I’ve been wearing big girl undies my whole achy adult life. I’ve gone big, I’ve reached for the stars, I’ve pushed myself hard. I’ve walked away from things not meant for me; I’ve picked up other, big and unwieldy things. I’ve spent more than my fair share grappling with “bigness.” I’m learning.
And now, it’s baby steps. I’m a baby. Again. Reconfiguring my life around smallness, just enoughness, and the mortality of exactly what I can chew without choking. I have no idea what I am looking at, but I can tell you it is resonant, comfortable, and easier. But it is scary, and sometimes I am certain, “I can’t.”
I am learning how to be – just be, in this world, with others, and in my body. And in my work! I am learning I’ve been conditioned, by my sweetly chaotic world, to tell people they are sick, but in the nicest of ways, and that the wares I have to peddle are the answer. Often, the tools I have are strong, and useful, and right. Other times, they don’t make even the smallest difference. They are, sometimes, in fact, a problem.
I’ve been taught by the fear-laced place and time I inhabit, that the core of my body is my abdomen, the place where I’ll never feel strong again, because I have had two robust and enormous and gorgeous babies, and that part of my body will never be flat again. It will just never quite be *right* again – says everywhere I look. So I better get busy making my “core” strong, and flat, because I’m almost 40.
But you know, my core is actually what is wrapped around my spine, deep deep inside the many soft and delicious parts of me. It is the whole of me from my pelvis to my throat – that is working together to protect that bendy, long place in my body that holds me up, and will keep holding me up until my forever is up.
My core is that strong and viable everything that drives me forward, always forward, and sometimes rests. And there are muscles, a whole family of muscles that dance together, and play together, and pull together, to keep that part of me protected. And most egregiously, I’ve found I can have a strong core and a soft abdomen!
We get stuck. Too much. Disbelief – discord. That’s not true, it’s not right. It is true. Back. Forth. In yoga we learn – observe without judgment. Observe the breath. Observe the mind without judgment. Our observer says, “yeah, baby, I’m doing it right; I let that critical thought pass right by.” No. Attention to what we are doing right, and celebrating that, is still judgment. It is a treacherous coin to toss in our sticky human brains.
We all elevate goodness. We are a good person, a good girl or boy, a good dog, a good worker. When we are very small, we learn, we had better be good. But sometimes, we just are, and sometimes, we are lousy. But since we are shined upon for our goodness, then we do not know how to be bad. If we are not good, then we are lost.
So don’t pay attention to how good you are. You will find yourself adrift. Instead, pay attention to where you are, and think only, “is this where I want to be?” It is up to you, to be where you want to be.
And if you are not where you want to be, and you are being bad, notice it, and turn toward that place you think you’ve lost. It is still there. Your inherent goodness has not lost you. Step bravely toward that place, and don’t stop, no matter the mess in your path, no matter the sorrow, no matter the fear. With your entire core, you can always carry yourself back.