I just have a best friend. It’s soooo easy.

Collette: Life’s my best friend. (laugh) Um, it took me a long time to understand why I always felt so stuck and powerless against myself. It’s because my Inner Critic expects nothing short of total perfection. It’s always an uphill battle. But my Inner Best Friend sounds just like my mom. She is always cheering me on. My Inner Best Friend … supports everything I do without any attachment to any outcome, and that’s what I’d like to give myself more of, is listening to her.

Rachel: A beautiful thing.

Collette: Thank you.

Rachel: No thank you, thank you.

[057:41] Rachel: Marleen. Do you have an Inner Critic?

Marleen: My Inner Critic tells me that I should have an Inner Critic. Last day everybody was sharing their Inner Critic, and I felt so … dumb. Or stupid. That I don’t have an Inner Critic. I could not really find one. And then … then I kept wondering in my mind if that is weird, that I don’t have that loud voice in my head? … Um … I just felt so much for everyone for their true heart stories. I felt so sad and then I came back to myself and … Is it wrong to don’t have an Inner Critic? Like, yelling at me, or … yeah.

Rachel: Hmm. Sometimes, that, you know, the Inner Critic doesn’t have to be this big LOUD, hateful voice. It can be soft or gentle or not at all there.

Marleen: I didn’t found it yet.

Rachel: Hmm. And how about your Inner Best Friend?

Marleen: (laugh) Maybe that’s the harder part. (crying)

Rachel: Oh, that’s the harder part!

Marleen: I rock. I’m love. I’m beautiful. (laugh) I’m everything that I … I’m already of my desires. I’m the best mom in the world! Yeah, you too Rachel, of course. Yeah. Especially after this three weeks, I am me. I am … so thankful, so grateful, so … Yeah. I’m lost in words. I feel so much love. Felt so loved. Holding so much love for all of you. (crying) My sisterhood, I’m so grateful for that. Thank you.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing so beautifully, thank you, thank you.

[061:08] Rachel: Stacey. Do you have an Inner Critic?

Stacey: I most definitely have an Inner Critic. She’s a full yell, most of the time, telling me I’m inadequate in just about everything I do. I’ve not mastered something or had a lot of experience. I more or less feel like a fake or a fraud doing it. It’s just that feeling that what comes effortlessly to other people is just such a struggle for me. I think that I’m just … I think I just don’t even let myself try things, because I already assume I’m going to suck at it. And I know that … just know that that’s … it’s a hard way to live, and it’s a hard way to be. I just want her to quiet down a little bit, just so there’s a little more space for knowing that I am worthy (crying) and doing things.

Rachel: And do you have that other, that kinder voice? Is it sometimes there?

Stacey: She’s there sometimes, but it’s a whisper. It’s very faint.

Rachel: And what does she whisper?

Stacey: That it’s okay to not be perfect. That perfection doesn’t necessarily equal worth. That I’m compassionate and I’m loving. That I’m funny sometimes. I think that’s been the great part of this experience is while she’s been at such a whisper, I feel like the loving words from everyone over the past three weeks have turned her volume up, maybe at least a few notches. It’s not just whisper. (crying) You included, Rachel. I just hope I can carry all the love and support from everyone, from this, throughout. And be able to keep her a little bit louder than the Inner Critic, so that I feel more adequate in doing things. I think if I can accept some of my missteps or faults, a little bit more, I know that I can maybe also embrace my positive qualities better. I think in accepting those parts of you, you can become just more vulnerable and more human.

Rachel: Thank you.

Stacey: Thank you.

[Commercial Break]

[067:00] Rachel: Daniela.

Daniela: Hi.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Daniela: Well, right now, my heart is beating so fast. But my Inner Critic is … I feel like, constantly saying that I’m not qualified enough, or I’m not good enough to fulfill the crazy, ambitious goals that I have in my mind that I haven’t fulfilled yet. Telling me that, like, if you fail, you have failed everything. You’re being judged by everyone. You just, you failed, and you shouldn’t have even tried. I have so many dreams and goals and aspirations in life, but I’m really scared to take that first step of actually going through and trying to succeed that goal. I guess I’m scared of the judgment and the outside world coming in and saying, and I don’t know, lighting that fire in my mind of, like, why did you even try? How can you think, at your age and your qualifications, like, you are able to succeed such a big goal? It’s so frustrating, and it’s constantly in my mind, of failure.

