I was messing about tap dancing around at my brother’s place the other day (trying and miserably failing to emulate The Nicholas Brothers) when he said something to me:
“You’re becoming just like how you used to be when you were little”.
I stopped mid-time step (triple time-step with a triple break, in fact), brow furrowed:
“What? You mean ‘childish’?”
Turns out that’s not what he meant.
There’s a picture of me as a toddler in a little stripy dress with hair like Don King. I’ve got a huge grin on my face as I’m ‘making a break for freedom’ down our street. For a long time I wasn’t keen on that picture (mainly down to the hair), but my brother has always liked it and says it’s because he thinks that picture sums up the person I really am. My brother is older than me so he remembers better than me exactly how I was as a little kid. Apparently, I was smiley, determined, mischievous and especially, very playful. On top of that, once I found my feet I was somewhat hyper, a bit like Tigger – a pretty annoying little sister really, though my brother assures me I’m not quite as annoying now…
I do smile more. My yoga practice has made me keen to play more. I’ve noticed this gradually spreading out away from the mat into other bits of my life along with my growing desire to learn more and explore more and say ‘yes’ more. Of course, I still have my fears as we all do. I feel fear often, but little by little I see myself being more willing to face those fears whether it’s practising headstand away from the wall or saying no to work that might be ‘safe’ in terms of a regular income but that I know will be less than fulfilling and be so all encompassing that it will drain me physically and mentally. I feel myself getting a teeny bit braver. Baby steps.
After that comment from my brother, I took a look at that photo of me as a toddler again and instead of cringing at it as I always used to, it made me smile, bad (baaad) hair and all. That was me before the world got hold of me and made me self-conscious. If I am becoming more like that then I’m glad. I take it as a huge compliment. I think that for a long while I forgot how to play. Through my yoga practice I rediscovered that part of myself. And I’m so thankful for that. I have no plans to mislay that part of me again anytime soon.
Which is possibly not great news for my big brother