Our retreat leader, Camille, asked the group who has ever felt self conscious about their body. And it looked like that scene from Mean Girls when they were asked to “raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by Regina George.” Every. single. hand went up.
What we see from other people’s social media pages are a highlight reel of their best or grandest moments, and comparison is the thief of joy. So take a L O N G deep breath, stop scrolling, and go live your life.
I’ve watched my yoga practice change over the years.
When I started practicing Ashtanga primary series, which is an intense hour and a half sequence, I was determined on getting my body into all the poses and progressing on to second series. The poses were the goal.
My time in Costa Rica on the Jungle Goddess retreat was more amazing than I imagined it could be. I experienced love and connection at a whole new level. It was a week of love, connection, loving words, feeling like I belonged, feeling accepted, feeling safe and held and cared for.
I was in a Yin Yoga training this weekend and our homework was to write down 11 things we are grateful for and 11 things that bring us joy. It helped to shift my perspective. We sat in a circle and shared 3 from each list. I got to hear 108 beautiful and heartwarming reminders of gratitude and joy.
No more of this "means to an end" bullshit. What the hell is the "end" anyways? I resolve to stop putting my life on hold until I achieve this thing or that thing. I resolve to stop trying to fit my life into a plan. We all know how plans go.
For years, I had taken someone else's belief about love as my own truth. "Love is when you care about someone so much that you would sacrifice anything for them." Sounds poetic. But upon further investigation, I realized something deeply disturbing about this belief.
I went into it as a means of staying in shape. I had no idea that it would be the catalyst of an epic and incredible journey of transformation, healing, and growth that is still and always will be ongoing.
I opened up Facebook out of habit to try and feel better, to avoid discomfort, and to try to connect with friends. It wasn't real connection though- it was a lurking in the shadows, looking at other people's lives while not interacting.
I surrender to it. I let go of the need to push harder, whether that's working out more, doing more, reading more. I stop scheduling so many things. I stop making too many plans. I straighten up my room, light a candle, take a shower, and just sit. Just be.
Last August, I started a new job and on my first day, I drew a tropical scene on my new whiteboard. A giant palm tree on the beach and a little boat leading to a structure in the distant water with a straw thatched roof. It was a reminder of where I actually wanted to be instead of in a cubicle in Chicago. Little did I know that 8 months later, I would get to see it in person.