On this installment of the Yoga Living Project, we're thrilled to welcome recent Cambio YTT Graduate Eden Sciabarrasi to share her insights on what it means to be your best self, nay, your favorite self. This encouraging perspective reminds us of what's at the heart of accessible yoga - that everyone is perfect as they are in this moment and that truth can co-exist with the opportunity for growth.
How can I be my best, if I don’t even feel good enough? By Eden Sciabarrasi
I was talking with a fellow teacher the other day about a post they had made on Instagram asking something along the lines of “what do you do to help yourself when you feel like you can’t do anything right?” This question sparked a lot of reflection for me and reminded me of a post I had seen a while back that I loved and have been trying to implement in my own day to day practice, it said “Go be your favorite self. We are used to “higher” or “best” but “favorite” leaves room for grace. I'm going to be the version of myself that I like right now in this moment” *author unknown*
Woah, that's heavy, no? We as yogis or just as human beings are always striving for “best” or “better” or “highest” versions of ourselves. But what if we took the moment to allow ourselves to just BE the version of ourselves we like best? “At this moment I choose to be the version of myself who is not worried about doing things right all the time, I am the version of myself who knows they are loved and more than enough.”
This type of mindset really encourages a lot of self care, and a lot of healing in allowing the right now to be “good enough.” It's a great reminder also that we do not always have to be our “best” because sometimes we don't feel our “best” but we can always be our favorite selves in moments. Even on the days where we are not feeling our best, there is a version of you that can exist in those moments that you love and can acknowledge. The words “best” and “highest” can sometimes have a judgemental, competitive, or unachievable undertone to them. I know as Yogi’s (or just humans doing the best we can) the goal is to achieve connection to the “highest self”, but my belief is that maybe that exists more in the acceptance of the version of you that you are in present moments. The moments that feel most like you, where you are doing your best to be the favorite version of yourself. Maybe that's where liberation lives. In the small moments when we choose to accept ourselves with all of our flaws and imperfections and still give ourselves space and love within that. That is where we find the freedom and connection to what we are all striving and working so hard to accomplish. What if it isn't through hours and hours of meditations and chanting and mantra and asana (though you should still do those things because they're incredible and important)? But what if it's through singular moments where we see ourselves as whole and favorite, especially in situations where maybe we don't feel our “best”? What if that's where self love and self acceptance and grace become more evident? It's a weighty thing to think about but infinitely less scary than putting the pressure on ourselves to always be working to be our “best” or “highest”. Because sometimes, we just are… no better, no best, no highest. However if in those moments we are choosing to love ourselves and show up as our favorite version of ourselves, how could we not be good enough?
Understanding that achievement of being your best or higher self may not exist… it may be a process of just accepting the just “being” of it all. That takes some pressure off for sure, to give yourself the pass to not be STRIVING for best or highest or greatest, to allow yourself to accept your you, and show up as your favorite you, because that's good enough.
I encourage you, friend, to show up as your favorite version of yourself, or if you can't show up, then remind yourself of that version and know that version of you exists within you, even (especially) on hard days. The version of you you like best is all you have to be, and when you find acceptance of that, that's where you grow, and find new favorite versions that inch you closer to “enlightenment” or liberation. In the singular moments of self love and acceptance of who you are...that is where magic happens.