Life is funny, I often think to myself.

We create these lives for ourselves, ones that make sense on paper and look pretty amazing to people around you. You meet people and tell them what you do and where you live and all the things you think add up to who you are, and they are so impressed and pleased with you. So it’s easy to think you are pleased with yourself, too.

And then something (or a series of somethings) happens that rocks you, unearthing the certainty with which you’d been living your life. Or, at least, the supposed certainty. Deep down you knew it really served as a mask for all the things you didn’t want to own up to, those whispers you know at your core to be the truth.

But you ignore them anyway.

I thought about this during a yoga class this week. A few of my coworkers and I had been invited to meet the team at Sakara Life, where we’d been ordering delicious vegan meals for the last couple of weeks. (If you are in New York or LA and you want to feel nourished and well fed, check them out. AMAZING meals.) They graciously offered us spots in a yoga class at their offices, and we happily accepted.

As we moved through the poses, I was reminded of how long it had been since I breathed deeply.

It’s such a silly thing to say. I forget to breathe.

But there it is, the truth. I walk through days holding it all in. I hold my breath as if I’m waiting.  For what, I don’t know.  Something exciting that’s on the other side of the pause. Only, it never comes.

The thing about movement is it forces you to be in the moment. When a pose is challenging, when you are all twisted up and struggling to find your balance, often the only way to get through it is to breathe deeply.  In…out…in…out.  So, in a room full of strangers—kind, open, generous strangers—I found my breath.

Those things I try to hide from, yet insist on gripping me tightly, slowly began to dissolve away. The rough, tough survivalist in me gently lay down her weapons and began to trust that perhaps there is strength in letting go.

Is it really that simple?  Is the key to getting through whatever it is you are going through to simply be present and breathe? Is it possible that is how you find your way?

It may not be.  But, I think it can be.  It’s a choice we make.

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xo, with goodness and grace.

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