Often the idea of accepting ourselves as we are goes out the door the moment we are focused on the results. Depending on what is at stake, it may be justified to push oneself to work hard, to do things you don’t really want to do, but in a long term this could backfire.
But there are situations when pushing oneself is actually less productive than accepting oneself and focusing on exploring and discovering. This is especially true when it comes to the way we move. By definition you cannot move in a way you haven’t learned yet and you cannot understand what you haven’t understood yet. Pretty obvious in theory, but in practice, we are being hard on ourselves for not being more relaxed, not having better posture or more coordinated movement. There is a very strong cultural bias towards “no pain no gain” and a fixing mentality. The belief is: if I don’t fix the way I move, if I don’t push myself, there will be no tangible change.
Luckily, we are dealing with physical experience, which is easier to attend to and experiment with, so we can test for ourselves if it is possible to achieve something without pushing ourselves beyond our limits and without trying to fix ourselves. It is called the Feldenkrais method or you can call it practical self acceptance through movement 🙂
Read more about the principles behind of this work in my recent article Quality of Movement is Quality of Life