For 2017 my word would have been something along the lines of ‘up’ or ‘growth’ or ‘increase’. To clarify, despite the frequent positive interpretation of those terms, just like with anything, too much of something isn’t always good. Like, in my case, if it’s referring to the scale, my pant size or stress level they've all grown to levels beyond my satisfaction. In the same breath, I can testify to some of the more positive aspects of how these words have applied to me over the past year. My stress level is greater, because I'm earning more income working more hours. Our vet bill has increased, because we've added a four legged member to our family. Our home has grown by one with my daughter moving back in, thus my heart has expanded tenfold and my happiness has increased.
Just as the pendulum swings, I’ve considered the word ‘down’ for 2018, but that has all kinds of negative connotation. I’ve also tested ‘balance’. As much as I let the words dance in my head, none of them stuck and I didn’t give it any more thought. I decided maybe 2018 doesn’t need a word.
Today as I drifted off into a nap, the word ‘forgive’ appeared seemingly out of nowhere. It floated around in my thoughts until I fell deep asleep. My body has been tired. I’ve been fighting the cold/flu going around. I could have slept for hours, but awoke after 45 minutes as if shaken awake. I looked over at the clock and it said 2:19. Earlier in the day I’d played with the idea of attending a yoga class that started at 3:00. Half asleep I rolled out of bed, still not sure if this is what I wanted to do. Got into my car and drove 25 minutes to the studio.
The class was just what I needed, and it didn’t take me long to feel grateful I made it to practice. As the class was nearing its end and I was laying on my mat, the song ‘Forgive’ by Trevor Hall played over the speakers. I had forgotten about the word appearing in my semi- consciousness just hours before, until it once again made its presence. Forgive.
I don't believe I have any one transgression or person that needs to be forgiven. But when I think about who I am, where I’ve come from and what I want, forgiveness speaks loudly. The significance of this studio and this class was important, and the intersection of that word at this point in time was incredible.
I will be teaching in this studio this coming Tuesday. I taught yoga for a couple years at a place I worked, but this will be the first time I am teaching at studio. A few weeks ago, in a moment of spontaneity and inspiration, I asked a dear friend if she could put me on the schedule to teach. She graciously agreed and for weeks I have questioned if I have made the right decision. The anxiety wakes me up in the morning. The ache in my belly sits like a heavy weight as a reminder. I am scared. Fear leads to self-doubt. Am I good enough? Am I worthy?
Early today I told myself I need to be forgiven for being imperfect I must allow myself to make mistakes and it doesn't make me any less deserving. I must forgive myself for not meeting other’s expectations of me.
Having said all that, my word could also be permission. I need to give myself permission to be me. I am not perfect. I do not have the quintessential yoga figure that inspires. I am flawed. I am learning. I am me.
I like the word forgive because it also implies letting go. I need to let go of the transgressions I have held against myself. I need to let go of the idea I need to be perfect at something before I should be allowed to explore my potential. I need to let go of the idea I need to have a body type or years of experience to lead and inspire.
Forgiveness. Letting go. Permission. These words all vibrate within me.
I will move forward with these words paving my path and softening my falls when they happen. I will lead with the knowledge that perfection is not inspiring. It is vulnerability and love that connects us to one another.
So today, I will be vulnerable and say. I am not perfect. I will make mistakes. I might disappoint. But in the end, I will forgive.