I hugged a stranger today.
It was at a community yoga class. It was incredibly full in the room – mats kissing, awkward glances around to prevent the possible tap of my neighbor while coming into mountain pose. The instructor had an intense way of drawing out my emotions. Whether it was a hearty laugh, gratitude, or being very near to tears. As a group, we were encouraged to envision our best selves, and to focus on others – their strengths and even weaknesses that we could help build. If we smile at strangers, assist someone in need, become more selfless – the world would most definitely become a better place. She said the word “vulnerability” in different contexts several times through class and this isn’t a new term to me, but it gave me a certain feeling inside every single time she mentioned it.
I have great intentions on being or becoming vulnerable – but dammit, it scares me. The feeling inside me when she said the word each time stems from my fear. I hide. I have been hiding. I know I am working on becoming my best self by quitting drinking, seeking counseling and digging in deep to my roots and sifting the dirt to find my gems. I know I have more in me. I have a desire to say things, do things, and enjoy my own life without worry. It drives me to deep emotional feelings when I think of being vulnerable….I veer from the discomfort of being rejected, judged and disliked. I am understanding better, though, that many choices I make can be encouraging to another person. When I dive into a sometimes uncomfortable realm – whether it be immersing myself into a craved activity, practicing and becoming better at the crafts I love, or simply conversing with my friends and family, I can and will grow.
My goal is to become softer with my flaws, embracing them, all while being a good person. Kind, lighthearted, and easy going. I have become so critical, and mostly of myself – which in turn has unfolded into more aspects of my life. I feel myself criticizing little things, and I think it has become a subconscious defense mechanism. There is no need to force regret or anger for this. I am acknowledging that it is within me to be less afraid and to welcome vulnerable moments.
If everyone likes you, you’re not doing it right. – Bette Davis
I can’t say that I have ever been pushed to the edge of comfort during yoga. It was a first today, and I am so happy I was a part of it. We were instructed to place our arms around our neighbors and come into tree pose, which evolved into a standing split – all while embracing the shoulders of those by our sides. We held each other up and let our hearts shine in unison. Once the pose ended – we were then instructed to hug our neighbor. I looked left, and it was a stranger – someone who looked shy, but I didn’t know for certain, and it didn’t matter after all – we were just humans, in one room, sharing this experience. We hugged – it was momentarily strange, yet strangely pleasant.
I hope to gain more of these moments. Vulnerable, sweet, and life evolving moments. Shall they be fleeting like a hug, or lasting like a conversation. My heart is open, my mind is open.
As I feel is completely necessary – Namaste ❤