Not The Body

I am not my body. My body is merely a container.

It holds me together in this place in this time. It grounds me to the earth and keeps my spirit from flying off into space.

I am not my body. My body is merely a prop. 

I use it to teach. I tell students to watch me, follow my body with theirs. As I move and breathe, they also move and breathe. They watch as I attempt to do poses. They watch as I succeed, and as I fall on my face. 

They watch me and my wonderfully imperfect, ever-changing body. They size me up and compare themselves to me. They project their own hopes onto me. They project their own body issues onto me. They project their own expectations onto me. They project their own insecurities onto me. 

Sometimes I can feel it. I become a mirror, reflecting their ideas back to them.

This doesn’t only happen in the yoga studio. We all do it, everywhere we go, with everyone we meet. We project our own ideas, needs, hopes, fears, onto everyone we see. We judge. Based on outward appearances, we judge.

And when we see ourselves, in a photo, in the mirror, we project everyone else’s hopes, expectations, fears, demands, onto our own selves. We believe that we have to live up to their expectations, quell their insecurities, alleviate their fears.

I have found that as my mind-body-spirit connection deepens, I release those societal projections. Little by little I let go of the need to live up to anyone else’s standards. 

I feel myself from the inside out. I see myself from the inside out. And I see others from the inside as well. They are not their bodies.

We are not our bodies.

This body is not what I am. This body is simply where I live. 

My dwelling place. It has changed so much, and so many times over the years. It is about to change again. 

When I have my surgery, this house will be remodeled. It will not be a body defined or designed by societal norms. None of that matters, though, because when you look at me you will still see your own reflection.

I am not this body.

*****

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