Last June, on our way to Napa, I picked up a copy of Kathryn Budig’s book “Aim True.” I was at the very beginning of my yoga journey and was following the crowd – read the “right” books, wear the “cool” yoga labels, etc. It was almost as if I thought an arm load of bracelets and Mala beads, a stack of vegan recipes to try, not wearing make up and carrying my yoga mat with me at all times would make me a more legitimate yogi. Admittedly, I was in the midst of perhaps one of the most challenging periods in my life, but instead of facing the facts that bad shit happens to good people sometimes, I was busy trying to reinvent Daryl; someone that I and a bunch of other people had really liked for 50+ years.
So, I’m sitting on the plane reading the first chapter and there’s an exercise – write down at least 3 amazing qualities that you possess…What are your talents? What makes you uniquely you? – and I pull out my journal (because EVERYONE carries their journal with them everywhere, right?), flip to a blank page and just sit there. Literally. For about an hour and a half, I sat there with a blank piece of paper and my pen and couldn’t come up with one thing. Then I started to panic. Then I started to cry. Then George (who in his defense had on his sound cancelling headphones and his nose in a book) noticed and asked what was wrong. I showed him the exercise. He nodded. I showed him my blank journal page. He nodded. I said, “I don’t have anything.” He laughed. So, I asked him to start me off. He said, you’re very empathetic, you make great pasta sauce, you’re going to be a great teacher and you love me. Then he put on his headphones and went back to his book.
I wrote those 4 things down and maybe a couple of others, but the exercise was too humbling, too humiliating and too frustrating at that particular time in my life. I tossed the book aside and started a novel and really never gave it a second thought.
Until Elena Sonnino challenged me (not directly but through her blog and workshop) to make a list of “things I like about me” and wow! what a different a year makes! Here’s my list…
- I like that I can cook without a recipe with whatever I find in the fridge, freezer and pantry
- I like that I’m a rock & roll chick at heart
- I like that when I’m in the middle of a tough run I think about how my father continued to run almost every day with end stage pancreatic cancer
- I like my coarse, curly, thick hair, despite how hard it is to manage – especially because I could’ve lost it all by now
- I like that I’m a great writer and can express my emotions and experiences in a permanent way
- I like that I have shoulder definition and wearing clothes that show it off
- I like that my favorite color is orange
- I like being petite – “though she be but little she is fierce!”
- I like that I cry at movies (and watching Hallmark commercials)
- I like that I challenge myself to things that I always thought were too hard for me – physically and mentally
- I like that my favorite place in the whole world is at home with George and Boogie
- I like that I overshare – on social media and IRL
- I like that I’ve survived through hardships and loss and am ok
- I like that I am empathetic to a fault; your pain, your victories, your emotions become part of me
- I like that I expose myself; I wear my heart on my sleeve and my feelings all over my face
- I like that I am intuitive and let my emotional brain rule my logical brain
- I like that I’m genuine – what you see is what you get
- I like that being “cute” doesn’t mean that I’m not smart and I don’t feel that I have to act dumb or inferior to anyone
- I like that when I like something I go all in – 100%, even if it’s short lived
- I like that I am an honest, trusting and true friend – even though sometimes I get hurt – and will always drop everything for my friends
- I like being in my 50s and knowing the best is yet to come!
Big difference, right? I’ve come a long way toward finding myself again. I can honestly say, I’m happy with me today and acknowledge there’s still some work yet to do! I need to search my kindle for Aim True maybe I’m ready to move beyond page 4 of chapter 1…or maybe I need to start my own book!
Namaste for today 🙏🏻