In this beautiful space with glass from the walls to the ceiling, I’ve had a change of perspective. Practicing on my lotus flower yoga mat, I was startled to see a reflection of myself in the glass ceiling. It felt weird at first to look down on my body. Eventually, it was a bit interesting.
Sometimes people tell me that I’m brave. I am often scared to death. I was worried about crossing the Mackinac Bridge. A co-worker said, “Is that the one where the wind blows cars off?” Yes, that would be the one. The locals tell me that is more folklore than reality. I was worried about getting stranded in the snow as I purchased my reflective lights, emergency candle, snow shovel and kitty litter. I was on the edge yesterday about driving on snow-covered roads and then really tense when I thought I lost the trail while snowshoeing. There are lots of scary things about being up here, and I’m certainly not unaware.
I’ve felt small this week. The U.P. is a huge, scary wilderness with very few people. Threats to my safety surround me. Just like on my yoga mat, I felt at times like I was watching myself from a distance. I questioned my sanity and my preparedness. I wondered why I am attracted to these sorts of things rather than to a girls shopping trip in a city or to sunbathing on a tropical beach.
I’m not a daredevil. I don’t seek out danger, but I love the freedom of being in nature. It is a spiritual experience for me to gaze on Tahquamenon Falls in solitude. And when I find myself at the end of a day where I conquered something I feared, I find myself thinking I was silly to ever be worried. And I wonder why everybody isn’t doing this.
I completed my 30-day yoga challenge in January, and I committed to practicing every day in February. Today, I did a practice for self-love. I have spent a lifetime not loving myself because I wasn’t a mother or didn’t have a successful marriage. Maybe I was never meant to be those things anyway. Perhaps I was trying to be “normal” when I wasn’t “normal” at all. What if I missed the opportunity to really embrace who I am because I was focused on mainstream ideals? In order to love myself, I need to let that go and embrace my life’s path.
When I turned 50, I promised myself that I would live my life more intentionally and make choices that better reflected my values. On that birthday I really looked at my life and wondered if I would like the choices I’d made when I turned 70 or 80 or 100. It is an act of self-love to follow my heart. I think I’m getting better at it. It’s messy sometimes, but I am liking the reflection I see in the mirror.