30 Days of “A Year of Living Your Yoga” — Day 1: Be Yourself

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Welcome to Day 1 of my new blog series. This series is based on Judith Hansen Lasater’s “A Year of Living Your Yoga.” While the book has 365 quotes, I picked only 30.

I chose the dates in the waiting room of my kids’ dentist. I rolled dice and arbitrarily chose dates based on the numbers that showed up with each roll of the dice.

I also had the pleasure of sitting with a Turkish grandmother who didn’t speak any English. We managed to communicate in a female, maternal way that transcended any real words. I used a “bee buzz” sound to describe my middle son, a steady hand / ocean wave motion to describe my youngest and oldest sons and then we “spoke” effusively about the World Cup. “Keeek! Keeek ball! Futbol!”

I will try to keep these posts to less than 500 words. (These words don’t count — ha ha, nor does the quote.)

Here is the quote:

March 7: If you are a rose, don’t try to be a daisy. So you’re not tall, with long legs and a flat stomach. You are a rose, and the world needs roses, not just daisies. Today, refuse to judge yourself for what you are not. Instead, stand in your own light.

Well said. I was speaking with a yoga student last month. She is a lovely, kind person. I could be her mother, biologically. She was having problems with perfectionism and comparing herself to others. Being an expert on that crap, I spewed a few quotes at her, my most favorite of all, Oscar Wilde’s, “be yourself, everyone else is taken.” She laughed.

I asked her if dogs compare themselves to cats. Or do very young children (before the grown-ups get them all worked up about being perfect, stronger, faster, better) compare themselves to others, wondering if they are perfect or if they should be taller or have different eyes or more beautiful skin?

They are children. They don’t care. What happens to us? I would love to blame the media. I don’t know though — are children in far-flung places without media and without tribal caste systems free of this insipid comparing thing we all do?

It’s funny that the flower of choice here is rose versus daisy. I have always loved daisies. I wanted to be the slow-action daisy unfolding in time-lapse photography, not the tasmanian devil I always felt I was. Turns out, lots of people like my tasmanian devil just fine. Lots of my mother’s friends would insist I be more ladylike or calmer or more discreet. The thing is… that was never me and so once I became ok with being like that, once I was OK with being who I am, I became more like the daisy…. or a rose. Would you dare consider a tree standing before you somehow unbecoming? That its knots and bark are somehow wrong? People pay a lot of money for wood with character.

Same goes for humans: it’s that stuff, those marks, those personalities and drives which make us unique. So what if you’re not 5’11” and blonde and tan? Give that up and live.

The point is to be comfortable in our own skin. To not try to BE something we are not. Not only physical attributes, but personal worth and work ethic -wise as well. “Stand in your own light,” Lasater wrote.

She doesn’t mean to block out the daisies, pansies, dahlias or roses. She means to take your chunk of sunlight and make yourSelf GROW. Reach for your own heights. See yourSelf for what YOU are and lift your chin up, draw in your belly, stand a little taller, reach a little higher and grab your own spot in the sun. It’s big enough for all of us. Take a paper and pencil and start a list mentioning all the things YOU ARE instead of the things you think you’re not.

Sooner or later, you’ll see what everyone else does: you. So be you.

Thank you.

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  1. Pingback: Virtual Blog Tour — My Turn! | Grass Oil by Molly Field

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