The first step to changing your life
Did you know kids get awards for pretty much everything these days, including just showing up to school? Attendance awards have been popular since I was in middle school, but it’s funny that the older we get, the less these accolades are awarded, if at all. I guess a paycheck is an extrinsic reward for showing up to work, but in other areas of life, where are we rewarded?
My yoga instructor yesterday talked about this idea, about showing up and how coming to class yesterday was a step in a direction that many never take. She acknowledged our presence in class, and invited us to turn to others and congratulate them for showing up as well.
We did, and immediately the energy in the room shifted from reserved to open and welcoming. Each of us connected to one another, congratulating one another, and supporting one another.
Our instructor continued to thank us for showing up throughout the class, but also invited us to set our intentions to focus on what areas of our lives we want to show up more for.
I thought about work, family, friends, romantic partner, health, home, finances, but then realized that there isn’t one area I could narrow down to the most important, or one that stood out against the others. In fact, each component was as equally important as the next, and all pieces together create a much more balanced Jaime.
So instead I just said to myself that I want to show up for me.
And with that, I breathed deeply, sending my intention to all of my cells and energy fields, and then exhaled my intention into the world.
I was there on the mat for me, for my health and well-being, and it’s the first time since moving here that I feel totally committed to becoming balanced again. There have been so many moving parts in my life in the past 4 years, but especially in the past 1 and a half years, so my health has been on the back burner to all other areas of my life.
But now that most of the other parts have come back down to earth from being up in the air, this was the last piece to confront. Ironically, it should have been first, but when we are caught with an unbalanced root chakra, health is not on our list of things to take complete care of.
Making the choice to come back to yoga was one of the best decisions I’ve made to show up for myself. It grounds me, it heals me, it calms me, it centers me. And if that isn’t reason enough every day to show up for myself, then what would be?
I could make a million excuses to not go to class and engage in sometimes awkward poses that I can barely do, but instead I remember why I’m trudging out into the cold with heavy boots, all bundled up – I chose me this year. And if I make excuses to not go to class, then I’m only hurting myself, which never feels good.
What does feel good is the release of excuses, of old patterns, of fear-based thoughts, of not being first on my own damn list.
Now my list includes only one thing: me.
And all I have to do is to show up.