Tuesday, 13 September 2016

DO Celebrate & Collaborate. DON'T Compare & Compete.

DO Celebrate & Collaborate. DON'T Compare & Compete. 

This is my new life motto. One which I am committed to sticking to in all my future endeavours (and indeed general life). It's one which is challenging and sometimes unnatural for me (I based a lot of my younger years on comparing myself to others and always judged myself as worthless in comparison), but it's one that, when I practice wholeheartedly, makes my world a better and brighter place.

So many of the modern day messages encourage us to compete against one another. Both directly or indirectly. A bit of direct competition can be healthy: athletes competing in a race, or applicants competing for a new job. But indirect competition can be evil. For example when we see an advert of a woman with flawless skin on the tube telling us that we could be just like her, but we aren't as good as her yet, and never will be unless we buy their miracle skin-clearing-brightening-glowy product. Bleurgh. No thank you.

Of course some competition is healthy and necessary. But there is an awful lot that is not. As I touched on earlier, I spent an unhealthy majority of my younger years comparing myself to my friends and peers. I wasn't as pretty as them, I wasn't as good at sport as they were, I didn't have as nice clothes as they did, I wasn't as skinny as them, I wasn't as cool as them. I constantly fell short. And I constantly felt miserable. So much so that I had various bouts of depression and feeling totally worthless. And although it's got better in recent years I am still guilty of it more often than not. I'm still not as pretty as them. I'm still not as skinny as them. I don't earn as much as them. I don't own a house. I am not doing as well as them. BLEURGH AGAIN. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. This is not healthy and I am trying to gain control over these toxic thought patterns. Comparing and competing in this way does no one an ounce of good.

So what is the alternative?

Cue: Celebrate & Collaborate! Hurrah!

Two gorgeous yoginis I met on my recent yoga retreat to Poundon House in Oxfordshire

A phrase that I often hear is that "Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another" and it is one that rings true for me. I believe that empowering one another can be achieved by celebrating and collaborating.

My first real experiences of women celebrating one another came at University and then on my yoga teacher training in India. During my Uni years I played a lot of Netball, and although I had played Netball since a young age, one thing that really stood out about my Uni team was that we were just that: a TEAM. We would cheer when someone did something good, we would encourage when the energy was low, and if someone did make a mistake it did not matter - we would move on and say "next time you've got that". And our togetherness resulted in a fair few wins (during my first year we won every single match!). It was so nice to be a part of a group that celebrated one another and really wanted each and every one to be their best.

On my yoga teacher training there was a similar vibe. I was so nervous that the course would be filled with people who were "better" at yoga than I was (pah, I had a lot to learn about yoga and how there is no "better"), and who would make me feel inferior. However it was quite the opposite. What a gorgeous bunch of souls! My teachers and fellow students were just wonderful. We built one another up, we celebrated each other's breakthroughs, and we helped each other with things we found difficult. It was one of the most supportive groups of people I could have hoped to be among. No one judged, no one compared, no one felt rubbish because they weren't "good enough". It was just magical. A true celebration of one another.

So what about collaboration? Well, in terms of collaborating with others my best example comes from my yoga teaching. Over the last year I have been teaming up with the beautiful Chloe Watts (AKA My Happy Body) to run some fab events, mainly charity fundraisers and one-day retreats. We are a true collaboration and work splendidly as a team. Our skills and experiences compliment one another, and our positive energies combined makes for a very special recipe. It's so much fun collaborating with Chloe, and the events we produce are certainly all the better for our working together. Working alone would be neither as fun nor as productive. I can honestly say that collaborating in this instance is so much more fruitful than competing. What if Chloe & I had chosen to go it alone? We would have been competing for clients, wondering what the other one was doing in their events, and whether ours was as good. But instead we have chosen to celebrate one another's talents and to collaborate in the most magical way. We have big and very exciting plans for 2017...stay tuned for more information! (Or email me to sign up to my newsletter so that you're the first to hear!).

Chloe & me smiling after a very successful Day of Happiness retreat in September 2016

So repeat after me: DO Celebrate & Collaborate. DON'T Compare & Compete. I can guarantee that life will become lighter and more filled with joy. The energy we put out is the energy we receive, so if we put our energy into being positive towards others and their achievements then we will receive this back tenfold. Life is hard. If we make everything a competition it becomes harder and significantly less enjoyable. If we build each other up and work with one another then life becomes better and brighter. 

I will end by sharing a story about one of the best celebrators I know - my best friend Jess. I have know Jess since the day I was born (almost, I'm 3 days older than her!), and ever since I can remember I have called her "my little ray of sunshine". I gave her that name because she has naturally always been bright, radiant and joyful. She is someone who was born with a natural ability to celebrate others. Always making people feel warm, always noticing their good parts, always giving complements in the most natural way. If only we were all a bit more like her - the world needs more Jess's! 

So be a ray of sunshine. Celebrate & collaborate. Don't be drawn into the negativity of comparing and competing.

Do you have any examples of when celebrating & collaborating with others has really worked for you? I would love to hear your stories!

Love & light beauties,

Lucy x