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Comparison prevents real connection.

Say I’m on a Zoom call with a friend and she is having a GREAT time in isolation. She is getting super fit and she’s writing a book (and she has an offer from a publisher!) and her marriage has never been better. As I sit on that call, I might start ranking the shit storm that is MY isolation with hers. I get buried under a pile of anger and shame for wearing nothing but yoga pants for two months and doing exactly ZERO yoga. I may be smiling at the screen but the comparison has stopped me from really hearing or being with her.

Or say I read yet another story about the terrible suffering of front line workers in New York and the ludicrous lack of resources they have. I start ranking my comparative good fortune with what they are experiencing, and I dive headfirst into shame for any grumpiness I have with my own sadness, anger, and disappointment.

In her podcast, Unlocking Us, Brené Brown explains that when we go into comparitive suffering “even our pain and our hurt are not immune to being assessed and ranked.” What’s more, if we deny, push away or shove down the emotions that we feel, they “double down and grow and invite shame over for the party.”

Today’s Nourishing Movement practice is about connection without comparison, and holding contrasts and qualities without ranking them. Shame and empathy are incompatible, Dr. Brown explains, so in our mindful movement practice, we’ll allow ourselves our longing and our belonging. Find the video here.

~~~ Music Credits ~~~

Title song for Dancing Water Daily:
Kate’s Waltz 3:44 Bad Snacks, YouTube Audio Library

Playlist for Tue, May 19, 2020 ~ Dancing Water Daily ~ Nourishing Movement: Connection without Comparison
Babylon – Disco Ultralounge 4:15 Kevin MacLeod YouTube Audio Library
Mia 5:00 Jeremy Blake YouTube Audio Library
Artifact – The Dark Contenent 3:31 Kevin MacLeod YouTube Audio Library
Mission Dub 4:05 TrackTribe YouTube Audio Library
Club Step 5:06 Topher Mohr and Alex Elena YouTube Audio Library
James River 5:25 DJ Williams YouTube Audio Library
The Creek 3:31 Topher Mohr and Alex Elena YouTube Audio Library
Rubix Cube 3:43 Audionautix YouTube Audio Library
Asleep with the Sun 6:07 Unicorn Heads YouTube Audio Library
Facile 3:32 Kevin MacLeod YouTube Audio Library

THIS WEEK’S DANCING WATER DAILY PRACTICES ~ Connection without Comparison
Monday, May 18 ~ Nourishing Movement: Connection without Comparison (Courage + Encourage) ~ find it here
Tuesday, May 19 ~ Nourishing Movement: Connection without Comparison (Longing + Belonging) ~ find it here
Wednesday, May 20 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: Connection without Comparison (Cognizant + Recognize)
Thursday, May 21 ~ Dharma Dance Swirl: Connection without Comparison (Trust + Entrust)
Friday, May 22 ~ All Out All You Dance Party: Connection without Comparison (Member + Re-member)
Saturday, May 23 ~ Ajna (Self-Guided) Practice:  An Approach to Connection without Comparison
Sunday, May 24 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: Connect with Presence

LAST WEEK’S DANCING WATER DAILY PRACTICES (if you missed any or want to go back to the ones you loved) ~ Thought Monsters & Other Dance Partners
Monday, May 11 ~ Nourishing Movement at Dancing Water: Thought Monsters & Other Dance Partners ~ find it here
Tuesday, May 12 ~ Nourishing Movement at Dancing Water: Monkey Mind & Hummingbird Thinking ~ find it here
Wednesday, May 13 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: Noticing Thoughts ~ find it here
Thursday, May 14 ~ Dharma Dance from Dancing Water: Nancy & The Shitty Committee Take a Break ~ find it here
Friday, May 15 ~ All Out, All You Dance Party from Dancing Water: You Are Not Your Thoughts ~ find it here
Saturday, May 16 ~ Ajna (Self-Guided) Practice: Tracking Thoughts with Curiosity ~ find it here
Sunday, May 17 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: The Space Between Thoughts ~ find it here

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Help build the Dancing Water Daily Community! It is my hope to extend this Net of Love to anyone who needs it! Please do:

• Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
• Sign up to receive my Focus Pocus blog
• Send a link to a friend!
• Share videos on social media!
• Like & Comment on the classes you love!

Help spread the word about all the Dancing Water Daily practices. Let’s all keep moving together while we’re apart.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I love to hear from you about how you’re doing and what you need most. I read and respond to every single comment and email and I appreciate them all. Please do reach out with email (sjmnia@gmail.com) or a comment and let me know how I can help more!
Breathe deep. Shine bright. Show up.
Love

“Stay in your lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy.” ~ Brené Brown

Connection is essential to us all ~ especially now. And nothing kills real connection like comparison. As soon as I start holding you up and me down, as soon as I rate myself against someone else, as soon as I judge this as better than that, any chance at real connection is lost.

Instead, can we connect to ourselves and to each other and leave out the comparison? My yoga teachers would say, “Practice on your own mat” as a reminder that we are all doing our own practice, in our own bodies with our own experience, gifts and talents. To compare is not only absurd (since by definition we are each unique), it’s harmful to real relationships and leaves us feeling isolated and lonely.

Today’s Nourishing Movement practice is a chance to connect without comparison: to feel courage and to encourage, to pay attention to the front and back body, and to remember that we are not alone as we all practice in our own space and our own way. Find the video here.

