(sigh) They don’t call her Queen Bey for nothing. Now let me be clear about something. I’m not interested in attempting to get to the bottom of who Beyonce Knowles-Carter truly is, like when she’s at home, kickin it in sweats watching Moana with Hov, Blue, and the twinsies. By the way, I just decided that they are definitely a Moana family; they have to be. Anyway, I’m sure she has insecurities. I’m sure she gets depressed sometimes. She gets stomach aches, loses her patience, and forgets to text people back. She’s human. However, when I say I want to be more like Beyonce, I’m talking about the woman, the myth, the legend. I’m talking about that perfectly curated persona who made the whole world think she made lemonade out of lemons, but for all we know she never even had so much as one lemon. Catch my drift? I wouldn’t put anything past this creative genius. Oh I just love her to pieces. Her confidence. Her style. Her sexiness. Her moves. Her voice. And of course the fact that she doesn’t apologize for any of it. There is an unapologetic aura about her, that some may see as off-putting but I admire with all my heart.
You see, unfortunately, I am a chronic apologizer. I’ve even had close friends tell me that there is a hint of apology in many of my blog posts. I know that’s true. I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t want to come off as arrogant or preachy. I don’t want to make people uncomfortable with the things I say. And that’s not just when I’m writing. I feel like that on a regular basis while interacting with people. I so badly just want to be my 100%, authentic self and yet I often apologize for being that. Even if I am not saying the words, “I’m sorry” out loud, I’m often thinking them.
I’ve tried to work on this in the past, but I’ve never been able to make a permanent change. This month, I’m going to try harder. Ever since I fell in love with yoga a couple of years ago, I’ve become fascinated with learning more about what it means to be a real yogi. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that being a yogi is about more than just showing up on your mat to practice. It is also about living your life by a certain code, so to speak. This code is comprised of five principals called YAMAS. One of them is ASTEYA. In Sanskrit this means the practice of non-stealing. I’ve read about and heard about many interesting ways to practice this. The most obvious is not to steal from others. This could be stealing material goods, but most of us are more likely to steal abstract things from those around us, like their time or their spotlight. A less obvious way of approaching this particular practice is to try not to rob yourself of things like love, joy, and care.
Here’s how I’d like to practice it. I would like to stop robbing myself of the validity of my thoughts, words, and actions. When I apologize, it’s like I’m sending myself and the world the following message:
1. The way I feel isn’t valid,
2. What I say isn’t worth hearing
3. What I do isn’t intentional
Furthermore, in over-using “I’m sorry,” it weakens the meaning of it. If I’m always apologizing for everything, how can anyone ever be sure of whether or not I truly feel remorseful about something or if I’m just not confident enough to OWN IT. This month, I’d like to stop robbing others of their confidence in me. I want to try not only to just apologize less (saving “I’m sorry” for true errors that need forgiveness) but also to think before I speak and truly mean what I say so that people can have confidence in my word.
They say it takes 21 days to break a habit/form a habit. Starting now, I’m practicing ASTEYA in my own way. This will include less apologizing for being me and more speaking with purpose and thought. The goal is to stop robbing myself of self-confidence and stop robbing others of the confidence I’d like them to have in me.
And with any luck, I’ll be the next coming of Beyonce by the Spring Equinox!