Hot terraces, dark garage studio floors, crowded beaches. Sometimes my mat, other times a towel or a scarf. There’s no one to tell me to focus when I stare at my toes for too long or take far too much time wiping the sand from my feet. There’s no one beside me breathing, and I can’t catch someone’s smile from the corner of my eye. There’s no one to secretly wave to when the teacher’s not looking, and no one else’s slow gentle movements making me feel safe. I wake up at different times each day, sometimes in different beds, and up until a few days ago, I barely had energy for Surya Namaskar A as weeks had gone by where I hadn’t wanted to eat. I sweat much less outside of the little room I was so used to, and my heart aches a little knowing that no one will help me in Marichasana D today or tomorrow or the next day – it’s just me and me – and Just Me scares me. It’s hard and frustrating and sometimes I can’t help but roll my own eyes for being so silly as to fly away from such a beautiful fabric I was part of – one that always kept me warm and safe when often now I feel cold and naked, even in the sweltering summer of the south. But every morning I come back, and on the one or two days when I don’t, I remind myself that this is something I want to keep with me for a long time. I remind myself to keep it sustainable, that powering through too hard makes anything crack and crumble. I remind myself that it was me who decided to jump, and so of course I must fall – and so here I am falling, preparing myself to land. Tense and tight I’ll break, fearless and flexible I’ll fly. People think I’m either brave or crazy for being where I am doing what I’m doing, and maybe I’m one or both, but most likely I’m neither. I’m me living out the adventure of this life’s story. I have no idea what this one in particular will bring or what it will turn into – I have no five-year plan - which most days doesn’t worry me, but some days it does. Sometimes the most productive thing I do all day is my practice, and so my mind starts formulating a new plan for me – a new place, destination, decision. My mind knows how to do this so well that I realize this is part of the reason I followed myself here to this little island within this Babylon city without any real expectation – because I need to get rid of all of them. I need to learn to sit still, to move more slowly, to be patient with all the moments I am in. And so I come back to the earth beneath my curled toes, the focus between my eyes, the inhales and exhales so that I won’t forget that with practice, all is coming.
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