#reverb10, Amazon, Amazonian-built yogi, beautifully different, differentness, existence, God, hour glass figure, Kali, Kinesiology, Mother Earth, mundane, overlay of otherness, physical presence, physique, practical world, quirkiness, Shiva, swimmers shoulders, Universe, Yoga teacher
Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
~ December 8 prompt
For everything about me that’s the same as someone else, there’s a bunch of things that aren’t. I mean, we all have the same experience of being alive to a certain extent, but its how we process, interpret and consider those experiences that create a sense of differentness.
Ultimately of course, that’s all just cosmetic if you buy into the idea (and I do) that we’re all part of the same creative intelligent force (e.g. God, Shiva, Kali, Allah, Mother Earth etc) that causes the world and universe to exist.
As I like to say: God’s in everything, even the damn toaster. But then, in this conditioned experience of existence, I’m definitely NOT the toaster. Right? Oh geez, I hope not!
So yes, there are things about me that are different to most. Here’s a sampler for ya!
At 5’10.5”, broad swimmers shoulders, an hour glass figure and just… generally bigger than most – I stick out. It’s something I’ve railed against for most of my life and it even came up in my most recent kinesiology session. I want to accept that my body will never blend in with the crowd, but it’s a tough gig.
Recently I commented over at Curvy Yoga: We who do not match up with the oft-projected image of how women should look need to take counsel amongst our own, and find role models that demonstrate positive acceptance of our shape and size.
I cannot change my height, the breadth or width of my ribcage, or the width of my shoulders. All of these things make me larger than the average woman. As one of my exes once said “you’re the same proportions of most other women, but just magnified”.
I am an Amazon. No matter how much I diet, even at my thinnest healthy weight, this is always the case. Being different like that is difficult in so many ways, and the best way to learn acceptance is to start being positive about myself and others who fall into that category.
That same ex once said that he was amazed to notice how people make way for me when I enter a room. I’ve been told I have a strong physical presence and I guess that’s a good thing although it’s hard to accept when for so much of my life, people have pointed and stared, sometimes even groped.
My non-typical yoga teacher physique
Following on from that, I really like demonstrating that yoga isn’t just for the waif-thin and uber-flexible (although I guess I AM pretty flexible).
There’s no criteria for being a yoga teacher other than your love of yoga, dedication and desire to share what you know. It’s not about how you look and never should be – not for the students or the teacher.
A by-product of yoga is the increase in suppleness, flexibility and strength. And okay, your body might start looking better than it has. BUT there’s no magic recipe.
So I’m doing my bit as an Amazonian-built yogi!
There’s a general quirkiness to me that you might not pick up on first viewing. Amazonian-ness aside, I look pretty normal!
What are you doing, one of my yoga students asked me as I stood outside before class.
Oh, just talking to the birds in the trees. I’ll talk to any animal really… we both giggled.
As long as you don’t expect them to talk back, she offered. I wisely held my tongue! 😉
Look, I live in the practical world as much as I can but there’s ever an overlay of otherness for me. I smell, hear, see and feel it. Call me crazy if you like, but I’ll talk to that tree over there. I’ll have a conversation with the rain and I’ll make a decision about what I’m teaching in a yoga class based on the vibe I get from the air.
This quirk-streak colours my view of the world and consequently feeds my writing and the words I choose, my yoga, the way I ride my bike and the things I make for my nieces.
But actually, I suspect all creative types have their own kind of overlay on the mundane, fueling their vision and creations. Otherwise, where else does it come from?
Really, that’s just a sample of my own personal brand of madness. There’s much more for people to discover if they dare!
Now, tell me some of the ways in which YOU are beautifully different… I dare ya!
P.S. You might notice I’m in catch-up mode right now for #reverb10… I’ve got a few more posts a-coming and I’ll try to keep them snappier. 😀
you are beautifully you! life would be so boring if we all looked the same. i love the diversity of how people look, act & what they believe in. you have gifts to offer that no one else has, we all do, we just have to find them (and sometimes that’s the hard part). 🙂 glad you are joining me on the 21 day yoga challenge in january! i look forward to your progress! hugs!!
@melita – you know, it’s easy to say those things when you’re not one of the “different” in a physical sense. Diversity is great, and I notice that I never judge another person for looking different than everyone else, just myself. Funny that, isn’t it? 😉
We are definitely on for the January 21 day challenge! xo
I’ve always felt different, but not exactly beautifully different…I’m finally working on that! I need to keep remembering that although I may be different, that’s ok, and I am good enough as I am. I really can’t think of anything that makes me beautifully different, but that’s part of the problem I suppose. YOU are beautiful and very wise too 🙂
@Sara – I know I used to consider “different” as a negative thing and I get the feeling that perhaps you do as well. But different is natural, and no matter how different you feel, there are definitely things you share in common with others. I try to celebrate both my similarities and my differences with other people! I’m sure there’s plenty of things about you that are beautifully different – it’s just whether or not you’re prepared to admit such things could be good, yeah?
Anna Guest-Jelley said:
Love this from your article: There’s no criteria for being a yoga teacher other than your love of yoga, dedication and desire to share what you know. It’s not about how you look and never should be – not for the students or the teacher.
Besides being significantly larger than many yoga students and teachers, there are other ways I’m beautifully different: I’m a strategic thinker, I’m quiet but passionate, I rock my glasses, I’m a loyal friend, and I have a tattoo on my toe. 🙂
@Anna Guest-Jelley – But it’s so true! Remember, Milarepa was one of the great yoga sages of his time but before he found his guru, he was many things – including a murderer. It doesn’t matter our background or what we look like – teaching yoga is a vocation that’s bigger than all of it.
Also, we need to see a photo of this toe tattoo! 😉
an amazon. I have a friend who is built like that- she is so beautiful and it makes her an amazing hockey player. I envy how everyone makes way for her, how strong she is. It’s funny how body image works! (and how we all struggle for different reasons).
I also ‘talk’ to natural elements, probably why being pagan works so well for me spiritually.
I love this post svasti. One of my favourites 🙂
@EcoYogini – I know, body image stuff is possibly the most challenging task for many of us – detaching from that image and what we think it means about ourselves! Glad to know I’m not alone in talking to nature. I am also a massive pagan, but then scratch a true yogi and that’s actually what you get anyhow… 😉
Y is for Yogini said:
They always talk back, but most people don’t have the ability (or presence) to hear. 🙂 I’m glad you understand.
Totally! And I even had a conversation with my acupuncturist about such things today. Haha, there I was being stuck with needles and talking about nature spirits! 😉