Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Blessing to be Me

Yesterday, as I was sitting on my couch a couple of hours before teaching a yoga class, I felt anxiety rising from my mind spilling over into my body. I placed one hand on my heart and the other on my stomach to try to sooth myself. Immediately I felt sadness, it was an old, familiar feeling telling me that there is something wrong with me, I'm not good enough. Because I had my hand on my heart it felt safer to allow myself to feel the discomfort of the sadness. I sat with it, allowing it to drop into my heart and soften, and then the sadness made its way down into my belly where my other hand laid. The feeling soften in the heart and grounded me as it dropped down in my body. It was such a simple, yet profound moment.

When I arrived at the yoga studio, I started feeling nervous again. Out of practicality, I began to shed the layers of clothes that I was wearing. The top layer would get in my way when I was teaching. Then I decided I needed to take off my necklace because that would be yet another distraction. Before leaving home, I had made sure that I had on make-up and that I looked at least somewhat pretty and put together. I felt as though I had been given a special opportunity to teach the class last night, so I wanted to look good.

I sat at the front desk of the studio, waiting for students to arrive, while still immersed in my anxiety. I was wearing a pair of elegant and dangling earrings, which I decided must be taken off. When I realized that I wanted to take off the earrings, the thought came to me that I didn't want to have anything on my body that wasn't "me." I wanted to be stripped down to myself, exposed, wide open, and vulnerable. I'm not sure that I've ever felt the desire to be myself with out facade in such a palpable way.

 As it was happening it was hard for me to believe that being stripped down and vulnerable was safer than wearing a mask. But it was. Being truly seen felt safe. And that's a feeling that I hope can be stored away for the next time that I am feeling anxious about "performing" or being in the presence of other people. Such a blessing to be me.

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