~~~ Music Credits ~~~
Title song for Dancing Water Daily:
Kate’s Waltz 3:44 Bad Snacks, YouTube Audio Library

Playlist for Mon, May 18, 2020 ~ Dancing Water Daily ~ Nourishing Movement: Connection without Comparison
Kumasi Groove 3:43 Kevin MacLeod YouTube Audio Library
Center_Ring 4:24 Freedom Trail Studio YouTube Audio Library
Get Me On The Floor 3:43 Gunnar Olsen YouTube Audio Library
Love In LA 3:58 DJ Williams YouTube Audio Library
Broken Reality 3:38 Kevin MacLeod YouTube Audio Library
This is Not Background Music 3:33 True Cuckoo YouTube Audio Library
Fine 5:02 Max McFerren YouTube Audio Library
Fresh Fallen Snow 3:35 Chris Haugen YouTube Audio Library
Dama-May – Primal Drive 5:15 Kevin MacLeod YouTube Audio Library
We Always Thought the Future Would Be Kind of Fun 7:15 Chris Zabriskie YouTube Audio Library

THIS WEEK’S DANCING WATER DAILY PRACTICES ~ Connection without Comparison
Monday, May 18 ~ Nourishing Movement: Connection without Comparison (Courage + Encourage) ~ find it here
Tuesday, May 19 ~ Nourishing Movement: Connection without Comparison (Longing + Belonging)
Wednesday, May 20 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: Connection without Comparison (Cognizant + Recognize)
Thursday, May 21 ~ Dharma Dance Swirl: Connection without Comparison (Trust + Entrust)
Friday, May 22 ~ All Out All You Dance Party: Connection without Comparison (Member + Re-Member)
Saturday, May 23 ~ Ajna (Self-Guided) Practice: An Approach to Connection without Comparison
Sunday, May 24 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: Connect with Presence

LAST WEEK’S DANCING WATER DAILY PRACTICES (if you missed any or want to go back to the ones you loved) ~ Thought Monsters & Other Dance Partners
Monday, May 11 ~ Nourishing Movement at Dancing Water: Thought Monsters & Other Dance Partners ~ find it here
Tuesday, May 12 ~ Nourishing Movement at Dancing Water: Monkey Mind & Hummingbird Thinking ~ find it here
Wednesday, May 13 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: Noticing Thoughts ~
find it here
Thursday, May 14 ~ Dharma Dance from Dancing Water: Nancy & The Shitty Committee Take a Break ~ find it here
Friday, May 15 ~ All Out, All You Dance Party from Dancing Water: You Are Not Your Thoughts ~ find it here
Saturday, May 16 ~ Ajna (Self-Guided) Practice: Tracking Thoughts with Curiosity ~ find it here
Sunday, May 17 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga: The Space Between Thoughts ~ find it here
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Help build the Dancing Water Daily Community! It is my hope to extend this Net of Love to anyone who needs it! Please do:

• Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
• Sign up to receive my Focus Pocus blog
• Send a link to a friend!
• Share videos on social media!
• Like & Comment on the classes you love!

Help spread the word about all the Dancing Water Daily practices. Let’s all keep moving together while we’re apart.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I love to hear from you about how you’re doing and what you need most. I read and respond to every single comment and email and I appreciate them all. Please do reach out with email (sjmnia@gmail.com) or a comment and let me know how I can help more!
Breathe deep. Shine bright. Show up.
Love

This post was originally published on August 18, 2013.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Bottom line: Comparing myself to others is pointless. Any time I start a little tally going on how I’m doing as compared to someone else, it’s time to take a breath and a step back. We all do it (in fact, our culture encourages it), but comparison is a habit worth breaking. Leo Babauta in his ZenHabits blog has written a bunch of posts about comparison (and they’re all good), but I love this one for pointing out how absurd it is to compare ourselves to others. There are too many variables, too many unknowns, too many incomparables. Comparison just doesn’t make sense.

And yet, it’s so tempting, to either knock myself down (“she’s my age and way more fit than I am”) or make myself superior (“I would never talk to my child like that.”) as compared to someone else. It’s so easy to do, but our absolute uniqueness makes it completely meaningless. As they say in AA, don’t compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.

Contrasting, on the other hand, can be a delicious practice of wonder and appreciation. Last year, my husband and I visited his parents in Arizona. One afternoon, we went to a skydiving center to watch people jump out of airplanes. It was strangely mesmerizing. Dozens of us sat on the grass craning our necks skyward and watched tiny colored dots fly out of the plane, cruise around for a while, and then pop their parachutes and float gracefully to earth on a rainbow of fabric. After watching several plane-loads descend like colorful thistle down, I said to everyone and no one in particular, “People are amazing.” A stranger, a woman sitting near me said, “You could learn to sky dive, and then you’d be amazing, too.”

