Imagine walking into a packed room where every person expected you to change their lives within 60 minutes, and you had to perform this feat every week with the same people… Week by week, coming up with a new inspiration to ignite the fire of change… This is what I set up for myself as a yoga teacher. My goal was to inspire every single student to think about something in a different way and leave class clear on how to change their lives for the better. I get that it’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself but it was my deep desire to leave the world better than I found it and I thought if we all became better versions of ourselves, we stood a chance of making a change.
After about 4,000 chances for us to collectively create change, I broke up with teaching yoga. It was incredibly hard to abandon my identity and livelihood but I knew deep down that I was ready to explore what’s next.
Yoga, it’s not you; it’s me.
So who am I now? I’m still obsessed with sitting in a vat of refried beans. I’m longing to adopt all the dogs and cats who don’t have homes. I’m remembering my love for dancing. I’m aware of my fear of singing.
Friday night, I took a burlesque workshop and it cracked open a playful side of me… Typically, I idealized reserving this part of me for my husband, but my imaginary boyfriend, Seth MacFarlane, isn’t knocking down my door, so I enrolled in a training camp that ends with a performance in May. Yep, I’m going to take off pieces of clothing on stage in front of a bunch of strangers… Me, the girl who isn’t comfortable changing from my clothes into my robe at the spa/gym/steam room place to which I go. I’m modest as fuck. I also trip down stairs on first dates so the teachers have their work cut out for them to turn me into some Beyonce-esqe performer.
This is going to be a journey into fear. Oh great.
Adventure calls but its voice can only be felt. It’s a feather tickling the heart and a longing in the belly. Those who follow the call arrive in their lives with masks of comedy and tragedy tucked in their back pockets, showing those behind of their past.
For those who walk the lonely path toward meaning offer the opposites to the present like a sacrifice to the gods on the altar of fear. Babylon should be so lucky to imbibe the river’s floods.
Drink up. Suck upon the marrow of time.
Let the city unfold your perceptions as a lover opens a letter. Retreat into yourself but watch. There are patterns, signs, and ways of thinking. Discern them all! Allow the blossom of your heart to unfold like the petals of a flower seeking the sun. Learn the ways of the world but don’t become those ways. Walk your own path and feel those who’ve passed by.
Looking, searching for myself in others, I find the streets.
Uptown and downtown, I walk along designed graph paper, seeking.
The seer sees.
The seeker seeks.
The bird, he sings,
And the tree, she weeps.
Oh city, take me under your wing.
Tell me your secrets like the train passes the breeze.
Perfection rests in her skin and fat cells, its foray to superficial values is a skid mark on America’s underpants. How feminism turned from a conversation about equality into a talk of lesbian fashion sent me into the Rubik’s cube of social puzzles. I don’t want to play. I know the value.
People talk about New York being a character in the work of my two favorite filmmakers: Woody Allen and Louis CK. (Louis CK is better-known as a comic, but I have a sneaky suspicion that his comedy career funded his art as a filmmaker.)
I just took a month off and one stop on my journey was a trip to NYC with one of my dearest friends. She went to NYU for law school because she is fucking smart and waaaaay more brave than I am. I’ve visited New York many times but this time we pretended like we lived there.
I am a Texas girl through and through. I’ve lived close to home and travelled quite a bit but the only reason to move away would be for a love who lives far away and I have yet to cut my roots.
My confession is that I’ve fallen in love with a city. New York has a palpable quality and it suits my taste buds. New York knows what it is. You see possibility. You see variety. You see intention. You see wisdom. I am romanticising, but I don’t care. There was so much beauty… So much I didn’t understand. For a man-made place to evoke/invoke awe… Ok, I’m in.
Inspiration lives in its sounds and sights but basically, it has an energy and it resonates with me. I get why people love the city and I understand why you’d want it to be a part of your art.
I was transported to another way of being for a twelfth of a year and I will always send a post card to New York, hoping he writes back.
I wanted to enter a beauty pageant in elementary school and I brought the flyer home to show my parents what I needed to do to be a part of it. I remember my mom sitting me down on the couch saying, “There is absolutely no way you are going to enter a beauty contest.” My mom explained that each person has their own path and she made it clear that my path was through my brain and not my beauty. She told me I was smart. (You know, the equivalent of someone telling you the blind date has a great personality.) I begged. I thought I was becoming less of an ugly duckling and I wanted a trophy to validate me. My mother shifted my perspective and taught me to value myself instead of allowing others’ opinions of me to define me.
People don’t turn their heads when I walk down the street. I have never been “hot”. I have had the benefit of experiencing life through many different lenses: I’ve weighed a lot at many different times. I’ve had pink, black, red, blonde, and brown hair. I’ve had a lot of money and I have been on the edge of poverty. I’ve been a member of a church and I’ve been excommunicated. I’ve had a close-knit family and I’ve seen my family torn apart. I’ve seen life and I’ve seen death. This is the human experience.
The only constant directing me through this life is my own compass. I don’t live my life nor make decisions by committee – it is just me steering this ship.