August 14, 2015

Be You and SHINE!

“You’re sooo quiet.”  “You’re the quietest person I’ve ever met.”  “Do you ever talk?”  I’ve spent a lot of my life with comments or questions like this directed towards me.  I realize now that people are simply stating the obvious.  I tend to be a quieter person and have realized that’s the way I express myself.  The ways I feel most comfortable and am most successful sharing myself are not necessarily verbally.  But as a child, a teenager, a young adult and if I’m to be totally honest, sometimes still to this day, these comments felt hurtful and mean.  I created the story that interpreted these comments as really meaning “there’s something wrong with you”, “you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do” and “you’re not good enough!!”  Needless to say, the issue of my verbal communication skills has been a huge trigger for me throughout my life.

So, when a teacher in a workshop I was at last night introduced the concept that “shyness can be a form of selfishness,” I was surprised when I didn’t instantly feel triggered or defensive or get my guard up.  I listened to what she had to say and recognized some of the truth in her words.  Have I used the statement ‘I’m too shy’ as an excuse to convince myself not to do something even if it is something I really want to do?  Have I used it before as an excuse to not share my opinions, ideas or thoughts?  You bet I have.  In some ways I was using the excuse of my shyness to hide who I was and further feeding into my story of not being good enough. 

My yoga practice, however, has shown me and continues to show me on a daily basis that I AM good enough.  There are many things that initially drew me to yoga, but I think one thing was being able to be on my own while at the same time being connected to the energy of a group.  When we step onto our mats in a yoga class, it’s as if our mat is our own special sacred bubble.  It’s our opportunity to be with ourselves, to work on ourselves, and to focus on ourselves while being surrounded by other people.  We may be guided by the teacher to do the same movements and actions, but how we express these poses and how we experience them is going to be different every day and different for different people.  No two practices in the same class are going to be the same.  In a class, we are free to be ourselves and to express ourselves in the way that feels right and by being with ourselves and allowing ourselves to be exactly who we are in that moment, we contribute to the powerful energy of the group.  We create the energy that says “I am free to be me, and you are free to be you, and we are here together to support, encourage and grow together even if it is merely energetically.”

I am quiet, but I don’t have to identify with the negative connotations of being shy.  My yoga practice has also shown me that there is strength and power in quiet.  It is in the quiet that we find that inner light that we are all born with.  It is in the quiet that we recognize our true beauty and brilliance.  As I was growing up, I identified my quietness as a weakness and a major flaw.  There were many times that I wished I could somehow magically overnight become the chatterbox that I thought I was expected to be - the talkative, extremely social person that I thought would make me enough.  But, it has taken me many years to realize that I am not a chatterbox, and I did not come here to be one.  Practicing yoga has shown me that I will find freedom and happiness in being exactly who I am and who I came here to be.  Teaching yoga has shown me that I have a powerful, calm, quiet energy that some people need, and it is time for me to share this energy instead of trying to hide it out of fear and worry of what others will think or say about me. 

Being up early this morning, I had the opportunity to watch the sunrise.  It was a cloudy day, but I’ve been up for enough sunrises to know that sometimes the cloudiest days produce the most brilliant sunrises.  As above, so below.  Sometimes our perceived biggest flaws or our darkest times produce the opportunities for us to shine the brightest.  Turns out the thing that for the longest time I wanted to change about myself may actually be one of my biggest strengths.    
I am me.  I am enough.  I am powerful!!

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