Week after week people walk into my studio for Restorative yoga class with a tension, a hardness. The world felt heavy for them the past week, day, hour, as it often does. And I see it in their faces, their shoulders, their walk. We've all felt this before, and this shell becomes our normal, our baseline in life. So I ask them to let go. I tell them it's ok to soften. I encourage them to release. And usually I see these shells crack, maybe just a bit, maybe just temporarily, but I see them fading. I wish I could walk through their days with them and whisper in their ears “Soften; it looks beautiful on you.”
Because softening, it creates a beautiful transformation.
When we are threatened, when we are insecure, when we are made to feel less than we really are, we build walls. We harden. We become skeptical and defensive. We turn the table and find relief in judging others, we find worth in making others feel unworthy. It really is the strangest thing: when we are at our lowest, we turn on each other instead of turning towards each other.
But softening looks beautiful on us; it feels beautiful on us. We carry tension in our bodies in so many ways: tight shoulders, furrowed brows, clenched jaws. And it comes through in our interactions with the world: we become defensive, enraged, critical. There’s a lack of ease in life, a lack of balance and release. Why do we cling so tightly to our pain? And really, aren’t we all chasing happiness? And where do any of these things belong in the realm of happiness? We believe they have a place, but they do not.
So soften. Soften physically and emotionally and spiritually and mentally and socially. Perhaps you'll hear me in your mind this week whispering, “Soften, it looks beautiful on you.”