Pride has such a negative connotation, don’t ya think? It conjures up connections with one’s ego that suggest you get held back from reaching a state of Enlightenment in this lifetime.

Or at least it does in the spiritual circles I like to swirl in. But so many of my other fiends who are recovering Christians still can’t quite get their head around re-incarnation.

patty-kikos-pride-and-prejudiceAnd I think that’s fair enough.

But I think I’ve already digressed.

You see because recently I’ve experienced how much I can hold myself back through my own pride and prejudice – or more to the point, my own prejudice against feeling proud of myself.

And I can’t help but wonder when this happened.

If I take a step back in time to 10- 15 years ago, pride literally handed my arse to me on the yoga mat during the numerous occasions where I fell. On my asana.

And when I became a teacher, I made peace with that pride for 2 reasons.

  1. The seemingly challenging postures that were easy for me to transition into didn’t necessarily teach me how to teach them.
  2. But the positions that alluded me taught me to not only have patience with myself, but ultimately to break down instructions more skillfully

Ultimately when we’d learn to conquer a sequence, we wannabe-yoga-masters were taught not to cultivate attachment. For several reasons this time.

  1. If you really want to enjoy life and be happy, learn to practice and understand the philosophy of non-attachment.
  2. Non-attachment gives freedom, but attachment brings bondage.
  3. Non-attachment is like a fire that can burn the binding power of past samskaras.
  4. No matter where you get to in a pose, there’s always going to be a stronger / deeper / harder variation of it.
  5. Your body holds on to stress in ways that can be difficult to understand. Just coz you could do the splits last week, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to next month, or after you have a baby / car accident / sickness etc.

So somewhere during this period of my life when I was so busy dealing with the prejudice of my own prospective pride, I bloody well forgot to be proud of myself!

Recent therapy and coaching sessions have brought this to my attention when it was pointed out how dismissive I can be regarding my achievements.

I tried to hide behind my familiar defense mechanisms like some martyr, but luckily they wouldn’t let me.

And like most patterns that get traced back to when we were younger, or when something significant happened to us, we managed to get to the root of my resistance.

W-ay before puberty, contact lenses and the emergence of my acerbic tongue (possibly even in that order), I had always been the ‘well-behaved child’.

For the most part, I did as I was told, did well at school and was subsequently (and subconsciously) given the title as ‘the kid that wasn’t much trouble and always had her shit together’ and so I prided myself on being that girl.

Until the adolescent emerged and slowly morphed into an emotionally complex woman who was not equipped with the 2 essential tools that would ultimately make her life easier.

  1. the ability to ask for help and be vulnerable
  2. the ability to feel proud for each milestone in my life

I was so immersed in being either ‘spiritual’ or ‘professional’, I forgot to stop and give myself a pat on the back.

So for my fellow brothers and sisters reading this who also skim over their successes, this pat on the back is for you as well. You damn well deserve it. #PrideWithoutPrejudice