Posts Tagged ‘dignity’

I just returned from my voice lesson. A very disappointing lesson. Let me start of by saying I found the best music teachers here in Israel. It is my goal to be able to apply to university to study music next year. This means a lot of work on my part.

I’ve also improved more in the last two-ish months of lessons then I did over the span of a year in Canada. I think part of it is the assertive (aggressive) Israeli spirit. There is a certain lack of tact that is very refreshing (which also took a while to get used to). But when my teacher is communicating (yelling) at me, I have no choice but to listen. And it works, wonderfully.

Today, however, I encountered some difficulty in my lesson. My back’s been hurting, probably due to the oncoming winter and the sporatic torrential rainfall of the last few weeks. I don’t know if its a real pain, or a body memory. For 14 years any change in weather meant increased pain levels and limited mobility. I suspect it is a mixture of both.

Anyways – it is my body that is the instrument. Which means I have to feel 100% in order to get 100% sound. The tension in my back threw my ear off. I couldn’t breathe properly, and I could feel I was forcing my voice too much, and as a result, I was off tone.

My teacher asked me about that. And I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say the truth. It wasn’t until I left and walked towards the bus that I realized why:

I didn’t want to come off as weak. Or like I was making excuses for myself.

So instead, I left my teacher with the impression that I’m working on this beyond my current capability. And I left that lesson extremely disappointed in myself. Doubly so when it hit me that I reacted as if I would be penalized for being in pain. And then I wanted to cry.

So.

I have to own up next week. Because I am capable.

 

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I believe you need to love yourself first and foremost.

That concept does not come naturally to me. So I had to come up with a couple tricks to teach myself to take care of *me*. The process for me was slow, but I persevered, and succeeded.

These are the things I fall back on when I feel down on myself, am not as confident, or feel a generalĀ blah-ness.

Positive Posts!

I write positive messages to myself and tape them onto every reflective surface (not just mirrors!). Anywhere I can see my own reflection is a message like, “I am beautiful, inside and out”, “I am worthy”, “I am a strong and capable woman”… The point of the exercise is to pause and read the message to yourself. Look yourself in the eye and tell yourself aloud, with conviction, that you are a worthy person. When I started, I could not look at myself at all. I could not look at any part of my face. I started out looking at the frame of the mirror, talking to myself in my head. But I eventually graduated to looking at my hair, my forehead, my chin, my lips, my nose… And finally, looking at myself straight in the eyes. This exercise forces you to reconnect with yourself, and face yourself on a level that many people neglect. Highly recommended.

Self-Talk!

I have no idea how many others do this, but I have a tendency to narrate my day to myself in my head. The writer in me, perhaps. But I am used to talking to myself. Changing the self-talk to a more positive tone, however, was a struggle. I made a deal with myself: For every negative thought about myself, I would consciously think something positive. I still stick to that. Might sound a bit ridiculous, but consciously forcing yourself to become more positive will create more positivity within yourself over a period of time. It is simple, and works brilliantly.

Fake it!

I faked confidence and self-respect until it became real. I would go out for walks, and dress up, put some make up on, all for the purpose of walking tall and confidently, and to teach myself to walk with my shoulders back and my head held up high. I respected myself by asking myself “Is this what I really want, or am I doing this to please others?”, and by learning to look after myself first and foremost. I reclaimed my dignity by cutting off all the toxic people who had been in my life.

Substitute!

I learned to substitute self-destructive behaviours with ones that were caring and loving towards myself. Instead of lashing out my anguish on my body, I pampered it instead. I read to expand my mind. I write to unburden myself, and to try and help others who might be in similar situations as myself.

Balance!

I do what I can to maintain balance in all things, but especially with my emotions. I consider myself a relatively happy person, but I guess it all depends on your definition of “happy“. To me it means freedom to be my true self, to express myself as I wish, and to live as I want to live as a free person. That, to me, equals happiness.