Yoga can be a tricky proposition. It’s not just the poses, challenge enough in themselves, but also the things the instructors say. Yesterday’s class time intention was to consider the real me, to summon the person I really am and learn what it takes to keep her here.
That should be the people you really are.
Yeah, what about us?
Hi Lily. Hi 9. You’re absolutely right. Who could leave out their inner 14-year-old and their inner 9-year-old in defining who they really are? I’ve understood this since July 1, 2019, the day Lily made herself known. 9 joined us on May 5, 2020.
But really we’ve been here all along.
Hanging around, waiting for you to notice. . .
Whoa, 9, don’t go passive aggressive on me! Here’s something for the three of us to think about, though. Who is the 60-year-old member of our trio?
Well, you are, obviously.
Thank you for tempering your age-appropriate cynicism, Lily. And since you’ve both been with me all along you must know a thing or two about the real me?
You’re definitely taller than we are.
And you’re, well, you know. . .older.
A lot. But you’re also. . .
You exude a kind of- -when you’re happiest it’s like you’re- –
Funny you should say that. A few weeks ago a friend sent me a picture of a sculpture in his community, said it was definitely me:
I think so, too. A query pointed me to the website of artist David Varnau. The sculpture, titled “Joie de Vivre,” was inspired by his 4-year-old granddaughter. The description from his website (http://www.davidvarnau.com/bronze/joie-de-vivre.php):
“Depicted in this sculpture is a young girl standing with her arms outstretched and her smiling face gazing up into the sunshine. A breeze blows her clothing and hair, creating a dynamic image and capturing a joyful moment in time. It reflects the moments of our lives when all is well, our senses are heightened and we feel the grace of being alive.”
Life when all is well, with senses heightened and feeling the grace of being alive. That is exactly how I feel when I feel like the real me!
Our job now is learning how to keep this person, this feeling, with us all the time. Sometimes other people bring it out in me, people like the friend who sent me the picture. But flesh and blood people can be hard to come by in these days of social distancing. One way to keep the feeling of joie de vivre when I’m by myself- –
And with us.
And with you, is to view the world with wonder. This idea comes from an interview with poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers magazine. Aimee’s new essay collection “World of Wonders” was released earlier this month. Her essays combine intense observation, whimsy and wisdom. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find inside:
The excerpt and the interview are excellent evidence that Aimee Nezhukumatathil is in touch with who she really is. The lesson is clear: to know who you really are requires not only introspection, but also looking out at the world around you. When I am being the real me, I am balanced on the inside and also looking out.
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I love the line in Alice In Wonderland when the caterpillar looks at Alice and asks: “Who are you?”. It echoes, of course, the same question, your question, in philosophy, spiritual traditions, psychology, neuro science, and cybernetics. One view is that we are many selves depending on circumstance. I love the way Lily and 9 flesh out your inner experience of conversational self. There is also that aspect of selecting, sculpting, and molding the self one chooses to be. Your inspiration and emulation of the happy grace, curiosity, and dancing joy of the sculpture is heart opening and spirit lifting. As the Knight Templar in The Last Crusade might have said: “You have chosen well”. Thank you, again, for sharing your (that would be, all y’all) journey and insights with such gentleness, grace, and humor.
Hey, Tom, it’s always a question, isn’t it?