“You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, fuck it.”—The Grand Budapest Hotel
An older lady took the space next to me at Barre this morning. She mentioned it was her second class so we talked a bit about how she found out about the studio and she said “I came in and saw the ‘Love Your Lower Body’ and thought this is for me. I hate my Lower Body!”. Perhaps in jest, rooted in some truth, but it struck me. My knee jerk reaction was to say ‘No, you’re great why would you feel that way?’ but somehow that didn’t seem appropriate.
Class started and I couldn’t get this out of my head. I would glance back at the lady from time to time. I should mention this was a good looking older lady, mid to late 60s, in shape. Part of me thinks it’s not work mentioning her size or looks because it’s irrelevant. There is no reason to ‘hate’ your lower body.
Brilliant advice to an outsider. Meanwhile, I’m stealing glances in the studio mirrors and cursing myself for my body. Every. Single. Day. Rare is the day I look in the mirror and like what I see.
What struck me most about this was her age. Had it been a peer I would’ve responded automatically with “I hear you girl!” Am I going to go into old age hating myself? When can I let go of this? I guess the stunning part for the whole exchange for me was that the answer could very well be never. That just doesn’t work for me.
In our more dynamic workout portion of the class the instructor told us to “Expand and break through anything that holds you back”.
Of course she was talking about moving our leg in an outward motion but I’ll just pretend she wasn’t, because I have to. This has to stop. No more “I’m fat” or “I hate my hips” or “Nothing looks good on me” or worrying about putting a bathing suit. I’m expanding and breaking through anything that holds me back.
They read this poem during savasana after a wonderful yoga class today and it resonated with me.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.