At the start of this pandemic I heard, for the first time, the song of the video above, “I love me” by Meghan Trainor and Lunch Money Lewis. I fell hard for this song. It became THE song that I blasted in the kitchen and danced to every morning. I am still not sick of it. I love dancing to it, singing along, and making it my anthem. I love that I catch my 7 and 9 year old daughters singing it to themselves. It is full of joy and a confidence that I find so authentic and refreshing. It is so light-hearted, and far from an over-complicated longing to believe that I am enough, yet not blindly arrogant. It is so joyful — I love me and my life! I love this video of people dancing to it. Obviously they are great dancers, but they also look like normal people, know what I mean? This isn’t a super costumed video of the song with fancy back-up dancers. These are people who would dance in their kitchen when it comes on, because it is such a great song to dance to.

A couple of weeks ago was the Saturday Morning Meet-Up, a highly concentrated Saturday Morning Retreat. Everyone brought a picture of themselves (that they liked!) from when they were little. We shared favorite movies, songs, shows, things that we did when we were little. There was a lot of contagious memories, when one person says something and then several others respond with “oh my gosh, that’s right! I loved that too, I completely forgot about it!”. When I was a little kid I swam nearly every day. I talked to myself A LOT, often pretending to be interviewed by someone famous like Barbara Walters or Johnny Carson. I would roll my shorts and shirt into the scantily clad likeness of Solid Gold dancers and dance in front of the mirror. I loved the made-for- tv movie “Miracle on Ice” about the 1980 Olympic hockey team (“do you believe in miracles?! YESSS!). In remembering what we liked when we were little, we could reminisce that we liked who we were when we were little. We were kind of awesome, awkward haircuts and all.

I’ve shared many times how when I first got into yoga I was a desperately lonely pastor in Detroit. I would cry at the end of most classes (which happens for many people!) because I realized how many times and for how long I had rejected myself, in favor of the attention of others. I was desperate for people’s attention – as a pastor, to be their girlfriend, to be fun and funny. I have always at least appeared to be very confident and extroverted. I think I figured out a pretty young age how to get attention (positive attention), and I liked it. So, for better or worse, I became a pastor, who gets lots of attention by the very nature of the job. But, the very nature of the job also means that you are “set apart”. You aren’t Part Of the congregation, you are leading it. It is inherently lonely to be set apart. But, you also get sooooooooo much attention.

Then when I was starving for meaningful relationships more than attention, I found yoga. No one in the class knew who I was, and I went out of my way to appear unfriendly. My favorite spot was in the front row, farthest right corner, facing the wall. Yoga suggested I turn my attention inward, give myself that powerful hold of attention that I was seeking from others, and introduce myself to this girl (me!) I had been completely ignoring for years, but with whom I had everything in common. No one loved dancing in the kitchen like her! She loves the same movies as me! She is hilarious and has the same sense of humor as me!? And so, I would cry in emotional apology that I had been so willfully ignoring me for so long, like that person at the party you come up with all the reasons to avoid getting stuck with in conversation.

Yoga is not necessarily about self-improvement. It is a process of deconstructing all the barriers we may have erected that prevent us from having an authentic connection with the divine, ourselves, and the world.

~Donna farhi~

Yoga has helped me get to know me and I am so grateful to it for being such a wonderful matchmaker. As more people get vaccinated, and the end of this bizarre time of physical distancing comes closer, I have started to think about how I will maintain relationship with ME, when the options of being with people is more possible. It’s not that I need or even want to be a hermit. But, how do I not get so consumed in the goings on of everything and everyone else around me – friends, family, work, responsibilities – that I simply lose touch with me, we drift apart, the friendship wanes and becomes blah, like skim milk?

Yes, I am excited to walk IN the coffee shop again and give big hugs and hellos. And I am really grateful to have had so many sweet, unrushed morning coffee dates on my couch, with a book or my imagination. Yes, I am eager to be with my family for a noisy, boisterous, hug-filled family gathering. And I have really appreciated the zoom calls, and phone calls to catch up and talk for real, instead of waiting until we see each other in a few months.

I don’t want to lose touch with me, when I can once again be in touch with everyone else too. Does this make sense?

Well, regardless, that’s where I’m at. The next Saturday Morning Meet-Up will be February 20th, 9 – 10:30 a.m.. It will be on the ZOOM, $5 (I know, it’s ridiculously affordable isn’t it?), and YOU are more than welcome. Write me a friendly email at dailybreadyoga@gmail.com if you want more information about the Meet-Up, weekly classes, or if you too pretended to be a Solid Gold dancer when you were a kid.

Peace on your head, you.

rachel

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