Fall in love with yourself! My journey in finding my individuality started at a very early age. I have never been in sync with the way society says we are supposed to do things. I went to a mobile school for experiential learning. And yoga in the 70's - it just wasn't cool back then. It was weird. I was raised to question authority and think different. Now that authority has come into it’s own and yoga IS the mainstream! Talk about everything being inverted! I started acting and moved to New York to do a Broadway show when I was 15, never lived with my family again, and did not have a real boyfriend until I was 30 years old. Imagine how out of sync I felt every February 14th!
This year I find myself just fresh out of a 5 1/2 year relationship with a man 9 years younger than me, so for Valentine's Day, I am taking myself out on a date. Romancing myself. Finding the love from within. This is a day to fill your own cup and to fall in love with you. That crazy creature, that lovable, adorable, "special being" - YOU!
Let's face it, nobody loves you like you can. Nobody gets your jokes like you do, and you never need to wonder what you are really thinking thinking about you and you know you are going to go home with you! Just look right in that mirror and say, "I get you, I am committed to you, and I am going to be with you the rest of your life". One thing that will always be with you, the one relationship that you have to the end is your relationship to your body. In all my years of teaching, I've come to realize that there is no 'typical' body. We each have such a unique package, and it's time to treat yourself like you are special.
When I was a child, my dad was a great example of self-care. He was in a definite relationship with himself. Dad brought yoga into our home and turned our household upside-down. Literally. He had no shame. If he felt he needed to do a headstand in a restaurant or a handstand at the gas station, he did it. Dad was big on the inversions. Anything upside-down. Sometimes his example made me feel neglected, and so I did not want to be like him. I have a tendency to completely discount and forget about myself, due to the idea that it may be too selfish. It occurs to me that on this Feb 14th, Valentine's Day, I need to take the contrary action. It's time to be bold and get selfish! Who knows who may benefit. After all, dad may have been self-absorbed, but I became a yoga teacher, and now it's connecting me with all of you!
I remember when I became an instructor and would share personal stuff about my family, talk about sexual energy, and discuss radical ideas, including astrology. It felt SCARY! But it was the only way I knew how to be. I was not a super hero icon fitness guru. Nor was I an uber-spiritual, exclusive, devotional yogi. So... I just decided to risk being myself. Imperfect. Radical. Irreverent. And, oh my great joy is witnessing you being yourself among the collective.
EXPERIMENT: Write yourself a love letter, and take yourself on a Valentine's Date that you wish someone else would take you on. Fall in love with you!