I didn’t realize I needed to wax my eyebrows until my hairdresser let me know if I wasn’t going to die my hair it is a must….Why…Who says…The International Eyebrow & Hair Color Association? Here’s the best part of it…all of a sudden…I can’t leave the house without my eyebrows waxed. What will the neighbors think? I might even have to call in sick to work. Before that conversation, I was completely content with the unmanicured bushels that lined my eyes. After that conversation, I was a bushel of fears. How long have I lived like this? Why hadn’t anyone told me? How many other women can I save from this painful experience?! We are constantly bombarded by experiences like this.
We live in a culture that reminds us how lacking we truly are. Pick up any magazine at the newstand and you can lose 10 Ibs in three weeks. I didn’t know that I needed to lose ten pounds but suddenly this is my ticket to happiness. What will my life be like when that ten pounds is gone? Since we are projecting into future (fantasy) let’s make it big. I will never have to do another load of laundry, clean a toilet, make a latte, or fill up my car with gas. Clothes will hang just perfect on my frame and my makeup & eyebrows will always look flawless. Okay, thanks for coming with me on that one, now back to reality. We can substitute many things into this equation of searching for external happiness: a second degree, a bigger car, a bigger house.
Freedom to be comes from appreciating who and where we are right now in this moment. Pema Chodron, in The Wisdom of No Escape , reminds us that, “Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.” I have been 140 pounds, I have been 110 pounds. I still have the same neurosis‘. I have had more money than I do now, I have had less money than I do now. I still have the same neurosis’. I have had a more challenging work environment. I have had an easier work environment. I still have the same neurosis’. (Do you see the pattern unfolding?)
Through yoga and mindfulness, I have learned to challenge myself. I have learned to challenge my thoughts of unworthiness (some days are much easier than others). I have learned to challenge myself physically and mentally, in a room of other yogis & yoginis, sweating, contorting, holding on, letting go, giving up, taking back, together. I have learned to challenge my labels of woman, wife, mother, yoga teacher, business owner, etc. These labels, as much as I love each and every one, do not define me. As I gain freedom to surrender my labels, I learn to let go of who I think I should be and begin to embrace and share who I truly am. As we do this for ourselves, we give everyone around us the freedom to do the same.
Wishing you a Happy Independence & Freedom Day!