“No more hiding!” my yoga teacher/mentor Lisa admonished me.
Hiding? Me? At first it didn’t seem to fit. I teach up to ten yoga classes a week, standing in front of and speaking to LOTS of people. How could it be that I was hiding?
Well, let me tell you. I had become very skilled at hiding from myself.
We all have parts of ourselves, some big, some small, that we have hidden away. For some of us, it might be the artist or scientist or athlete that we’ve always known we were, but told ourselves it didn’t “fit” into our life. “Why bother?” we ask ourselves. We’re too old, too busy, too responsible now for that sort of thing. But it’s that very thing that visits us in the quiet of the night, when our thoughts become still and we hear a voice much deeper in our being. “I’ve always wanted to…I dream of…If I won the lottery, I would…” Fill in the blank for yourself.
I was writer long before I was a yoga teacher. Ever since I can remember I’ve felt that I was a writer in my bones. And yet, I hadn’t written for years. I was a writer who had stopped writing. The launch of my website and blog was the beginning of turning that around. As I began to write again, I felt immediate gratification. Although not always as smoothly as I wanted, the words flowed, thoughts formed and ideas were processed through the act of writing. I experienced that blissful sense of having purged something awkward inside after every blog post. Every time I wrote, it was as though I was cleaning the grime from my headlights…allowing the very best, most authentic parts of me to shine through. I remembered why I wrote–I wrote for myself. And even though others would share with me how they were touched and affected by my writing, I knew that I was doing it for myself.
As we change as individuals, so do our relationships with others. As we become more confident in our voice and speaking our truth, some people may push back. Because of my writing, I had friendships end. And although intellectually I knew that these people showed me more of who they really were through their reactivity than I had ever known of them in the years we were friends, emotionally it was tough. Should I have kept my thoughts to myself? Should I have silenced my voice? Those thoughts ran through my mind but I quickly knew the answer–absolutely not! I realized that I had kept myself somewhat “hidden” from these people because I had cared more about pleasing them than being true to myself. That’s a lousy way to live and it tends to create lousy relationships. But much like the groundhog who pops his head above ground in February only to be frightened back underground by his shadow, I retreated. Went back into hiding. My most favorite quote is from Marianne Williamson who states “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” I had begun to reclaim my light and it scared the crap outta me.
I often retreat to give myself time to process big periods of growth. 2010 was full of growth for me. I chose to step out of my comfort zone time and time again throughout the year, culminating with my weekend with Baron Baptiste in September. I expected that I would go within for a bit, do some writing, get some clarity, disconnect a little. But my time of reflection turned into reclusion. The disconnect grew longer and sustained. It was going to be a very long winter, the groundhog thought. Dear friends and family would check in with me and keep me honest, thankfully. I knew what was happening, but couldn’t quite muster the momentum to propel myself back above ground. Well, until now.
A friend and fellow fitness instructor recently blogged about one of her clients who was “a runner who had stopped running.” Injury, age and life had interfered with him doing what fed him. With a little help from his friends and some skillful coaching, he was (literally) making strides to reclaim himself. His runner self. I saw myself in that blog post and began to crawl up and out of my hole, out of hiding. I didn’t want to be “a writer who had stopped writing.” I was a writer. Period. And now my actions needed to follow my intention.
So, no more hiding. What about you? What parts of you have you been hiding? The musician? The kayaker? The teacher? Reclaim those hidden parts of you now, not when all the stars align and make it very convenient. But now. Marianne Williamson’s quote states at the end, “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
How cool is that?