As I was sitting in my yoga room during my daily practice, I decided to turn and face a different direction for my meditation. You see, I normally face the closet doors which are covered with mirrors. When I open my eyes, I often find myself spending time criticizing my body. Today, I decided to turn the other way, facing the window and my essential oil diffuser.
While facing that direction and meditating, I took a deep breath in and exhaled it out. I let my mind wander as thoughts came and went. I then decided to open my eyes and sit still. I looked at my surroundings. I noticed the ballet slippers hanging on the shelf that represented my time as a 15-year-old in ballet class. Above the slippers, there is a painting from a dear friend who just happened to have an extra canvas and asked me what I wanted on it. Together we selected a lotus flower, a yogi, and some calming colors. Next to that is a painting from a friend who took up painting as a hobby as she was going through a difficult time in her life. My eyes skimmed down to the shelf that held the rocks we painted during book club. I had decided to paint Peace, Love, and Hope on mine. They were supposed to be part of a project where you hide the rocks for someone else to find, but I ended up wanting to keep them. So there they sit, surrounding my salt rock.
I scanned my eyes to look out the window and saw the beauty of the most gorgeous dogwood tree in bloom. I scanned my eyes to the right and noticed a plant that was given to me from a dear friend when I became a principal 11 years ago. My eyes then rested upon a picture that was given to me by one of my employees which says, “Do What Makes You Happy.” I was going through a really difficult time in my career, and it's funny how some people just know what you need to see. My eyes scanned up a little higher, and I saw the basket that I brought back from Jamaica on our honeymoon 30 years ago. Inside it are two rolled up chalk drawings from my daughters when they were in elementary school. I scanned a little farther to the right. Higher up on the bookshelf are the collection of books from my dear book club and just next to that is the stained glass plant holder that my mom made in 1975 when we lived in California.
As I took the time to take in my surroundings, my eyes filled with tears and they began to stream down my face. Instead of looking at (and criticizing) my body like I normally do, today I decided to turn my gaze to the rest of the things that depict who I am. The tears today were filled with joyful memories and a life of people who love me and whom I love back so deeply. When I looked around, I was surrounded by all the things that mean so much to me. My heart and soul were filled with love. Tears were streaming down my face. I let the feelings flow. The lump in my throat began to swell as I was overwhelmed with emotions. I let it go and allowed myself to feel the blessings around me. Today I left my yoga space filled with love and gratitude for the amazing experiences I've had in my life, as well as all the wonderful people I have known.
What I have learned: Sometimes you need to turn your gaze in another direction to find the truth about you.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.