“Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside”

This is a quote that comes back to me time and time again. Now I’m not sure who said it first, Oprah perhaps. Well, whoever it was, they hit the nail right on the head and I’ll tell you why…

I am three days into my new job as a Public Health Nurse in British Columbia, and once again I am the new girl who doesn’t know what she is doing. It is an awful and awkward position to be in. It is a time of focusing on all of the things you do NOT know in an effort to help your supervisors focus your training and make it more efficient. The problem is that the whole self-assessment process makes you realize just how MUCH everyone else knows in comparison to you. As I mentioned above, I’ve been through this before, and it was only about a year ago. But it’s funny how quickly the memory fades once you are comfortable and competent in your skills, and you have good friends to talk and laugh with at work. However, when you are smack dab in the middle of the whole new employee-orientation process, it feels like you will never get back to that place of comfort.

It is a truly humbling experience and one that I am ever grateful for. I get to learn, grow and do what I love to do every single day (well…very soon). So in order to get through the uncomfortable part, I am using the image of a butterfly as my inspiration. It was once a caterpillar: the newbie who hadn’t yet earned her wings. But what if the caterpillar, feeling unsure and different, let the external image of the butterfly let her feel less than she was worth? The problem with using others’ outsides as our point of reference, is that there is no context to how they got there. The truth is, the butterfly was once a caterpillar.

The same is true in yoga, which is why I am so in love with the practice. The only way to truly improve is to look within and believe in what your mind, body and soul is capable of…absolutely anything! It is not about looking around the room to see what everyone else is doing on their mat (no matter how tempting it may be). Each are on their own journey, whether they have been practicing for 10 years, 10 days, or it is their first class. No amount of comparing or emulating is going to get you anywhere faster than your own journey will allow, and chances are your destination is not the same as that other person’s anyway. Rather be grateful for the guidance and inspiration that others provide. But always let your final resting place be in your own story, not on another’s passing cover.