Years ago a friend told me that she had spent her whole life trying not to take up space. When she was young, she explained, she had felt too big, too needy, and too fat. Basically, she had felt like she was simply too much. So she had tried to, in many ways, to disappear. To not need anyone or anything, or anything from anyone. To be less.
I thought of this friend the other day when I was, again, in a yoga class. In the midst of our practice, the instructor suggested we take up space. She was, of course, referring to our poses, and I did, of course, take it to mean much more.
I thought of my friend who was, in her words, recovering from trying to be and need less. As I stretched my body to fill the space around me, I dedicated my movement to that friend.
In general, I think that all of us – or at least many of us – could use to take up more space. To be more fully ourselves. To be more fully alive. To laugh harder and louder. To ask for what we want, and go out and get it for ourselves. We can’t, really, expect anyone else to give us exactly what we need, but we sure can want and need it, and do our best to find it.
When I take up space I’m more willing to be me, warts and all. When I take up space, I’m more willing to reach out to and connect with others. When I take up space, I am more likely to enjoy my day and feel the vibrancy of life surge through me like an electrical charge. When I take up space I’m more likely to reach for the stars and ask for what I need.
I think of my friend who had learned, somehow, to take up less space, and challenge myself (and you) to continue to take up more space.
To laugh more. To play more. To love more. To savor more. To appreciate more. To be more.
To take up space.
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