The very first time I set foot on a yoga mat, I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be, and that it was going to be a game changer. I was not wrong.
I also remember exactly where I was when I realized that yoga had become integrated into my everyday life. It was 2016, and I was at Target, walking past the returns counter. Just…walking. Suddenly I became distinctly aware of how I was carrying myself. Each swing of my arms felt like a brand spankin’ new sensation. I could feel my spine! I could feel my body moving through space, I could feel it taking up space. It was a whole new way of experiencing the relationship between myself and the world around me.
I had a similar experience to this today, regarding meditation. Suddenly I realized that my meditation practice has gained enough momentum, that it’s integrated itself into my daily experience. It’s affected my relationship to how I move through space, and how I carry myself in the world, much as yoga has.
I was sitting at Nordaggio’s this morning, waiting for the barista to prepare a flat white for me (did you know that for every pound of coffee beans you purchase from them, you get a free drink? Yay!). As I was waiting, I watched the two girls behind the counter. They were young, and earnest, and sufficiently cute. One of them had a very unusual haircut. So much so, that it made me think back to when I was young, and some of the weird haircuts that I had back in the day. I thought about how there’s that time in your life when you’re trying different haircuts,* to see how they fit you, but also just because you can. If you’re 19 years old and working in a coffee shop, you can have whatever haircut you want. And that’s what that time in your life is for. It brought back a lot of memories from that time in my life; good ones, bad ones, snippets of feelings and flashes of people. That heavy, syrupy feeling of nostalgia. Looking back on your youth as only you can do once you’ve left it far behind.
And suddenly I was aware of the fact that I was observing this young woman and noticing her features and watching the subtleties of her behavior, and associating all of it with emotions and memories of my own. I’ve done it before, but this time I was observing myself doing it. And this was a new experience, and there was a lot more depth to the moment.
I feel like I’m a reasonably good writer,** but I realized today that meditation is making me an even better writer, and it holds the potential to just keep increasing the vocabulary with which I can express myself.
There’s been a level of subtlety or nuance, that’s been missing from my writing for a while. I think I’m a good storyteller, but it’s been difficult to focus on detail. To be able to take my time and notice the subtleties of behavior and thought and emotion, has the potential to expand my abilities as a writer. I am able to express myself in a deeper way.
I’m so excited about this, for a lot of reasons. Most of all because my main goal is to make my stories and words accessible and relatable to others. Now I have more tools with which to do that.
But also, how fun, to move through the world with a new sense of awareness. I wonder how much more I’ll be able to see and hear and feel in everything that I do.
Today was the day. I’m glad that I was able to mark the occasion with this email, and I’m glad that I was able to share it with you.
*haircut as metaphor for life stuff.