By Mary Boutieller
We are beautifully and imperfectly ourselves and, yes, we dance to our own rhythm.
Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to help you notice things in a different way. Sometimes, that means traveling to a new place, sometimes it’s a change in your home’s decor or in the yard, and sometimes it’s all in your head, as in a change in perspective!
Recently, my husband, John, embarked on a “crazy” project for the yard. He and his brother had recently trimmed some of bamboo that had gotten a bit out of hand. His brother took some of it home with him, but left quite a bundle here. As John contemplated what to do with it, he remembered a small bamboo screen he had seen in the neighborhood, so he decided to do his version of that screen, only much, much bigger. He told me his idea, and I thought of all the reasons why it might not work. It was big, it could fall on something, how would he anchor it, how would it look, etc. You see, I’ve always been the “practical one” in my family, seemingly weighing the pros and cons of any idea, no matter how good it sounded on the surface. And although I’ve loosened up a bit in my old age, I still tend to envision the problems before I see the potential. And because John is wise, he said, “Just let me try it, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll take it down.”
Over the course of the week, he played with these 10-foot-long poles of bamboo, laying
them out on a grid, fastening them together with electrical ties, trying to find stability in the structure, and changing course as his imagination took his project to different places. I watched from the sidelines wondering how in the world this would work, but admiring his determination. And although John is also a practical kind of guy, he is creative and playful in a way that I try to emulate in my own way. Once he got the structure put together and with the help of a neighbor, the three of us pressed it up to the sky and into place in a dug-out trench. While my neighbor and I held it steady, John placed blocks and dirt into the hole to firm it up. Finally, with some guide wires and metal braces, this amazing grid of bamboo stood up on end with a backdrop of greenery. The final touch of some colored plastic films hung at various intervals created our very own amazing yard art. And I love it. And I love him for pursuing his vision, despite the naysayers in his world.
Miguel de Cervantes said, “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”
It’s this way with so many ideas, right!? We think of them, we tell ourselves all the reasons why we can’t do it (or we listen to others) and then we don’t…until, that is, we do. Once we believe in ourselves enough and we believe in our vision or our version of life enough, we can say, “To heck with it! It will either work or it won’t and I won’t know until I try.” I often tell my yoga students that whether or not they can do a particular pose has no bearing on who they are as students or as people. We are not better or less than because we can or can’t do something that someone else can do. We are beautifully and imperfectly ourselves and, yes, we dance to our own rhythm. It’s what I do as a teacher. It’s what John does as he creates; it’s what we all do when we stay true to ourselves and pursue our ideas and our goals and our fancy.
I came across a quote by Holly Shortall who said, “Do caterpillars know they’re going to turn into butterflies or do they just wake up one day like whoa…I am stunning!”
I smiled when I read this quote. To imagine that one day, we will wake up and realize that yes, we are stunning and amazing and worthy. One day, we will silence the small voice of criticism and doubt, and do the impossible. And, one day, we will embrace our quirkiness, our silly, serious, doubtful ever-evolving selves and smile.
Maybe that day is today.
I’ll leave you with this quote by Henry David Thoreau, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
I think we can only do this if we are being authentically ourselves. So please, be you, and then share that gift with the world!
Love and Namaste’,
Mary I. Boutieller
Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.