Again yoga. Again a learning. #Idon’tgojustforthephysical

We were moving through a series of balance poses, while supposedly standing only on one leg and not putting the other leg down during transitions. Or during the poses. And supposedly not falling down during the transitions or falling out of the poses.

“Embrace the wobble” our instructor said, as we moved and as we stood still.

I’m generally, at this point, somewhat gentle with myself during my yoga practices. I generally can “forgive” myself when I fall to one side or another when I’m “supposed” to be standing tall. I generally can smile to, and at, myself when the instructor says, “Now lay your stomach down on the ground” during a wide-legged forward fold. (I sometimes laugh out loud.) I generally allow myself to not “achieve” a pose (and to not try to “achieve” a pose). I just let myself be.

But EMBRACE the wobble? That’s an entirely different concept! And somewhat mind-blowing, or at least mind-bending.

Accepting is one thing. But applauding? That’s a whole new level.

It, perhaps needless to say, made me look at my life off of the mat as well. (Again, #idon’tgojustforthephysical) Where do I wobble there? (Rhetorical question, because it’s practically everywhere.) How do I, could I, embrace that wobble?

Which also made me think about the fact that World Mental Health Day was last week. If that’s not a wobble that I (and everyone) should embrace – accept, allow, stop beating yourself up about, get help for, etc. – then what is? For reasons not worth going into, and reasons we may never fully know or understand, there is such a stigma placed on mental health issues…and on getting help for mental health issues. One of the things I can state most emphatically these days is that I’m happier, healthier, and wholer than I’ve ever been (and than I ever thought I’d be). I – mostly subconsciously and unconsciously – spent much of my life knowing I was damaged and broken. I can now state – without a shadow of doubt – that I am not.

It’s quite an amazing knowing…and feeling…and way to be. And I would not be here if I had not gotten help.

I have my moments of darkness. I have my scars and at least somewhat self-defeating learned behaviors and responses. But I am not damaged, nor am I broken. And those moments and scars and self-defeating behaviors and responses? First, they happen less and less frequently, and second, they are only a wobble.

And I guess I’m learning to not only accept them, but to embrace them.

People often ask me how I’m “so okay” and how I not only survived my crazy childhood and at least somewhat self-destructive early adulthood, but that I thrive. I often reply, “I don’t know.”

I believe I was graced by something. I believe I was lucky. I know I’m stubborn. I did a lot of work and put a lot of effort and time into finding ways to heal and whole. And again, I got help.

I know I’m happier and healthier and wholer now for a myriad of reasons (many of which I write about here), and I know that one of main reasons is the years I’ve spent in therapy uncovering and undoing pieces of my crazy childhood and at least somewhat self-destructive early adulthood. Why is there such a stigma about therapy and getting help? Without that work – and my amazing therapists – I would not be where I am today. How do we – can we – make that stigma go away?

I recently learned about online therapy. I don’t know that it’s a full substitute for sitting in a room with a therapist and uncovering and undoing together, but I think it’s an amazing addition to that – and even more importantly – a potentially life-saving option for anyone who can’t access in-person therapy for a myriad of reasons. (If you’re interested in learning more, consumersadvocate.org is a great place to start.)

How do we help make it okay to ask for help when we’re not okay? How do we allow ourselves to ask for help when we’re not okay?

How do we embrace our wobble? How do we allow ourselves, even as we wobble, to find support, care, and self-care practices that make our wobble less…or at least allow ourselves to, again, smile and embrace it?

Embrace the wobble.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

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