Self-Deprivation: A Wake-Up Call
Some of you who have been receiving my newsletters for years may be familiar with my inner-battle with social media over the years, especially since I became a mother. However, social media is good for some things.
I hadn't seen Maggie in over a year when she invited me via Facebook to a series of restorative yoga classes she was teaching at a local Montessori school just minutes from my office.
I clicked "interested" and considered to myself why it had been so long since I'd been to a yoga class...
I have done yoga off and on since my early teens. There have been periods when I was religious about it, like when I worked for free as a receptionist and studio cleaner at a Bikram Yoga studio on Chambers St. in NY so I could get daily free classes. Or when I regularly attended Ashtanga Yoga at the fancy fitness club that was in my backyard in Boulder.
Yoga opens me up in ways that nothing else does. The last time I regularly did yoga was at another club in Boulder, a year or so after becoming a mom.
I would drive 20 minutes twice a week and put my daughter in the daycare (our first real time apart) so I could indulge in Yin Yoga.
And it did feel like an indulgence.
Yin was my favorite! The gentle, slow, long-held poses cracked me wide open, physically and emotionally. Just the release I needed to counteract the stress and tension that was built up from early parenthood.
Since moving back to Chicago I haven't really done much yoga, just a few random classes here and there. I've blamed this on not finding a teacher I loved, but I hadn't really done a true search.
So when I saw the FB invitation to attend this friend's class, I felt like it was the universe telling me something.
And I decided to listen.
The class was gentle, slow, and delicious.
As the first class wound down, we got to one of my favorite poses (what many teachers say is the most important pose) shavasana also known as corpse pose.
It's that final resting pose, where you lay there on your back, with your arms by your side, perhaps a blanket covering you and you let all the energy and good vibes of the ways you just moved your body sink in.
Maggie gently came over to each of us if to give us a small massage with some essential oil.
When it was my turn, I felt this wave of both joy and sorrow. As she gently placed lavender on my third eye center, and even more gently massaged it in and then placed a towel over my eyes, it felt blissful. It felt like home.
I lay there, wondering, why had I gone so long without allowing myself to feel this good? This nurtured? This relaxed?
I am sure that I am not alone in depriving myself of the things that I most need.
But right then and there, I committed to attend the following weeks.
And Maggie surprised me when she refused my money at the end of class.
"This is my gift to you all," she announced. Teaching me once again how good it feels to receive. To really allow someone the gift of giving to me.
I am a giver. I love to share. I love to be there for others. I love to listen. I love to create a sense of nurturing and safety for others.
I sometimes struggle to receive these same gifts.
Maggie and her generosity reminded me of how good it feels to sometimes be passive. To be on the receiving end. And I am so grateful for that reminder.
It woke up and reignited the part of me that knows I, too, deserve to feel good.
As we enter the season of giving and gratitude, I hope that this story reminds you of the enormous power in not only sharing our gifts but in being willing to allow others to share theirs with us.
I hope that learning to receive and accept the generosity of others, becomes part of the legacy I leave behind to my daughter.
What are you in the process of waking up to?
What have you been depriving yourself of?
Or what pleasure would you be willing to allow yourself to experience over the coming season?
Share your answers below.