Sometimes we make important life decisions based on what we think we should do. The “should” can become a barometer for being loved or accepted by others. Much of my life was spent as a purposeful outsider… Never wanting to be adopted into one group, I joined them all. It is like how I can’t choose my favorite color – wouldn’t green get its feelings hurt if I chose pink?
While working in an art gallery and at a museum, I found yoga. Finally, something pure enough for me to want to dig my teeth into. I said my vows, got my membership card and thought of how to best serve yoga itself. I wanted to give people something to look up to… I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be heard.
So I traded in my vintage hat collection for an ascetic life, trying to free myself from desires and craving. I cleansed. I purified. I tried to honor what the yogic teachings offered me. Glamour and elegance no longer mattered to me. I wanted to embody the perfect yogi. As a girly girl who started wearing high heels before she could ride a bike, it was a stretch to stop wearing make up, but I did.
I became obsessed with what others thought of me – or moreso, my ideal of what I thought I should be. My self-esteem was garnered from an external perception and I somehow always fell short.
All this did is isolate me further from my own truth. It’s taken a while to understand the truth comes from within and anything other than following your heart is a form of self-deception. I was too truthful outwardly to others but little by little, I lied to my heart.
I’ve embraced more of myself – who I am beyond archetypes and titles – and my art is now reflecting my heart instead of my issues. It’s ok to be in love with who I really am and at the end of the day, I’m the only one who is keeping score.
I don’t want to be an ascetic. That isn’t the key to happiness. Happiness lives in the space. Happiness lives in gratitude… Fall down on your knees kind of gratitude. Find the things that make your heart smile and do more of that. I don’t want to be a part of anything less than helping people remember this. We all know it, we just need to be reminded – everything is cool.
Score one for me – I can finally put on my cocktail dress, open a bottle of champagne and do yoga in my favorite pair of heels. Ok so it wasn’t the most comfortable of endeavors, but you get the point, right?
I’d rather stand on my head than talk about the weather.