Since I was a kid, I had this natural habit of aggressively pulling my hair back into a horrifically messy bun when things were about to “go down for real.” This hairstyle accompanied me through soccer games, track meets, the ACT, college tests, dance parties and the beginnings of my yoga practices. By savasana, just like my emotions, my wild hair escapes, and I let my body breathe.
I recently moved to a new city, jobless, plan-less and bright eyed! The first few weeks were bliss! I went backpacking in one of the most beautiful ranges in the state, got settled into my new neighborhood and practiced yoga with my puppy by the ocean. Life felt lovely, but soon, I realized that I had no job, I barely knew anybody and time wasn’t stopping. Having faith that all things will work out can be a struggle at times, and I cried a hard, cathartic cry. My hair was all over the place, and my eyes were puffed shut but when my eyes finally de-puffed, I revisited one of my favorite quotes by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love; “There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.”
This quote is like a reset button for me, and it reminds me that while it may seem like the rest of the world has it together…we are all human; there are cracks in all of our hearts, cracks in our courage. It’s okay to have lapses in bravery, or to have a good cry. It’s normal to be afraid sometimes, or to be lonesome. I would so much rather experience real, raw, human emotion that feel nothing at all. When we recognize that those cracks are there, we can work towards allowing new light and energy in.
Sometimes it takes time to fill those cracks and there are millions of places that light may be hiding. You can either keep crying or feeling sorry for yourself, in your mess of troll hair or you can pull it back, and pull yourself together. With my hair pulled back, I chose to escape to nature and practice some flows (always) but to also join 32 meet up groups of wonderful humans who climb, bike, write, yoga, SUP and explore spirituality. Thirty two may be a bit ambitious but I believe there is a lot of light there!
I hope that someone who needs a little encouragement is reading this. When you don’t have a job and you need one, when you don’t have friends and you need them, when there are cracks in your life that need to be filled… everything will be okay. Even when life feels like it is GOING DOWN FOR REAL, and you are flying by the seat of your pants, or wallowing in your own confusion, just run your fingers through your hair, pull it back and take the world on like the beautiful, strong soul that you are. Never forget to reach out to the people around you; even strangers. Even people from 32 meetup groups. We are humans with the capacity to love and connect and support, and that is the beauty of this life. Pretty soon, my messy bun will fall out again in a state of calamity, confidence and peace of mind and heart; all of us will find that peace because we will provide for one another. Give your light, and receive the light of this world with gratitude. Namaste!
Ellie is a pacific northwest yogi, searching to quench her spiritual thirst through nature, community and soulful expression.