How Traveling through Yoga Trade Helped me Let Go of Being Perfect.


Imperfections.

The ultimate perfection.

Today, it took getting a small tattoo on the inside of my middle finger to realize how hard I strive to be “perfect”. How many minutes of my day I spend trying to be the smartest, the best, the most composed, strive for the most flawless skin, to be the most flexible, be the most beautiful. How exhausting and pathetic a struggle!

I tried to think of the times I’ve been at great ease, the most at peace, full of bliss.

It’s when I’m getting tossed about by salty waves at sea maintaining no composure, sans concealer on my rough sandy face. The moments I laugh so hard I snort. The moments I wake up disgruntled due to an alarm, and my boyfriend whispers, “You’re beautiful,” when at that moment, by society’s standards, I could use some tweaking.

It’s sweat dripping bliss during a yoga class where I lose my mind in the space, my rhythm, my dance with breath.

When I travel. Oh, the joy.

Many question my undying allure for travel. When the urge for wonder overcomes the conceptional trap of fear that binds us to home and routine. For me monotony constricts tighter than cold shackles. Schedules.

A mute slave to time.

There is nothing as liberating as landing in a world where no one knows who you are. there are no expectations, or associations with your name, your person. You are free to be as you are.

I’ve traveled abroad before, yet, this trip was my first unaccompanied. A million things could go wrong, many said. A million things could go right, said few.

My adopted mantra for the trip was selflessly provided for me by the most warm-hearted human I know. His label is unjustifiably; boyfriend, while he encompasses confidant, motivation, friend, inspiration, love, and pureness, all in one. He calmly, reassured, “I know your scared, just, be brave”.

Be brave.

I, ultimately, can choose, as emotions arise, which ones to manifest, let grow. We do have control over our minds.

This mantra stopped me from a panic, when I was hopelessly lost at 3 in the morning, with 50 fucking pounds of my life strapped to my little worn out back, in a foreign country I had just landed in for the first time, ever.

Part of me wanted to collapse in an abandoned corner in the street, as I’d seen sadder humans with no choice do.

I, somewhat dramatically (Yes, I’ll admit), sought help from two, high, 17 year-old boys (yes, they were, naturally, the only humans awake at this hour, Colorado culture didn’t feel so distant after all), who offered to sell me pot instead of a phone to use.

How American of me to assume that every individual had a working cell with unlimited data. How sheltered was I?

They directed me to a closed hotel, which, next door, hosted a police station. I entered in quite a frantic, entertaining the 8 men on shift that night. Long story, sort of short, all ended well.

“Be brave.”

Our experiences are based on the perceptions and inference of our minds.

I could have contorted it, defined the events as bad luck, gasped, “The world’s against me!”. Rather, I pulled what shit I could together, and pulled through. I grew, I learned many lessons,

I’ve learned more than I thought I would, helping run this Yoga Teacher Training in Malta.

I’ve learned I´m not always right. But, I speak my truth. I have to let go of my attachment to my truth. To be open to listen to others.

I’ve been thinking about these ancient humans who had the ability to write everything down for the first time, and their efforts at concurring on this “one truth”. After awhile, they probably said, “Fuck it, let’s just write it’s this way. I`m ready for a glass of wine!”.

I’ve learned, while giggling and opening up with girls from Australia, Norway, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Sweden, and England, we are not so different.

We all want to make a difference, to be accepted. We all want to be seen as smart, eat chocolate, laugh, feel loved, receive kindness, and be accepted.

The greatest gift you can give someone is your acceptance.

They should seek it from within, but that acceptance from a stranger, a friend, is a beautiful start.

Offer love before judgement.

My greatest battle. For I judge myself harshly. I strive to be perfect, to reach these peaks. Ignoring the beautiful moment, wasting all those minutes.

I digress, I digress.

I was speaking about transitions. Those moments sans judgement that just call for you to be fully in them.

The messy transitions.

Missed flights. Getting lost at 3 a.m. The moment when you try to formulate profound perfect wisdom while leading your yoga class but your students lose themselves in a laughing fit because one of them rips ass in a roar.

Life is messy, but, how beautiful is the swirl of melancholy bliss?

The stumbles. The unexpected plans that bring the most joy.

My earliest writings of my boyfriend were of my infatuation with how seemingly flawless I found his flaws. How utterly graceful I found the messy way he ate salsa and spilt it on his pants. Pure love cakes beauty in everything.

My, why I can’t I carry that love in how I see the world.

I’m falling in love with the world and it’s flaws today. By accepting that I’m full of them. I love my flaws. As I adore the “flaws” in others.

Who the hell decided what was “perfect” and full of “flaws” anyway? It does seem like one of those definition that should be reserved to be defined by the user, yet that glorified right was taken from us. As beauty is found in the eye of the beholder, so too, my world, is perfection, no?

My best friends are perfect when they lose control on a dance floor and find bliss in tossing their head around as neon lights trickle through their hair in delight, and sweat gleams their skin in a vibrant love.

Love is the people, the earth, the things, that we don`t have to be “perfect” for.

To me what we strive for, this “perfection” involves chemicals that alter our face, masks, plastic, lies on a resume, clothes confining our identities, underwear to strap us in. God, how constricted are we? We pluck and torture ourselves with hate, but at the end of the day, we arrive no where.

One of my favorite memories of my sisters in our youth involves a tent, ghost stories and tearing a huge hole to our fright in the side of it. Of my mother, when she overcame fear of leading a dogsled through the snowy wilderness and when the sled flipped around a corner landed in hysterical laughter as she was caressed by the new fallen snow.

Today, I went with three of my yoga students turned very deep wonderful friends, to get tattoos of small hearts on our hands.

We could have easily had a perfectly symmetrical hearts printed out via photoshop and plastered perfectly centered on our tiny delicate hands.

However, we chose to draw our own hearts, our own love, our own art.

Going first, I shook in my nervousness, I drew a heart, as I always do, big, boisterous, sloppy. Impulsively, I handed my hand over to the tattoo artist to have him trace my design permanently into my hand. Forever.

My heart pounded louder than the pain lasted.

I took in my new ink; uneven, off-center, sloppy. I loved it.

Yet, as it goes with the mind as I stared longer at my heart, my soul shattered at it’s imperfection. “What will other people think when they see that it’s uneven?”

I was concerned, I tried not to let the panic fester, but negativity swarmed in a dark cloud in my head. It was impulsive, it was ugly, it wasn’t perfect. It was such a me thing to do.

But that was it. It was me.

I love who I am.

This heart is my little reminder that not all things are symmetric, perfect, cleanly processed and spit out.

Life is raw, impulsive, messy, vibrant and vivacious.

Eccentric! Life is love. I’m so tired of comparing myself to others, feeling less beautiful, unwise, or overcome with arrogance.

I love MY experience. My impulses. My crazy whirl of meeting beautiful people, weird events, dark moments, bright laughter.

I miss that childlike confidence where I enjoyed all of my creations because I created them. When I didn’t need comparison to feel like an artist. Or validation to feel loved or beautiful.

I am beautiful.

Not in a vain sense of skin and bone construction. In compassion, kindness, bravery, fierceness, gentleness, and love.

Judge me. File me away in a category of your liking. I will not let my experience, my life, be influenced on where you decide to place me.

I have a filing cabinet, also, but forgot to file the papers, they are smashed in this mess I like to call life, and I’m passionately, madly in love with it.

I’m so in love with my imperfect perfect life.

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