Let's Get Naked & Bare Our Soles
It's quite difficult to begin a post after two days of no sleep. But sometimes we must pick ourselves up by our boot straps (hopefully, of the Sam Edelman or classic Frye Boot variety), and get on with life. Of course, this post is more about kicking off the boots, shedding the SOLE, to reveal pure SPIRIT.
For a moment (and I mean literally a moment, because my morning ritual still includes checking Shopbop for their daily Lookbook update), I want to drop the fashion chat and be naked. In other words, I want to drop the MASK.
Who am I? Who are you? Who are the people we admire, respect, call our leaders and our Gurus and our guides? I know who mine are. And I know that, even at their very best, they are all HUMAN BEINGS JUST LIKE MYSELF. No one is better or greater than anyone else. Sure some may have more "power" in terms of their socio-economic status, political position, media platform, or, lets face it, plain ole appearances. But at the end of the day, as my beloved and revered teacher, Guru Singh said, "If your extra sensory perception makes you feel better than others, it will disappear." And I believe this sentiment is the cause of so many of our personal falterings. We begin to think we are better than others in some way, some how.
He also said: The ultimate intention is not to run away from pain, it is to learn its lesson.
So here I am, standing naked before you (oh, don't you wish!), in pain. Actually, I WAS in pain. Now I'm in PROCESS. And it's the process of forgiveness for having felt robbed of something that was mine. For all of you who read my previous post about my blog title being "borrowed" without consent, the ISSUE WAS RESOLVED. FOR A SINGLE DAY, I was publicly acknowledged and given credit for my work. Then—in a move that should not have surprised me, but ultimately did—the attribution (and link) to my work was erased.
Admittedly, this was the first time I have ever so boldly and publicly stood up for myself. Pretty ironic, really, in light of the fact that I have written about using yoga and meditation to overcome bullying. As I said in my previous post: Do no Harm; but Take no Shit. I still think its the perfect mantra for a world where people are too afraid to stick up for themselves, for fear that something worse or more painful will then occur. Well, ladies (and gents), this may very well be the case, but in the end: it is only you and YOUR SPIRIT who will suffer. Because, ultimately, OUR SPIRIT EXPANDS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO OUR MASTERY OF FEAR.
And trust me, when I put myself out there and stood up for myself, I was SCARED. Scared I would be trampled by someone "bigger" or "more powerful" than me. But as Pema Chodron says: “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” And I believe, by standing up for myself and defending my heart's work, I have indeed been reminded of that indestructible part of myself.
I encourage you, now that Halloween is past, to DROP THE MASK. And whether you think you wear one or not, take a closer look at the ways in which you present yourself to the world. Nietzsche said "people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed" and I believe this is true for us all. The real test of a true leader is whether, once that bubble has been popped, once those illusions destroyed, will they SHOW THEIR TRUE SELVES? Some yes, some no. The real question is, who is REAL person behind the mask? Is it the one who apologizes and makes amendments or is it the one who garners thousands around them who believe the costume? I don't know. And I don't know if I WANT to know.
In fact, sometimes I believe that nearly everything we see or hear in the media is just one big illusion — which, of course, it is (don't forget, there was a time that I worked at US WEEKLY).
What I do know is this: Today, I'm dropping the mask. I'm going naked and barefoot. I'm not pretending to be anyone other than a mother, a wife, a writer and a yogi who wakes up, does some pranayama, a few Sun Salutations, has a coffee, takes her kid to school, then sits down at her desk to write.
Thank you to so many friends and family who came out in support of me; it has meant the world to me (my Rebelle Society community, the artful and gifted—and brilliant writer!!—Julian Marc Walker, the always inspirational and happy-inducing Dave "Yeah Dave" Romenelli, fellow writers and yoga teachers and yogis, and of course, my friends and family).
I leave you with this: No matter what you choose to wear in life, BE YOU FULLY. And don't let anyone ever take that away from you.