When I finished my first Yoga Teacher Training I recieved a bracelet infused by my teacher with a metaphorical “Chocolate Chip Cookie,” I was confused by this, to say the least.
My clarification came as “well, you’re hard on the outside, but warm and gooey on the inside.”
This pissed me off. A lot. I did not like this. At.All. This, was NOT what I wanted to hear at the end of my 200 hours of sweat and tears. I wanted validation, not another assignment.
Because, I am not, a chocolate chip cookie, thankyouverymuch. I am nice, and warm, and approachable, and EVERYONE LIKES ME!
Oh. Well. Okay. Fine. Maybe I am a cookie. Maybe I’m a little, uh, crispy on the outside. Sometimes. But only when I want to get it right . . .
So, here I am, many months later, in the middle of my fourth Yoga Teacher Training, finally ready to stop resisting the metaphor, and instead, softening into it so I can take a look around and see exactly what’s available in this cookie business anyway.
A good amount, actually, if I’m willing to see the cookie and eat it too.
The exterior, clearly conditioned to absorb heat and harden to protect its interior, creates boundaries. It determines what gets in, what gets out, and what the world is allowed to see.
I haven’t always been comfortable showing up wearing my insides on my outsides. My response to challenge or stress is to tighten, to firm, to coalesce into one identifiable, finished, unbreakable,
Inside though, I’m full of possibility and space. I’m less cohesive. Less limited.
And soft, on the other hand, for me has always equated to messy. I’ve been choosing to hear that messy is unacceptable. Messy shows lack of integrity. Messy is undisciplined. Messy is weak. Messy is wrong.
Messy is failure.
No wonder I show up like this. And, but, that’s about enough of that story. The.Fucking.End.
I can be composed, and strong, and competent, and focused, and true to me — and not immutable.
Because you know what? Messy is also raw, literally. Messy is also authentic. Messy is also vulnerable, malleable and open to change. Messy also gives me the opportunity to clean up and begin again. Messy allows me to learn to move differently.
Messy, allows me to soften.
Without a shell of pre-formed ideas and expectations, from here, I can choose how to move outwardly, how to respond, how to see and be seen as whole and complete as I am. I can be seen from the inside out, if I chose that, and I can also be completely content when I don’t.
I can choose messy, because messy IS soft, and soft is worth not fighting for.
So here I am, being a little hard on myself for not being soft enough, and at peace with that. Because this cookie, this life, this choice to show up fully, is mine. I have all the ingredients I need; it’s up to me what to make with them.
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