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09 February 2014

i am who i want to be



'i am who i want to be,' a thought that occurred to me one day while practicing yoga a few years ago. "this can't possibly be true!" EgoSteffi replied. yet it was. and is. 

trying to appreciate the space between who we are and who we aim to become is perhaps the greatest challenge we constantly face, no? what about that one posture i still can't figure out? a promotion? my love handles? the distant ache for family and friends far away? how can i have possibly arrived at a place of contentment, or even, {gasp!} approval?

and then i think of the people i love, who, despite their many perfections, have a few flaws, too. it's so simple for me to see their strengths, their assets, their redeeming qualities. admiring loved ones comes easy (that's not to say i'm not hard on them, but that's another topic altogether).  

caroline and me in FL.
like who? example one: my sister, Caroline.  she's literally the most generous, accepting, charming person i know. i love being around her: she's smart, gorgeous, fun, and committed. it's so easy to see 10 billion qualities in her that i admire. i think i've written an entire blog post about her- at least one- because i'm so inspired by her. she's my sister and best friend. do she have flaws? of course, but that's not what i see when i see her.  she'll blush if she reads this, but it's true. she's awesome- and i totally  can accept her strengths as who she is.  can we easily do this for ourselves? admire our most redeeming qualities and acknowledge we're not perfect as we pursue lives of meaning, intention, possibility?
maybe it's not as difficult as it seems. when we're open to what already exists in the framework of the soul, working from the place of acceptance and offering the true self to the world around us, so much joy can blossom. with affirmation, we align our positive thinking and highest qualities to the mission and intention with which we live our entire lives. at work and at play, for self and others, acceptance can ignite possibility, and possibility- well, it can change the entire world, unveiling a universe of every opportunity in abundance. whether you're on a yoga mat in louisville, ky or hiking the highest peak in nepal- you arrive to the present moment alive and in awe of what exists there.

this past summer, pw and i had the extraordinary opportunity to spend a day at blue cliff monastery in pine bush, ny at thich nhat hahn's day of mindfulness retreat.  'Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing.' in the shining light of an overcast september day, we experienced the most peaceful and affirming practice of mindfulness. it's a day i hope to never forget, and  it affirmed a whisper within that i already knew to be true. 'i am who i want to be.' 


blue cliff monastery, september 2013

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