It's 11:22 am on a Friday morning and I am in my Pj's still. My Husband was just home to grab something and asked me if I am planning on leaving the house today. Um.. No. So while I'm sorting out whether or not I detected a hint of condescension in his voice I find myself fighting with myself. A steady march of shoulds is pounding through my head, I should walk the dog, take a shower, not let myself be so lazy, on and on! Which brings me to the edge of pure rebellion right here and now. I am so very tired of the shoulds and shouldn'ts!
My whole life I've been trying to be more of something or less of something. I should be smarter, thinner, more motivated. I really should have eaten less of that huge cookie, been less tipsy at that party, less chatty, less whatever. I am always going between more or less, should and shouldn't, giving something up or adding something more. Honestly I think this could very much be the source of my exhaustion. My endless feeling that I have to be someone more or less for life to work out, to create the life I want to live, and to be loved. What doesn't usually cross my mind is acceptance.
Acceptance is a virtue that is slowly permeating my being. When I find myself on days like today bullying myself for one reason or another, there is enough space to hear a different voice ask why? Why does it matter that you are in your pj's at 11:22 on a Friday morning? Who really gives a fig? Here is the crazy reality I am wrapping my head around. There is no real should or shouldn't, life doesn't come with a list of rules. Of course there are ideas that most of us morally uphold as rules. But the everyday fight that happens within us, this idea of needing to be more or needing to be less, needing to be a certain way in general to be accepted or loved, It's illusion. This notion of fixing yourself to fit in is like running on a treadmill. You are running fast and hard and long, but when you stop you are in the same place you started. You were just distracted for a little bit.
So back to my rebellion! I'm stepping off the fix myself treadmill! It doesn't mean that you stop growing, or evolving, or moving forward. It just means you grow, evolve, and move forward for yourself. Not for the acceptance and love from others, but to learn to accept and love yourself. My favorite lesson from my journey to become a yoga therapist is that we have to be able to give ourselves the virtue we most need. Lets face it, if we can't accept and love ourselves as ourselves how can we actually really love or accept anyone? Let alone expect these virtues in return? So lets throw the shoulds and shouldn'ts out the window! Lets stop trying to be more or less, and try the incredible, amazing. and brave act of embracing who we are as we are! Breathing into this present moment, going beyond illusion, and feeling into our bodies hearts and minds where they are right now. Living in the freedom of all that is possible when we stop being a bully and love ourselves as we are. Then I believe we are no longer in need of a hero to love and accept us and validate us, but we become our own hero. How freeing is that! I have gone on for a very long time, but I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes.
"It is when you're going through the most difficult chapter of your life that your hero is revealed, and how beautiful it is when you finally realize you have the strength to save yourself."
Have a Great Day! Annie
I'v lived my whole life as a bird who doesn't trust herself to fly which seems pretty silly now considering that to be born with wings implies the gift of flight without even trying." -Me
This morning I am remembering how to fly after a long time of forgetting. Even though there are a million things to do today I decided to ignore them all turn on some music and let myself move. For some reason this isn't always easy for me even though its what I do for a living. I am constantly forgetting to enjoy the experience of dancing just for the sake of dancing. I forget how beautiful and pure it can be to let emotion be expressed through shapes in space, and how quickly it connects me to my center.
As I let myself move I felt all the heaviness and feelings of being powerless slip from my shoulders. A heaviness that has been building for a couple of weeks. Watching all that is happening out in the world coupled with my own challenges has left me feeling more helpless than I care to admit. Looking around at the state of things I feel like the contribution I have to make is too small too frivolous, not enough. But as I moved something shifted. (Thank goodness too, lol! My family will be relieved to find me in a better mood.) I can't quite explain it except that somehow I snapped out of it. By being in my body I could meet the pain, and the anger, and the frustration that has been building, and let it go. I remembered what it feels like to fly, to create beauty, and to breathe in light, to feel weightless.
This is what moving our bodies does for us. This is how mindful movement connects us to our center and grounds us. For me its dance and yoga. These two ways of moving connect me to my power. For me I feel most powerful when my heart feels lite and I'm in a space of playful creativity. Not an easy space to get into these days. So much to take very seriously and to keep an eye on. We are living in uncertain and strange times, and I absolutely believe that vigilance and speaking out for what is right is necessary. We also have to find times of light and play and beauty or we will go mad. Ultimately I believe we are on this earth to remember how to fly. To remember that we have wings and that flying is what we already innately know how to do. To remember that we are already these beautiful birds of flight with gifts to offer. We don't have to become something more to contribute we already are.
I've been thinking a lot about change, and I'm finding that it's really really easy to get caught up in the idea of it. Change is exciting or scary or both. It's something we want to do, or don't really want to do but have to. We hear Ghandi's words "be the change you want to see." It's January so maybe you made some sort of New Years resolution to change something in the new year. I love the idea of change, but tend to lose interest in the effort it takes for it to last. Maybe this is why I always seem to come up with the same New Year's resolutions. Why is change so hard?