I uttered those words to myself during a yoga class last night as instructed. I must spend a lot of time apologizing for the space I take up because I choked up every time I freed the sentence from my mouth. I must have been apologizing internally while shifting on the couch or the bed or scooting past someone on a trail or a sidewalk without even realizing it. Or every time I said or wrote or posted something that had the possibility of upsetting or making another feel discomfort. I like to think of myself as someone who wasn’t apologizing or shrinking but I am not that good of a liar.
And I shouldn’t be.
I don’t want to get good at lying or suppressing the truth to myself. It all begins with me. It all begins with how I choose to talk to myself.
How I choose to take up space.
In class last night, we spread our arms wide. I moved my outstretched arms and open palms left to right in my darkened guest room. I forgot about all the other people in virtual community with me on the screen and felt the wind from my back and forth motions.
I set my intention to be free for 45 minutes.
Even when my arms trembled from strain. Even when my breasts and belly blocked my view of the screen. Even when grace did not find me.
As part of a Facebook group I belong to (Weekly Parady), the next challenge for April is to not complain.
She issued this challenge yesterday.
I failed yesterday. Oh, and today.
The difference was the moment someone asked me not to, I noticed.
Not only in my speech but in my thoughts.
Pursuing writing and striving to make a difference with my wellness invites all sorts of doubts. Because there are no guarantees with either, my mind tends to wander toward a negative place when something doesn’t go my way or I run into a problem that I don’t understand.
I am looking forward to seeing how being more cognizant of the nature of my speech affects my thoughts and actions, if it leads to any major breakthroughs with my writing and my weight loss.
Hopefully, it’s not just for the remainder of this month. I want a lifetime of consciously deciding against complaining, no matter how many times I slip up and fall.
I went to dance class today. I did not want to go. My husband has been pretty sick these last couple of days and I have not been sleeping well. But because I was feeling a little under the weather last Saturday and missed class, I was determined not to miss two in a row.
While I was there, I felt out of step. It was evident that missing class last week put me behind in learning choreography for their upcoming performance. Being worried about my husband drained me. Not having control over when he is healed and having to cancel plans to celebrate my birthday this weekend threw me off kilter. But I wanted to be as present as I could be while I was there. I needed to move and sweat.
I am embracing the process. I literally wrote about this yesterday. When I imagine all of the intense workouts that are to come on this journey, I picture the endorphin release that generally comes and not still feeling sadness afterwards but this is what life is sometimes.
These are the moments when I want to crawl back under the covers and cry a little bit. But I choose not to right now. I am wrapping my whole arms, legs, torso around this moment.