Yesterday I made a spontaneous trip to the beach. It was so needed in a way that I knew but didn’t know. As I lay in my beach chair with the sun shining down on me, kids playing in the background, a thought occurred to me… “You have not been playing enough.” Play is something that used to come easy to me…well to most of us, right? In our younger years we didn’t need to think much about playing. It is actually worked into the definition of being young. But something happens as we grow older and grayier. We suddenly feel that the things our mind stresses about are far more important than playing could ever be. This my friends, has been a killer for me. I am inherently a pretty silly person. I build play into my yoga classes for sure. I joke with clients when possible. I dance on the T or on the escalator at the T station but that generally happens when the stress level has gotten so high that I could scream so instead I dance. Being playful is such a part of who I am and yet in these times when the temperature gauge of stress has increased some notches, I have forgotten to play. So play I did. Above I am kicking water in the ocean and watching how beautiful it was as it splashed around. It’s the simple things that matter so much. As I was playing and enjoying the sun, another thought occurred to me. This insight not quite as playful. Not quite as light. But despite it’s weight, it was freeing,,,,
A while back in discussing my own transformation with my acupuncturist she offered up some words of wisdom. She said “Steph, what if nothing about you needs to change. What if you are perfect the way you are and the work that needs to happen is that you accept and embrace that?” Um ya, whatever that means. At that moment, I believe she made me cry but I don’t think I fully could understand what she was talking about. Yesterday I was remembering this as I shared it with someone this week as well as with my yoga for recovery class, SOBA YOGA ™
What if everything about me has always been perfect the way it is and the work of transformation has been more of discovering the pearl in the oyster?
It feels almost like this is a closer image to describe what has occurred than thinking of myself as a project that has been worked on. In recent weeks, I have begun to see how a dynamic that I have engaged in has been deeply affecting my life. In our last chat You and Me with Tea: Who Am I Without Fear? we talked about free falling into the abyss of the energy of the Universe; letting go of fear and judgment. I am beginning to see how my forgetfulness about playing and my fear about free falling are totally connected to each other. If you are holding onto fear then you are surely not being playful. Those kids running around on the beach yesterday were not afraid of anything in that moment. They were jumping in the ocean (freezing, freezing cold ocean,) playing on boogie boards and hand springing all around. They were not worried about anything but having fun.
So if there is nothing to change, than what is all this transformation talk about? Well I am beginning to think (more importantly feel) that it is really about softening into the fact that everything about all of us at the core is beautiful and pure. It is the process of believing in yourself that is the journey. The journey towards believing that we began as a whole person and that we return back to being whole after piecing together the fragmented pieces. Most recently the circumstances that have occurred present a stark example of how much I have truly needed to accept myself as a whole, beautiful and accomplished woman. In not doing so, I have drawn people towards me who continue to be as critical towards me as I have been towards myself over time. As I see their judgment and criticism without reacting to it, I see that they were only treating me in the way that I was treating myself. Those that have been naysayers about my yoga project for recovery, Soba Yoga, have only been a mirror of my own fears. They have shared their limited beliefs as truths. And in part they are. They are THEIR truths. I think that for a long time, it has been hard for me to fully believe in myself and my own capacity for true happiness and success. I have, at times, carried this into my work with SOBA YOGA ™ and therefore have encountered people along the way who want to tell me how they don’t feel it’s possible to do what I envision doing.
This morning I was again given an opportunity to reveal the pearl in the oyster. I met a young woman in her early 20s just out of the gait in young adulthood who is wise far beyond her years. She shared with me her struggles of the past and her strength of the present. She works a day at a time towards continuing to build inner strength and recovery. She couldn’t come to SOBA YOGA ™ so she drove the extra miles to my other yoga class so that we could meet. Her bright energ and commitment towards health and well being was inspirational. Her story is becoming not unusual to me now as I am meeting more and more young people who truly want a road that leads to healing. She offered up her white light to me and I starving so I devoured it. Her playful and exuberant energy had me mesmerized. I believe she was sent to me as a mirror to show me the light within myself. As other circumstances have thrown shadows on the dark. She was a welcome change. After our meeting and chat this is what came to mind……
“The only thing about you that needs to change is your acceptance of your own beauty. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are pie in the sky or a long shot. They are not you and they do not know. They think they know but they do not because they are not you. Only you know what is true for you. Your truth is the one that counts not theirs.”
We are all the pearls in the oyster waiting to be discovered. But what if the only way people can discover you is by you discovering yourself? Feck she says in her best Irish accent. For realsz? Yes, this is the realization I am coming to. People treat us the way we teach them to treat us. If you don’t like how someone has treated you, you might want to look at how you are treating yourself. Chances are once you shift that, everything else shifts with it. I don’t doubt that these DEEP THOUGHTS by Jack Handy will have some delightful outcomes as I begin to embark on my next steps. More and more I am beginning to believe that once the next step is solidified and my foot has hit that pavement, things are going to look quite different in my life. The things externally that haven’t fallen into place yet are most likely due to the fact that I need time to come to this realization.
Nothing really needs to change. The only thing that needs to change is how much in love you are with yourself.
Cheers to falling madly in love with yourself over and over and over again! Oh and for God’s sake get outside and play!!!!!!!!!!! She says to herself too:)