On Saturday morning, as I was getting ready to attend my last Reiki II class, a thought occurred to me. It has always taken me about an hour to get ready to go anywhere. That hour starts with brushing my teeth and stepping into the shower, and it ends with me picking up my things and heading out the door. In the past, I needed that time in between showering and heading out the door to do my hair and makeup. Today, wearing no makeup except mascara and rarely “fixing” my hair, I need that hour between showering and heading out the door for self care practices that started as experiments and have now become daily habits: neti pot, skin oiling (with pure oil instead of lotions), and green smoothies. In the yoga health coaching program I’m enrolled in (which is where I learned these habits), we refer to that as “identity evolution.” I used to be the type of person who valued her appearance; now I’m the type of person who values her health.
Most of us go through cycles of development and identity evolution throughout our lives. Often that evolution happens with big life changes. But sometimes, with no huge life changes to speak of, we start to open to a bigger perspective. We begin to value ourselves in ways we never did before. We start moving toward a greater good. I see it in my yoga students all the time, and it’s a wonderful thing watch unfold.
One of the many benefits of going to a studio to practice yoga is that you are surrounded by people who appreciate you as you are and support and encourage you as you move toward that greater good. I’ve watched friendships blossom in front of my eyes before, after, and during classes. People who didn’t know each other before stepping foot into the studio are now looking forward to seeing each other in the studio, communicating outside of the studio, and relying on each other for a greater sense of accountability both in their yoga practice and in their daily lives.
If this works for yoga, it can work for other aspects of identity evolution too. My yoga health coaching program relies heavily on peer support and accountability. The founder of the program began by teaching her method to clients one on one. She got decent results but found that even when we know what we should be doing, we are less likely to do it if we’re doing it alone. So after learning more about identity evolution, she started coaching small groups of people together, and the results improved dramatically.
Some of you responded to surveys I put out last month and have asked where they are leading. What’s next? You responded thoughtfully to the surveys and started thinking about where you are versus where you want to be. I can help you get there, but more importantly, your peers can help you even more. I will coach my first small group in January. In the coming weeks, I will hold a free group talk (or two) to explain a little more about what we’ll be doing. After that, I will schedule one on one strategy sessions with you to see if you are a good fit for the program. If you are interested in attending the free talk or are ready to schedule a strategy session, please fill out the form below.
See you in the studio!