When it comes to my online presence, I feel that I’m in a slightly odd space, somewhere between a ‘yoga influencer’ and lifestyle/wellness blogger, but it’s a good kind of odd, at least it feels that way to me. Yoga is absolutely a huge aspect of my life, it’s my passion, it’s something I’ve been entrusted to teach and it’s something that gives me clarity and strength on a daily basis. That being said, there is more to me than yoga. I don’t feel that we should ever be defined with labels, but in the world we live in, it can be hard not to box yourself into categories. That’s something I’ve always tried to stay away from. I’m not a “yogi”, I’m not a blogger, I’m not a YouTuber, I’m not a jewellery designer, I’m not a vegan and I am not Cat Meffan. You could argue that I am all of those things, and yes, we do sometimes have to give ourselves titles to give people a little flavour of the person they see before them and of course we have all been given names by our parents. But what lies underneath all of that is just me, a raw human. So without all of the labels, I am. Just that. As simple as it sounds. I am.
I am by no means a perfect human, but I will always do my best to be kind and thoughtful to the people around me. Sometimes I moan, sometimes I can be annoying, sometimes I get triggered by things that make me sad and make me say things I don’t mean, but every single day I try to live by a simple rule. Have respect for myself and have respect for all living beings around me.
In light of some recent things that have been said within the online yoga community, which many of you won’t necessarily know anything about, I received a few messages from people with very kind words and it inspired me to write this blog post. So though this blog post has nothing to do with said issues, as I’m not in a place to comment, it has stemmed from that.
Like I said, I am a yoga teacher and blogger (See, we give ourselves these titles all the time) and my online community is very dear to my heart, as I get to share what I love and from the messages I receive, it’s incredible to hear about you enjoying what I share. I will never forget the very first email I received from a reader who had been inspired to make some positive shifts in her life through reading about my journey. Whether what I do resonates with just one person, or thousands, it’s worth it.
The most important thing to remember about social media is to try and hold back judgement. By all means, be curious and if something sparks an emotion within you then maybe it’s something to be looked into, but we gain nothing from lashing out. Some of you reading this practice yoga and are yoga teachers, so you may have heard of the Sanskrit words Ahimsa and Satya, meaning non-violence and truth. As yoga practitioners, these are two of our Yamas, our moral disciplines. Things we should consider when going about our daily life. Whether you practice yoga or not, these should be two things that you try your best with every single day.
When it comes to being truthful online, remember that we can still be honest, but only share the parts of our lives that we wish to, because that is within an individual’s control, or at least it should be. For example, I chose to share my past experiences with mental health and disordered eating, but I chose not to share things that involve other people who are close to me. What I can promise you though, is that I will always be 100% transparent when it comes to my work. If I don’t know the answer to the question you ask me, I will say “I don’t know” and I will feel empowered by my own honesty. If I work with a brand, it will be because I genuinely love that brand and if they pay me to talk about them online, I will always disclose that fact to you. Whether I’m being paid or not, know this… I will only ever wear, use, travel to or promote something/somewhere I love. That doesn’t mean to say that you personally will always love it, but we are all different, we like different things, but that doesn’t stop us from having respect for each other.
Non-violence can be interpreted in many ways, but in the most simplistic form it’s an effort to cause no harm to yourself or any living being in this world. Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have sadly become hubs for people to voice their opinion in an aggressive way and while we all need to be constructively criticised at times in our lives, it can be done in a kind, thoughtful and hopefully private manner. I know I have a very loving audience on this platform, so I know many of you reading this bog post already practise these things, yoga-doer or not.
It should be standard etiquette from one human to another.
So my promise to you is that I will be honest. I will not knowingly harm another being. And I will keep doing what I love and hope that you stay with me or join me somewhere along the way. Maybe the first blog post of mine you’ve ever read is this one. If so, hi. I am. x