Rachel: And is it always the outside world?

Daniela: It seems like it. And it seems like the smallest thing that someone can say to be can be twisted so many different ways in my mind, and so overthought, and so ridiculous. Like, they probably didn’t even mean to say that to me. Or maybe they said something really small and I’ve twisted it into a way of like … Just blew it so far out of proportion, of, “I’m just inadequate. There’s no way, at my age, that I can do something, like, that big.”

Rachel: What if it’s … is there a possibility that it could also be the other way around? Like, what if you have an Inner Critic that’s really loud, and the Inner Critic looks for validation, right? The reason that all of the stuff I think about myself is true.

Daniela: That could be it.

Rachel: Is that a possibility? (laugh)

Daniela: (laugh) Yeah. Just want to find a way to turn that off.

Rachel: And how about this other … the idea about the Inner Best Friend. Do you sometimes speak to yourself in that voice?

Daniela: I try to, and I try to think that it’s a louder voice in my head, of everything that I want to accomplish. Like, I have so many awesome dreams and goals that I really want to manifest and get out there, and travel the world, see everything that I can! Yeah, she tells me, it’s like, “You’re an independent bad ass, you totally can do it, you have all the qualifications and all of the strength to really conquer the world, and try to make it happen.”

Rachel: What do you think life would be like if you lived from that place?

Daniela: Oh, god. Awesome! (laugh) I think life would be so amazing, and I think, like Riley said, the last three weeks have showed me so much of who I am, who I can become, and who I can forgive, and who I can trust, and all the sisterhood that have really built me up, to not be a different person but to realize what potential I actually have within me. And being so confident, with even our final … It was the first time in my entire life that I’ve taken final that I’ve actually enjoyed doing.

Rachel: (laugh)

Daniela: And I loved it, and it gave me so much happiness and joy that I really … I just, I need to stick with this, and make sure that that Inner Best Friend really comes out. (laugh)

Rachel: And it showed, when you were teaching, the whole class was shining with you.

Daniela: Thank you.

Rachel: Thank you.

[071:54] Rachel: Natalie. How about your Inner Critic?

Natalie: My Inner Critic tells me I’m either too little, not enough, or too much … And I don’t know exactly if I’m conveying who I am, like, trying to convey to people. I always assume everyone thinks of me a certain way that is totally, like, just in my head. So I tend to retreat into myself and just feel uncomfortable being me. And it sucks. (crying) But, yeah, I just … I guess that comes from living a life where I’m constantly chasing the next thing, to see if I can fill the hole with … I don’t know, good grades in school, doing really well at my job, volleyball coach, whatever, I spread myself so thin that I don’t have time to really even think about who I am. That’s why coming here has been so crazy, because I’ve never been put in a position where I’m on my own. I came here not knowing anyone, and that’s just like the craziest thing, I was just left with myself, to meet these people and actually tune into who I am. It was uncomfortable at first because I haven’t even had the opportunity to really just sit with myself and think about, like, this is me. This is me. It’s so crazy. And I can’t believe that, like, at the end of this three weeks, it’s a total newsflash. I don’t have to waste time or waste energy worrying constantly about how I’m not good enough or how … I don’t know, I just, I don’t know. I’m speechless too. It’s just so hard to put into words. But (deep breath) I’m finding that deep down inside me, shedding all of these layers all of these weeks, I’m finally coming to some common ground and being able to look at myself and just be okay with it. So yeah, I’m trying to shut that Critic up. (laugh) Slowly but surely.

Rachel: So you think having this space to just be with yourself and connecting with other people who are here, also with that not knowing, or also with that … has it helped you connect to a place where you can hear the kinder voice?

Natalie: Yeah, definitely. Again, with this group, my Peace Warriors, just showing so much love and compassion and support, no matter what, even if I am freaking out about every little thing. Just showing me that it’s okay. It’s just going to be okay. So, yeah.

Rachel: Thank you.

