There are so many trees with exposed roots near the creek. Years and years of erosion from the water running through has taken their soil down toward the Potomac. They line the shore, standing strong and firm even with their roots exposed for the world to see...but even in their strength and firmness, there is a vulnerability, there is an element of susceptibility in their exposed roots.
I was thinking about those exposed roots the other day while I was walking. It brought to mind a phrase I heard sometime ago...a while ago I heard the phrase “raw spots” when referring to those areas in our lives where we are just more sensitive than other areas. We all have them, right? Those spots, those issues that might make us bristle and jump to defensiveness even when the other party doesn’t mean us harm. Those spots that might cause us pain in ways that similar issues might not cause us that same pain.
Perhaps we can see those exposed and raw spots and spaces and be gentle and kind to ourselves in them. Perhaps we can notice them without judgement. Because perhaps as we notice them and see them in a non-judgemental kind of way, perhaps they will become a little less raw, a little less exposed.
Dear friends, if you have some spaces in your life that are feeling a little exposed right now, I hope you can be gentle with yourself in those areas. I hope you can see your “raw spots” and treat them with love, kindness and understanding.
Have an amazing week dear friends.
I was walking down the trail a few weeks ago, a trail I have walked on plenty of times before, but I hadn’t walked down this particular path since spring had sprung. As I walked down the trail, noticing, while it was the same trail I’ve walked many times previously, how very different it looked this particular day, I was reminded of a conversation I had several months ago.
Several months ago, one of my dear friends and teachers asked me “If you walk the same trail every Wednesday, is it the same experience?” She went on to say “repetition is not a waste, in fact, it is an indicator of growth….repetition invites self-exploration, confidence building and freedom to express and accept how one relates to and contributes to their own practice.”
“Freedom to express and accept how one relates to and contributes to their own practice.” What a beautiful statement, and one that I think extends far beyond a yoga practice and into our every-day lives. How often we demonize and roll our eyes at repetition, perhaps this year more than so many other years. The sameness has taken a toll on so many. But maybe, just maybe we can invite self-exploration, and we can start to see the growth in the repetition. Perhaps we can look at ourselves and those around us a little more deeply and see the change in the sameness, see the growth and newness in the repeating. Perhaps we can look at ourselves a little deeper in the repetition and notice our freedom to express in ways we would not have noticed previously.
Dear friends, may we see the repetition in our lives this week, may we notice it, and may we invite a little more self-exploration into that repetition this week. May we invite a little more freedom to express and accept how we relate to and contribute to our own practices and our own lives this week. May we find the beauty in the repetition this week.
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends.
Growth in a Hard Place
I was walking one day, and I noticed this tree growing straight out of a rock. I’m sure it’s roots were in the soil around the rock, but it sure was growing in what looked like a very hard place....like it picked the hardest place possible to set down roots and there it grew.
Yes, it looked like a terrible environment, but the tree was growing, it was living, I dare say it was thriving...in that really hard environment.
Now, if I was giving that seedling advice when it was just starting out, I would have told it to find a different home, to plant itself in a more welcome environment. But as it was, that tree was living and growing, even in an environment that was less than idyllic.
So, please let me caveat, I am not advocating for anyone to stay in a harmful or toxic environment. However, we all know there are times in life when our environment, while perhaps not harmful or toxic, is less than idyllic. I was thinking as I walked, is there a way we can see hardships and less than ideal situations in our own lives, the kind that aren’t toxic or harmful, but might still cause us pain and discomfort...can we see and recognize those and yet still grow and thrive? Can we recognize our ability to live fully even in less than ideal situations, even when life might feel a little painful?
May we, this week, see a little more growth, a little more thriving in ourselves even when our situations are less than idyllic. May we find opportunities for full living even in a hard place.
Have a wonderful day dear friends, I am so deeply grateful for you.
I have this amazing friend who is just the most beautiful human. One of the things that has so deeply impressed me about her is her ability to be vulnerable, open and really honest about the hardships and trials in her life. She is beautifully vulnerable, it is wonderful to witness.
One of the reasons I decided to start this blog was because I feared my students seeing me as someone with no problems, with no issues. It’s easy to see the struggles in our own lives and to assume those around us don’t have those same issues, those same struggles...it’s easy to build a false narrative about our lives compared to those around us. Add being a yoga teacher to that and then mix that with the personality I was quite literally born with, which is one of near perpetual genuine happiness (that smile you know is really and seriously real, I literally can’t help it, even when I’m having terribly hard struggles), and I think my personality can and does provide dangerous ground for folks assuming I never have hardships. I don’t want anyone to ever assume I have no struggles because it’s simply not true.
But, you know what, as much as I am impressed by and so deeply love the vulnerability of my dear beautiful friend, that’s also not me. I’m not going to be an open book about the nitty gritty of my life struggles to just anyone. I’ve been working a lot this year on really looking at who I need and want to talk to without any extra obligation...it’s been hard but good work. It’s been an interesting journey to find balance in this space...to really look at the spaces and spots where I feel comfortable and who I feel comfortable with, where it nourishes me to share and open up. Likewise, I’ve been learning to protect myself in the places where if I were to share, that sharing wouldn’t be beneficial to me. There have been times in my life where sharing was an obligation, and I simply don’t want to live like that.
Back to my amazing friend, both of our different personalities are beautiful, good, unique and correct. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way of living, of showing up, of being with others. There isn’t a more or less correct personality, openness, ability to show up and share and be with others so long as we’re showing up with respect for those around us and their own worthiness...let me repeat...so long as we’re showing up with respect for those around us and their own worthiness.
May we see our personality, our unique needs as beautiful, worthy and important this week. May we recognize that who we are is correct just as we are. May we give ourselves permission this week to be exactly who we are, our very own beautiful selves, without apology. And may we show up in our lives with respect for those around us.
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends.
Stuck...in the middle of that creek...again.
Remember that situation from last week, where I felt like I was making all the right choices and doing all the right things and yet I still felt stuck?
I have another situation in my life right now where I feel...no, not feel…where I am stuck. This particular situation is not about making all the right choices and recognizing that I’m still stuck and finding acceptance in that space. I’m stuck because, while I know the choices I need to make in order to get unstuck, I’m not quite willing to do them, I just don’t want to. I see the spot I’m stuck in, I know what I need to do to get out of it, but in all honesty, I just don’t want to do it.
I’ve been in this place of stuck for the past several months now, but these past several weeks I’ve tried to actively pay attention, to see where I’m at and to accept it, to notice how I’m feeling in this stuck moment. I’ve been noticing how I talk to myself about this particular issue, and I’ve been really trying to be gracious and gentle with myself, to speak lovingly to myself on this issue even though I recognize the control is in my hands.
The way we speak to ourselves matters dear friends. The way we speak to ourselves makes a difference in our lives. I dare say, the way we speak to ourselves makes a difference not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us. Yes, I’m stuck, and yes, I know how to get out of it….and yes, I am choosing not to right now because I just don’t want to put the effort required to get myself unstuck. And, with all of that, I am still worthy of love and respect and graciousness toward myself.
May we begin to speak to ourselves a little more graciously, maybe with a little more patience, with a little more kindness this week. May we find a little more love and acceptance in ourselves this week, even if we’re stuck in a spot we know how to get out of.
I hope you have an amazing week dear ones.
Hi, I'm Krista!
Krista Mason is a yoga and fitness instructor based in Washington DC. She owns an online studio and loves it!