I never know what it will be, but always after yoga, I sit for a few minutes on my mat, cross-legged, straight-backed, breathing slow, and I make myself a promise. It always starts with “I will…” and after that, anything goes.
“I will… be fearless.”
“I will… deal with that thing I don’t want to deal with.”
“I will… relax my shoulders.”
“I will… write my shitty first draft.”
On Friday morning after a strenuous session, I got into position on the edge of my mat, but before I took even the first breath, I heard myself make this promise, “I will plant myself firmly in the real world.”
It surprised me how clear and sudden the thought was, as if it had been crouched there inside me, waiting for its chance to escape, grabbing hold of my voice on its way out and then leaping forth, fully formed, insistent and exuberant as a child.
I got up and wrote it down because it felt so important, and then I kept writing to understand what it meant. I think I’ve been carrying this promise around for a long time, one downward dog away from expression.
Here’s what I wrote…
I will plant myself firmly in the real world.
I will feel the ground under my feet
…….and the significance of each forward step.
I will remember to look up at the sky.
I will pet my dogs, hug my boys, laugh.
I will talk about stuff that matters with people I love.
I will pay attention to how things take root.
I will hike trails
…….and kiss them too, in a long, precious line,
…….from his shoulder to his hip.
I will shimmy, dance, act out, make noise.
I will stretch myself
…….and then hold onto the stillness
…….for a few seconds longer than I think I can.
I will do the work, do the work, do the work.
I will be tender with other people’s hearts.
I will be fearless with my own.
What will you promise yourself today?