Natalie: Thank you.

[075:32] Rachel: Susan.

Susan: Yes.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Susan: My Inner Critic has always told me that I should know more, that I should’ve figured things out already, that I should have a better sense of direction. That I should have the answers, that I should’ve been a more attentive mother, young mother, when my kids were little. That I should have soaked up every second of everything. So, yeah, my Inner Critic is about fear of missing out, you know? It’s this idea that I want to learn everything and experience everything and be there for my kids and my mom while she’s still around, and my husband, and all the people in my life that I care about. Friends … People I know through work, relationships are so important to me, and the voice I still hear in my head a lot is the voice I think of as me as a little girl which is saying … You know, I always thought … My big brother could do things, I always thought. I would say, “[Acsi] can do that, and when I’m a big mommy I can do that.” It was always one day, or somehow. Someone else could do better than I could. And now I’m a big mommy! And I still sometimes feel like a little girl. I keep waiting to grow up, I want to feel grown up. It hasn’t happened yet. Yeah, so … My Inner Critic feels like I’m … I should be more, I should be … more knowledgeable. I should know stuff by now.

Rachel: And how about your Inner Best Friend? Does she agree? What does she think?

Susan: My Inner Best Friend is coming to realize, I think, that life is about the not knowing as much as the knowing. It’s about just enjoying the ride. Everything. It’s about being able to look at the world with curiosity, you know? Look at everything through a lens of wonder, and not lose that. We shouldn’t ever lose that. Life is about learning. I want to be a lifelong learner and just keep soaking it in, and noticing everything around me. There’s so much to see. And this experience has helped to bring me to that realization. You know, it amazes me what you have done. To be so young, and so wise. To really see people and to let them see you. I think it’s beautiful. And I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my fellow Peace Warriors. I’m going to wear that like a badge of honor. And I’ll always remember everybody here and what they’ve given me, and what you’ve given me. It’s … I think it’s very powerful. Very powerful message, that I think this program offers people. It’s about life. It’s about people. I think that’s what it is.

Rachel: Thank you.

Susan: Thank you.

Rachel: Thank you, thank you.

[080:38] Rachel: Claire.

Claire: Hello.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Claire: My Inner Critic is always talking. My Inner Critic says to resist, to not try because you’re not ready. Just always finds a way to stop me from fully sinking into myself. I can recognize that now, and I feel great for that, but yes, I hear my Inner Critic a lot when it comes to making decisions that I know align with who I am, or know make me happy, because my Critic will tell me, “Well that might upset someone close to you, because they might not agree.” And I want to make them happy. Or, “You’re not ready for that because you still need to lose five pounds,” or, “You still need to get that extra degree,” or you still need to … There’s always something, and it’s never, I’m just, I guess, never enough. The way I am, in the moment. It’s exhausting to live like that! Yeah.

Rachel: And is there also that other kind of voice there?

Claire: Yes.

Rachel: Is it loud? Is it quiet? Is it …

Claire: It’s all of the above. It depends on … It depends.

Rachel: And if you would speak to yourself in that loving voice, the voice of the Inner Best Friend, right now, what does she say?

Claire: To soften (crying) into myself. Because when I do that I’m so happy. It’s so easy, I don’t know why we resist it? Because even just saying it out loud, to soften into where I feel like inner calm in myself is just bliss, and it’s so “easy” to do, but when we listen to the Inner Critic it seems, like, mountains away. So, yeah. But she would tell me to soften into myself and to stop being so hard on myself and, yeah, just stop stepping on myself.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing.

Claire: Thank you.

[083:42] Rachel: Shannon. Do you have an Inner Critic?

Shannon: My Inner Critic is so loud (crying). It’s still really hard for me to talk about it because it’s there every second of every day telling me that I can’t do something, that I’m not good enough to do something, that I’m not worthy of it, or deserving, and it’s just constantly there, in the back of my head, screaming at me at every moment of every second. And it’s, like Claire said, very exhausting. And that’s why I’m here, because I just want her out of it. I want her out of my head. When I think about the loving voice, or my Best Friend voice, I’ve never had it there in my mind. (crying) And I just … I really want to meet her, because it’s like, even with this whole Yoga Teacher Training, it’s like, I’ve known this was what I wanted to do, and this is where my path is. But in my mind I’m always saying, like, “No, you’re not smart enough, or you’re not this … You’re just not spiritual enough.” But then I go up there yesterday and everyone’s just telling me how I’m born to do it. To have that reaffirmed in my mind is the most powerful thing that I could ever give myself, that I am ready and deserving of everything. Yeah.

