Closer to me.

The late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

I had read this quote many times before, but today, for some reason, this resonated with me. You see, I love yoga. I love that it calms my mind, because it seems that my mind never turns off, never stops. But over the last couple months, my love of yoga has drifted away from me.

This morning, as I pulled my mat from the car, and dragged my tired butt into the studio, I was looking for change. I was looking to get back to ME. Closer to me. I was expecting one of my favorite yoga instructors to be teaching, hoping for another teacher, and was a bit relieved to find neither. This yoga instructor changed things up too… you see where I’m going with this? Change.

“Face the blue wall today. Not the mirrors.” What? I thought, the blue wall? The back of the room? But we always start facing the mirrors. Okay, I told myself, just go with it. This is change. “Start in savasana, an active one. Keep your eyes open.”

I rolled down onto my back, feet facing the blue wall, relaxing my arms and legs into corpse pose. I gazed at the ceiling. This is a hot yoga studio, so there’s a heated room, and people sweat; we make it humid… so there is moisture in the air. Normally, facing the mirrors, the moisture stains on the one tile were strange and I couldn’t make anything out and they looked like blobs. This morning, I saw a face. A woman, head tilted a bit toward the sky. She looked happy. But this, I reminded myself, is a tile on the ceiling, a water stain. And that is when Wayne’s saying popped into my head: Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. I realized, staring at that tile, that I had been stuck for the last two months, looking at things only from one perspective: what I wanted, not what I needed.

A couple months ago, I went to a movie and dinner with a friend. I ended up having a bit much to drink and staying at his place. I wasn’t too drunk to remember things, but I was drunk enough to know I wouldn’t have been able to drive home safely. Throughout the night we snuggled. I didn’t think much of it, being half asleep and still slightly intoxicated. The next morning, we slept in, waking every so often, snuggling together. To me, it felt right. I had never looked at him as anything other than a friend, but that morning, waking next to him, it felt different, yet right. Eventually we rose, went to breakfast, and he dropped me back at my car.

We started texting more, hanging out more. I started giving up my yoga practices through the week, my writing time, my ME time, to spend time with him, because I was starting to see him as more than a friend. The more time I spent with him, the more I discovered we had in common. The thing was, I had always promised myself I would not be ‘that woman.’ The one who was always available, dropped other things to spend time with a man, yet I found myself doing that more and more. I had broken one of my most cherished promises: I had forgotten to take care of me.

I realized that I had drifted further away from who I am, away from the woman with whom he started spending his time. I had felt distant from myself. I realized that without my thrice-weekly yoga practices, and running, I was losing myself. Some people practice yoga as a form of exercise. I practice yoga because I need to; it balances me, makes me focus, it makes me who I am, it helps me write better. It makes me ME. For me, it is a spiritual practice that calms my over-active mind. And being away from the spiritual side of me for weeks was not good for my body, my soul, or my mind. Being a writer, I tend to read into things more than I should, because in novels, everything needs to be in the story for a reason, and if there is no reason for it being there, you cut it. Without my yoga practice to balance my mind, body and soul, I began to over-analyze everything… texts, conversations, glances. Not just with him, but with everyone. I felt like I was going a little bit stir-crazy… just a little.

So I practiced yoga last night before going out to see a band. It made me less self-conscious, more like me, and I danced to the band all night. I made myself go to yoga this morning, even though I was tired from last night. And I feel twenty times happier, less stressed and healthier. I’m feeling more like myself now than I have been in the last month. And when we ended class today, back in savasana, I thanked the Universe and my yoga instructor, for changing things up and reminding me that I needed to get closer to ME.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

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