I Create…my own happiness.
I Create…my reality.
I Create…the life I want to live.
These were the three intentions swirling through my mind today during this Day 2 practice, and for the duration since I left the mat this morning. It was a struggle to choose just one, and although intentions often work their magic best when clarity is present, these were all so intertwined to me that I stuck with them all.
I created my own rules.
This was a longer practice today, one where I had to really work to keep my intentions front and center. There was lots of falling over, lots of stiffness in the legs, and lots of adjusting of the yoga pants (there’s always adjusting of the yoga pants). Some days this would definitely frustrate me (mainly the klutziness and stiffness), but today wasn’t one of them. Today was a day where I thought, “these mantras really work! go rain on someone elses’ parade, stiff legs!”
It did, however, remind me of a time when I wasn’t creating my own happiness / reality / life I wanted to be living. To be fair, that was a decent portion of my life, but most of those stories are for another day. For today, I had one which is most relevant.
From a young age, I never thought I was good enough. Good enough for what, you might ask? Well, just about anything, really. There were many reasons for this severe lack of confidence I possessed for so many years, but as I now know, it was ultimately my decision to harbor that belief system as I did, for as long as I did. One of the reasons I clung onto was my extreme lack of athleticism, and even greater lack of flexibility. My pediatrician used to contort my legs into some funny cross-legged pretzel and tell my mom I had good range of motion; the physical fitness test I had to take every year in elementary school, though, had a completely different story to tell.
It was the V-Sit Reach test which was by far my most dreaded event, my greatest annual adversary, and which has haunted me all these years since (just to clarify, I had to search on Google for the name of this torture device, although I’d rather refer to it as Satan’s Metal Box). If you went to an elementary school in the USA (or at least in New York State) in the 90’s, you will know exactly what I am talking about, although you may have a much fonder memory of it than I do. There was a strange looking metal almost-box where you put your feet flush up against the side of it, and had to forward fold and push a little lever as far to the other side of said almost-box as you could. This would always come near the end of a round of other tests, which I always failed, and would be my nail in the coffin. Try as I might to force-push it so hard it would keep moving once I sat back up, it never went very far, and I never received the awards that so many of my classmates did year in year out. It always left me feeling dejected, and that was just from a silly little piece of metal! Even though I knew deep down that this wasn’t important, I let what other people think was important cloud my better judgement. Although this particular scenario occurred before I could even count my age on two hands, it stuck with me for years.
Today while coming into Paschimottanasana, or Seated Forward Fold, my hands just weren’t going to go any further than my shins, and it made me think of the days when I would let that define my identity, and just how far I’ve come since then. It would be a lie to say it doesn’t still bother me from time to time, especially on the days where I’m particularly tight in the legs, but now it’s more of a passing cloud than a full on blizzard. I am now very aware, very mindful, of the reality I create in any given situation, and I can always choose to create happiness out of something.
We all have this choice, this chance to create our reality and our own happiness. When we do, we are able to create a life we want to live. We also have the power to create new realities and new happiness out of formerly traumatic or upsetting realities. This shift in thinking is well within the reach of us all, you just have to actually want to see the possibility of that shift before you’ll ever be in a position to make it happen. It took me years to get to that point, but if I can get there, anyone can.
All this reminiscing – all this reflection – all from doing a yoga video.
Damn, Day 2. Look what you created.