Updated: Aug 22, 2021
The inspiration behind my first published piece of work on Elephant Journal.
One day while I was living in Santa Cruz, I decided to go on an adventure. I love biking and nature, so I was determined to find a mountain to bike up. I had gone mountain biking once before, during this same summer, but really didn't know what in the world I was doing or why. Within 3 hours of the initial idea, I had located a bike rental place, the mountain in which I was going to venture up and found an expert that was willing to teach me the ins and outs of mountain biking. I set the date for the next morning to embark on a solo adventure in the local National Park, Nisene Marks.
I tackled this adventure like no big deal and quickly brushed off the magnitude of this accomplishment. That day, I came home from the mountain, quite emotional and physically exhausted, to my roommate who anxiously awaited my tale of the day. I walked her through how I rented the bike, took it up a 9-mile incline, had a little picnic and made a friend with a native. From this new friend, I had learned all about the history of a deserted railroad town, which now was taken over by the forest of Nisene Marks. My roommate’s jaw dropped; she had lived in Santa Cruz and the bay area most of her whole life and never once had this experience in her very own backyard.
She was not only amazed by my tale, but by the disconnect I had with celebrating my journey. It was in that moment, that I saw how little I see myself. I shed a few tears and began to write. Within 20 minutes, the above piece was created. I read it out loud to my roommate and she was in awe. I wrote this piece about myself from the perspective of someone else. Though I might not be able to see how incredible I am, I believe the more I write about it and celebrate it, the more I will see what others see. The bigger picture in learning to see myself is to inspire others to see and celebrate who and what they are.
I think it’s very easy to search outside ourselves in hopes to find meaning for our lives. But the true meaning comes somewhere in between. It's not a complete inward journey or external journey. There is a balance in-between and that is why I choose to practice my yoga within a community. For those moments in life when I stop breathing, I can hear someone close let out a loud sign, which reminds me to find my breath again. When I cannot understand how to tackle a new pose, I can see an example through someone else’s experience. The balance is in seeing and understand; but not crossing past into comparing and judging.
We don’t know the process it took someone to create a masterpiece, we don’t know all the hard steps it took, all the fears they had to challenge, all the failures they had to feel. Sometimes we only see the end product and wonder, how in the world will I ever get to the end. But the steps in between, the deep breaths, the moments of breakdowns that turn to breakthroughs, are where it happens.