Over the course of my life, I’ve been shedding self rejection layer by layer. 


Like many young girls, I was very harsh with myself as a teenager. I thought I was supposed to be perfect to be acceptable, but I didn’t come close.


Through the years I gradually came to accept, at least to some extent, that I didn’t need to be beautiful. I didn’t need to be super successful at work. I didn’t need to have society’s notion of the ideal children.


The other day another layer came off. I was thinking that someone I knew considered me bad. I noticed an old  pattern cropping up. If someone considered me bad, even if I tried to fight it, a part of me would go into agreement with them. And if I thought I was bad, I would reject myself.


This time though, I thought, “OK. Even if I am bad, I still accept myself.” Suddenly I felt a lightness, like an old weight lifting off me! Even with all the bad things I have ever done and all the good things I could have done, but didn’t, I accept myself. I accept myself. 


This week in yoga  let’s use our twists to help release whatever gets in the way of our self acceptance.


“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”― C.G. Jung


“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”― Amy Bloom


“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”― Brené Brown


“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”― Mark Twain


“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”― Lao Tzu


“It is not worth the while to let our imperfections disturb us always.”― Henry David Thoreau


“When you stop living your life based on what others think of you, real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self acceptance opened.”― Shannon L. Alder


“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.”― J. Krishnamurti


If you wish to awaken, be willing to see and accept your own badness as a part of you and take care of it lovingly so it ceases to be a detriment to your life and the lives of others. — Teal Swan

Hope you can make it to Willow Street Yoga from 11am until 12:30pm on this and every Wednesday. You can sign up in advance at https://willowstreetyoga.com/ or at the door.









Here is a simple technique you can do for yourself whenever you wish to tone down your anxiety. With the current state of the world and its impact on our lives, this may be a useful tool for your toolbox.


My friend and yoga colleague, Terri Shuck, of Let Your Yoga Dance fame introduced it to me. It is called “Havening,” as in creating a safe haven for yourself, and was first described by Dr Ronald Ruden (havening.org). 


Here is an example of an aspect he calls “self-havening,” where you can use the tool to bring calm to yourself in minutes:

  • Notice when you are feeling anxious, tense, or upset and rate the level from 1 to 10 (1 being calmest and 10 being most tense.)

  • Cross your arms and place each hand on your outer shoulders

  • Over and over, slowly stroke down your outer arms from shoulders to elbows with long exhales on the down strokes.

  • With each downstroke repeat to yourself, “I am calm and relaxed.”

  • When you are ready, rate your level again from 1-10.


According to Dr. Ruben, Havening uses soothing touch to activate serotonin (the feel-good chemical) in the body. He says Havening can literally change the landscape of the brain from habits of anxiety to habits of calm. 


I have found this tool helpful for myself and a few friends. Perhaps you will find it useful, too.


This week in yoga we will enjoy various approaches for calming the nervous system as we stretch and strengthen the body and  bring greater peace to the mind and spirit.


“I am calm. I’m cool. I’m a cucumber.” ― Saffron A. Kent, Medicine Man


“Mindset is everything. Like the eye of a storm -find the sunshine and calm within you, even if there is chaos outside of you.” ― Brittany Burgunder


“If the road ahead is complicated, you will make it even more complicated when you panic! The calmer you are, the simpler the world will be!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan


“When you are now and here, calm is everywhere.” ― Abhijit Naskar


“Calm mind begets clear thinking.” ― Bert McCoy


“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” —Pema Chodron

Hope to see you at Willow Street Yoga from 11am until 12:30pm on this and every Wednesday for our in-person class. You can sign up in advance at https://willowstreetyoga.com/ or at the door.





Kathy Carroll


Kathy Carroll, RYT 500, has practiced yoga for over 30 years; she completed her teaching certification at Willow Street Yoga in 2002. With a focus on alignment, strength, flexibility, lighthearted fun and deep places of stillness, she helps you stretch into new possibilities, all within a container of safety and wellbeing. Kathy encourages you to listen to the wisdom of your body and provides alternatives so you can work at your own level. Her friendly, warm, and cheerful attitude builds a camaraderie, a welcoming and supportive community among her students. Kathy is also a vibrational kinesiologist, an energy worker addressing issues from phobias to traumas, to performance issues to heartbreak. A teacher and healer, Kathy helps you experience the joy that comes from integrating yoga into your daily life.