Last week, I took a yoga class with Chaz Russ for the first time. Chaz quoted Joseph Cambpell in the beginning of class by saying, “we must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
Chaz explained that a caterpillar must, one day, shed its skin in order to become a butterfly. If we are to mature and grow in life, we must “shed our old skin.”
We tackled poses such as eagle or cow. We crossed our legs tight and bound our arms; so when we finally opened up and let go, it felt so good. I could feel myself shedding my skin, not just the trauma and stress I hold in my hips and shoulders, but the silly restrictions I have put on myself by planning out my life.
At a young age, I created an identity for myself. I was to be an edgy artist. After many years of hard work, I realized that the lifestyle of an actress didn’t suit me at all. This was my decision, yet I have found myself beating myself up for never making it.
I guess I’m at that midlife crisis age when we realize that we aren’t the person we always thought we were. All the creative visualizing that I have done in the past, regarding who I was going to be in the future got shattered by the lessons I learned along the way. I’m so much more now, than the person I ever thought I could be.
I never knew I would grow up to be a fitness professional. I never imagined the growth and contribution I have achieved from completely re-inventing myself.
So, I ask myself, does it matter if I become a successful billionaire if all I cared about was that goal and learned nothing along the way? Or is it the quality of the journey itself that matters?
How did I love? Did I appreciate life? Did I enjoy the view or was I so preoccupied by my plans for the future that I missed out on all the little moments in between?
Do I bind myself to identities and expectations the way I bind myself in my poses? Do I sometimes forget to release the bind, let go and open up?
Am I so set on sticking to one path that I lose my sense of the adventure, forgetting that other paths may open up?
I am reminded to enjoy the feeling of my yoga practice, to appreciate the serenity and peace that it brings me, and not to beat myself up just because every pose isn’t perfect.