It was a perfectly good yoga tank top. It just happened to be emblazoned with two words I would have worn proudly, a year ago. Now, I’m not sure how to feel about it. I picked at the screen print and it ripped a whole in the fabric. Damn it. I got the scissors out. I cut out the rectangle of the two words “Baptiste Yoga,” to leave a gap whole right at the top of my chest across my collar bones. Fitting. I rifle through my fabric bag. Find a piece that fits. Pull out the sewing machine. Start to sew. The thread breaks on my first attempt.
I’ve always been ok at sewing, never great. It frustrates me. It seems, again, fitting for what I’m doing. I struggle through it, cursing under my breath. Missing spots. Losing more thread. Feeling the impatience, the anger, rising within me. Why am I doing this stupid thing? Why not just throw the damn shirt away?
It’s a lot like the past year of my life. I’ve been assessing what to throw away, and what feels ok to keep… if any of it. It’s been a slow untangling of the past 7 years of my life, figuring out what felt real, what felt like lies. What was transforming me, what was indoctrinating me. It’s really fucking hard to know. And I haven’t been able to completely pull away, not from all of it. Is that ok? Should I not be teaching the sequence? Should I not be using the methodology? The stuff that feels real in my bones feels really real… but even that phrase,”in my bones,” that came from him. Do I really know what that feels like or do I know what he taught me to feel? I don’t have an answer. I think it is going to look different for everyone. I just know I’m in the middle of leading a teacher training and there’s still pieces of the teachings in it. They know I’m figuring it out.
The lines on the shirt are not even. I didn’t pick the same color thread for the bobbing, so nothing is hidden. It’s a hot mess, but the hole is plugged and the shirt is wearable. I put it on, and, surprisingly, it doesn’t look so bad. It’s practice-able in. And it’s a physical, outward expression of the struggle going on inside… untangle, unweaving, uneven, messy, and a bit complicated. It’s perfect.
I thought leaving would be the challenging piece. Turns out, that part was easy. What’s been challenging is the untangling. A year later… I’m still unraveling the pieces and figuring out what’s what. What I feel underneath all this, though, is a sense of calm, grounded-ness, a sense of myself, a piece of me, that got lost along the way. I’m discovering myself newly, and that feels very freeing.
So, why is any of this relevant for you?
It’s good with ANYTHING in our lives to occasionally take a step back and look at if the thing is still serving us. Sometimes we can’t see the things we need to see when we’re entangled in it.
When I think about it, we’re all unraveling and untangling ourselves in one way or another. We’re two year into (out of?) the pandemic, and there’s a hell of a lot of untangling there. Where can you find the beauty in that untangling, and uncover pieces of yourself you didn’t know were missing? What can y0u do to step back or step out of a situation, even if only for a breath or two? Lean into the mess this week, friends. See what shows up.