Jesus Christ, yesterday was brutal.
One of those days where I woke up bright & bushy-tailed at 5:30am with visions of kicking ass all day. I had a detailed plan of how it was all gonna go down. Mapping out a program, responding to emails, correcting my teacher trainees’ assignment.
And by 7:30am, I had peeked into my inbox and realized some stuff had GONE DOWN throughout the weekend. Needless to say the rest of the day was spent putting out fires.
I thought of hopping on instastory to talk about what was going on. I’m usually all about showing up authentically, but the look I was rockin’ was less “cute vulnerable girl with one tear streaming down her face” and more like “who killed kenny” as I tried to disappear in my hoodie for all eternity.
I just did not want to be responsible for breaking instagram with my puffy, oily face.
So I’m writing about it today, instead.
In personal development, we often talk about “rewiring neural pathways”. The idea that with enough practice, we can carve out new patterns of thinking.
Rarely, do we talk about breaking body patterns.
As much as I despise the experience of days like yesterday, I also have so much appreciation for them. Because they bring me out of auto-pilot.
And auto-pilot is the enemy of growth. You may think, but Nadia, the opposite of growth is contraction or regression. I don’t think so. Based on nature’s cycles, contraction usually comes before expansion, regression comes before momentum. That’s where the idea of two steps forward, one step back comes from.
Instead, it’s our comfort zone, our default patterns, our autopilot that is the true enemy of growth.
Challenging days like yesterday yank me out of my graceful lyrical leadership dance. Days like yesterday feel like that humbling moment when you trip on your own feet walking down the street. The spectrum of consequences can totally vary.
It can just be plain embarrassing. And you could fall flat on your face and have a serious bruise.
But you can bet that the next few steps you’ll take, you’ll probably carry yourself differently.
At Sfactor, I always celebrate women stumbling in their dances. At first, women are always scared to dance in their heels because God forbid, they fall on their faces. However, every stumble I’ve ever witnessed at Sfactor has led to a huge a-ha for the student.
Because the fall breaks their pattern. It confuses the mind and allows for pure primal body wisdom to take over. It allows for the true story in their bodies to unfold.
At Embody, I always encourage women to move with a part of their body that doesn’t usually move as much. At first, women are hesitant and feel clunky. However, every time they move their attention to a new place in their body, they break a default muscle pattern and experience pure bliss.
Because the new movements allow for a new opportunity – like a fresh canvas to paint their story on. And authentic expression instantly brings on bliss. Both for the person dancing and the blessed person who gets to witness (that’s me!!!).
In so many somatic modalities, muscle exertion is encouraged. It is a way of tiring your muscles SO much that you have no choice but to surrender. In that physical surrender, usually, some sort of shaking occurs.
This is what TRE (trauma release exercises) is based on. I was led through a session last year with one of my mentors, Margherita Tisato and it was so cool to see that with enough exertion, I could allow my limbs to shake out emotional trauma out of my fascia. I was fascinated, yet again, by the incredible intelligence of my body. She is so badass when I just let her do her THING!
So now I use this concept all the time. Just in yoga the other day, I was folding over in a yin pose and my leg started to shake. In the past, I may have pulled back an inch just to not look like I’m totally spazzing in the middle of class. But instead, I let my body shake it out. And eventually, my leg relaxed into a deeper stretch than ever before.
Yesterday challenged me to take a step back and look at where I was floating on autopilot in my leadership, where I was dancing in the familiar and going through the expected motions.
And after the initial fall, I allowed myself to flail and shake, do some self-reflection and get some sister-reflections, and I was able to deepen into a new version of leadership that felt more open and authentic than before.
Our bodies have the wisdom. And our movement has the medicine. We just have to trust that every fall is part of the divine dance.