Rachel: And if you would, in this moment, just close your eyes and speak to yourself from that loving voice, that Inner Best Friend?

Shannon: I would just say, “I love you.” And that I’m fucking bad ass at teaching yoga, and I’m deserving of everything that I have planned in my mind, and that I can accomplish everything that I have planned, and that I don’t need to be anything but myself in this moment, because I’m enough in this moment, right here.

Rachel: Thank you.

[Commercial Break]

[088:22] Rachel: Alaina. How about your Inner Critic?

Alaina: My Inner Critic tells me to fix what is on the outside so I can feel okay on the inside. In particular, my body, which has lead to many problems with body image and eating disorder and exercising like crazy, several times, every single day. … I’m really good at hiding my feelings and keeping it all to myself, so no one would ever know that my Inner Critic is screaming, every single moment of every day. And it has taken so much energy, and it’s draining. It’s draining the life out of me.

Rachel: And how about your Inner Best Friend, is she there?

Alaina: For a brief moment, for a few brief moments she’s there. And when she is there, it’s empowering. She says that it doesn’t matter what I look like on the outside, I have so much to offer to this world and so many beautiful gifts, and I’m so loved.

Rachel: Can you repeat that last part? I didn’t really hear you.

Alaina: That I have so many beautiful gifts to offer to this world and I am so loved.

Rachel: Say it again. (laugh)

Alaina: That I have so many beautiful gifts to offer to this world, and I am so loved. (laugh)

Rachel: Doesn’t it feel good to say?

Alaina: Yes.

Rachel: And hard to say?

Alaina: Very.

Rachel: You know, the more you say it, the easier it becomes.

Alaina: Yeah. (laugh)

Rachel: (laugh) You’re smiling so big when you say it! (laugh) Every time your smile was a little bigger. Mmhm. Thank you for sharing so much of your big, beautiful heart.

Alaina: Thank you.

Rachel: I love you.

Alaina: I love you.

[091:55] Rachel: Cath.

Cath: Yes.

Rachel: Do you have an Inner Critic?

Cath: I do. It’s pretty vocal. She finds any possible reason why I can’t be loved. Blaming me for my lifestyle, for not having kids, being single, being different, in any kind of ways. Being me. (laugh) Basically. So … She’s a bitch.

Rachel: (laugh) She’s a bitch (laugh).

Cath: (laugh)

Rachel: And how about your Inner Best Friend? Is she there?

Cath: Well, my Inner Best Friend has been very resilient. Must be a fucking badass. I think she would say that she only knows (crying) one person who can travel across the Atlantic to go on an island for three weeks to do something crazy for herself. I think she must be proud. (crying)

Rachel: What else? What does she say?

Cath: She says it takes courage and … yeah. I think, I hope … that she stays there and she love me. … And that maybe this Inner Best Friend finds it inspirational, uplifting, that I do that kind of things. That might be the purpose of it. Yeah, to share it.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing.

Cath: Thank you.

[094:49] Rachel: Selina. What does your Inner Critic say?

Selina: My Inner Critic sometimes says that I am less worthy than the people around me. And that I’m like a side role, and I feel so much respect and care for others, but that I am not as important as they are. And it also very often thinks about the conversation I’ve had during the day, with other people, and try to think what I should have said, like, the perfect answer.

Rachel: And if you would speak to yourself with that kinder voice instead, that loving voice, right now, what does that voice say?

Selina: It says that I’m so amazing and so, so kind and loving. (crying) And that I’m so worthy of love and so amazing that I can do anything I want to do. … That I have so much worth, and that I should let myself shine more and be myself all the time, so that other people can see me and so they can see who I am and embrace it and, yes, see my personality.

Rachel: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Selina: Thank you.

