Look Ma No Hands!

Often in class I teach my students a sequence to strengthen their core and build balance. I call it  “Look Ma, No Hands!” because we squat and roll back to the tip of our heads and use only our core to roll right back up to standing without the use of our hands. As serious as I am with teaching yoga I also like to have fun, and this is always a good time.

What I woke up pondering today was, when was the last time I really felt proud of myself? Not because others are proud of me, but that deep, rich, satisfaction of knowing *I* did well. If you have been reading my words for any length of time you understand that I come from a life of no Atta Girls.  Distorted perception is the familiar. This is why so many addicts can duel function as hard-core perfectionists. I know I have a few of you reading this right now.

I am proud of myself for completing one of the most challenging Super Spartan’s in the history of the race this past April. This fucker almost did me in, but I completed it!! I have never considered myself an athlete, I turn 50 in 2 months, and I loath to run. So yes, I feel really good about this achievement. Holy shit!!

May brought the amazing opportunity to be hired as a professional yoga model for an international magazine. Now, if you know me personally, you know how incredibly shy I can be. Yes, I have a gorgeous, strong practice (which I am proud of), but I don’t feel the need to force it down anyone’s throat. I believe there is quite enough of that on social media right now.

In June I successfully completed leading 13 groovy people through a Yoga Teacher Training. This was an enormous amount of work on every level. Labor pains for six months, draining as shit and overflowing with love.

I write about this today not seeking Atta Girls from anyone. I’m writing to encourage myself to see ME in a more balanced way. There is a difference between arrogance and confidence. Perfectionism continually raises the bar higher so there is never any place to rest. There is never a time to see clearly through the distortion. Even taking the challenge to write every day stirs up the Samskaras (habituated patterns).

“Wow you really put yourself out there”, my partner says to me, about my writing. And to that I say “Why not? What is there to hide?” I certainly am aware of which posts my students stay away from, vs. the general WordPress audience at large. To each his own yes? Right now it feels healing, soothing, productive and slightly scary to write, thus, a sutra to pursue and unravel. This is for me, and if others resonate and vibe then all the better, just as I feel when teaching yoga.

I’ll be honest, which I always am, and admit that I yearn deeply for my parents to see my achievements, to see just how very fucking far I have come. I wish others who have low opinion of me and my life choices would now see just how successful I am. I hold space for that truth while simultaneously being aware that seeking external validation is an exhausting, losing battle.

So I pose this question to you: When was the last time you felt really proud of yourself, just for you?



15 thoughts on “Look Ma No Hands!

  1. I love this on so many levels! I love that you’re writing about your awesome achievements and acknowledging yourself!
    I was and am always proud of you!

    I can get caught up in running around, looking for validation, I also want make people close to me proud, but as you said it is exhausting. It’s a trap. I’m glad I can recognize it now. I really was super proud of myself after our Seva class, it was a big deal to me and I really wanted to overcome all my fears and to do my best. I also wanted you to be proud, cuz I know how hard you’re worked throughout this TT and I wanted to do just the same.. it all went from “o, hell no, I’m not doing this… to this blissful feeling of “I actually did it”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You have so much to be proud of and I’m glad you are writing about it! As for me, I don’t think of big achievements but rather small things that make me proud, like picking veggies from my garden, cooking a healthy meal, biking somewhere instead of driving, pausing instead of reacting, teaching a class, doing something consistently…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m proud of my body, what it can endure and thrive through is mind boggling. I’m proud of my mind, consciously choosing the path of my heart, filtering and differencienciating what’s congruent with my soul and what no longer is. I’m proud of my determination, my self reflection, my willingness and my faith.
    I’m proud to draw into my life that which feels good, feels like puzzle pieces, things and people that feel like they just fit…… finally.
    Pride takes work, awareness and effort.
    Thank you, Leslie for being you, helping me remember me ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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