I feel like I have become pretty self-aware over the years. After taking up yoga almost 9 years ago I have really come to know myself. I can feel things within my body like I never could before and I can tell how outside factors affect me as well. This sense of awareness is what led me to create this website and what drives me in my teaching. I want to do what I can to help others become self-aware, to know what their bodies are doing and feeling, without just trudging through life disconnected, or worse, feeling terrible and not knowing why.
After all of these years of getting to know myself on the inside, it seems that its time to start getting to know the me that everyone else sees. I think we tend to live our lives so wrapped up in our heads and in our own thoughts that we cannot see past them. Throughout my entire life people have told me I have nice eyes, beautiful eyes, stunning, pretty, gorgeous eyes; if it’s a positive adjective, I have likely heard it about my eyes. They want to know if these are my “real eyes” or if I am wearing contacts. Despite the fact that sometimes I’d like to give a sarcastic reply, like “No, these are not my real eyes, they are both glass”, I always take a compliment with gratitude and a smile because lets face, it when a stranger gives you a compliment it can really lift your spirits. If you were having a bad day, perhaps the day just got a little brighter.
But when I would look in the mirror to try to see what these strangers on the street could see in my eyes all I saw were a pair of eyeballs looking back at me; I really didn’t get it. Then one day, a few weeks ago, I went into the bathroom to wash my hands and I happened to glance up at myself in the mirror and my self said “Holy crap, your eyes are gorgeous!” There they were – long dark eye lashes, greenish yellow irises ringed in blue-black, awesome. How had I gone 33 years without noticing? I guess it’s true what they say about not being able to tell people things and how they need to see it themselves.
Then just this morning, I saw myself in a photo and I noticed that with my face completely relaxed the left side of my top lip is bigger or higher then the right, which makes me look perpetually pissed off or disgusted at something. This would explain why if I am not smiling people ask me “What’s wrong?”, “Are you okay?” People often think that I am mad or cranky when I am perfectly fine, which sometimes makes me mad and cranky, which makes them think that they were right all along. But now I can tell the world, no, I’m fine, my lips are just asymmetrical. I know it may sound ridiculous to so easily embrace my crooked face, but I am happy to have noticed this. It’s just another part of how people see me and helps me be aware of how I may look to other people!
With all of these realizations slapping me in the face (almost literally), I started to wonder what sparked this change, allowing me to see myself the way others see me and not just the way I think I look. What I concluded is that it has to be meditation. Sitting to meditate on a regular basis is allowing me to really see myself. Every so often I have a realization, it just comes to me and I think, “Oh wow, look at that. How have I never seen that before?” or “How did I not know that before?” The answer to that is likely that I was just not ready to see or know. I am ready now, excited even, to see what I will learn or discover about myself next!