On Finding Peace
I have always loved this quote, although I don’t know that I always believed it was possible. Possible to find peace within yourself before you have the things that you long for the most. It seems almost paradoxical. How can I be happy if I don’t have the things in my life that make me happy? Won’t the longing for those things make me sad and put me into a state of want? Maybe. But maybe, there is another way to look at it.
I was in hot yoga today. It was about 150 degrees in the room (okay, I might be exaggerating a little) and 44 people were packed together like sweaty sardines. I was trying to keep my balance in dancer pose, sweat profusely dripping into my eyes making them burn. My heart racing through my chest, barely keeping my breath steady. Head dizzy with heat and all of those lovely emotions that yoga brings up (insert sarcasm). Then I saw this woman behind me, to the left. She was beautiful. Not in the conventional way that we glorify beauty. She was overweight. Maybe even very overweight. She was also rocking the hell out of dancer pose, in her sports bra and pink yoga pants. And she owned it. Every bit of it. With beauty and grace. And it made me think…
We try to encompass perfection, on a daily basis. We want the perfect diet-the perfect balance of gluten-free, low sugar, no carbs after 5pm body. We want the perfect relationship-passionate and intimate and thriving. We want the perfect job, the perfect hair, friends, mental and physical health, and let’s not forget eyebrows. But maybe, none of this so-called perfection exists. It doesn’t exist because we don’t accept ourselves as we are, and our constant desire to reach outside of ourselves for beauty or material or weight loss only takes us away from what is real.
Maybe the realness is how we feel about ourselves. Deep down. When we are alone. How well we forgive ourselves when we feel that we have failed. How accepting we are of our perceived flaws. How bravely we are able to express our truth. This is the work that we must do to bring us in touch with our true selves. This is where grace begins. And this is what will bring us the peace we need in order for other parts of our lives, including our wants and desires, to fall into place.
So maybe for today, try to find that peace within. Be patient with yourself. Slow down. Forgive yourself. Take care of yourself. And rock the hell out of your dancer pose, no matter what size or shape you are. Because you are beautiful.