Dear Soft Hearts,
I wanted to touch base with everyone and see what folx are unlearning after the new year resolution hype. It’s great when we can show up and do things differently, sometimes life saving and life changing. However, sometimes new years resolutions leave us with a Hollywood, Eurocentric idea of what “happy” means. I want us to instead check in and see what we’d like to release or unlearn.
What would you like to let go of? What no longer needs to be in your practice? For example, a huge thing I released was how I purged calories through excessive exercise. Many joke that they’d love to become obsessive about exercise. It left me with a disconnect from my body’s wisdom and an obsession with Eurocentric ideals of BMIs, oversimplified look at health, and a reduced presence. Purging calories through exercise has been a huge unlearning and it is leaving me room to now learn and reintegrate healthy, intuitive movement. Releasing from this obsession also makes room for me to learn where we got these “ideals” from in the first place such as through the book Fearing the Black Body: Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings. So from releasing an old protection I now get more presence and more information!
That’s right-it was a protection! How can purging calories through so much exercise protect? Well it protects from feelings. This no longer served me and I desired more connection rather than dodging feelings. Not only does it leave me more room to learn, but it also allows room to connect with loved ones through healthy movement. I now get to move joyfully with a friend virtually every week and hike mindfully with loved ones in nature. What an unexpected gift of this unlearning process!
What we release or unlearn today can be thanked. We can thank that protective behavior for trying to protect and ask for it to be released. Easier said than done, I get it. I still get desires to workout to no abandon. In those times when this protective part arises it can be helpful to let that desire be or to look at what’s triggering it. Are you tired, overworked, or perhaps triggered by an external pressure? We can thank this protective mechanism, release it, and later see that this release has done amazing things beyond what we’d dreamt it could. For example, I never knew how much my release would allow me to connect with nature or have fun working out with a friend because I’m not worried about calories or performance. I’m connected with that friend or tree or stream because I’m not in a cycle of obsession over muscles, fat, calories, and blah blah blah.
I wonder how your release or unlearning today will shine for you in a year from now. Feel free to comment with your current unlearning. We’d love to hear what you release or have been unlearning that no longer serves you.
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