I recently spent an afternoon at the mall and left feeling deflated and less substantial than when I entered those smudge-free glass doors. I wanted all the pretty things – the perfect shade of red lipstick, the sweater that hangs just right, those glorious boots that cost as much as a student loan payment. I acutely felt a perceived lack in my life and a strong desire for more. On my drive home, I decided to add to these feelings with those of guilt by telling myself, “What’s wrong with you, woman? You’re a yoga practitioner for goodness sake! Rise above this!” Nothing like some yoga bullying to get me back on track, right?
Then I remembered a recent comment my husband made. He said that I spend so much time in my yoga world that when I leave it, I get easily ruffled. And it’s true – my tolerance for unnecessary stress and drama has decreased significantly. I began to wonder if that yoga bubble I carefully crafted for myself has begun to shield me too much. Could I still make it in the so-called “real” world? More importantly, could I survive a walk through the shoe department in Nordstrom?
I struggled with these questions for days until I remembered … I am human. I have flaws, desires and setbacks. I am a mom, a wife and a teacher – not the proverbial cave dweller. I must interact with the world in all kinds of ways and it is my yoga practice that supports me and offers guidance. But it is also my practice that frequently reminds me not to get comfortable because with discomfort comes growth.
I was very uncomfortable that day in the mall and that was exactly what I needed. I was able to see my attachments and insecurities very clearly and eventually offer myself compassion. I needed to see that a yoga force field is all well and good, but that I should leave it every once in a while. I learned that yoga bubble or not – my gratitude for all I have and my appreciation for this amazing life will be tested again and again. It’s my practice to keep reminding myself I am already complete.
I see now that my worth is not tied to a beautiful, Italian-made handbag but to how well I love and serve. Also, I now believe it would be okay to wear some lipstick that compliments my bare feet and yoga pants … because I know my true worth.
Yoga teacher, life coach and recovering attorney; tireless supporter of authentic living, stubborn follower of dreams