It came to me on my mat. Flat on my back, as shavasana was coming to an end. Commit. Imke – our instructor, our guide – encouraged us to revisit the intention set at the start of our practice, and to release it if it no longer served us. I hadn’t really set an intention at the beginning, but here it was. Commit, and commit fully. Commit to myself, commit to those around me.
I have long lived the habit of keeping my options open, perhaps as a defense mechanism, for if you don’t commit, you can’t get hurt, right? I’ve puzzled through the years at the feeling of disconnection I carried as a teenager and young adult, and over the last week or two since this intention presented itself to me, have begun to consider that perhaps I held myself too closed off from people, even friends, not quite committing to my relationships and yet always stunned when I got left out or let down. That changed a bit in college, thankfully.
To commit, to be vulnerable. To not live as though I am always waiting for something or someone better to come along, but to welcome opportunities and not hold them at bay. Not at the exclusion of all else, but contrariwise, being honest and open and accepting of the good things that come my way, with confidence that it is ok to do so. The idea of keeping my options open was always meant to provide freedom of choice when in actuality, it kept me from really and truly choosing anything.
And so, two small steps.
Bread. I have now made bread by hand. I have also accepted a friend’s invitation to learn. To join her in her kitchen, to listen to her instruction, to be open about my own ignorance on something and allow myself to be taught – not by a subject-matter expert, but by a peer. Why is it so difficult to admit what we do not know?
Kayaking. Yesterday, I went kayaking. One-on-one with another friend. A week or so ago, I boldly asked if she would take me, and she enthusiastically agreed. I was not immediately coordinated (the fear of ‘not being any good’ has held me back from so much, too much), but got the hang of it by the end of the outing, and it was a beautiful experience – talking, paddling, enjoying the sun and the breeze and the water. Why is it so difficult to ask for what we desire?
I don’t know what will be next, but I hope I remember to say yes. Yes to the invitation, yes to myself, yes to all of the options that will help me grow and connect and be real.