[097:14] Rachel: Cecilia. Do you have an Inner Critic?

Cecilia: Yeah, I have … it could be small things, big things. Like every day things. Just getting insecure, what you can do, what you are able to do. It could be … yeah, it’s what you are saying, is that something people want to listen to? Yeah. Is what you have to say important? Can be one thing. Yeah, that’s my Inner Critic. But it could also be, like … Yeah, small things. Did I do this right? Was it good enough? But then I have, during the years, because I’m not old, but I’m older, I have realized that my … the good guy inside of me is getting bigger than the bad guy, or the inner critic, so I have started to listen more to my good guy inside. And that feels really good.

Rachel: And what does that good guy say?

Cecilia: He tells me, or she, or he, or whomever it is (laugh) tells me that I can accomplish what I want to accomplish. And I also recognize that I actually can do that. As cat said, coming here, that good guy was really on my shoulder and told me, “You can do this.” So, yeah.

Rachel: You did.

Cecilia: Yes.

Rachel: (laugh) Thank you.

[099:58] Rachel: Caroline.

Caroline: Hello.

Rachel: What does your Inner Critic say?

Caroline: I think that my Inner Critic tells me so much about how I have to … what I have to do in order to be perceived the way I want to be perceived. And it makes me worry a lot. Like, coming here, I was very very worried the first few days about connecting with people, and being seen, like, just feeling like I’m understood. And, I don’t know, I don’t know if that comes from me not feeling grounded with myself, or … I think just feeling the urge to feel supported and just understood without trying, and knowing that if I do something a certain way, it might make people think one thing about me and not wanting to be seen as, like, one-dimensional, or something like that. And yeah, teaching the class, coming here, worrying about saying the right thing at the right time … Yeah, that’s hard to just let go and trust that whatever comes is going to be the right thing, and that people are going to still appreciate me and see me however I present myself, and that I don’t have to try to be a certain way, because however I am, that’s who I am, and that’s just … that’s what I want to be. But, yeah, the worrying and the trying to be a certain way.

Rachel: And if you would just right now, just close your eyes and speak to yourself, but in that really loving, really supportive voice?

Caroline: I would say that I have people that support me fully, all the way, already, and that I don’t need to try every single moment of the day to be myself, and that there are people that love me exactly how I am, and they … I think in class I was thinking about a person that loves every single part of me, as I am, and that I don’t need to try to be anything else besides who I am, besides what I am in every single moment. Then whatever shows up, or whatever I bring all the time, that’s what I’m supposed to bring. That the person that I want to be can be the person that I am, now. Without my hair being longer and curlier, or my … being more confident in my choices and waiting for myself to truly feel it. I felt like, in the last savasana, I had this feeling where I felt that every single cell in my body was mine, and just fully myself, (crying) And I don’t think I’ve ever felt that before, completely. And so I felt like if I come from that place of really just feeling at home in myself, then I don’t have to worry about how other people see me, because then they will just see me, if I am just there. So, I want to keep that and get to that more often. It’s very powerful.

Rachel: Thank you for sharing so much of your heart.

Caroline: Thank you, thank you.

Rachel: Thank you. … Thank you all, thank you, thank you, thank you.

[104:32] Rachel: Each one of these beautiful stories just completely blows my heart, my mind wind open. I cried with each one. I feel so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to every woman that has shared over the past two weeks. Thank you everyone for going along with this wild and crazy and beautiful and heart-opening and mesmerizing experience that I know we will do more in the future. Thank you so much for listening. I don’t know if there has ever been a podcast episode before where we’ve had 50+ guests, so next time we do this we’ll find another topic, for sure, but I know we are on the verge of something amazing. If you who are listening, if you feel moved by a specific story or something that someone shared, go to my Instagram, just go to Yoga Girl on Instagram and share it in the comments sections, maybe put the person’s name there and tell them why you resonated, and if something has opened within you through one specific story, I’m sure they would love to connect or love to read and take part of that as well.

Wow. Next week, I don’t know how we’re going to resume to some sort of normalcy from here because … Can we just keep our hearts this open forever, all the time? I love you so much, thank you all, and I’ll see you next week.

[End of Episode]


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