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The Day I Started Living

A few years ago, I was on my way to my weekly yoga class with my teacher who made us all very aware that tardiness was not to be tolerated. At the time, it was rare for me to invest time, energy, and money into something that was just for me so I was committed to showing up on time and prepared to learn.

On the way to the class, I encountered a slow moving tractor, traffic that was perfectly orchestrated to prevent me from being able to pull out onto the highway, and then construction.

I found myself nervously glancing at my clock as the normal worrisome and fretful thoughts surfaced. What if I am late? What if I have wasted my entire morning? What will my teacher think?

I thought about how precious this class was to me and how angry I would be at myself if I missed it. How irresponsible it felt to me to pay money for something and then not show up.

And then I remembered my yoga, my reason for being in that car.

I started to speculate that perhaps there was something much bigger than a yoga class happening that day. Perhaps for whatever reason I was not supposed to be at that class. What if, I considered, what if spirit is directing me somewhere else?

It was the first time I had ever considered that spirit had plans for me other than the ones I had made that morning.

These thoughts felt radical, but I felt the energy course through my body as I allowed myself to think them.

I relaxed my hands on the wheel and decided I would keep going in the direction of the studio. I commanded my body to shift from its panicky anxious state to one of presence and wonder.

I passed the yoga studio at 1 minute past the class start time. I didn’t even pull into the studio parking lot…. Somehow between becoming present and arriving, I knew where I was going.

I was going to the beach. I was almost giddy with excitement. My husband was at home with both our children and I was going to the beach. Is that even allowed I wondered, but I wasn’t about to let guilt ruin the beauty of the moment for me.

Somehow the water has always given me a permission slip to come alive. It’s like when I am near water, I have a free pass to all the peace and joy I want.

I spent the next hour walking along the shore of Lake Michigan and I discovered handfuls of sea glass just waiting on the shore for me. It was early in the spring so the beach was mostly deserted.

I sat there on the beach after my walk, my pockets heavy with sea glass and I thought about how I am like the glass.

I have so many sharp edges and broken surfaces. There are times when I feel naked and fragile to the world. But when I return to the water, it changes me. Suddenly I am smooth and beautiful and soft. The water sees me as it does a piece of glass and immediately it knows how to wear us down into the purest most beautiful essence of ourselves.

That sea glass was a gift to me, proof that when we listen to our heart, we will be rewarded.

This would not be the day that I missed my yoga class, this would be the day that I truly started living.

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