Ever have one of those days where you just feel out of sorts and like you know what you want but you’re not really sure how to get there … and on top of it, feel like nobody around you ‘gets it’ – or at least gets you?
Well, I was having one of those days… or, make that one of those years. Without going into too much of a pity party, let’s just say my world of confusion started after a particularly difficult breakup. For a few months, I’ve just been out of sorts.
Then, on a call with my father today, I was droning on and on about wanting to travel, to experience, to do something totally out of my safe zone, and at the same time, lamenting about being alone and feeling like I just don’t belong where I am now and not feeling good enough, and yada, yada, yada…
That’s when my father brought up my ‘ex’. Normally this topic would set me into a tailspin, but I decided to hear my father out and listen to what he had to say – and, I’m glad I did.
My dad pointed out what it was about ‘him’ that I loved so much. He was different. With him everything was an adventure and no dream of mine was silly. He was the one who encouraged me to go through yoga teacher training and he always believed in my dream to own a tea shop. He let me show off my new yoga postures, even when I landed on my head, and humored me when I listened to Kirtan music. And, he didn’t judge – me or anyone else. It was ok to be me, even if that version of me was seen as flaky by many people.
Now, compare that to most of people I deal with on a daily basis (BFFs excluded – because they rock!). Most people I encounter are good with status quo. They do their job, and, don’t get me wrong, many do it well, but they’re happy with where they are… going to work, going to the gym, going out to dinner, going to movies … all with their significant other and their friends and they’re not looking to rock the apple cart.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just not who I am. I want to turn the apple cart upside down and see what’s underneath it!
I can’t help but think this is how most yogis feel.
We question. We ponder. We look to understand ourselves and the world around us. After all, we engage in a practice that comes, for all intents and purposes, from another country and another culture. We look for deep meanings while at the same time looking to simplify. We look internally and we open ourselves to possibility. Not to mention we’d much rather wear spandex pants all day…. It’s who we are. And, we don’t always fit in to the rest of normal society because of it.
Now, back to the conversation with my dad and the lesson I want to share.
As I was sitting overlooking an amazing view in downtown St. Petersburg, in the lush gardens outside the magnificent Dali Museum, watching the sailboats float by on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, taking it all in and trying to stop my restless mind, all I could think was that things just didn’t feel ‘right’.
Seriously! Here I was in a place surrounded by people who’d traveled from around the world to experience this place, and all I could think was that it didn’t feel right. And in that place of not feeling right, I was putting myself down.
That’s when my dad said the words that may be life-changing…
Being the supportive and brilliant person he is, he said:
You are just as good, just as smart, just as capable, if not more so than everyone else in the neighborhood. You just need to find a new neighborhood.
That’ when it hit me that that’s what so many yogis do. All of you who have travelled to India or other places around the globe to immerse yourself in other cultures that have allowed you to grow and learn, you are finding a new neighborhood, one with people like you.I think this is why I love yoga so much. The yoga community is like a mini-neighborhood, filled with people who are looking for more, questioning more, and aren’t afraid to do what it takes to find those answers. Each studio is almost a microcosm of the bigger yoga community.
I’ve heard yoga teachers talk about their experiences with yoga and how it just feels right.
The mat, the studio, the other yogis, the asanas, the pranayama, together they make a home in a unique and special neighborhood.