Beautiful. Amazing. Impressive.
These are words my yoga teacher routinely used during our practice today. Part of me wanted to believe she was talking about me, though I probably didn’t deserve it. Part of me thinks she uses these words routinely because she is an inherently encouraging person. Regardless, whenever she says something positive, I try harder. I sink into a posture more fully. I smile. I reach. I hold the warrior or plank a little tighter. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Most everyone responds to encouragement in this way. I see it in my preschool students all the time. When I tell them I notice and like what they are doing, they sit up taller and sing a bit louder; they smile and are far more engaged. It is clear to me that being positive bears fruit, and as I try to practice that philosophy, I am also a beneficiary. This week, I walked into a preschool classroom and a sweet boy immediately blurted out that I was beautiful. I smiled all day. I felt beautiful and probably appeared more beautiful than I did before he said it.
If it’s true that “what we think, we become”, as Buddha said, it is also true that we incorporate the positive and negative messages we hear all day into that identity. So if that’s true, why not be messengers of the good? It’s a lonely world and there is so much silent suffering… showing someone their value may make you feel yours in return. It seems simple, but it’s probably true that you get what you give.
I loved my time on the mat today. There, I feel peaceful, empowered, wise, and strong, even though I am very much a work in process. In a yoga practice, a person improves physically speck by speck, millimeter by millimeter, over time and that’s just how we grow as people as well. As this particular teacher says, ‘your best is good enough’, and when we’re encouraged, our best seems to get a tiny bit better. Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone encouraged someone every day.
Try it and see, Beautiful.