February 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

I was getting out of my car in the parking garage. Nothing new, grabbed my bag, stepped out of the car. Hair still wet from the shower. There was a chilly breeze, Spring in the air. The construction across the street was in full force and loud. Not wearing anything special, in fact perhaps I should have paid a bit more attention as I have a meeting this afternoon. And I’m going into WORK. On a MONDAY.

As I walked across the dirty deck toward the elevator, to the building where I’ll sit inside all day, not seeing the sun or feeling the warming temperature, I was surprisingly content. Not in spite of the circumstances… My mind hadn’t yet begun it’s race through the days to-do list, or wishing that I could stay outside. A rarity, I was actually present in this moment. I named the feeling – I am CONTENT (taking a deep breath of the chilly air) – and it grew – until I felt glowing happy. And even… to place a name on this unfamiliar feeling, what was it? Beautiful. I felt beautiful.

If I could even have identified this feeling for what it was in the past, I would have shrunken from it. I might have even felt a bit ashamed. Who am I to feel BEAUTIFUL? Here I am, without another soul in view, feeling a glow that is coming not from present company, not from external circumstances, not from my face or my dress or my body, but from my own dear self. And you know what else? I enjoyed it. Hell, I reveled in it, even as I felt a bit shocked at my audacity. I wish I could say that this is a permanent perspective shift and that I won’t feel differently as soon as my eyes meet a mirror… But right now I don’t really care. I’m carrying this beautiful-feeling with me for as long as I can.

Wishing you a glowingly BEAUTIFUL day.

§ 2 Responses to Beautiful

  • Rachel says:

    I think the only time I’ve felt truly content (at least in the past decade) is when there has been something external initiating that feeling…like the warm sun on my face, the complete silence felt standing in the woods during a snow, sitting with the girls…

    So to take that a step further to beautiful? Yeah, not so much. I’m not sure it’s that I don’t feel like I deserve it but I’m female which translates to being way flaw oriented (only toward myself mind you) to ever approach that feeling. What’s more interesting is that until I read your post, I couldn’t even begin to imagine that being a goal in life…to think of myself as beautiful.

    Speaking of flaw oriented…I feel like I took 10 steps back at class this week. Because of fieldwork, I hadn’t been to class nor done any practice on my own outside of some minor stretching for 3 weeks and it showed. I couldn’t get past how much my body had reverted in that time and I felt almost disgusted with myself and my body (my dissertation is defeating me at the moment too which isn’t helping my state of mind). My teacher recognized it and tried to talk to me but I was having none of it. It’s such a long, hard journey and while I so enjoy reading about where you are at in this journey and it gives me hope that someday I’ll make it there as well, I can’t help but be a little envious.

    • Mel says:

      It is so good to have you here, my friend. Thank you.

      I can’t recall that I have ever had this feeling from within; like you it had always come from an external source. And I can definitely say that it was never a goal – even the self-acceptance work is something that came bubbling up along the way (much to my chagrin!). Feeling beautiful wasn’t remotely on my radar – and the feeling being separate from my rather frumpy state was really something (it did fade all too quickly)! A little shocking actually, but too good to just let it go.

      I tend to envy some of my fellow students and my teachers who seem to be having an easy, joyful time of the practice (and I am working on that. I’m at where I’m at)! I am sure that they have their struggles too (or maybe I am just reassuring myself!) It is like that for me sometimes (joyful), like this beautiful moment – but it has been a tough road. So, you just reassured ME – thank you for acknowledging that this can be really hard. Sometimes I think that my struggles are directly proportional to how much I fight it (and fight myself about everything. My cynic has to put it’s two cents in every step of the way). You know (or I hope that you do) that I am not so far from where you are right now. I have more to say here, but I’ll put it in an email 😉

      I have been in that 10 steps back place so many times, it stinks. I had this every single time I stopped practicing (and I never had a deterrent like being in the field to overcome!) – the good news is (truly, I’m sure it’s going to sound like elk-poo) is that is comes back more readily each time, you will progress much more quickly than you did when you started. Try to go easy on yourself – I know from experience that this frustration can be what keeps you from going back. If this is working for you in some way (in any way, really) it is worth any amount of time or energy you can give it.

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