Bring Your Whole Self to the Party.

Tell us your tales but don’t leave out the heartbreak because we suffer it too. Everyone wants to know that they are not alone. Everyone wants to know that something, someone or some energy is out there waiting to receive them exactly as they are. You have this ability with you now. I suggest that you turn that inward as much as you can in search of balance, depth and meaning. There is a lot under the surface that wants to inform the more obvious and outward explosions. Bring your whole self to the party. – Chani Nicholas

Every time a new January rolls around there’s a lot of talk about resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong, self-reflection and growth are immensely important, but it’s always necessary to look at what’s driving us to make these changes. The word resolution actually means “a solution to a problem,” and what a terrible way to look at ourselves—as a problem that needs fixing! The truth is, there wasn’t really anything wrong with us to begin with. We are everything that ever was and ever will be. How could there be anything lacking? True and sustainable growth can only come from embracing who and where we are now, not by looking at ourselves as issues that need to be solved.

So let’s start today.

How about we bring our whole self to the party?

How about we love the things that are easy to love and stretch ourselves to love the things that are not? How about we welcome in all the many, many pieces of ourselves as necessary parts of the whole?

Wishing ourselves to be anything different than we are is not only pointless, it is harmful and it is wasteful to the worst degree. Each of us was placed on this earth with the most delicate of care and endowed a very specific set of skills. No one like us has ever existed and if we squander our gifts this earth will never know the light we possess. It’s as the legendary modern dancer, Martha Graham says, “There is vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.” Given this, how dare we withhold our magic? It is a disservice not only to ourselves, but also to the world.

I taught a yoga class yesterday to an incredible group of around a hundred (I have a sneaky suspicion new year’s resolutions may have had a little something to do with the class size!) badass openhearted human beings and we dedicated our practice to showing love to our darkest corners, to being honest about where we’re at in this moment so that we can move forward with love. As we began the practice, I asked them to dig deep, to ask what parts of themselves they haven’t fully been able to love. And then, to invite this in, every little messy piece that can’t be placed into a neatly wrapped package, every mistake and heartache and idiosyncrasy. “Spend the next hour in their presence,” I told them. “Dedicate your practice to loving it all, to cultivating the kind of uncompromising self love that knocks you off your feet.”

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Photo by Eva Fuze.

In order to love what is, you’ve got to love what’s come before, it’s what got you here after all. You will never, ever be satisfied with the end result—no matter how glamorous it may look—if you can’t appreciate the process it took to get there. It’s so important that we realize that all of our successes are owed to each and every second that came before. Our accomplishments are indebted to our failures, our happiness to our pain, our transformation to our stumbles. You can’t love one without loving the other.

You must learn to love it all in order to move forward. There was never anywhere you were supposed to be but where you are right now.

Love yourself so that you can better love others. Focus on love and everything else will fall into place.

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