A few years ago, a mentor of mine, in response to one of my yoga classes said, “You are definitely a flavor and it’s definitely not vanilla.” I remember shrinking a little, laughing it off, and worrying that I was sticking out too much. I felt that I needed to reign myself in and be more digestible, less questionable and more “vanilla.” I really wanted to be vanilla; a flavor where there’s no second guessing, vanilla is sophisticated and reliable. I picture “vanilla” as a two-parent household with a two-car garage, two siblings, and a white (dare-I-say “vanilla”) picket fence.
If my upbringing was a kind of ice cream, it was the equivalent of tutti frutti; a single mother and a rainbow of other flavors. My childhood was filled with drag queens twirling to Madonna, John Waters, AIDS Walks, and oh-so-much pleather. The rainbow that raised me shouted, “stand out, be big, be bold, be you.”
But our world isn’t always so kind to those who shout out or stand out, and so I shushed that shout from my lips. I heard the words of my yoga teacher and I wanted to fit in and be someone else.
While putting the pieces together for my “Love Yaself” workshop, I pulled from all the things that I love; poetry, positive psychology, yogic philosophy, dance, asana, journaling, and self-reflection. What I came up with was a workshop that looked like nothing I’d ever done before. It was definitely me, definitely tutti frutti, and that was frightening. I took a deep breath and said, “F*ck it, be yourself and do what you want to do, you are not for everyone and that’s more than ok.” And so I was me and “me” felt so good.
How much time do we spend on the mat hoping that our bodies and our shapes will look like someone else’s? How much time do we spend taming our true selves so that we are less wild and free? It can be so frightening to be a unique flavor but I believe that freedom is always worth the fight. How about you-be-you, and I’ll be me, and none of us change, hide or run away. Because fighting for our own flavors can make life a delicious sundae.
to help you-be-you
(pick one or do all)
1. What is one thing you admire about yourself? What do you like about it?
2. Jot down 3 compliments you received. How did they make you feel?
3. What makes you unique? Lovable? Admirable?
4. What is one personality trait you feel proud of?
Inspiration Station ✨