And without missing a beat, I looked at her, smiled and said one of the greatest things I’ve ever said, “Oh, I am amazing…only in a completely different way.”

Few words have ever felt so good to say. I could easily have gone with, “Oh no, I could never do that” or “Yeah, you’re right, I should try it” or something that in one way or another compared me to the skydivers. Instead, I loved appreciating them for what they were doing and recognizing that their achievements in no way diminish my own, totally different, coolness. This is contrast, and contrast is delicious.

One of my favorite things in Nia is the Joy of Contrast. In my very first class, after years of aerobics and traditional dance classes in which the whole class basically has the same energy and the same feel, I loved the feeling of contrasts in Nia. I loved feeling tight then loose, linear then circular, big then teeny-tiny. My body devoured the sensations and the challenge of completely shifting from one to the other. My mind focused intently on crisp shifts between those sensations.  And my spirit loved the expansive possibilities that were inherent in every contrast…even the possibility of blending and integrating them.

Strong isn’t better than flexible. Mobile isn’t better than agile. Fast isn’t better than slow. Skydiving isn’t better than Nia dancing.  The Joy of Contrast is appreciating the amazingness of it all.

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, experiment with appreciating the contrasts instead. Acknowledge that you and the other person are both amazing…just in different ways. Then move on to be your amazing self without keeping score. Whether you jump out of airplanes or knit baby blankets, you are amazing. Just being yourself is amazing. Be that amazing and let everybody else be their amazing. That’s the Joy of Contrast!

comparison t roosevelt“When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.”
~Lao Tzu

Comparing myself to others goes nowhere fast. It’s “the thief of joy.” Comparison encourages me to knock myself down or make myself superior. All competition is comparison and yet our uniqueness makes it totally meaningless.

Contrast is a celebration of varied awesomeness. Much more fun to admire the other and your own bad self. Proudly say, “Oh, I am amazing…only in a completely different way.” Comparison is good, better, best. Joy of Contrast is appreciating all amazingness.

comparison apples“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Bottom line: Comparing myself to others is pointless. Any time I start a little tally going on how I’m doing as compared to someone else, it’s time to take a breath and a step back. We all do it (in fact, our culture encourages it), but comparison is a habit worth breaking. Leo Babauta in his ZenHabits blog has written a bunch of posts about comparison (and they’re all good), but I love this one for pointing out how absurd it is to compare ourselves to others. There are too many variables, too many unknowns, too many incomparables. Comparison just doesn’t make sense.

And yet, it’s so tempting, to either knock myself down (“she’s my age and way more fit than I am”) or make myself superior (“I would never talk to my child like that.”) as compared to someone else. It’s so easy to do, but our absolute uniqueness makes it completely meaningless. As they say in AA, don’t compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.

Contrasting, on the other hand, can be a delicious practice of wonder and appreciation. Last year, my husband and I visited his parents in Arizona. One afternoon, we went to a skydiving center to watch people jump out of airplanes. It was strangely mesmerizing. Dozens of us sat on the grass craning our necks skyward and watched tiny colored dots fly out of the plane, cruise around for a while, and then pop their parachutes and float gracefully to earth on a rainbow of fabric. After watching several plane-loads descend like colorful thistle down, I said to everyone and no one in particular, “People are amazing.” A stranger, a woman sitting near me said, “You could learn to sky dive, and then you’d be amazing, too.”

And without missing a beat, I looked at her, smiled and said one of the greatest things I’ve ever said, “Oh, I am amazing…only in a completely different way.”

Few words have ever felt so good to say. I could easily have gone with, “Oh no, I could never do that” or “Yeah, you’re right, I should try it” or something that in one way or another compared me to the skydivers. Instead, I loved appreciating them for what they were doing and recognizing that their achievements in no way diminish my own, totally different, coolness. This is contrast, and contrast is delicious.

One of my favorite things in Nia is the Joy of Contrast. In my very first class, after years of aerobics and traditional dance classes in which the whole class basically has the same energy and the same feel, I loved the feeling of contrasts in Nia. I loved feeling tight then loose, linear then circular, big then teeny-tiny. My body devoured the sensations and the challenge of completely shifting from one to the other. My mind focused intently on crisp shifts between those sensations.  And my spirit loved the expansive possibilities that were inherent in every contrast…even the possibility of blending and integrating them.

Strong isn’t better than flexible. Mobile isn’t better than agile. Fast isn’t better than slow. Skydiving isn’t better than Nia dancing.  The Joy of Contrast is appreciating the amazingness of it all.

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, experiment with appreciating the contrasts instead. Acknowledge that you and the other person are both amazing…just in different ways. Then move on to be your amazing self without keeping score. Whether you jump out of airplanes or knit baby blankets, you are amazing. Just being yourself is amazing. So, be that amazing and let everybody else be their amazing. That’s the Joy of Contrast!

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