On Sunday mornings, I teach yoga classes at a local health club. After leading my class through a series of poses and stretches, reminding them to breathe and focus, I take them through a relaxation at the very end of the hour. I ask them to visualize a little ball of light that originates in their heart center and to allow that light to float above them. They notice everything they can about their little marble of energy – what color it is, whether it radiates outward or glows from within, whether it spins or pulses or hums – then I ask them to fill themselves with that light from their foreheads down. I talk them through their bodies, letting the light melt and chase tension all the way out their toes, then I let them lie still and quiet for a few minutes because, really, there’s not enough “still and quiet” in anyone’s life.
Just before I “wake” them, I try to give them something to focus on; something to contemplate about themselves or the world around us. I want them to recognize that they matter; that their energy is vital to the balance of the Universe. I very often leave myself is tears after these little speeches, and I’ve had participants thank me for reminding them of just how important a single light in the darkness can be.
I bet you didn’t know I was such a flake, did you?
Anyway, my club was open for classes on New Year’s Eve morning which, this year, happened to be a Sunday. Yesterday’s end-of-class talk went something like this:
This is the time of year when we seem to focus on our deficiencies. We make resolutions: we promise ourselves that we’ll change this year; we’ll lose weight, we’ll get organized, we’ll be better people. What I’d like you to do now, though, is to focus on what you’re doing right. What do you radiate from your being? What do others come to you seeking? What are your strengths? Don’t forget to honor those gifts you carry with you. Don’t dismiss the power of a kind gesture, of a gentle word, of a smile. Certainly continue to strive to be who you were meant to be on your journey, but don’t forget who you already are.
Here’s who I already am:
I am a good wife, an excellent mother, and a true and faithful friend.
I am kind and thoughtful, and will happily go out of my way to aid or comfort another – any other, strangers included.
I am quick to see the humor in most situations, and strive to point it out to others so that things can seem a little lighter and easier for everyone.
I try to be mindful of others, and to learn as much as I can from what they have to teach me.
Who are you?