Self Love and Giving Credit Where It Is Due

I posted this tweet a couple of days ago without giving a whole lot of thought as to how it would be interpreted (world’s greatest twitter user, I know). I had a few people ask me about it, so I thought I’d talk about it long form.

First off, this wasn’t directed at anyone or anything in particular. I may not be the world’s greatest twitter user, but I’m not going to cook beef on the platform. No, rather than subtweet someone, I’ll just got holla at them in person.

Instead, this was the result of one of those random moments where I’m not busy enough to get out of my own head, and let the swirling, eclectic mix of thoughts marinate themselves into my internal monologue.

What this tweet comes down to is self-love.

Too often, I end up selling myself short. I’ll compare myself, or my work, to that of others around me. Too often, again, I’ll give more credence to what others are doing and not give myself enough. I end up elevating other people while bringing myself down at the same time.

I also have ridiculously high standards for myself, and whenever my work falls anywhere short of that, I consider it garbage, cut my losses and move on. I shudder to think of how many great ideas and projects I’ve abandoned over the years simply because they didn’t meet some arbitrary benchmark and I wasn’t willing to see them through.

“I’m not that good…”

“Their shit is way better…”

“I could never do that…”

“They deserve it, look at what they did…”

While maybe true on occasion, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that it just isn’t the case more often than not. I am good. My shit is better. I can do that. I deserve it, look what I did. At this point, I’ve built a body of work that backs up that feeling. Confidence begets confidence, and a stronger cycle can and should be born.

Up until this point, I haven’t given myself the self love that I deserve and require. Forgiveness and comfort in one’s own identity is something that I’ve always struggled with. That’s why it’s so important for me to be good to myself moving forward. Through goals, meditation and mindfulness, yoga and awesome friends, I hope I can find the courage to love myself while also respecting those around me.

So don’t sweat it. I wasn’t talking about you. I’m only trying to bring a better balance and harmony into my world and yours. We deserve it.

Because we are good.

Our shit is better.

We can do it.

We deserve it, look what we did and can do.

One Man’s Booty Yoga Experience

 

I’ve never done a yoga class. Or a pilates class. Or a jazzercise, zoomba, spin, arrichion, P90X (lol), Tae-Bo (LOL) or any sort of studio exercise. I may have done a Sweating to the Oldies back in the day because, well, the 90s.

Not that I have an aversion to yoga, I’ve had an interest in doing it because of its close relationship with meditation, something I’ve written about before.

So when a group of super cool and talented ladies asked me to go to a Chakti yoga class at Move Studio, I immediately said yes. I immediately rethought it however, for a few reasons that lots of guys have:

  1. Was I going to be the only guy there? The answer was never in doubt: yes. It was myself and 25ish ladies. All of which were wearing tights, shaking asses and generally looking amazing. That’s great, of course, but it lead me to my second concern, at least for me:
  2. Am I going to be the creepy dude oogling the ladies? This is something I wasn’t too worried about myself doing, but knowing that I clearly stood out, I assumed some could be weary of me. Not only was everyone, including the instructor, incredibly welcoming, but the workout was so intense, I didn’t have time to do anything but concentrate on keeping up.
  3. Am I going to look incredibly silly? Not only am I a guy, but I don’t have a yoga pad, I’m wearing old basketball shorts and a cotton tank top, and I have no idea what I’m doing. Chances are, I could wind up looking pretty silly.

The answer to that last one is that I don’t think I looked silly at all. Maybe when I tried this pose, but other than that it was pretty excellent. The workout was not easy at all. Ten minutes in and I was dripping sweat on my borrowed mat. Our instructor, Lauren, kept us moving the entire time, constantly shifting from pose to pose, but injecting plenty of booty-shaking variations set to a banging hip-hop soundtrack. There were plenty of times where I was feeling spent, but the beats kept a little swagger in my shoulders and hips.

While I had never done yoga, I still keep in shape by lifting, running, biking, basketball and disc golf, so that activity helped me prepare for the experience. It’s not something that you want to try if you’ve been sitting on the couch for the past few months. I just tried to keep breathing, take a sip of water when I needed it, and was able to finish the entire hour-long session.

When it was over, physically I felt great. I was sweaty and a bit sore, but I felt very fresh, like I had more room to breath in my lungs. My endorphins were firing on all cylinders, so it set a positive tone for the rest of my day. It was a solid compliment to all the exercises I mentioned about, in that I got me stretching and moving dynamically in a wider range of motion. With regards to my original concerns, I never looked silly, felt creepy, and it was actually a cool feeling being the only dude there. All the ladies there, including the group I came with, were all happy to see me out there doing something that was definitely outside my comfort zone. Two of them asked me what I thought about it so they could convince guy friends of theirs at work to go (here ya go).

After Chakti, my crew and I went for brunch at Dish in Plaza Midwood and it was an awesome start to what ended up being a pretty awesome weekend. But the thing that really made it happen was me taking a chance by going to this booty yoga class and doing something new with a group of friends that I admire and respect.

For my fellow fellas, please don’t be afraid to try something like this. Not only is it a full workout that will definitely test your fitness level, but you’ll also probably earn the respect of some lovely ladies, which is much easier than trying to think of a good pickup line. Hopefully, more dudes take a chance and help even up the gender ratio in the class.

Actually. I take that back. I’m cool with being the only dude in a room full of ladies!