Thursday, May 10, 2012

Personal Trajectories

Last night I did a yoga class with my sister, Jennifer. Towards the end, the instructor was having us do some inversions. Inversions? Me? Ha!

So she came over and stuck a few props around me to give extra support.

Then I looked over at Jennifer. She was doing some ridiculously crazy, almost non-human pose. I said, "how are we sisters?" (Jokingly, of course)

I sat there thinking about the difference between me and Jenn. It is huge. She is so far ahead of me yogically, that's it's amusing. But it's not about comparison, is it? And not just yoga - life. If you spend time measuring yourself by another person's abilities or circumstances, you will always fall short of success and happiness. The only race is with yourself. You must be constantly progressing on your own personal trajectory.

 I thought about my own personal trajectory: where I was, and where I am now. I thought about my body last summer and fall. I thought about how I couldn't lay on my stomach; how I physically couldn't stand upright; how I didn't go swimming with the children because I couldn't get in and out of the pool; how I walked with a cane; how excruciating the pain was.

And then I thought about where I was last night. Doing yoga. I can do downward dog, and tree pose, and chair pose, and warrior II, and all these things that even 6 months ago would have been impossible. And when I thought about that, I felt such gratitude for my body and my mind and the ways in which I have progressed personally in the past year. It's huge. Heck - it's monumental.

That's when I looked back at Jennifer doing her ridiculously crazy, almost-not-human pose and realized that life is about being happy where we are at in each individual moment of time. It's about finding that careful balance between contentment and the desire to become better. For we must be happy with who we are and what we are...but we must also carry within us that longing to improve and progress.

And I know that I'll never be what Jennifer is (from a yoga standpoint), but there are other places in life where I can and will do ridiculously crazy, almost non-human poses (so to speak). We are all different. We all have different abilities and disabilities. We all have different likes and dislikes. The world is full of diversity - and that's what makes it all so wonderful.

 [Me, doing Warrior II]

 [Jennifer, doing a ridiculously crazy, almost non-human pose. Enough said.]
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