The floods! The strikes! The total depletion of our Vitamin D levels! Let’s not even get into the never-ending Democratic primary season that we’re watching from afar…
Not much to be joyful for in Paris (or anywhere) right now, is there?
Tuesday I took an impromptu yoga class with a good friend. Sara’s also a writer from New York (here’s her great piece about Montmartre). We happened to chat that morning and found we were both free for the noon class at Paris Yoga Shala. Which—I can’t say it enough—is part of my Somuchmore pass. I have been boxing, yoga-ing, zumba-ing… it’s been so much fun and my love handles are less handle-y now. Seriously, take advantage of our 20% discount for two months because it is so worth it. Code: LESLOLOS expires at the end of the month!
Anyway, the class and teacher, Amanda, were amazing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a yoga instructor who delves into the spiritual side of yoga. Amanda spoke to us about trying to find (and stoke) the light we all carry in our hearts, which can be hard when it’s been raining for nearly two weeks straight, you’re feeling old and fat and you think you’re going through a midlife crisis (oh, just me?) She suggested we shine that light over the dark bits of ourselves and then spread the light out into the world because this is why we do yoga and frankly, what other mission do we have as human beings on this planet?
Her words were exactly what I needed to hear. I have to admit that it’s been difficult to feel excited and motivated lately—whether it’s the weather, not enough sleep or what seems to be the entire planet’s general state of discontent. I’ve been disappointed by other people’s behavior but mostly, I’m disappointed in myself, i.e. I’m not working hard enough; the book won’t write itself; stop bingeing on those Picard mini ice cream cones while mindlessly scrolling Facebook!
Being unkind to yourself is a recipe for unhappiness and depression. Amanda’s talk made me recognize how hard I am on myself (and always have been), which translates to me being hard on the people around me, like my husband and sometimes, my kids. What are we here for if not to spread light, peace and joy—especially to the people closest to us, including ourselves?
A few weeks ago, I received a lovely compliment from a friend from NYC whom I haven’t spoken to (apart from FB) in years. He emailed to say how I was such an inspiring mother/parent and that he just wanted to let me know. I’m still glowing from it. It made me think about how we all need a boost sometimes because life is hard and grinding and god, it’s nice to be cheered on unexpectedly. I’ve decided I’m going to give a sincere compliment to at least one person a week. It can be someone I’m close to or a stranger on the street but it’s an easy way to bring joy into someone’s life. Bonus: You get what you give.
Let’s move past our circumstances—like this rain—and make June joyful for ourselves and others. Start by being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself for whatever you think is wrong with you (absolutely nothing!) and doing things that make you feel good. Then go and shine your gorgeous light on others.
It’s going to be a beautiful summer!