I am feeling a little under the weather today and I’m taking a day off to rest. Actually the entire team is a little unwell, at least the girls. Typical GI stuff.
I’ve noticed that over the course of my life, especially since starting my international “work” in 2003, people have on occasion told me to “lighten up” about my perspectives on things. I’d like to more closely investigate this. I don’t really mind when people tell me to lighten up, but I would love to understand better what they mean.
For those who know me (well), I’m really content and grateful for the incredible life that I’ve been given. Grateful everyday to this universe. I’ve noticed that for those who know me less well, mostly what they see in me is seriousness. Serious in my work and relationships, not playing very much… being analytical, realistic, pragmatic. (Even though I love to play!) I like to be overly cautious and respectful of any culture I’m visiting; of any new place, new person, or new situation. I feel like through this, I’m showing respect to my fellow human beings. Showing respect to this universe that we’re in.
What does the phrase “lighten up” really mean? To care a little less about what’s happening around me? To worry a little less about inequality and disrespect towards others? To be a little more apathetic about the endeavours in which I’m involved? To let those around me get away with behaviour that I’d rather not be a part of, personally?
Perhaps it just means to smile a little more, to laugh a little more. I love to smile and laugh, actually… of course! (and dance in grocery stores, as my mom can attest to.) Can I not smile and laugh, and still be pragmatic, realistic, respectful of others, careful of my impact… be serious, even? Sometimes I think that people use the term “lighten up” to not try to change my behaviour, but rather, to excuse themselves from their own.
Funnily enough, the basis for yoga is light. Light in your actions, your interactions, your energy, your expression. Creating light, perceiving light, envisioning light. Cultivating light, as I have been doing since starting yoga. Somehow I have to learn how to express this light to those who don’t even know me, while still maintaining the same ethics, caution, respect for those around me. How to do this?